Thursday, December 4, 2014

Another Custom Cut Axe

The finished product, sharp and ready for work.
I'm just behind on all this sort of stuff and I forgot all about this one in the project post I wrote a few minutes ago. I already wrote about the other head (pictured below) that I got at the same time as this one, both unmarked heads from the bay. I noticed that this one was in pretty good shape but the toe had been taken down quite a bit. It was cheap, and I am always up for a new project so I placed my bid. I brought out the cut-off wheel and went to work. It's worth noting that all steel heads cut harder than iron heads, so it's important to go slow and avoid generating a lot of heat. I wrap the head, in particular the bit, in water soaked rags which I then clamp into place so that I can dip the rags and the head all together as I go along.

Before and after for this stick.
As with most of these projects, the handle got a lot of work, but since discovering the first pass handles from House Handle, I probably won't mess with trying to find the good shape in a misshapen handle too often from this point forward. I was sent a straight handle with good grain and enough extra wood to dig out something pretty nice, but it still lacks in a few areas. I enjoy working the handles the most, and because of this, combined with my experience with a first pass handle, I've become more and more picky about them. Annoyingly it makes me scrutinize the work I've already done, but I think this is all part of the never ending learning process.

We're dealing with the bottom head in this post.
cutting down an axe
Hacking, cutting and grinding.
A little off the top, a LOT off the bottom. Finished weight; just under 3lbs.
hanging an axe
I am leaning toward hard woods for the wedges and so I make my own - Osage in this case.
The finished product before sharpening and BLO.