Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Traditionals Tuesday Axes?

trade axe large eye curved single bit handle
Both Collins, the Trade pattern at the bottom.
Do axes count? They're old traditional tools. OK so maybe Traditionals Tuesday isn't going to become a thing. Here we have the Collins Legitimus 3lb Connecticut pattern from last Tuesday in progress. My rough turned handles had showed up the week before that, and some nice weather came with them that Saturday, and I couldn't wait to get started. Some of the pictures show the handles rough, as they come from House Handle so that you can get an idea of how much material is removed to fit them. One thing I want to mention in this post, because I've talked at length about rough handles as well as reshaping off-the-shelf finished handles, is the 3-1/2lb Collins Trade pattern depicted in some of the images. This is the only one I have experience rehanging but the eye is unusually large on them. It may just be that the eye is larger on the heavier heads, but I don't know for certain. It could very well be that if you got a 3lb version it would also have the huge eye - I'm just not familiar enough with them to say. However, if you have one in hand and you're stumped about where to source a handle, I was in the same boat and a rough handle like these will work. The rough, or first pass handles are large enough and you will need to ask for one special from House Handle. I don't see a ton of these heads around, but hopefully a few people will find this post and at least have one option.

rough turned single bit axe handles
Here are the handles as they came to me.

A finished handle next to a rough handle shows how much material is removed.

That Connecticut finished, but not sharpened yet.

Tried a few fancy lines around the shoulder of this handle that turned out pretty nice.

Notice the handle on the right had been chucked in the lathe off center so one side has a flat. I didn't want to remove material just to make the other side match and it doesn't affect feel in the hand.

The eye of the Connecticut pattern. Notice how narrow the eye is on them.

handles for trade pattern axes
And here you can see just how huge the eye is for the Trade pattern.

Again, the Trade axe eye is longer and much wider.

restoring vintage axe heads
Here you can see that having extra material really allows you to get a perfect fit.

3-1/2lb collins legitimus trade axe
I also applied octagonal flats to the Trade axe handle.