Axe handle update

Well, I got bored in the shop tonight, and figured why not…

Everybody thats looked at that axe handle I did has complained about the gaps, and that i should have set it down further onto the shoulder… Not that I particularly care what anyone else says, but then again I’ll admit to not really knowing much about what I’m doing with axes… So, I ran out of other stuff to do tonight, so I figured “Meh, why the hell not?”

The trick was getting the damn thing apart again! (without ruining the handle)

Took a hell of a lot to get it off! It wouldn’t budge either direction even pounding at it with a hammer, and a few other tricks. (knew it wouldn’t as tight as I wedged it, and having drove it on with a hammer to begin with… 😉 ) So I went at the end with a hammer and chisel, cut out about 1/4″ deep around the metal wedges to pull them… Ended up about 3/8″ deep before I could pull them with vise grips.

I only smashed my fingers with the hammer twice, and cut my hand on the razor sharp axe head once.

Fun.

Then it still wouldn’t budge… Tried driving the handle out with a big punch; No go. Tried driving the head off with a hammer and got some movement but not a lot. Chiseled out as much of the wedge as I could.

Tried driving the handle out with a big punch again; Still no go.
Tried driving the head off with a hammer again; Little more movement, but it woulda taken a week at the rate it was moving.

I finally went out to the wood pile and drove it hard into a chunck of birch leaving the handle horizontal, stood one foot on the log and worked the handle up and down with my body weight to loosen it up. Alternating that and driving at it with a 2.5lb. baby sledge one side then the other, while holding the handle vertical with the other hand, it finally came off.

The shoulder on the handle was actually narrower than the eye(the long way), even all the way down at its widest point.  I figured, “Meh, what the hell, I’ll set it down as far as I’m comfortable with while still leaving a shoulder in both directions”

And thats what I did.  

Worked it down till it wedged and gouged the handle, took it apart, and took off the high spots, And repeat. Worked the shoulder back on the wide flats slow and careful all the way down, keeping a taper to the shoulder. Didn’t work the edges down, keeping it as wide as possible the long way…

No doubt some people still won’t like it.

But I think it is better.
It is filled out a lot more both top and bottom, but not fully on the bottom… I’ll add some wedging in those holes driven in from the bottom later. I could have went down further, but not enough to fill all of the eye, the wood simply isn’t there to do it, so I stopped here where I was comfortable with leaving some shoulder at all.

On a side not, I cleaned the head up this time, and found two marks stamped into it. One is “3 1/2”. The other is “TI” or “TT”…   I’ll assume the 3 1/2 means its a 3.5 lb. head. No ideas on the other mark, if its a brand mark or ??

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Categories: Modifications, Outdoors

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2 thoughts on “Axe handle update

  1. AlaskaLinuxUser

    Nice work! Sounds like it would have stayed on quite a while as it was!

    • Yeah, I doubt it was going anywhere… Its like the bad handle I took off to begin with… It wasn’t coming off that one anytime soon either, it took 10x the work to get off, and I destroyed it to do it! And it was loose to start with!

      But I think I now understand why it should be set down against the shoulder; Part of the way I got it off, was working the handle back and forth in the head, wiggling it out, loosening it with it stuck in a log… the same motion it goes through every time you remove in from a log.

      with the head sitting on the shoulder, there is no room for it to wiggle back and forth, the shoulder blocks that movement, so it can;t loosen up as easy. The side gaps would make that worse, giving it somewhere to wiggle to… but with it down on the shoulder, the side gaps are less of, if any problem.

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