making a new axe handleI have been asked a few times about how to do a new axe handle and was making one up last night so took some pics.
First wood selection. The perfect wood is nice straight grain ash fairly fast grown, if it gets more than 6-8 rings per inch it is much more brittle, 4-6 rings per inch is perfect. Having said that a hewing axe like this is nearly always used one handed and the handle does not get the same stress as a felling axe so I would use pretty well whatever wood you have though with a preference for more fibrous species, ash, oak, elm etc.
Split your log in half and half again then if it was a fat log you may be able to go down to 1/8th sections.
What you are aiming for is to cut out a bit of wood that looks like this, just a bit bigger all round than the axe of the axe. Draw round the inside of the eye on to the end grain. Grain direction does not matter with ash. I often see it sugested that this orientation with the axe head tangential to the growth rings is good and that radial is bad. I find no difference and all the technical data on ash I can find gives the same info. I think the pics of grain direction that are often repeated probably originat from old American sources and are referring to old growth hickory. In my experience ash is fine either way I I more normally end up using ti the other way just because when I split the wood out that ends up closest to the shape I want. Bows are made that way on too.
Next if you have another axe handle you like draw round it on the side profile, or just draw a shape you like. Straight handles are fine, I prefer this shape.
Cut the side profile trying to keep the edges at 90 degrees, at this stage we are not looking for a rounded profile just a nice clean rectangle.
Thin the sides down if necessary again aiming for a clean flat plain.
Now work over the surfaces with a knife to smoot the curved lines and leave nice clean cuts on the flats.
So now we have a rectangular section which is about 10-15% over size at the head and just a little over size on the handle. And we leave it to dry. This bit of wood was pretty dry already so 48 hous indoors will probably be enough. When it is dry if I tap it against something it wil ring rather than thud and feel nice and springy. You can just leav it a month and be sure but I am always impatient.
This is roughly how it will look when done. This is a chep old head, I don't know what the pattern is or where they were made but I have a couple like this, they don't seem uncommon at car boots and I like the look of it as a carving hatchet. The other old head would make a perfect alternative to a small forest axe for someone on a budget.
- '); loadVbCss(yuipath + '/treeview/assets/skins/sam/treeview.css'); //-->
Recent Forum Activityavoidspam
Thought I'd give this a go. Sorry if it's been tried before but I quite like the version on the other side of the pond. Everyone gets a bit creative with their camera's... Plus it's a nice opportunity to see what's out there....:) SamLast Post By: ted2 Yesterday, 08:46 PMCeltic Dragon
As mine is still in the smiths (and has been for 6 weeks and no end in sight) The parts I have here are being fantasy pimped :D For those results you'll have to wait a few days. In the mean time to aliviate my suffering, lets see yours :D be it pcp, springer, rimmie or centrefire.Last Post By: John56 Today, 01:40 AMSimon G
So, in the "let's see your rifles" thread, Rapidboy suggested a pistol thread. And as we always listen to the mods on here, let's give RB what he wants! (As opposed to what he needs!:D ) For UK mainland residents, obviously muzzle loaders and air. But for our friends in the not so discriminated...Last Post By: johnbaz Today, 12:42 AMPSY
As seen here: http://www.devil-forge.com/forges/DFPROF2%20-%20two%20burners.htm Has anyone had any experience with the company or their products? Does it seem like decent equipment for a hobbyist? Edited to add: I bought me one of their horseshoe maker models in the end and to answer my...Last Post By: ggfh666 Yesterday, 03:39 PMBGC_Tom
Hi all, So I recently bought a Bradford Guardian 3, along with a pair of ‘3D’ micarta scales to replace the G10 ones. The problem is, when I came to take the old scales off I just could not budge the screws! I’ve already broken one driver bit (one of those two-prong ‘spanner’ bits) and still...Last Post By: PuukkoJim Yesterday, 09:43 PMpolecat
Been Forging out a 10 inch Bowie style blade and got around to starting the polishing today, needs alot more work yet but its starting to look the part now. Think I finally understand how to set up the Hamons on this steel, but getting the best from the polishing is hard work. Not easy to...Last Post By: polecat Today, 12:35 AM