Home made axe handles

Discussions about other types of tools, logging history, trail maintenance, etc.

Re: Home made axe handles

Postby Trailsawyer » May 14th, 2016, 8:11 pm

Very interesting axes, and your process of selecting, shaping, fitting and hanging the haft is great!
Thanks for sharing.
Gary
Trailsawyer
 
Posts: 80
Joined: July 1st, 2012, 7:27 am
Location: SW Washington State

Re: Home made axe handles

Postby Dale Torma » May 15th, 2016, 2:52 am

I'm glad you found it interesting.
I usually make handles out of split wood, I don't have any split wood with that much of a curve though. I pretty much ran out of seasoned handle wood and have to gather some soon and put it away to dry.

One thing, if you are gathering your own axe handle wood or bow staves or whatever, cut them a bit long and seal the ends with bullseye shellac to prevent checking, and keep them out of the sun as they dry, especially hop-hornbeam (ironwood) it will check right in front of your eyes when the sunlight hits the debarked wood. Quarter the staves, seal the ends and leave the bark on for a couple weeks at least. I dry some of my wood in my wood heated basement for stuff I need to dry fast. For wood skis and stuff that is sawed, I seal the ends and what was the bark side. Sometimes I clamp them to the underside of my floor joists to control warping.
Dale Torma
 
Posts: 117
Joined: April 18th, 2016, 11:18 am

Re: Home made axe handles

Postby trailcrew » May 15th, 2016, 4:26 am

Great work and beautiful axes.
Josh
User avatar
trailcrew
 
Posts: 367
Joined: February 16th, 2011, 9:47 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Re: Home made axe handles

Postby Dale Torma » May 15th, 2016, 5:45 pm

Thanks, its raining out now, so I sanded the handle and put some linseed oil turpentine pine tar mix on the handle.
image.jpg

There is some curly grain where the tree bend was, but this cell phone didnt catch it very well
Dale Torma
 
Posts: 117
Joined: April 18th, 2016, 11:18 am

Re: Home made axe handles

Postby brianthehurdler » June 11th, 2016, 9:14 am

Dale Torma wrote:The pine wedge does an amazing thing when driven tight. The early wood rings compress and the late wood rings dig it, locking the wedge in place with a scalloped interface.
image.jpg

I learned to use pine wedges from writings about what the Finns used, they used fat wood pine wedges the pitch melt with the friction of driving the wedge and glues it in place.


That's a really nice effect. My tree guide suggests that the Jack Pine is largely Canadian, so the Finns would have been using some other species. Have you tried any other pines? I might give this a go myself. Since I work a lot in an Arboretum I can often find all sorts of interesting woods, though they'll be growing quicker here than they will in Canada!

Brian.
User avatar
brianthehurdler
 
Posts: 97
Joined: November 16th, 2012, 11:24 am
Location: Gloucestershire, UK.

Re: Home made axe handles

Postby Dale Torma » June 11th, 2016, 3:12 pm

I believe they have a subspecies of Scotch pine in Finland. Scotch pine is very similar to our jack pine. Some was planted here for windrows around fields and Christmas tree plantations.
Dale Torma
 
Posts: 117
Joined: April 18th, 2016, 11:18 am

Re: Home made axe handles

Postby Dale Torma » December 2nd, 2016, 10:18 am

image.jpg

Here is another handle for a 3 1/2 pound Zenith single bit, cut from a curved maple and carved using the Finnish army pattern style, except it is octagonal. A bit more scraping and sanding to do, wedging and finishing. I will have to see how the more severe than normal curve or bend works out.
Dale Torma
 
Posts: 117
Joined: April 18th, 2016, 11:18 am

Re: Home made axe handles

Postby sumnergeo » December 3rd, 2016, 8:01 am

Great summary. I especially liked the observation about the growth rings: spring-growth portions must be soft and fall-growth portions are harder so they give that scalloped look?

As Mike would say, an axe is just a simple saw - only has one tooth.

I was intrigued that the eye wasn't simple - wouldn't that be harder to make?
User avatar
sumnergeo
 
Posts: 264
Joined: February 22nd, 2011, 12:31 pm
Location: Chiricahua Wilderness Area; Houston, Texas; Minneapolis

Re: Home made axe handles

Postby Dale Torma » December 20th, 2016, 3:23 am

It is a bit more difficult to hang a Finnish axe, but not too bad.
The tapered eye is counter intuitive, but it wedges tight anyway. It is a bit hourglass shaped and slightly larger on top than it is a 1/2 inch down, and that helps. You have to have a very tight fit to begin with. I heat the head a bit to expand it and dip the handle in hot pine tar for lubrication after the final test fitting, then it drives in about 3/8 inch farther with the pine tar and heat. Then the head shrinks on the handle a bit too. I just heat the head on the wood stove, but not enough to mess with the temper. The pine tar preserves the wood also and keeps the moisture out. I cook pine tar into the whole handle, rub it in and then use linseed oil. I use a heat gun or just welding gloves and roast it a bit above the coals in my wood furnace, just till the tar starts to bubble. Use Bickmores pine tar from a hardware store, it is in the equine section for hoof treatment.
Dale Torma
 
Posts: 117
Joined: April 18th, 2016, 11:18 am

Re: Home made axe handles

Postby rjdankert » January 10th, 2017, 2:40 pm

This video has been "around the block" a few times.

Finnish man makes an axe handle(1936)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEZ0a3RLlEM&t=1s&index=28&list=WL
rjdankert
 
Posts: 56
Joined: February 12th, 2012, 7:39 am
Location: S. W. Michigan

PreviousNext

Return to Other General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest