Today in the News: The Wandering Thinker (TWT) returns today with a new guest post. You're going to look at it and think, "why can't I have a pile of axes like that?" We're definetly happy to have TWT back at it. I always look forward to his posts!
Link of the Day: My friend, Le Loup, over at A Woodsrunner's Diary has written a book called Primitive Firelighting , available at Lulu.com. I bought a copy today! I've tried the bow drill fire a few times and, while I've gotten a lot of smoke, I have yet to get fire. That is a goal for this winter and I'm sure this book is goi ng to help. Buy or download a copy of this book today!
As previously mentioned........
Do I Haft to? Pt. 1, by The Wandering ThinkerLike most of you I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off during this holiday season. Family and friends aside my project list has grown more to a book as I read great posts here on The Sharpened Axe and other sites, but I only get enough time to start them before I have to run again. In returning to the spirit of this blog I wanted to give you a look into the axe's I've been working on.
All but the Plumb hatchet had been sitting around our basement and out in the barn for several years. All of these at first were my father's, who used them all at one time to clear our land and cut firewood for the winter (being a necessity for years because we couldn't really afford to run the central heat when it got below 40 outside, and we have seen negative digits for weeks here). But in the past few years his age has begun showing a bit and it's been so much easier on him to buy wood from a family friend, who needs the money much more than us so its a real win-win situation. So, with all of them sitting around they have been slowly going down hill. After wiping off the layers of dust and grime, it because obvious the first thing I had to do was treat the handles with something, and soon. I chose Boiled Linseed Oil because I had heard that was one of the best things for maintenance and did a quick wipe on/off. I also decided to lay them across our wood furnace for a few minuets, in hopes of the heat opening the wood pores and forcing the oil deeper, but I have no idea if this helps ... and thoughts?
It was around 100 degrees on top on the stove, not sure if that is hot enough, but I didn't want to do any damage.
After they cooled down I decided to do the same to a Maul handle my dad had bought but never put the head on. Of course, with my spastic attention span, I forgot about the Axe's and decided to go ahead and hang the Maul. This being the first time I had ever tried to re-handle a tool I had no idea what I was doing, except for the things I had seen Mike do here. Luckily, the handle and head were almost a prefect fit from the get go so all I had to do was tap the bottom of the handle until the head drew itself up and seated tightly. I used a piece of Hickory I had for the wedge and hammered the steel wedges back in. As you can tell from the pictures, I didn't get the steel wedges centered as I should have, but the Hickory wedge made it shift before I noticed and by the time I saw it it was too late. I don't think it's going to cause much issue because the Hickory wedge I used was very wide at the top and spread the handle out a great deal.Then I soaked the eye in BLO to finish swelling the wood and protect it from shrinking and splitting.
After hanging the Maul, I noticed that the double bit my father gave me out of this set was hung wrong and decided to go ahead a fix it.
This was a bit more of a challenge because not only was it my first time with an axe, the head had been jammed on without trimming the handle. It took me about an hour or two after I pulled the pin that was set through the head to finally get it off . After I got it off, the rest was just seating the head, finding the high spots, and sanding them down and trying again. Without a good rasp and a worn belt on my 6in sander, this took about two hours over two days to finish (it was quite frustrating). As you will see I didn't get the head all the way down to the shoulder, but its much better than it was and I may end up trying to fully seat it later, now that I have learned how hard Hickory really is. Again I didn't get the steel wedge quite right with the wooden wedge making it a bit difficult to keep to straight, but I replaced the pin and swelled the wood with BLO so, again I got lucky.
So, here is part one! In part two I'll cover cleaning and restoring the heads, including the single I got as well, which has some nasty chips in the bit.
That's all for today!
Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,
Mike, Oscar, Hotel.....out.