Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blog Re-run: Axe Head Refurb

Today in the News:  Axes remain Awesome.  Tune in tomorrow for more of the same news.  I'm always looking for guest writers.  If you're interested, please email me at .  Also, if you like this blog, go to the upper left hand corner and click 'follow'.  I certainly would appreciate it.   Again, thank you all so very much for reading.  This blog has far exceeded my goals.


I was on the forum the other day and saw the work of a user that goes by "Gaga".  Gaga would take these axe heads and refinish them and, frankly, they looked fantastic.  So I axed (haha) Gaga what the process was.  Gaga replied, "elbow grease and sweat - wire brush on drill- naval jelly- some special grinder buffing wheels... i try not to grind of any markings and i do it on 2-3 axes in one session so i can interchange them not to overheat the steel."

Sounds simple, right?  Let's begin.

I had three implements that I wanted to restore; a brush hook and two axe heads.  One of the axe heads looked as though it sat at the bottom of a river for a few decades.  That's the one we're going to focus on.

Here they are -

This is the axe we'll be talking about -

Here is the Naval Jelly.  I had never heard of it before.  I know that you're thinking what I'm thinking........I don't think you're ready for this jelly.......I don't think you're ready for this jelly....enough with the Beyonce.  This stuff is pretty caustic and you should use it in a well-ventilated room with rubber gloves and safety glasses at the very least.

I put it on the head and spread it around.  I think the bottle said leave on at least 15 minutes.  The first round, I did about twenty.

I rinsed it off and gave it the scrubba-dub-dub with the wire brush, then the wire wheel on my grinder. 

Then I'd go outside and rinse the mud off.  I'm not gonna lie, I must be missing something.  I did the process at least 10 times and here's the result:

Better?  Yes?  As awesome as Gaga's?  Not even close.  Not sure what I did wrong, but I will, eventually, figure it out.  Maybe we can get Gaga to do a guest article. ;)  Stop by and search for Gaga.  There you'll find the goods.

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel.....out.


  1. So how did you clean it for the last photo; it looks dern good there!

  2. I always just wire wheeled eveything until the coarse rust was gone, but a bit of color remained (I like a bit of patina). I've never tried vinegar, but some folks swear by it.