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Bushcraft Axe? (Page 1 of 2)
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Posted: 2/18/2021 12:44:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2021 12:54:35 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
I picked up some used axe heads off eBay for cheap, they look somewhat abused but not in terrible condition in the pictures, some edge damage probably from bouncing off the floor, I believe they were used at an axe throwing place. Handles probably broke off so they sold the heads as scrap. I'm gonna strip the paint off and look for cracks in the eye and through the cheeks what not and make sure there are no catastrophic structural cracks in the heads. I can deal with some edge/heel/toe damage and just take the edge back and re-bevel it or reprofile the head to get rid of any nastiness, and clean up the edges, eyes, and polls a bit. Then if there's no major issues I'll apple cider vinegar patina them.

I'm looking to make kind of a bushcraft-ish utility axe, heads are 1.5# and appear to be a Rhineland type pattern, I think they also call them "Hoosier axes" but that might only apply to the bigger/heavier ones.

I'm torn on hanging them a 16" handle or a 18-19" handle. I like the Hudson Bay style handle in both lengths.

What is everyone's opinion on handle length for a 1.5# head? Am I really going to be gaining much going with the longer handle?

pic of heads-





Handle-

Link Posted: 2/18/2021 12:54:56 AM EDT
Most of the time the axe will be used to not fell trees but clean the branches off and take out thick knots and make pointy ends.

corporals corner, dudes part of the pathfinder school of bushcraft.
learned from Dave Canterbury.
https://www.youtube.com/user/recall5811/videos
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 1:12:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2021 1:17:59 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
Yeah I've got a 28" boys axe for felling bigger stuff, just looking for the sweet spot with weight and length, I know the Gransfors Bruks small forest axe is 1.5# at 19" long,

I'm just torn on whether to make these hatchet sized since I already own an axe, or to make them small axe sized.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 2:37:47 AM EDT
Since  you have three why not make both sizes or even three different lengths.  I have Gransfors Brucks  in multiple sizes. The short hand hatchet can be really handy sometimes. The small forest axe is about right but the small splitting axe is just a tad longer and about perfect yet shorter than the Scandinavian forest axe / boys axe length.  You could always custom grind the shape of the head, lots of tomahawks are custom ground or custom filed to alter shape, then cold blued  etc.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 2:50:32 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Urimaginaryfrnd:
Since  you have three why not make both sizes or even three different lengths.  I have Gransfors Brucks  in multiple sizes. The short hand hatchet can be really handy sometimes. The small forest axe is about right but the small splitting axe is just a tad longer and about perfect yet shorter than the Scandinavian forest axe / boys axe length.  You could always custom grind the shape of the head, lots of tomahawks are custom ground or custom filed to alter shape, then cold blued  etc.
View Quote
So I bought 3 because I wanted to make one for myself, and then I thought I can hang a head on a handle for my dad, and then I was like well I could give one to my BIL who is getting into prepping now. So that was the original idea for finding the sweet spot with length for a mostly capable pack/camp axe that could do most things well minus felling a tree over 3-4".

The seller has more, If these arrive and appear to be good to go I might grab another set of 3 and do what you suggested and make like a GB hand hatchet size for each of us as well. All said and done I'll have like $20 into each after hanging so it's definitely not breaking the bank.

I think anything over a 20" handle with this weight head would be a waste, if they were 2-2.5# heads I wouldn't hesitate to toss a 28" handle on one for my BIL, My dad has plenty of boys/full size axes already though.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 3:50:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2021 4:21:58 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
Fuck it, I bought another 3 banger, I didn't want to wait and risk them selling out. They looked decent enough in the pics that I could grind/file out any ugly marks they come with or reprofile them if the heel/toe is shitty. I think I'm gonna go with an 18" scout handle for a camp axe, and a 12" for the hand hatchet size. I foresee a lot of rasping, and grinding in my near future.

Here's the listing for an axe head he sells them as singles, doubles, or triples if anyone is interested, They're definitely cheaper if you buy in bulk.

Axe heads

Looks like some have some nasty epoxy in the eye, that'll be fun to remove. I'm guessing they bought cheap fiberglass handles and epoxy fit them.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 10:06:34 AM EDT
I like the practice of bushcraft, but it's become a marketing scheme.  That said, I think these would be best with a 19-20" handle.  The Gransfors Bruks SFA is 1.5lb head on a 19" handle.  I think my older Wetterlings is a 20" handle.  My larger Scandinavian Forest Axe is a 2.5lb head and a 25" handle.  

Consider your needs and I think the 19-20 axes are about maximum as a pack-axe and are likely the most versatile.  Good pick up BTW...those look pretty decent and just need some cleaning up, refinished, and sharpened.

ROCK6
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 3:23:03 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ROCK6:
I like the practice of bushcraft, but it's become a marketing scheme.  That said, I think these would be best with a 19-20" handle.  The Gransfors Bruks SFA is 1.5lb head on a 19" handle.  I think my older Wetterlings is a 20" handle.  My larger Scandinavian Forest Axe is a 2.5lb head and a 25" handle.  

Consider your needs and I think the 19-20 axes are about maximum as a pack-axe and are likely the most versatile.  Good pick up BTW...those look pretty decent and just need some cleaning up, refinished, and sharpened.

ROCK6
View Quote
I also agree on bushcraft becoming a marketing buzzword.

My dad and nephew (cousins son) go out quite a bit and practice stuff in the woods, my dad made him his own fire kit and taught him how to make and use a bow drill and how to create char cloth and char wood out of punk wood, they both love doing that "survival prepping stuff" as my mom calls it, and once spent an entire day looking for flint on the property to make a flint and steel. My nephew lives in the city, and doesn't get to go out in the woods a lot other than with my dad when he comes for a weekend, his dad isn't super handy with anything other than a computer so Nick will have to teach his family all how to survive in the bush . I wish I could get out with them more, but my work schedule is kind of prohibitive.

I believe you're right about the 19" being versatile for this weight, the more I look the more I see tons of people love those SFA's and will pick that as a go to axe even when other stuff is available.

Yeah I'm hoping I did ok in the pickup, I'll know more when I can strip that nasty "fake japanning" paint off and put it in vinegar, it'll give me an idea how how far the temper line goes back on the bit  whether they're junk or decent heads. I can clean up nastiness on the edges and bits,, but I can't really fix a shitty temper job. Fingers crossed.
Link Posted: 2/20/2021 1:52:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/20/2021 9:40:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/20/2021 9:50:39 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Quarterbore:
I will be curious how you like them.  My go to is one of the boys axes for most bushcraft or camping needs.  Most of the time the next step down for me is the ESEE 6 although my son brings is Plumb BSA Hatchet almost always.  I used to bring a full sized axe but they were never really needed and at this point I would need to search to find it while the Boys Axe hangs with the bug out/camping gear.

I am sure other tools have their niche too.  Just stuck in my ways.
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Yeah I have a Scandinavian Forest Axe type pattern already, I think it's 26ish" with a 2.5# head just a tiny bit smaller than a boys axe, I'm thinking about grabbing some extra paracord and making an axe sling for the bigger camp axes. I watched a video on YouTube where a guy used a Mosin Nagant sling and used the dog collar around the handle to keep it fastened, I can't remember exactly how he attached it to the head end he might have just put the loop through the snap strap that was attached to his axe mask/sheath. But Mosin slings are not $1.50 anymore.

i have a buddy that is handy with kydex who makes holsters, I ordered all the Kydex sheets and hardware and we're going to make a few of these, for the pack/camp Axe size I'll do the sling and loop it over the backside of the pull the dot loop, for the hatchet sized ones we're gonna make a kydex belt loop.



Link Posted: 2/20/2021 10:13:21 AM EDT
I want to buy cool axes but I end up using a folding saw for most everything.
Link Posted: 2/20/2021 11:13:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/20/2021 11:14:49 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By King_Mud:
I want to buy cool axes but I end up using a folding saw for most everything.
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I just got one of the Bahco folding limb saws for Christmas this year, I'm not sure that these will become my go to, but I'm sure they'll a bit more capable than batoning a fixed blade through a smaller round to make kindling, or split logs for fires. Really I'm just bored, and was looking for a project to do this winter/spring, this one fit the bill because it was cheap and I can give a set of the axe/hatchet to my dad for his birthday in May or Fathers Day depending on how long this takes. A lot of it will be waiting time (waiting for the heads to come with this storm that is messing up the mail, waiting for the handles to ship once I see if they're handle worthy, etc.) and using citristrip on the paint takes a few hours-a day depending on how Nasty it is. The filing and grinding should go relatively quickly and it'll be the first time hanging an axe for me so I'm sure the rasping will be slow going since I want a good fit up. I bought some of the round barrel wedges for the eye because I've read they're superior to the old flat wedges. I got 13 1/2"-3/8" tapered barrel wedges on eBay for like $10. Depending on the size of the eye I'd like to sink 2 of the wedges in there for the added stability and I'll leave the kerf a little bit proud of the head so I can oil it good with BLO. I think the handles come with varnish so it'll be a few hours stripping them with a card scraper and sanding.
Link Posted: 2/20/2021 5:45:15 PM EDT
I don't think I would go any less than 19" on a head like those.  One of my favorite go to axes is a Council Tool Hudson Bay 2# w/ 28" handle.  While not much of a "pack axe" it is a work horse and I don't mind toting it along.
Link Posted: 2/20/2021 6:38:31 PM EDT
Bought one

Let’s see what happens
Link Posted: 2/20/2021 7:54:22 PM EDT
If your going to use an axe to drop big trees your doing it wrong and need a saw.

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
Yeah I've got a 28" boys axe for felling bigger stuff, just looking for the sweet spot with weight and length, I know the Gransfors Bruks small forest axe is 1.5# at 19" long,

I'm just torn on whether to make these hatchet sized since I already own an axe, or to make them small axe sized.
View Quote

Link Posted: 2/20/2021 8:45:47 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By cavgunner:
Bought one

Let's see what happens
View Quote
Nice, mine got delayed due to the storm. They were the cheapest I could find on eBay, I didn't want to buy a Norlund or some other collectible axe head. Maybe I should cruise garage sales if that's a thing this summer, I know people say they find awesome deals at estate sales and garage sales.
Link Posted: 2/20/2021 8:55:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/20/2021 8:57:17 PM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AliasSLH:
If your going to use an axe to drop big trees your doing it wrong and need a saw.


View Quote

Yeah, I worded that wrong. If I was gonna fell a tree I'd borrow one of my dad's like 25 chainsaws, I should have put it as processing bigger dead standing stuff once it's on the ground, and for splitting bigger rounds at a camp site. I have a bahco 24" bow saw that I put in my vehicle for sawing through bigger trees.

Just looking for a smaller more mobile axe than the boys size axe.
Link Posted: 2/21/2021 12:13:32 PM EDT
Here is an old sticky thread:

https://www.ar15.com/forums/Outdoors/Axes-and-Hatchets/1-605734/?page=1

Its interesting to see my posts from 5+ years ago.  
Link Posted: 2/21/2021 1:15:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2021 1:24:49 PM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
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Originally Posted By thederrick106:
Here is an old sticky thread:

https://www.ar15.com/forums/Outdoors/Axes-and-Hatchets/1-605734/?page=1

Its interesting to see my posts from 5+ years ago.  
View Quote View All Quotes
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Originally Posted By thederrick106:
Here is an old sticky thread:

https://www.ar15.com/forums/Outdoors/Axes-and-Hatchets/1-605734/?page=1

Its interesting to see my posts from 5+ years ago.  
Lol, Damn you've got some axes...
Originally Posted By KansanPioneer:

Nice True Temper! I found a double bit Kelly Works True Temper at a flea market a few weeks ago and picked it up for $10. If you want an addicting hobby, try to look for the old axe heads and restore them to the former glory. There's something about a made-in-America piece of steel that is sweet to own.

I find this comment is worrying... . I mean I did just buy 6 axe heads and I'm already jonesing for them to get here.
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 9:22:05 AM EDT
I grabbed 3 of these for about 18$ each from SG just over a year back.  I was intrigued by the design which reminded me of the axes that are similar to the trappers seen in" Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/russian-military-surplus-axe-with-wood-handle-like-new?a=2196400

Glad I did as they seemed to have dried up now...

Mask I made for it is a bit odd looking but so is the head I guess.  I was able to find pictures of the head facing both directions on handle so I made it face the direction that seemed to fit the handle the best, and would also work best for my intended use which is a utility woods walking axe.  What you see as the top of the head the way i handled it was much rougher, I wanted a more smooth edge facing my hand for fine work, and the beard of the axe facing down also gives some leverage for fine work.  The other way didn't seem as intuitive for me.

I only cleaned up and handled one so far.  Pretty neat Russian made axe:

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Not including those couple I still have half a dozen axe heads not on handles.  The defiantly take up less room that way.
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 9:49:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2021 10:01:29 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
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Originally Posted By thederrick106:
I grabbed 3 of these for about 18$ each from SG just over a year back.  I was intrigued by the design which reminded me of the axes that are similar to the trappers seen in" Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/russian-military-surplus-axe-with-wood-handle-like-new?a=2196400

Glad I did as they seemed to have dried up now...

Mask I made for it is a bit odd looking but so is the head I guess.  I was able to find pictures of the head facing both directions on handle so I made it face the direction that seemed to fit the handle the best, and would also work best for my intended use which is a utility woods walking axe.  What you see as the top of the head the way i handled it was much rougher, I wanted a more smooth edge facing my hand for fine work, and the beard of the axe facing down also gives some leverage for fine work.  The other way didn't seem as intuitive for me.

I only cleaned up and handled one so far.  Pretty neat Russian made axe:

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/140266/IMG_20201222_165927039_jpg-1836275.JPG

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/140266/IMG_20201222_165919914_jpg-1836280.JPG

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/140266/IMG_20201222_165858438_jpg-1836282.JPG

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/140266/IMG_20201222_165830249_jpg-1836283.JPG

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/140266/IMG_20201222_165816182_jpg-1836285.JPG

Not including those couple I still have half a dozen axe heads not on handles.  The defiantly take up less room that way.
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That's an interesting head and handle for sure, it almost looks like someone in the Red Army R&D remembered seeing a fawns foot once and went by memory lol. That long shoulder section below the head looks like it would be very comfortable to choke up on for finer work. How much does the head weigh? It looks like a beast for a 28" handle.

I would have mounted the head the same way, looking at the pictures on sportsman's guide it's hard to tell if they have the beard up or down. Is the eye really as square at the back as it appears?
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 10:16:39 AM EDT
I think they are surplus heads.. is the temper any good?

Black Widow tools
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 10:33:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2021 10:34:54 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
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Originally Posted By Dodge223:
I think they are surplus heads.. is the temper any good?

Black Widow tools
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No idea yet, still haven't gotten here, one of them is showing as having arrived at the post office depot near my house this morning, so hopefully I'll be able to take a look at them tomorrow night when I get home, it'll be Thursday before i can citristrip them probably, hopefully the other 3 are here by then and I can just do it in a big batch.

I think you found the donor hatchet, if not exact then it looks really close for sure. Reading the review from Amazon for those Black Widow hatchets isn't stellar... but the good news is everything people are complaining about is the handle which I'm hanging myself, the coating on the blade which I'm removing, and that they aren't very sharp, which I can fix by filing, grinding and honing. So I'm still optimistic. That price though is the same as what I paid for just the head for each... Oh well at least I won't have to mess around with cutting/pounding the old handles out.
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 4:51:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
That's an interesting head and handle for sure, it almost looks like someone in the Red Army R&D remembered seeing a fawns foot once and went by memory lol. That long shoulder section below the head looks like it would be very comfortable to choke up on for finer work. How much does the head weigh? It looks like a beast for a 28" handle.

I would have mounted the head the same way, looking at the pictures on sportsman's guide it's hard to tell if they have the beard up or down. Is the eye really as square at the back as it appears?
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Yea it is square.  I read somewhere that axes like this, that have a bigger than average eye are to allow for a reconstructed handle from other hardwoods or even softwood in a pinch.  The larger eye allows you to have more material and create a stronger handle if you dont have access to hickory.  They are a neat axe and fun to play with but for serious play or real work I reach for my Council Tool Hudson bay w/ 28" handle.  

I also have a small Swedish made Husqvarna hatchet.  Its one of my favorites.
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 5:50:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By thederrick106:


Yea it is square.  I read somewhere that axes like this, that have a bigger than average eye are to allow for a reconstructed handle from other hardwoods or even softwood in a pinch.  The larger eye allows you to have more material and create a stronger handle if you dont have access to hickory.  They are a neat axe and fun to play with but for serious play or real work I reach for my Council Tool Hudson bay w/ 28" handle.  

I also have a small Swedish made Husqvarna hatchet.  Its one of my favorites.
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I mean that makes sense, maybe in Russia they also have that saying that's like give something to a soldier if you want to know how exactly it's going to break, lol. But that would definitely be handy for making a field expedient handle if you could use almost whatever wood you could find and have it work.

I've heard decent things about the Husqvarna's, most of the complaints are that they aren't shipped shaving sharp like GFB or HB axes, but that if you put the time in with them and remove the varnish from the handles, and oil them yourself that they are very capable axes.
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 8:37:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2021 8:38:05 PM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
The first batch of heads came they were about as advertised as far as condition goes, initially eyeballing them I don't see any major cracks, the bottom of the eye is pretty chewed up on one of them, but nothing that I can't grind out and smooth up. A nicked up heel on one of the bits which doesn't surprise me, again I can fix it with a grinder and files, they're all duller than a butter knife. Interestingly one had a wooden handle at one point and a barrel wedge is still in the splintered piece of the kerf in the eye.




this one intrigues me, I initially thought the whole bit was twisted and bowed, but the grind in the cheeks is so uneven that one side looks almost flat... it has me wondering if I could keep it that way and make a quasi carpenters axe with it... with a flatter side for shaving stuff square.


All in all I'm satisfied thus far, I'm also surprised at how intact and in decent shape the polls are, there's a few chips and scratches one the odd corner, but I figured they'd be super mushroomed and have a ton of damage from axes hitting other axes.
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 11:02:16 PM EDT
I used to be into collecting axes till we had a house fire and lost almost all of them.
  One of the most useful of all was the Hultafors  branded ( Hults Bruk Hunters axe.   You used to have to order from Great Britton but with shipping they were still only about a $100.

Now that they import them they all have silly names and push the upper $160s.  Ekelund Hunters axe is what it’s called now.
Its not as nice as the GB version but it would what I’d want to take as a do it all type deal.    Mine is lost someplace on my property. Been looking for the last two years.  I know it’s here damn it.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 6:39:41 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mc556:
I used to be into collecting axes till we had a house fire and lost almost all of them.
  One of the most useful of all was the Hultafors  branded ( Hults Bruk Hunters axe.   You used to have to order from Great Britton but with shipping they were still only about a $100.

Now that they import them they all have silly names and push the upper $160s.  Ekelund Hunters axe is what it's called now.
Its not as nice as the GB version but it would what I'd want to take as a do it all type deal.    Mine is lost someplace on my property. Been looking for the last two years.  I know it's here damn it.
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Damn, that's terrible I'm sorry about the losses.

That will interestingly be fairly close to what I plan to do with these, I think I'm gonna go 19" vs the 20" on the Ekelund, and that head is slightly heavier at 1.8# vs. 1.5# (honestly I forgot to weigh them last night when I was looking them over)

I'd start metal detecting anywhere that I used it lol. I saw a guy on youtube restore an axe that was buried since the Civil War era, so if you find it it's definitely still salvageable, might need a new handle though depending on the climate and how many years it's been out there lol.

I was watching another guy who had a blaze orange paracord lanyard that he would carabiner to the existing paracord hanging loop in the handle if he was going to set the axe down for a few minutes, just so he didn't lose it as easily.
Link Posted: 2/24/2021 2:04:57 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
Damn, that's terrible I'm sorry about the losses.

That will interestingly be fairly close to what I plan to do with these, I think I'm gonna go 19" vs the 20" on the Ekelund, and that head is slightly heavier at 1.8# vs. 1.5# (honestly I forgot to weigh them last night when I was looking them over)

I'd start metal detecting anywhere that I used it lol. I saw a guy on youtube restore an axe that was buried since the Civil War era, so if you find it it's definitely still salvageable, might need a new handle though depending on the climate and how many years it's been out there lol.

I was watching another guy who had a blaze orange paracord lanyard that he would carabiner to the existing paracord hanging loop in the handle if he was going to set the axe down for a few minutes, just so he didn't lose it as easily.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
Originally Posted By mc556:
I used to be into collecting axes till we had a house fire and lost almost all of them.
  One of the most useful of all was the Hultafors  branded ( Hults Bruk Hunters axe.   You used to have to order from Great Britton but with shipping they were still only about a $100.

Now that they import them they all have silly names and push the upper $160s.  Ekelund Hunters axe is what it's called now.
Its not as nice as the GB version but it would what I'd want to take as a do it all type deal.    Mine is lost someplace on my property. Been looking for the last two years.  I know it's here damn it.
Damn, that's terrible I'm sorry about the losses.

That will interestingly be fairly close to what I plan to do with these, I think I'm gonna go 19" vs the 20" on the Ekelund, and that head is slightly heavier at 1.8# vs. 1.5# (honestly I forgot to weigh them last night when I was looking them over)

I'd start metal detecting anywhere that I used it lol. I saw a guy on youtube restore an axe that was buried since the Civil War era, so if you find it it's definitely still salvageable, might need a new handle though depending on the climate and how many years it's been out there lol.

I was watching another guy who had a blaze orange paracord lanyard that he would carabiner to the existing paracord hanging loop in the handle if he was going to set the axe down for a few minutes, just so he didn't lose it as easily.


 Ya knowing me I’ll spend 1k on metal detector to find a $80 axe lol.
Link Posted: 2/24/2021 12:09:04 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mc556:
I used to be into collecting axes till we had a house fire and lost almost all of them.
  One of the most useful of all was the Hultafors  branded ( Hults Bruk Hunters axe.   You used to have to order from Great Britton but with shipping they were still only about a $100.

Now that they import them they all have silly names and push the upper $160s.  Ekelund Hunters axe is what it's called now.
Its not as nice as the GB version but it would what I'd want to take as a do it all type deal.    Mine is lost someplace on my property. Been looking for the last two years.  I know it's here damn it.
View Quote
Link Posted: 2/26/2021 8:22:12 PM EDT
Still waiting on the second set of axe heads that shipped the day after the first .

But I managed to get the broken wood handle out of the eye of one of the heads, and was able to get almost all the epoxy out of the other eyes with a heat gun and a chisel to scrape it up in strips, it worked very well, I was pleasantly surprised. I'm going to attempt to dissolve what little is left of the epoxy with Citristrip when I'm removing the paint off the heads, if that fails I'm going to try acetone to melt it out of the eye. I'll update with pics once the other axe heads arrive and I can do it all in one batch.
Link Posted: 2/27/2021 8:00:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/27/2021 9:51:00 PM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
Before

After



This Bessey vacuum vise is crazy, I wasn't expecting it to perform very well being that it was $30 but it was rock solid, I was putting a ton of weight down on it with the file... The joys of not having a workshop.


Before

After


Other heads haven't arrived still, figured I'd clean these up while I had time. I chamfered the edges a bit with a mill file and finished with a dremel sanding drum. I think I'm going to thin the cheeks a little bit on my buddies bench sander to give it more of a GFB style profile.

I'm gonna do some more sanding tomorrow.
Link Posted: 2/28/2021 12:41:57 AM EDT
Can you see or feel the temper line?
Or are they untemoered?
Link Posted: 2/28/2021 9:22:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2021 10:57:20 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
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Originally Posted By jvm:
Can you see or feel the temper line?
Or are they untemoered?
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Yeah  they're definitely tempered I could tell by the sparks they were throwing when I was using the sanding drum on the dremel, not many towards the middle or back and once I got to the cutting edge it was throwing them like crazy.

Looking at it now that I've removed the paint it seems to be about  the first 3/4-1" of the bit if my eyes aren't deceiving me with the colors, I'll know more in a bit
Link Posted: 2/28/2021 1:49:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2021 1:56:43 PM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
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Originally Posted By jvm:
Can you see or feel the temper line?
Or are they untemoered?
View Quote

using acetone to melt the epoxy. I gave up doing it this way and cut a vitamin water bottle top off and put the 2 that were the worst in there eye down and filled it with acetone overnight. It removed all but a few stubborn spots. I sanded it off with the dremel when I was cleaning the eyes.


I boiled apple cider vinegar to concentrate it and put the heads in a disposable Turkey pan after I wiped them down with acetone and let them go until they stopped bubbling a ton.


Not a crazy deep temper about 1/2" on average. They'll do for my purposes though.

Now to rinse and repeat until I get a nice patina
Link Posted: 2/28/2021 2:34:29 PM EDT


I didn't like the darkness I got with the vinegar it just kind of stopped after a bit even with some steel wool and acetone. So I opted to use some old Super Blue I had lying around. I think if I had had a new bottle the results would have been a bit more consistent. But I like the gun metal grey they all turned much better than black paint.
Link Posted: 2/28/2021 8:51:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2021 8:52:23 PM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]

I tried my hand at saltwater etching







I put gun blue in the initials on mine I prefer the subdued look but my fiance said I should keep the others silver.
Link Posted: 3/1/2021 7:48:20 AM EDT
Coming along nicely!
Link Posted: 3/1/2021 11:28:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2021 11:29:13 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
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Originally Posted By Mounger:
Coming along nicely!
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Thanks, 19" Hudson Bay handles are ordered, might take a bit for those to arrive, I'll probably still reprofile the cheeks a bit to thin them out a tad and just hit them with vinegar and gun blue again. The vinegar gives it a matte finish, if I just did the gun blue it would be very dark, but extremely shiny. I'll just stand the axe up on the bit inside something and fill that up to the start of the eye with vinegar so it doesn't darken the etching.
Link Posted: 3/1/2021 3:21:39 PM EDT
Second heads got here this morning!

About the same condition as the first batch little nicks here and there and one that was pretty chewed up in the identical spot below the eye.





Same process as yesterday but I skipped the heat gun and acetone and just used a hammer and chisel in the vise to get the epoxy out it came out cleaner with less residue. I just sanded what was left out with the dremel when I was cleaning up the inside of the eye. There's a weird seam about halfway down the eye probably from casting or drifting I knocked it down flush so it doesn't affect hanging the handle. No saltwater etch on these yet.




Link Posted: 3/2/2021 1:18:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2021 1:26:25 AM EDT by cavgunner]
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Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
Nice, mine got delayed due to the storm. They were the cheapest I could find on eBay, I didn't want to buy a Norlund or some other collectible axe head. Maybe I should cruise garage sales if that's a thing this summer, I know people say they find awesome deals at estate sales and garage sales.
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Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
Originally Posted By cavgunner:
Bought one

Let's see what happens
Nice, mine got delayed due to the storm. They were the cheapest I could find on eBay, I didn't want to buy a Norlund or some other collectible axe head. Maybe I should cruise garage sales if that's a thing this summer, I know people say they find awesome deals at estate sales and garage sales.


As stated in OP.  They come from Axe Monkey, an axe throwing franchise/ training club/ amusement. Edge is rough and not very Symmetrical.  I drilled out the epoxy handle left overs, then hit it with a course round file then a finer rat tail. Cleaned it up with a wire wheel and an 120 grit grinding wheel. Then I hit the edge with a 1 “ wide belt sander. Got the edge under control, the bevel balance is a bit off I’ll hit it with file and stone and try and get it even and sharp.  

Not sure if it needs a temper. Gotta find a handle.

It’s a hatchet sized head.

Nice work OP.

I’ll have to cider cure mine. It’s actually in pretty good shape no major nicks dings or gouges.
Link Posted: 3/2/2021 1:51:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2021 2:42:50 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
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Originally Posted By cavgunner:


As stated in OP.  They come from Axe Monkey, an axe throwing franchise/ training club/ amusement. Edge is rough and not very Symmetrical.  I drilled out the epoxy handle left overs, then hit it with a course round file then a finer rat tail. Cleaned it up with a wire wheel and an 120 grit grinding wheel. Then I hit the edge with a 1 " wide belt sander. Got the edge under control, the bevel balance is a bit off I'll hit it with file and stone and try and get it even and sharp.  

Not sure if it needs a temper. Gotta find a handle.

It's a hatchet sized head.

Nice work OP.

I'll have to cider cure mine. It's actually in pretty good shape no major nicks dings or gouges.
View Quote
Nice sounds like you've put in some work, yeah mine came duller than butter knives. The temper isn't the deepest I've seen but it's there. The axes that I took a decent amount off of I can see it back at least 1/2". The ones I got today weren't in horrible shape and cleaned up pretty quickly with minimal filling so I can't spot the temper as easily, I think my vinegar is getting old and used up too. I'll fix the bevels and profile on a bench sander and save some sweat with the files. I'll use a file to get my final edge before I break out the Lansky  puck.

I ordered handles from Beaver Tooth Handles they said it can take up to 30 days to ship your order which I'm not thrilled about... but oh well, the only thing I would be able to find around here would be like 28"+ axe handles or straight hatchet handles at the hardware store, I like the Hudson Bay pattern handles a lot so I'll wait for them.
Link Posted: 3/4/2021 8:37:02 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
Nice sounds like you've put in some work, yeah mine came duller than butter knives. The temper isn't the deepest I've seen but it's there. The axes that I took a decent amount off of I can see it back at least 1/2". The ones I got today weren't in horrible shape and cleaned up pretty quickly with minimal filling so I can't spot the temper as easily, I think my vinegar is getting old and used up too. I'll fix the bevels and profile on a bench sander and save some sweat with the files. I'll use a file to get my final edge before I break out the Lansky  puck.

I ordered handles from Beaver Tooth Handles they said it can take up to 30 days to ship your order which I'm not thrilled about... but oh well, the only thing I would be able to find around here would be like 28"+ axe handles or straight hatchet handles at the hardware store, I like the Hudson Bay pattern handles a lot so I'll wait for them.
View Quote


I have ordered a stack of wedges from Beaver Tooth in the past and they are good to go, but I also recommend looking at:
https://www.househandle.com/
Good prices and choices on generic & budget/ quality handles.  I ordered a stack of various handles from them back in 2014 and haven't needed any since.
Link Posted: 3/4/2021 8:53:56 PM EDT
Have anyone looked at Tennessee Hickory Products?
I have ordered from them before nd they were gto
Link Posted: 3/5/2021 1:25:22 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By thederrick106:


I have ordered a stack of wedges from Beaver Tooth in the past and they are good to go, but I also recommend looking at:
https://www.househandle.com/
Good prices and choices on generic & budget/ quality handles.  I ordered a stack of various handles from them back in 2014 and haven't needed
any since.

Originally Posted By jvm:



Have anyone looked at Tennessee Hickory Products?
I have ordered from them before nd they were gto
View Quote
Damn, both of those look good to go. The Tennessee Hickory Products page was a mystery to find prices, but I found another page selling the 19" handles for ~$7.50/ea which is very nice.
Link Posted: 3/5/2021 8:56:19 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
Nice sounds like you've put in some work, yeah mine came duller than butter knives. The temper isn't the deepest I've seen but it's there. The axes that I took a decent amount off of I can see it back at least 1/2". The ones I got today weren't in horrible shape and cleaned up pretty quickly with minimal filling so I can't spot the temper as easily, I think my vinegar is getting old and used up too. I'll fix the bevels and profile on a bench sander and save some sweat with the files. I'll use a file to get my final edge before I break out the Lansky  puck.

I ordered handles from Beaver Tooth Handles they said it can take up to 30 days to ship your order which I'm not thrilled about... but oh well, the only thing I would be able to find around here would be like 28"+ axe handles or straight hatchet handles at the hardware store, I like the Hudson Bay pattern handles a lot so I'll wait for them.
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Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
Originally Posted By cavgunner:


As stated in OP.  They come from Axe Monkey, an axe throwing franchise/ training club/ amusement. Edge is rough and not very Symmetrical.  I drilled out the epoxy handle left overs, then hit it with a course round file then a finer rat tail. Cleaned it up with a wire wheel and an 120 grit grinding wheel. Then I hit the edge with a 1 " wide belt sander. Got the edge under control, the bevel balance is a bit off I'll hit it with file and stone and try and get it even and sharp.  

Not sure if it needs a temper. Gotta find a handle.

It's a hatchet sized head.

Nice work OP.

I'll have to cider cure mine. It's actually in pretty good shape no major nicks dings or gouges.
Nice sounds like you've put in some work, yeah mine came duller than butter knives. The temper isn't the deepest I've seen but it's there. The axes that I took a decent amount off of I can see it back at least 1/2". The ones I got today weren't in horrible shape and cleaned up pretty quickly with minimal filling so I can't spot the temper as easily, I think my vinegar is getting old and used up too. I'll fix the bevels and profile on a bench sander and save some sweat with the files. I'll use a file to get my final edge before I break out the Lansky  puck.

I ordered handles from Beaver Tooth Handles they said it can take up to 30 days to ship your order which I'm not thrilled about... but oh well, the only thing I would be able to find around here would be like 28"+ axe handles or straight hatchet handles at the hardware store, I like the Hudson Bay pattern handles a lot so I'll wait for them.


Lol

So I got out the bastard file, and went at it. Got the bevel angle pretty good. And sharp. Then proceeded to run my knuckle into the blade on a file stroke, cut thru the my work glove, and got a good cut for free. I’ll take the stone to it soon, tempt another blood letting.

It seems every bladed tool I work with, sharpen etc, has to get its taste of my blood. I think it’s a right of passage or some sort of sacrifice to the God of  Steel.

There is a bend in the bit. No doubt from throwing it. No twist just a slight bend from toe to heel of the blade.

Ordered an 18” from househandle.
Link Posted: 3/5/2021 10:19:32 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By cavgunner:


Lol

So I got out the bastard file, and went at it. Got the bevel angle pretty good. And sharp. Then proceeded to run my knuckle into the blade on a file stroke, cut thru the my work glove, and got a good cut for free. I'll take the stone to it soon, tempt another blood letting.

It seems every bladed tool I work with, sharpen etc, has to get its taste of my blood. I think it's a right of passage or some sort of sacrifice to the God of  Steel.

There is a bend in the bit. No doubt from throwing it. No twist just a slight bend from toe to heel of the blade.

Ordered an 18" from househandle.
View Quote
Lol damn, I'm definitely going to wait to handle them before I touch the cutting edge haha. I told my fiance I'd rather smash my toe if the dull axe head falls off than to cut my toe off with a sharpened head, and her response was why does it have to be either one of those?

I noticed a bit of a bend in one of the heads, I think I was able to take quite a bit of it out with the file just skating across it diagonally from the center to one edge until I saw the file digging in pretty equally across the flat, and then worked from the new flat area across to the side until I saw it even out more, I'm hoping the rest will come out with the bench sander.

I got myself with a chisel when I was being lazy and not wanting to setup the vise again, I noticed a little chunk of epoxy and figured I would just chip it out, well I'm holding the head near the eye and I start scraping the chisel jumped and went through the eye completely and poked into my palm on the other side, it wasn't bad but it was my punishment for being dumb lol.

I wish I had waited and ordered from HouseHandle, they look like solid handles and seem like they might ship a little faster, you'll have to put pics after you hang it. Did you pay the extra for a hand-select and no varnish?
Link Posted: 3/6/2021 3:26:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2021 4:35:29 AM EDT by Vap0rWav3r]
Different Heads, Same Seller

I just saw a lot of 4 heads under the same listing, they're not the Rhineland pattern like the ones I grabbed, they're more of a traditional Collins looking single bit head some are marked 1 1/4# others are unmarked.

ETA- some of these look suspiciously like heads off the $7.99 Harbor Freight hatchets
Link Posted: 3/8/2021 12:29:21 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
Lol damn, I'm definitely going to wait to handle them before I touch the cutting edge haha. I told my fiance I'd rather smash my toe if the dull axe head falls off than to cut my toe off with a sharpened head, and her response was why does it have to be either one of those?

I noticed a bit of a bend in one of the heads, I think I was able to take quite a bit of it out with the file just skating across it diagonally from the center to one edge until I saw the file digging in pretty equally across the flat, and then worked from the new flat area across to the side until I saw it even out more, I'm hoping the rest will come out with the bench sander.

I got myself with a chisel when I was being lazy and not wanting to setup the vise again, I noticed a little chunk of epoxy and figured I would just chip it out, well I'm holding the head near the eye and I start scraping the chisel jumped and went through the eye completely and poked into my palm on the other side, it wasn't bad but it was my punishment for being dumb lol.

I wish I had waited and ordered from HouseHandle, they look like solid handles and seem like they might ship a little faster, you'll have to put pics after you hang it. Did you pay the extra for a hand-select and no varnish?
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Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
Originally Posted By cavgunner:


Lol

So I got out the bastard file, and went at it. Got the bevel angle pretty good. And sharp. Then proceeded to run my knuckle into the blade on a file stroke, cut thru the my work glove, and got a good cut for free. I'll take the stone to it soon, tempt another blood letting.

It seems every bladed tool I work with, sharpen etc, has to get its taste of my blood. I think it's a right of passage or some sort of sacrifice to the God of  Steel.

There is a bend in the bit. No doubt from throwing it. No twist just a slight bend from toe to heel of the blade.

Ordered an 18" from househandle.
Lol damn, I'm definitely going to wait to handle them before I touch the cutting edge haha. I told my fiance I'd rather smash my toe if the dull axe head falls off than to cut my toe off with a sharpened head, and her response was why does it have to be either one of those?

I noticed a bit of a bend in one of the heads, I think I was able to take quite a bit of it out with the file just skating across it diagonally from the center to one edge until I saw the file digging in pretty equally across the flat, and then worked from the new flat area across to the side until I saw it even out more, I'm hoping the rest will come out with the bench sander.

I got myself with a chisel when I was being lazy and not wanting to setup the vise again, I noticed a little chunk of epoxy and figured I would just chip it out, well I'm holding the head near the eye and I start scraping the chisel jumped and went through the eye completely and poked into my palm on the other side, it wasn't bad but it was my punishment for being dumb lol.

I wish I had waited and ordered from HouseHandle, they look like solid handles and seem like they might ship a little faster, you'll have to put pics after you hang it. Did you pay the extra for a hand-select and no varnish?



Yes I did

I haven’t gotten a shipping notification yet though.

C-19 has fuvked up production and shipping for so many things.

I had trouble getting a common 1hp motor for a pump project at work. Major manufacturer too. Like 3 months behind due to plant closures.

Things are getting back to normal, but still..,
Link Posted: 3/8/2021 1:10:08 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By cavgunner:



Yes I did

I haven't gotten a shipping notification yet though.

C-19 has fuvked up production and shipping for so many things.

I had trouble getting a common 1hp motor for a pump project at work. Major manufacturer too. Like 3 months behind due to plant closures.

Things are getting back to normal, but still..,
View Quote
I like that Househandle has that option instead of being like "ehhh, it's a handle, we don't check grain orientation."

Yeah Covid definitely screwed up a lot, hopefully everything will catch back up sooner rather than later.
Link Posted: 3/27/2021 7:16:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Vap0rWav3r:
I picked up some used axe heads off eBay for cheap, they look somewhat abused but not in terrible condition in the pictures, some edge damage probably from bouncing off the floor, I believe they were used at an axe throwing place. Handles probably broke off so they sold the heads as scrap. I'm gonna strip the paint off and look for cracks in the eye and through the cheeks what not and make sure there are no catastrophic structural cracks in the heads. I can deal with some edge/heel/toe damage and just take the edge back and re-bevel it or reprofile the head to get rid of any nastiness, and clean up the edges, eyes, and polls a bit. Then if there's no major issues I'll apple cider vinegar patina them.

I'm looking to make kind of a bushcraft-ish utility axe, heads are 1.5# and appear to be a Rhineland type pattern, I think they also call them "Hoosier axes" but that might only apply to the bigger/heavier ones.

I'm torn on hanging them a 16" handle or a 18-19" handle. I like the Hudson Bay style handle in both lengths.

What is everyone's opinion on handle length for a 1.5# head? Am I really going to be gaining much going with the longer handle?

pic of heads-

https://i.imgur.com/BNkYQ71.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/eV4en6N.jpg

Handle-
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0301/1705/products/hudson-bay-axe-handle-sb-19-axe-handle-for-house-boys-hudson-bay-type-axes-american-hickory-item-10219-1_1024x1024.JPG?v=1486497550
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A  nice thin 24" on that bad boy would be excellent. Do a secondwith 20" and you will keep going back to the 24"
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