Broad Axe


 While doing woodworking I sometimes use a broad axe to chop some parts to size or shape. I can chop faster with a board axe then cut with a saw at times. You can get fairly close to the line and finish up with a plane. I used this on many projects and love to have it to use in the shop. I was looking to procure a broad axe for quite sometime and found this one. I purchased it for a good price and it just needed to be cleaned up a bit. I wanted it to have a nice handle and smooth head. So first I removed the handle from the axe. It wasn’t sitting well on and needed to be addressed. Removing the handle and wanting to save it wasn’t easy. I first had to remove the old wedge, which I drilled out. I started drilling the holes in the wedge with small bits and worked my way up to larger ones. As the drill bits get larger, I went shallower. This way it tapers the holes, to damage the handle as little as possible. Then I added some linseed oil to where the wood and metal meet, to lubricate them to lift off easier. It helped a lot and I was able to get them apart. I then cleaned up the sides where the wedge was, to allow the new one to sit tightly. The head (left pic) was in decent shape just a bit dirty, so just a quick wire wheeling and cleaning was done prior to regrinding the edge. The edge wasn’t is too bad of condition, and it was ground on my hand crank grinder. I turned my attention to the handle (right pic). It had some chips and gouges in the wood and some paint spilled one it. So I decided to clean the handle and refinish it. First I scraped off the finish with a variety of hand scrapers. This seems to be the fastest way to remove a finish from wood. Next I went to work on the gouges near where the head seats. I once again used scrapers and some sandpaper to clean it up. I would have used a rasp here, but it was packed up at the time. I sanded the whole handle smooth and finished it with Tried and True Oil Varnish. I went back to the head and did most of the sharpening with water stones, saving only the finial bit of sharpening for after it was mounted to the handle, thus making sharpening easier. I then mounted the head to the handle. This part went easy, I made a new wedge and the head now sits very tight. The axe preforms well and I use it on most of my projects at one point or another. It stays sharp, and cuts well. What more could you want?


© Shane Larson 2018