Autine made me do it... First attempts of Axe / Hatchet Restorations (Many Pictures)

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by nooby, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. nooby


    Nov 20, 2013
    -Some pieces I have been restoring. I watched some of Autine's videos on Vimeo - which impulsively made me do all of this. I posted a "Wanted" add on craigslist and managed to score a lot of 16 ax / hatchet / hewing / hammer hatchet heads for $65.
    -I Vinegar soaked the heads, then some grinding down of the rust pitting, mushrooming and chunky edges.
    -The brown finished handle goes with the Norlund Voyager Axe w/ Leather Case.
    -Most of the heads were unmarked. The only marked ones were Norlund, Sweden (stamped), Vaugh, and B2.


    First attempt at making a handle out of a piece of Ash. I started to shape it by smacking at it with a hewing hatchet. I copied the Norlund's handle for shaping.

    Here are the names of the marks that had them. I found the draw knife at an antique store for $34

    Third attempt - this time I used a jigsaw to start the shaping. A mid sized hatchet

    -I am yet to hang anything permanently. I am not sure how I want to finish them yet. I have some old wood stain I want to put on the handles I made.
    I was thinking of painting some of the heads with Rustoleum Paint / Primer mix spray can. But I would rather make them black with the heated Linseed oil - which I don't know how to do properly. Shaping the part the axe head attaches to the handle is the toughest part for me. Any suggestions on making it easier would be appreciated.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Histories? Values?
    Thanks -
  2. nooby


    Nov 20, 2013
    What a nooby do?
  3. Kingsize


    Mar 29, 2013
    They look great to me, but I'm a novice at this as well. Just hung my first last week. I would say what you have done thusfar looks like good work for poppin' yer cherry.

    By the way, that Fulton looks nice. I picked up a 10" recently.
  4. 300Six


    Aug 29, 2013
    Fitting the head is not so bad once you develop an eye for consistency. Using a tape measure to achieve initial length, width and depth is good start. A set of outside and inside calipers is even better. Take your time with a rasp. Belt sander is often way too fast and imprecise unless you use fine grit. The minute you can slide even so much as 1/2-3/4 inch of the handle into the eye you'll have a perfect pattern for matching to for the remainder of the fitting. If you're at all nervous practice with pieces of softwood (pine, basswood or spruce) until you get comfortable. A properly and carefully installed handle that sees only recreational use is likely to last you the remainder of your life!
    Shrinkage is inevitable even if the handle appears to be bone dry at the time of install. In days gone by folks used to soak the heads in water overnight to ensure they weren't loose during use but I've taken to applying drops of oil on the eye on an regular basis. It soaks in quite nicely and (presumably) makes the wood less prone to shrinkage. Started doing this about 30 years ago and have not suffered from mid-winter 0 humidity loose heads anymore.
  5. nooby


    Nov 20, 2013
    Thanks 300Six. Oil in the eye seems like a good idea. I would really like to learn more about the methods of turning the ax / hatchet heads black with Linseed oil. Does anyone think spray paint is a waste of time and money? I'm looking for a way to repel the rust and evenly finish the metal. As you can see there are grinding lines / swirls in each of the pieces I have finished.

    I am also thinking about selling the Norlund Voyager Axe. I would rather make my own handle and revive the old axe heads to make a new one. Is the Norlund Voyager Axe worth selling because it's valued more on ebay to some people than it is to me? Or have they been known for they're superior quality and worth keeping?
  6. garry3


    Sep 11, 2012
    Paint is a good way to prevent rust.
    The Norland's I have leave me wanting. They are not top of the line at all. I have no idea why they are so popular.
  7. nooby


    Nov 20, 2013
    I might try eBay then. Unless someone on here would appreciate it more let me know. I am not much into antiques. I'd rather a ratty / recycled / rebuilt but good quality and functionality tool that I can beat up a bit.
  8. Bo T

    Bo T

    Feb 12, 2011
    I've used the Rustoleum black paint and blue paint on ax heads. I've only split about a cord of wood with the double bit but the paint is doing OK.

    axe2.jpg collins2.JPG collins 1.JPG
  9. SaintlyBrees


    May 7, 2013
    Very cool. I have an early '60s Boy Scout hatchet that I have kept since that time, but has been unused for the last 40 years or so. Needs a new handle, a decent edge, new sheath, and a good cleanup of the head. That is a winter project for me, so should be fun. :)

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