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'Rescuing' warped handles?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by G-pig, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. G-pig


    Jul 5, 2011
    Does anyone have experience reversing the warp on a handle? I am trying to fix an nice older hickory handle that has a pretty hefty bend in it. I thought about saving it for a broad axe but decided it probably wouldn't fit the eye. I've just kept it damp and clamped straight but this seems to go real slowly.
  2. Pipeman


    Dec 2, 2004
    Try Dew, some of the old guys up here in the boonies support both ends arch up with weight in the middle, lots of weight and leave it out in the dew for a week or two. I have straightened old warped table tops using this method. Worth a try.


  3. willseeyalater


    Jan 7, 2012
    Take a PVC pipe that the handle will fit into and cap one end. Secure the PVC tank to something solid with bungees. Boil a pot of water and give it a soak in there for 10 minutes then pull it out to go immediately into a jig you have made beforehand to bend it back. It will need to go beyond straight a bit to dry back to where you want it.
  4. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    I didn't know that would work with a plastic pipe- I've heard of steaming in an iron pipe. I've got a couple basement boomerangs to try it on too.
  5. Operator1975


    Sep 24, 2010
    Oh yeah good pvc can withstand that. Schedule 40 I believe it is.
  6. M3mphis


    Jan 13, 2011
    Schedule 80 is the thicker stuff, tho.
  7. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    A related story I read somewhere...

    A guy from the city would spend weekends at his cabin in the woods.
    One weekend, he left his axe outside, leaning on the cabin wall, and forgot to put it away.
    The next weekend, he found that the axe handle had warped.

    The guy from the neighboring cabin laughed when he saw it, and asked him what he was going to do about it.
    So he thought for a while, and decided to leave the axe outside again, but this time facing the other way, so that the warp would be reversed.

    The next weekend, he found that the initial warp was gone, but now there was a new warp in the other direction.
    The neighbor saw it and laughed again, and asked him what he was going to do now.
    The guy thought for a while, then he left the axe outside again, and said, I'm coming back on Wednesday.
  8. G-pig


    Jul 5, 2011
    Damp rags and clamp seems to be working. Just need to fine tune it a bit more and give it some time. I'm assuming if I clamp it straight and leave it dry for a while the wood will "dry" straight.
  9. bearhunter


    Sep 12, 2009
    i have one that i want to use, but its a little crooked. ive tried a couple of things; steaming and clamping, then i tried soaking it in a water barrel for a day then clamping... neither one worked, the damn thing is still warped. its a nice Tenn. hickory handle that i picked up last winter at a saw shop outside of town. it wasent warped when i bought it, but i think the wood heat in our cabin dried it out to much and warped the dern thing :(
  10. Sparrow92


    Mar 16, 2011
    I second Pipeman's suggestion of weighing down the warp for a week or two. My dad has straightened several warped handles by soaking them for a while, then laying them on a flat surface with the arch upwards and either clamping or weighing them down.
    (Or just lean it against a cabin wall and come back on Wednesday... ;) oh wait, this is Wednesday, so make that Sunday!)
  11. G-pig


    Jul 5, 2011
    The moisture seems to make a big difference. I tried just clamping before but that never worked. the handle is now straight (after about 2 days), now I'm leaving it straight and letting it dry out again. Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate it.
  12. bearhunter


    Sep 12, 2009
    i tried that with mine and it didnt work. maybe i'll try it again...
  13. G-pig


    Jul 5, 2011
    Did it come out straight but warp back? I had to so some extensive straightening of some sugar maple handles I made green about a year ago. That stuff warps ill tell ya. It wouldn't straighten but slowly warp back. Had to straighten, lean against a wall and use weights to get to straight. Now that they are dry they are pretty resistant to warping.
  14. markv


    Sep 8, 2004
    i've had a couple bowed handles. one really nice one i'm kinda afriad to try and warp it back where it belongs.
    if i wnated to get results i'll boil some rags and wrap them around the bend and hang it with weights on bothe ends.

  15. nickzdon


    Mar 3, 2011
    Ha ha! That's fantastic!
  16. DeadFall27


    May 18, 2011
    I have a double bit handle that warped on me recently that I was saving for when I finally took care of the mushrooming on my Zenith :grumpy:
    Looks like it's time to go rig up a way to save it before supper is served. Sorry to hijack, but what seems to be the most effective method for saving a warped handle?
  17. G-pig


    Jul 5, 2011
    Combo of moisture and clamping or weighing the warp in the opposite direction seems to work the best.
  18. bearhunter


    Sep 12, 2009
    no, i didnt even come out straight. after i soaked it for a day or so, i clamped it for 3 days and it didnt do a damn thing.

    im soaking it again and this time i am going to put a couple of small blocks underneath each end and bend it further into the opposite direction...
    maybe that will work... i guess we'll see...
  19. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    I have hopes for that- it's like a more extreme version of elevating the ends and hanging a weight in the middle, which is what hasn't worked for me.
  20. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012

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