Researching for my first restoration

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Sn0man, Jan 2, 2021.

  1. Sn0man

    Sn0man

    26
    Jan 4, 2012
    My uncle died and left me some tools. Among them I found this old axe head. It says True Temper 3 1/2 lb. I don't know anything about this stuff, so I've done a little research on the Internet. It seems like the more I research, the more I found out I don't know, but I think this is a Yankee profile. I would deeply appreciate any help I could get identifying this thing and figuring out the best way to restore it. Should I polish it? Should I clean it and retain the patina? Should I grind down the burrs on the poll, or leave them?

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    Yankee Josh, A17 and SwedeFP like this.
  2. SwedeFP

    SwedeFP

    55
    Oct 17, 2020
    Nice find!! From what I can tell from the pics, the rust doesn't look like it goes very deep. If it was mine, I'd start with a brass bristle brush either by hand or at low speed with a drill or Dremel tool. I'm partial to original patina, and don't really care for the color changes that soaking in vinegar produces vs a patina on a head in this shape. Anyway, you'll get good advice from others on this forum with much more extras me. If you take it slow and do the least drastic rust removal, you may see things under that rust that guide you further depending on your desired end result. You have a nice clear stamp and this is a great manufacturer with Kelly and it is a Perfect to boot. Try searching the forum for "good rust bad rust", as I posted that and got a lot of good advice from others for a head I'm working on.
    SwedeFP
     
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  3. beamernc

    beamernc

    85
    Sep 13, 2007
    I like to soak them in Evapo-Rust. File off the rolled edges and then re-hang.
     
    Batleship likes this.
  4. SwedeFP

    SwedeFP

    55
    Oct 17, 2020
  5. Sn0man

    Sn0man

    26
    Jan 4, 2012
    Thank you! I'll try that!
     
  6. Sn0man

    Sn0man

    26
    Jan 4, 2012
    Hey Swede, do you know of an online source for handles that is reliably good quality? Or should I just go to the hardware and pick one out?

    Also I watched a video of a guy restoring an axe, and he just used a wood wedge in the handle, so metal wedge. Is there a technique for pulling that off?
     
  7. SwedeFP

    SwedeFP

    55
    Oct 17, 2020
    Sn0man
     
  8. SwedeFP

    SwedeFP

    55
    Oct 17, 2020
    Sorry for non reply above, still getting used to posting.
    Handles: I've bought from House Handle (HH) and like the number of choices on handle length, and this is something you might not find at a hardware store. I do buy from my local store or Tractor Supply, but these are 36 inch. I do find some decent grain in some of these handles (like Truper brand who bought Collins Axe) and the thin layer of finish on them is easy to sand off for applying your own (raw linseed oil for me). HH has options to have them hand pick for grain, and maybe heartwood (more red) vs lighter sapwood, and they will remove the finish all for small up charge. The handles are worth checking out, but shipping adds up especially if ordering only one.
    Hanging the head: I just use the wood wedge and no metal yet. They are holding just fine. There are people on this forum with lots of experience, who hopefully will make a comment. Definitely check out "An Axe to Grind" and use it for a guide. Old Axeman, who posts on this forum is the author. You've come to the right place to learn about axes, and the old posts found through searches and just following new posts can get quite addictive.
    SwedeFP
     
  9. rjdankert

    rjdankert

    Mar 10, 2011
    True Temper's patent for the eye ridges was Patent Number 3090653, filed 7/2/59 and granted 5/21/63.


    Bob
     
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  10. lmalterna

    lmalterna Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 12, 2002
    Nice head.
    HH is 50/50 for me but reasonable enough priced to get a few. Some of my best handles have come from them, also some wood for my grill.
    Local hardware stores may offer Seymour or Link handles, pick through them for grain and staightness and you can get an excellent handle.

    I have been trying something different for mushroom at the poll. I used to just file it away but now I am using a ball peen hammer to "lightly" push that metal back into place. You will still need to file/stone but lose less steel.

    For cleaning rust, I use a wire wheel on a bench grinder- steel or bronze depending on how deep I want to go .A cup brush on a drill or angle grinder also works. My heads only see the grinder for purpose of intimidation if they are not behaving.
    Bill
     
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  11. Sn0man

    Sn0man

    26
    Jan 4, 2012
    Thanks for the reference. I have downloaded it and will read it tonight.
     
  12. Sn0man

    Sn0man

    26
    Jan 4, 2012
    My uncle left me a brass (or bronze) wife wheel on his bench grinder. I'll give it a shot. Have you done electrolytic rust removal?
     
  13. lmalterna

    lmalterna Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 12, 2002
    I have not used electrolysis but some like the process. Please do wear eyepro with that wire wheel... I pick tiny pieces of wire out of my cheeks sometimes.

    Bill
     
  14. SwedeFP

    SwedeFP

    55
    Oct 17, 2020
    If you end up sorting handles at a local store, consider info in this thread on grain runout. I think it is safe to say that many handles can have some grain issues and some amount of runout can be common, but knowing this information may help you decide which one is best for your use. You may also stumble upon some forum posts that question the standard of grain needing to run parallel with the orientation of the bit. There are other sources that say the same.
    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/grain-runout.1766543/
    SwedeFP
     
  15. Sn0man

    Sn0man

    26
    Jan 4, 2012
    Wow, you people are very helpful. I hope I'll be knowledgeable about something you need someday, so I can pay it back. I am a professional brewer. Maybe I can help you with some homebrew.
     
  16. Trailsawyer

    Trailsawyer Gold Member Gold Member

    78
    Jul 6, 2015
    "My uncle left me a brass (or bronze) wife wheel on his bench grinder. I'll give it a shot. Have you done electrolytic rust removal?"

    I think many of us would like an update on this! Pictures?
     
  17. Sn0man

    Sn0man

    26
    Jan 4, 2012
    I will be more than happy to post some progress pix on this project! It's the least I can do for your help. But first I'm going to practice one some other pieces, because I've never done this, and it's a family heirloom from Uncle Steve. When I first started this thread I had no idea what I was getting into -- I didn't know how many ways there were to ruin this thing!
     
  18. SwedeFP

    SwedeFP

    55
    Oct 17, 2020
    Sn0man,
    Apologies for not mentioning foremost in the first reply, but sorry for your uncle's passing. Hope the practicing and eventual cleaning of the Kelly goes well. While reading up on using molasses to clean rust off of tools, I stumbled on this site which be worth reading.
    https://clutchaxes.com/axe-restoration-by-hand/
    SwedeFP
     

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