Friday, June 8, 2012

Saved a Boy's Axe life

From time to time one of my hobbies is fixing up an old axe.  I don't turn them into show axes but simply make them good users again.  I like the patina look on an old axe.  I find it suits the character they already have quite well.  There's not much to it really and anyone can do it.  It's pretty easy to get down after a couple tries.  Removing the rust, reshaping the bit if needed, and a good sharpening, then find the best handle you can and hang it straight.  That's pretty much it.  Well I happened across an old Collins Boy's Axe a little while back and I put some new life back into it.  I'm not completely done yet, as I will remove a few more rust spots and give it a final sharpening.  I slipped into the woods for a few glamor shots

You find on older axes that most of the time they seemed used more for hammers than an axe.  If it's  not too bad I find the polls have a neat look about them and it just adds to their character.

When hanging the head I like to coat the wood wedge in a mixture of wood glue and a little wood filler epoxy, this makes for a very secure connection and I finish it off with a steel wedge.  The glue and steel wedge aren't necessary to hang an axe but I like to use the heck out of axes and I have never had a head slip when using this method so I'll continue to use it.   You also don't have to worry about little cracks in the haft from the steel wedge if you get any as the glue and wood filler will do their job.

The handle I found was not perfect but it was pretty good.  It was straight and the grain was decent enough that it won't cause any issues in use.

a few more shots

Here's the before pic

Head alignment

Well I'll leave you with this last shot, on the way out of the woods I spotted a doe at the entrance point.  She's center-right in the pic

      Thanks for looking and Happy Chopping!


  1. Nice looking axe there! Good tip on the wood glue and filler too!

  2. Nice job! If you scrub the head with a little lemon juice or vinegar and something less abrasive than steel wool, it will remove the rust, but leave the patina.

    I saved a boy's axe life in 2010, and that restored vintage axe is my preferred (boy's) axe today.

    1. Thanks for the tips. Never tried lemon juice before, I'll give that try.

      It's hard to beat the old axe heads. They used very good steel back in the day.