Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Old Collins Hatchet restore

Well my swedish axe phase has subsided and I wanted to use an old American hatchet.  So I recently was able to acquire an old Collins hatchet head in very good condition.  While it is old, it doesn't look to have been used much at all.  Edge and poll are in great shape.  All it needs was a little TLC.  So let's get to it.

here's the head as a I got it

used a wire wheel brush and a grit flap wheel to remove the paint and rust

I found a suitable 14" Link hatchet handle.  A couple things I'll say on Link handles is do not buy one if you can't hand pick it.  I see more with flaws to the point I consider them unacceptable than good ones.  But the wood is very dense and holds up great.  They are not fitted at all really so you will have to plan on removing a lot of excess wood to fit your head.  But if you have the means and the time and can hand pick one that's straight and shaped well they do make for a good handle.

This pic is about half way through the fitting

The eye on this head is very small.  I had to thin it down quite a bit.  Eventually I got her hung straight.

Well after thinning the neck and shoulder a bit we are finished.  A few coats of boiled linseed oil will complete the restore.  It turned out nice and it feels great in the hand. 

Gotta like the old USA made tools. 

Thanks for looking


  1. Wow- looks great!

    Can not beat them.

  2. Great job on that hatchet Brandon. I have the exact same Collins hatchet. I used the original handle on it until it got too loose. Great head design for chopping, splitting and fine carving. I have to re-handle mine as soon as I get some spare time.

    1. Thanks Jason, Yeah I really like the profile on this one. Very thin cheeks. I thinned the secondary edge out a little but I can't wait to really put it to use. should be a good one for sure. You should do a post on yours too.

  3. Great restoration! It's sad that it can be so hard to find good axe handles. Most of the ones I find are not great either.