Monday, January 13, 2014

Time to hang an old Jersey Axe

Well I had acquired this old Council Tools Jersey axe head awhile back in a trade with a friend and it was finally time to get around to hanging it.  Size of this head is in the 3.5-4lb range.  I didn't weigh it.  Edge is almost 5.5 inches.

Here is how it started

I wanted to leave as much of the dark patina on as I could.  So I removed the paint and rust carefully with sandpaper, water and WD-40.  I ordered a 32" handle from House Handle and had requested handpicked axes (meaning good grain, straight shaping, no defects) and they delivered.  This handle was excellent as the other handle with the order.  I'll be using them in the future.  Well here's how the hand started.

Starting out the head would not go on the handle at all.  Fitting was all done with hand tools consisting of a rasp, a knife, and sandpaper.  First was going to work with the rasp.

I always let the handle show you where to remove wood.  You can always take more off but you can't put it back on.  So I just work the thick spots down as needed. 

That's getting just about right.  At this point I like to use a knife to carefully remove the last bits of wood on the bottom.  Basically I make the tiniest curls I can.  Then I like to take the shoulder down so it's not sticking out a lot.  Once you have the place where the head will set you know whereabouts to stop removing wood. 

Final sanding where the head well set.

Just where I wanted it!

I heavily coated the wedge in boiled linseed oil before driving it home.

Here I had an unfortunate mishap.  The vice I use is a clamp vice and when I was using a jigsaw to cut off the excess the board the clamp was on came loose and the whole thing shifted so the cut when offline.  I cut the rest off from the other side but you can see the uneven edge it left.  Nothing that will effect function but still was a small bummer.

Now for oiling up the handle and we're done

Grain was great on this handle

Fit was pretty good.  The handle wasn't quite long enough to fill the eye but it's solid and I really don't expect any slippage

I like it!  It'll be one mean chopper.  I'll do an update as I get to use it some.

Thanks for looking


  1. Fine lookin axe you got there Brandon. One trick to make the uneven saw mark look better is to hit the whole area with a Dremel (use a circular sanding bit).

  2. Another great axe project, man! Love the classic look of this one, too. That's a fine full-sized felling axe.