This is a quick post on restoring an old axe and adding an engraved handle using a laser cutter.
I had picked up an old axe which had come apart from its handle and the blade had heavy nicks and was blunt.
I restored the axe and added a new wedge to hold the head.
It was a birthday present so I also used a laser cutter to engrave the handle.
This was the original axe and handle:
I did a quick search and found a couple of interesting articles (including the awesomely named “art of manliness” site):
The first thing was to grind off the uneven edge and get rid of the old paint. the cutting edge was ground using a bench-top metal grinder and a sanding belt. The shape of the edge is important – its not about having a very sharp edge, more about the angle of the edge, which is designed to split and open up the grain of the wood.
I also sanded down the handle and shaved the end to fit the axehead much better.
A slot was cut down the axe handle:
So that a thin wedge of hard wood can be knocked in to hold the axe head in place.
The wedge was hammered in as far as it could go, I probably needed to have a wider wedge:
To hold the wooden wedge in place a small metal wedge with barbs (called a ‘hammer wedge’) is used. I ordered mine from eBay.
Above: A selection of “hammer wedges”, and below: the size 2 wedge hammered into place:
Here is the finished axe with the handle finished with some Danish oil.
I wanted to engrave an inscription, so did that using the laser cutter at Nottingham Hackspace. It just fitted, when put at an angle. I should really have done this before fitting the axe head.
I used a scrap of wood to test the angle of the inscription and make sure it was all working OK, before doing the real thing.
The final axe ready to be wrapped…