Simple Question

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Rob30, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario
    I have a simple question.
    How do you keep your splitting axe heads tight?
    I use a heavy splitting axe, about 6-7lb. I have broken the handle twice from the head loosening. I use hickory hadles about 40 inches long.
    Any body have any tricks? I just replaced the handle and it is loose again. I am splitting some very hard/large logs. I am splitting oak, maple, birch but ends from a local veneer plant. Some are up to 2 ft in diameter by 20 inches long.
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,067
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    deep south texas
    Soaking the handle helps, then tape the last 8" of the handle by the head.That should help.
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,086
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    When I rehandle an axe I shape the handle to fit relatively snuggly drive in the wooden wedge in the cut and then cross wedge it with the steel wedges. Then like James I soak it over night or for a couple of days even (OK I'm getting older and the "remember things" section of my brain is preoccupied with my lost youth) Sound like what you're doing?
     
  4. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,504
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    Keep the shaft " dry " before fiting , then saw a slit length ways down the head end of the shaft around half the lenght of the axe head, carve a wedge out of the old shaft , fit the head on the shaft then hammer in the wedge,. then use steel hammer wedges across the wooden wedge " 2 should do " then soak the whole thing for a couple of days , then Varnish the shaft and where it comes out of the head , varnish holds the water in and stops shrinking .
     
  5. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    Do not ever soak any wooded handle tool! The water causes the wood to swell and this crushes the fibers, so that when it dries out it becomes looser than before. Just use the full width wooded wedge and two cross steel wedges as stated above, if the handle starts to become loose; set the tool with its head upward, place a few drops of lindseed oil on the 'eye' of wood. Do again as needed until no oil will absorbe into the wood. Store the tool in a high humidity area.

    Also sharpen a splitting ax with the edge taper being very wide or thick, this splits better then a long tapered edge like axes usually have.
     
  6. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,859
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Location:
    central idaho republic
    I agree with Mitch on the no water soaking, however i have been known to sand off the varnish from the faactory and use linseed oil on the entrire handle which seems to help preserve the whole handle.... yes hand rubbing takes awhile, but the only alternative is to use fibreglass handles and epoxy resins which if they dont break have been known to let the head fly off whilst swinging.

    William
     
  7. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    I have used a length of pipe for a handle that was welded to the head of the ax/splitting maul. It never came loose again.
     
  8. barn-apart

    barn-apart Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Location:
    Pa.
    I wrap the bottom 6" or so with fine wire this helps with inpact from the wood hitting the handle during misses or splits that are fractured on angles. The linseed oil works good , use it on logging tools most of the time.vegitable oil works also.