Axes, adzes and drawknifes #5: New handle for an old hand forged gutter adze.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 05-13-2015 06:05 PM 4735 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Drawknifes restore and MaFe's sheath types Part 5 of Axes, adzes and drawknifes series Part 6: Restore an old French axe - handle and care detailed. »

New handle for an old hand forged gutter adze
head from the Danish island Omø.

I had the luck to buy some wonderful old tools from a Danish carpenter.
Among these tools were this beautiful old gutter adze head, hand forged on a small Danish island called Omø, a local islander blacksmith there made this way back as you can see.
In Danish we call the tool: tængsel, huljern, huløkse.

As always I prefer a restore as gentle as possible, so I grinded of the bended edges, since these are dangerous in use, due to the fact they can fly of and make great damage, Also I cleaned up as much as needed for making a new cutting edge.
Had this wonderful piece of wood on a shelf for a long time and now seemed like the right time and project to put it to use. Not sure what it is, so I will just call it oakish.

Cut it to size and sketched up my basic idea for the shape.

Both sides.

Then roughed out on the band saw and this was the rough basic shape to work from.
Sawing can be done with a hand saw also.

With a draw knife shaping the top for fitting the head.

Cut a grove for a wedge.

Bang it in place.

Now shape with the draw knife and spoke shave, take it in your hand once in a while to ensure your hand and eye like the same.

I use a card scraper for finish, as this is an old adze, I will leave the tool marks but make a nice smooth surface to hold.

Wedge are banged in place I give it white glue also.

Linseed oil, plenty and my brand in the handle.

The old adze now got a new life in a new home.
I feel lucky.

Here the tools I bought from the carpenter, you can see the adze head there.

Hope again to be able to share some energy, to perhaps even inspire others to bring some old tools back to life,

Best of thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

8 comments so far

View jdh122's profile


1263 posts in 4036 days

#1 posted 05-13-2015 07:00 PM

Interesting, and a great job. I’m curious – adzes I see here in NA are generally made with removable handles to facilitate sharpening. Is this not the case in Denmark? From the photos it looks like the eye of the adze is straight rather than tapered, and I guess it has to be tapered to allow for a removable head.
A beautiful collection of tools too – I like the pushme-pullyou tongue-and-groove planes and the wooden brace.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Sodabowski's profile


2401 posts in 4051 days

#2 posted 05-13-2015 08:04 PM

Wow, what a nice collection. This could make a great display in a museum just like you laid them out for the picture. Bet you’ll get a lot of warmth from using them :)
Greetings buddy.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View shipwright's profile


8748 posts in 4016 days

#3 posted 05-13-2015 10:03 PM

These lovely old tools have fallen into the best possible hands. I am very happy for them. They could not have hoped for a better fate. These will keep my friend Mads happily puttering for some time to come and when each is restored to its former glory he will use them with love, respect and a hint of pipe tobacco smoke in the air.

Just one note, to mis-quote Crocodile Dundee “That’s not an adze mate. This is an adze!”

Me chopping the deadwood of the sailing vessel “Smaug” circa 1981.

Best thoughts :-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View lew's profile


13413 posts in 4974 days

#4 posted 05-13-2015 10:30 PM

I cannot think of a more suited caretaker for these old tools.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4023 days

#5 posted 05-13-2015 11:02 PM

Good stuff Mads.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View icemanhank's profile


561 posts in 3375 days

#6 posted 05-15-2015 07:26 AM

It is so great to see you using your hand tools mate, very inspiring.

Love your work.

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4553 days

#7 posted 05-19-2015 02:55 PM

You could make some nice viking bowls with that Mads.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


13294 posts in 4308 days

#8 posted 05-21-2015 06:40 PM

jdh, no I don’t think it is so here in Scandinavia for the small adzes, but for the long handled versions it is. Yes I was lucky to get this wonderful bunch of tools.
Soda, yes they all look wonderful together, he was a wonderful guy and I think he had a good eye for quality, so I was lucky.
Shipw, I love that picture of you, that is such a wonderful moment kept in a shot. A real shipwright, think the women must have been soft. ;-) And yes your tool are bigger than mine here. Laughs.
lew, I will keep the tools loved, even the guests here are all happy to look and touch all these tools full of life and traces of time, so I feel lucky.
Roger, smiles.
Iceman, I have to admit my joyful moments are with the hand tools, with power tools I have effective productive moments.
Stefang, ohhh yes this is part of the plan, but now I am a city jock, so the police will come after me if I start bringing home green wood. Smiles.
Thank you all I have a smile on my lips thanks.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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