Throwing Axe Rebuild

  • Advertise with us
Project by KelSnake posted 02-01-2018 12:51 AM 1455 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was asked by a neighbour to make a new handle for his throwing axe and of course I said sure.

Seemed like an easy enough task, so I selected a piece of Purpleheart for the new handle.

The axe handle actually is a bit ovoid in nature and not something one would turn on a lathe. Taking some basic measurements I made a stock piece that was about an 1/8” wider and thicker then needed.

I then traced on the shape of the hole in the axe head onto the end of my blank, being careful to keep the layout as close to on center with the other end as possible as I redrew the pattern on the opposite end as well.

After that I craftifully clamped a 24” F clamp into my bench vice. Sorry, I forgot to take pics of that part. From there I clamped in my blank leaving one of the corner edges exposed. I then took my small hand plane and carefully removed material from around the blank to the outside of the line.

From there I softened the shape on the 24” belt sander until the axe head fit super tightly on the end of the handle.
A small notch was cut out of the one end before final setting. Glue in a decorative wedge and ready for the fun step!

Interestingly, when you take flame to the raw surface of Purpleheart it turn a dark purple, closest to the colour of a grape popsicle, its awesome! A light sand with 300 grit wet/dry paper gets it ready for many coats of hand rubbed polish.

-- Kel Snake, ~ Mystery By Design ~ Find me on Etsy ~

8 comments so far

View kennymac's profile


47 posts in 2324 days

#1 posted 02-01-2018 04:10 AM

That’s awesome, I love purpleheart!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


9589 posts in 3528 days

#2 posted 02-01-2018 05:51 AM

Nice work. Did not know about flaming the purpleheart, cool trick. You can also two tone like a candy cane if you take tape and wrap around the handle in that pattern. Then put in sun for few weeks, flipping one side to the other. Remove tape and promptly get a finish on it. So far my test piece has stayed this way for 5 years. Sorry no pics my buddy has it in his shop class.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View jeffswildwood's profile


4909 posts in 3096 days

#3 posted 02-01-2018 12:54 PM

What? No secret compartments in the handle? Just kidding buddy, nice job on the handle! That purpleheart made an outstanding handle. Nice looking and very hard! Thanks for the flame tip.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View KelSnake's profile


252 posts in 2441 days

#4 posted 02-01-2018 01:17 PM

hey thanks guys, ...secret compartments, hmmm, ...maybe in the next one, haha!

-- Kel Snake, ~ Mystery By Design ~ Find me on Etsy ~

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3985 days

#5 posted 02-01-2018 10:33 PM

You did a wonderful job on this throwing axe. Nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ralbuck's profile


6745 posts in 3385 days

#6 posted 02-01-2018 10:35 PM


-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Underdog's profile


1680 posts in 3154 days

#7 posted 02-02-2018 05:09 PM

Nice looking handle.

I don’t think the wedge is supposed to be decorative though…
It’s meant, like all split/wedged handles to force the head of the handle out into the tapered hole in the head…

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View KelSnake's profile


252 posts in 2441 days

#8 posted 02-02-2018 11:57 PM

Hey Underdog, thanks for the comment.

I hear ya, I generally make puzzle boxes and so I had some material already glued up that was about the right size for the job and just had to shape it to the right angles so that I could used it in this application.

The neighbour liked it, even gave me a custom damascus steel axe head to make the next one, to follow.

-- Kel Snake, ~ Mystery By Design ~ Find me on Etsy ~

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics