Two-tone Axe Handle

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Project by JohnMcClure posted 03-22-2018 03:37 PM 2684 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project changed direction half-way through.
I wanted a wooden mallet, so I selected a segment of an old branch that seemed suitable. On a whim, I decided to laminate the handle from cherry and walnut.

I glued a couple door shims to the laminated blank and resawed it, making the walnut run diagonaly:

Next, I transferred a good handle shape onto the blank, and roughed it out:

Spokeshave to refine the handle:

At this point, the handle had become too nice for the head I had intended. A friend of mine generously offered to send a Plumb hatchet head (Carpenter’s axe? Camp axe? Hatchet?):

I refurbed the head:

And began to fit the handle:

The eye is tapered so that it is wider and longer at the top of the head than at the bottom. This isn’t just to accomodate a wedge – in fact, I learned that Plumb wasn’t using wedges at all for these (1950s) axes. They were backfilling the eye with epoxy, which hardened into a sort of outside-wedge shape, if that makes sense. Basically tapered epoxy around the top of the handle, preventing it from backing out just as a wedge would.

I opted to use a poplar wedge and also fill the voids with epoxy:

I then sanded that down a bit (leaving some protrusion) and sealed the end grain.


-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

2 comments so far

View MilFlyer's profile


948 posts in 2746 days

#1 posted 04-04-2018 06:06 PM

Gorgeous lookin’ work, but I gotta tell you the story with pictures makes it great to read! Thank you for sharing and I think it turned out great!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View Don W's profile

Don W

20041 posts in 3642 days

#2 posted 09-13-2018 08:51 AM

Great job.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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