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Hatchet Restoration With Bodark Handle

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Project by BrentB posted 06-08-2021 05:06 PM 751 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a hatchet restoration with a Bodark handle from a local tree I’ve had curing for a while. I found the axe head while metal detecting on my property. It was in very bad shape and initially I didn’t know if it was worth restoring.

After several days soaking in rust remover and a lot of grinding, sanding and polishing it turned out a lot better than I thought it would. Surprisingly it still had plenty of good steel left.

Next I took a Bodark limb and roughed out a hatchet handle using a cardboard template. I’ve never made an axe or hatchet handle so I looked at photos on the Inter-Webs to get some ideas.

After hours of shaping and finishing I finally had a completed restoration.

I had no intensions of using this hatchet, but I did want to display it so I cut a piece of the Bodark limb I used to make the handle and fashioned a stand.

Now I can display it!

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.





16 comments so far

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

95 posts in 1984 days


#1 posted 06-08-2021 05:11 PM

By the way, I don’t know anything about axe-hatchet heads. Does anyone know what type it might be?

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View cokernutt's profile

cokernutt

3 posts in 799 days


#2 posted 06-08-2021 05:32 PM

Great job with the restoration! It looks amazing! I’ve got a double bit axe head that I found on my property that looks almost as bad. I now have some motivation for bringing it back to life. What rust remover did you use?

-- Scott

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

95 posts in 1984 days


#3 posted 06-08-2021 05:35 PM

Thanks Scott. I used Evapo-Rust. I’ve never used it before, but it really did a good job. I’ve used it on other projects since and it does a great job.

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

8823 posts in 1812 days


#4 posted 06-08-2021 06:16 PM

That is one bad AXE axe. Cool restore, cool presentation. Sales of metal detectors just went up :-)

Love that display.

-- Think safe, be safe

View woodchuckerNJ's profile

woodchuckerNJ

1522 posts in 2872 days


#5 posted 06-08-2021 06:29 PM

that’s awesome. Never heard of Bodark before.
Hard to work?

Most impressive is the head. From where it started to how it ended up.

Great restoration. Funky handle.

-- Jeff NJ

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

95 posts in 1984 days


#6 posted 06-08-2021 06:37 PM

Thanks Jeff. The wood is very hard. I call it Bodark. Others call it Osage Orange or Hedge Apple. It has a lot of names. It’s a nasty tree with lots of thorns, but the wood is beautiful. I love your comment on the handle. I stole the design from a photo on the Inter-Webs. Supposedly it’s a design for chopping and for close hand work, hence the grip closer to the head.

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

95 posts in 1984 days


#7 posted 06-08-2021 06:44 PM

Jeff, I forgot another common name for this tree…..Bois D’Arc.

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

5843 posts in 2860 days


#8 posted 06-08-2021 09:00 PM

Great save ! really like the handle

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

95 posts in 1984 days


#9 posted 06-08-2021 10:45 PM



Great save ! really like the handle

- recycle1943


Thank you sir!

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

10379 posts in 3647 days


#10 posted 06-09-2021 01:22 AM

That is beautiful!!! Nice work.

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

View swirt's profile

swirt

6618 posts in 4210 days


#11 posted 06-09-2021 01:45 AM

That is quite a transformation. I can’t believe you brought that back from the dead. Very impressive. You asked about the type. To me, the head looks like kind of a standard “general purpose” hatchet. Not an old design or anything like that.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

95 posts in 1984 days


#12 posted 06-09-2021 02:27 AM



That is quite a transformation. I can t believe you brought that back from the dead. Very impressive. You asked about the type. To me, the head looks like kind of a standard “general purpose” hatchet. Not an old design or anything like that.

- swirt

Thanks so much!!

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

4946 posts in 3215 days


#13 posted 06-09-2021 11:55 AM

It’s amazing that an ax head that bad can be brought back! You did a great job on it.

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

View BrentB's profile

BrentB

95 posts in 1984 days


#14 posted 06-09-2021 01:28 PM



It s amazing that an ax head that bad can be brought back! You did a great job on it.

- jeffswildwood

Actually it would shave the hair on my arm, but my wife made me tone it down or I couldn’t display it in the house.

-- Brent, Johnson County Texas......Resawing is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what you're gonna get.

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

1427 posts in 1788 days


#15 posted 06-10-2021 10:44 AM

Great job. That’s a complete restoration. It always amazes me that in the past folks would just kinda toss these old heads around and leave them to be destroyed by the elements. I guess the way we appreciate the old ways they really appreciated the chainsaws when they came out. I’ve redone a few I’ve found and man none of them was in that bad of a condition. Congratulations you the beautiful restoration job

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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