Ideas on making axe handles....the fast way ?

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Forum topic by BigJon posted 11-06-2015 06:54 PM 2462 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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52 posts in 3471 days

11-06-2015 06:54 PM

I have a friend who makes quite a lot of forged axes. He has asked me to make axe handles for him. I have made a couple before using hand tools and it was a tedious process. I pretty much swore off making them then, however now my shop has grown and I have more tools at my disposal and a little more experience.

Any thoughts on how to mass produce some quality handles without a horrendous amount of hand shaping. My only thoughts so far is to make a pattern out of a desirable handle, lay it out on a plank of good quality and cut it out with a band saw. Then perhaps router the edges close to shape and finish with a DA sander. Seems easier than the draw knifes and spoke shaves I used before… Thoughts?

-- Im bleeding, go get my super glue and roll of black tape....

7 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


9003 posts in 3661 days

#1 posted 11-06-2015 07:06 PM

Depends on how much your time and effort is worth… for me, I’d just go to the BORG and get them (3 footers are less than $15). I’ve made a few, and they are a bit of work… rough out on the band saw, round over the edges with a router, then plane and/or sand to final shape. Lot of effort for something that will live outdoors and take a lot of abuse.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4449 days

#2 posted 11-06-2015 07:12 PM

I think you could potentially do it with a router copy carver
A gunstock duplicator would be quicker and require less cleanup work.

I made some hammer and hatchet handles recently. I bandsawed most of the waste away. then used a rasp followed by a scraper to clean it up. It would be hard to make any money that way.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6876 posts in 3771 days

#3 posted 11-06-2015 07:14 PM

It doesn’t sound like this is one of your labor of love things. You/he can buy Axe handles pretty cheap compared to what it take to make them by hand.

Buy a CNC

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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52 posts in 3471 days

#4 posted 11-06-2015 07:50 PM

Pretty much what I assumed the replies would be. I may still fool around with it a bit. It certainly is not a profitable proposition. If I come up with something cool I will share.


-- Im bleeding, go get my super glue and roll of black tape....

View Woodknack's profile


13594 posts in 3842 days

#5 posted 11-07-2015 06:13 AM

There is a fellow on youtube, channel name Wranglestar, that fancies himself an expert on all things axe-like. Don’t know if he has your answer but if anyone would, it would be him.

-- Rick M,

View upchuck's profile


540 posts in 3127 days

#6 posted 11-07-2015 10:26 PM

There are many considerations about making ax handles. For one the handles should match the head. Weight of head, style of head, purpose of head (ie: felling or splitting or some in between hybrid). Some handles would be right for one head but just wrong for another. If the ax heads are hand forged and of high quality then the handle should match the excellence of the head.
This link provides some basic information for you to consider:

Also consider if you did decide to make them by hand how much faster the last fifty would be then the first fifty.
And how much mastery of the hand tools you would have gained. For the simplest handles bandsaw and router
would work but stock selection is critical.
Good Luck

View bandit571's profile


31914 posts in 4146 days

#7 posted 11-07-2015 10:34 PM

Shavehorse, and a drawknife….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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