Thursday, May 8, 2014

Part II - My First Axe Restoration Projects (Council Tool and Collins Legitimus)

Start at the beginning with Part I "My first axe restoration projects - Collins double bit and Council Tool Dayton"

At this point in my journey I've reached a mirror finish on the Council Tool, and resigned myself to put the Collins on hold until I "learn my way" through the Council project. If you follow all my blogs, you'll see that I recently scored a Grandfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet at a giveaway price; but it didn't affect my desire to do these restorations. In fact, I am enjoying this activity more and more with each step I take.

A week or so ago I bought my handles from House Handles; a website with great prices, selection and high quality handles. Shipping is also at cost which is nice. If you order from them, be sure to request "select grain handles" and no finish (you'll want to linseed it yourself). They up charge a couple bucks for this but its worth it. I have the boys at Bushcraft USA forums to thank for the recommendation. While waiting for the handles to arrive, I methodically planned my next steps by reading anything and everything I could find on the topic of refinishing axes, axe re-profiling, axe sharpening, axe hanging as well as general axe use, maintenance and care materials.

When I found a great resources, I read and re-read them. From these works I formed a list of things I'd like to make and/or acquire to get through future project steps - like a wooden carpenter's mallet, some proper files, wood rasp, linseed oil,  Swel-Lok, file card, Wonderbar rust eraser... In addition to the regular advice and feedback from the forums, I have found the following to be indispensable:

1. An Axe to Grind by the U.S. Forest Service as well as the detailed PDF of the same title.

2. The Woods Life Blog has three fantastic blogs on axe restoration and care.

3. This great post "How to Sharpen an Axe" by British Red on the Bushcraft UK forum, on which I am a member "Paracordist".

My plan is to reprofile the Council Tool with a file soon because the cheek is just too thick. I realize now that I might have been better off doing this before the fine grit sanding work I've done, but I don't mind doing it again as my goal is to do it right first and foremost.

I'm also thinking ahead about the hang. I like detail in the Forest Service publication and video, so I'm planning to follow it closely. One of my next purchases will be Swel-Lok which is the recommendation Bernie Weisgerber (author of Axe to Grind) for the wedge treatment prior to driving it home. I also need a "Carpenter's Wooden Mallet", and tonight decided to make one from an old fence post I was going to throw away. I saw the beginnings of a handle already, so decided to go with it!

 I made a couple vertical cuts down the quadrants of the existing "handle", then turned the post on its side and began to cut out the wedges.
 An excuse to use the Gransfors I just acquired for $30:
 Shaved / rounded the square handle left from the saw cuts.
 Next I just sanded the heck out of everything for a few minutes
 Now I think I have a serviceable mallet!

Written by Kevin Gagne

Paracordist How to Plan Turks Head Paracord Handle Wrap Project - Leads?...

Hello friends! I've just put up a very unique video explaining how to plan a paracord turks head wrap project. How much cord? How many wraps? Leads? Bights? etc. Minimize wasted time and cord! Principals apply to any project (knife, tools, hatchet and so on - not just the hiking staff). This is not just for turks heads either, but all handle wrap turks head interweave knot variants (herringbones et. al.) Here's the playlist on tying the long multi wrap turks head Here's a nifty way to tie the initial test knot with a minimal number of leads for any number of bights: