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Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:01 pm
by steamin10
Thats why chain saws took over for the hand axe. But dont be too hard on your adventure. Think of what the Bubbas taught you, and how much you learned already. Such progress is called experience, and makes your bulb that much brighter on the tree.

I just so happened to change the handle in a short carpenters axe, (flat on one side) after welding up the hole where it cracked. I too used a belt sander and fit it out for a store handle. A sledge hammer got de handled by a helper, who pounds on the side of the head, dont ask me why, but I shortened the stub and made it fit again. I sawed a wedge from some maple and drove the sliver in. I finished the job by slathering some linseed oil on the wedge site to swell the wood and thats it. If it slips, I will tap it back in and ad some more oil at the end of the day. I Feel your pain, as it takes some time to get things right for a stupid handle. But my tools are well used and well loved and abused by those that dont think like me.

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:31 am
by liveaboard
SteveHGraham wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:35 pm
axes are stupid, .
Newsflash!

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:42 am
by earlgo
When the axe head got loose on the handle for any of a number of reasons, grandpa soaked the head end in a can of kerosene. This swelled the wood and 'lubricated' the fibers so it wouldn't break there. At least that is what I remember.
--earlgo

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:25 pm
by SteveHGraham
Today I read that RV antifreeze is full of dipropylene glycol, which is the ingredient in Swel-Lock that makes axe handles tighten up. It costs $2.50 per gallon at Tractor Supply. You can also buy DPG on Ebay and Amazon.

I'm going to drive the wedge in after coating it with Titebond II, and then I plan to soak the axe head in RV antifreeze for a bit.

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:58 pm
by SteveHGraham
I got the axe fixed up. I hope it doesn't fly off. I picked Titebond III glue because it has a long assembly time. I may soak the head in RV antifreeze tomorrow just for the heck of it.

I also ordered pure dipropylene glycol.

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:45 pm
by warmstrong1955
You are missing the metal wedges. Available at your handy dandy hardware store, or Home de Pot I imagine. McMaster and Graingers has 'em. They will keep things tight.
With axes, I use two, driven in at about 45 degrees to the wooden wedge. Most hammers, just one will do it.
I have replaced a kazillion, on mine axes, double jacks, single jacks, and all sorts of hammers. Miners like to beat on things...including the handles.
I've never used any chemicals to tighten them up, so I can't help you there, but I do like to use linseed oil to drive in the wooden wedges in. A little slickum will get a tighter fit. Bit late for that, but no big deal.

Bill

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:26 am
by SteveHGraham
I don't want to use metal wedges because they will be a pain to remove later. I installed this handle very carefully, and I've decided I'm going to see how well the dipropylene glycol works.

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:45 pm
by mcostello
Either way You will find out!

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:07 pm
by steamin10
It will work like most other fixes in a can. It depends on the correct fits to start with.

On that thought, metal wdges come in several sizes. I get mine form Ace hardware when needed. Tehy vary in size form about a half inch for carpenter hammers on up to an inch and more for the bigger stuff. I would not think of doing an ax without using one as they are the right thing to do. I will sometimes sharpen the tip on them to get them to drive in easier, but drive them I do. And of course I save the old ones when a handle is needed to be redone.

Chain drilling the wood and using a longer bolt to drive the stub out has never failed, even when there is an Epoxy seal on the head. A few good belts and the stub is out.

You do know that the holes are tapered a bit form the bottom side to more open at the top. At least they are supposed to be. This should aid the direction of the beating from broken side to topside.

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:05 pm
by SteveHGraham
I know many people use steel wedges, but some gurus don't use them, so I'm going to see what happens without them. The guy who wrote An Axe to Grind for the Forestry Service said never to use them because they can make handles split. He likes Swel-Lock.

I've noticed that a lot of Youtube people who claim to know what they're doing install axes really badly, banging them on without shaping the wood. I can't help but wonder if that's why some people need steel wedges. I am hoping I shaped the wood and drove the wedge well enough to get a tight, reliable fit. If not, I'll have to start over.

I broke down and watched a Wranglerstar video on hanging an axe. Predictably, it was not great. He didn't know he could use rubber jaws on a vise when holding an axe. He didn't say anything about checking the handle grain. He said never to buy a varnished handle. Really? So virtually all handles sold in hardware stores are unacceptable! He put two steel wedges in his axe, across the wooden wedge instead of parallel to it. Not sure what the point of that was. A wooden wedge presses a handle against the sides of the eye. It doesn't have much effect on the ends of the eye. His steel wedges didn't do anything to make the axe tighter along the largest surfaces where the axe touched the handle. They just made the wooden wedge longer!

He said people should use rasps to shape their handles, and then he used an air grinder. I feel like his videos are corrupting the Internet and setting the proper use of tools back decades. Watching him reminds me of the time I watched Alton Brown ruin a rib eye. He cooked it all right, but then he let it "rest," which means the outside got cold, and then he cut it in slices before serving it. Gack. Lukewarm steak.

Now I'm wondering if wax was the right choice for a coating. I see a lot of people use linseed oil. If they're getting good results with that, one would expect Danish oil to work, and I always have that on hand.

I am interested in thinning and shaping the handle. People seem to like octagonal handles, and they say they put the flats on them, themselves. I would like to try that. The handle I bought is fairly bulky.

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:53 am
by Harold_V
SteveHGraham wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:05 pm
He put two steel wedges in his axe, across the wooden wedge instead of parallel to it. Not sure what the point of that was. A wooden wedge presses a handle against the sides of the eye. It doesn't have much effect on the ends of the eye. His steel wedges didn't do anything to make the axe tighter along the largest surfaces where the axe touched the handle. They just made the wooden wedge longer!
Key to getting any fit to remain viable is to prevent movement. By driving in a steel wedge as you described, the wood is expanded against the head in the thin direction, eliminating movement. A perfectly tight fit on the broad surfaces can still allow the axe head to pivot on the handle. Once that starts, it's only a matter of time until it is quite loose.

Don't like steel wedges? No problem. Drive in a wood one. Just make sure you expand the wood of the handle in both directions.

H

Re: Best Type of Axe for Busting Rotten Stump?

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:31 am
by SteveHGraham
I don't think so. The axe I hung had wood in the eye when I bought it, and there were no steel wedges in it. It was absolutely solid, to the point where it didn't want to come out even when the pressure against the eye was gone. If steel wedges were important, I think the Plumb company would have put them in every axe to avoid returns and warranty claims.

If you look at photos on Ebay, you will see many old axes without steel wedges. I haven't seen any old factory handles with steel wedges, so they must be rare. That tells me there was a reason for rejecting them.

The wood-swelling stuff seems like a good idea. It will swell the wood permanently in all directions. People use it to fix wooden chairs with loose parts.

I have to choose someone to trust, so I'm going with the old guy who devoted his life to working with logging tools. I would hope that a 70-year-old man who turned his interest in axes into a profession would have some clues the rest of us don't. We will see what happens.