How to Rehandle an Axe: 8 Steps to Avoid Mistakes

Axes are usually hard tools but very essential to do woodcutting jobs. After using an axe for an extended period, it needs to be rehandled to get back to better working conditions. Rehandling an axe is an effortless task if you know the procedures well enough. After reading this content, you will not worry about how to rehandle an axe. The processes are straightforward, but make sure you know the rest of the task of caring for it properly. 

The Steps to Rehandle an Axe 

There are some basic steps that you can follow to rehandle an axe regardless of the different shapes and lengths of the axes. 

Step 1: Collect the Necessary Tools 

You must know what supplies your axe needs. Some of the replacement axe handles are round; some are teardrop or oblong. It would be best if you chose the right length and shape desired for your axe. The project also needs a wedge kit, glue, and sandpaper. For speeding up the rehandling process, you can also gather the tools like a hammer, large punch, and rubber mallet.

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Step 2: Remove the Broken Handle 

After collecting all the necessary tools, you should start your project by removing the broken axe handle. If the handle is loose or broken, you should cut it. The axe handle’s top part is wider than its bottom. Take a saw to cut off the handle, or you can drill into the axe handle through its hole. After that, insert a metal wedge into the hole, punch it, and bang with a hammer once you successfully create enough hole space. It would be best if you gave a bash to thrust it out while needed. Later on, mark the bottom and top of the axe head

Step 3: Clean up the Axe Head

Check out whether there is rust and dust around the axe head or not, and sand it off. To remove rust or sharp edges, you can try an angle grinder and metal saw, which will help smooth out the axe edge perfectly. As you clean up, you should touch up the axe blade with tools like file, whetstone, power tool, etc to sharpen the bit. After cleaning up the head, you can paint it as you wish and leave it to dry to give it a great look. 

Step 4: Smooth out the Axe Eye

Don’t forget to check out the axe eye too. Ensure you removed the old wooden handle nicely. To smoothen out the axe eye, use a chisel or sandpaper. 

Step 5: Mark the Kerf

After cleaning the axe head and eye, you need to mark the kerf. You must check whether the new axe handle contains a pre-cut kerf in it or not. Work for the kerf ends, and use a pencil to mark the handle. 

Step 6: Fit the Handle 

As you know, the axe handles are friction fit and hold on with a wedge. Sometimes you will see that the shape of the new axe handle doesn’t perfectly fit the axe eye. The eyes in the tools are barely shaped perfectly. It would be best if you made some effort to match them well. To expect a more durable and better fit, ensure the wood that contacts the axe eye’s walls in the tool head. The handles need proper care, maintenance, and a little work. 

Too large handles require extra shaping work with sandpaper. After sanding, you need to check whether the size is in all okay format and keep sanding more if required. Determine the top and bottom of your tool head. Mark the handle while you are in the shaping stage to orient your axe handle in the right direction. You must ensure no gap; otherwise, using it will be inefficient and improper. Position the head onto the axe handle to fit the handle properly. A mallet can be an excellent tool to hit the axe head down onto the handle. 

Step 7: Fit the Wedge

As you move forward to the next step, you must carefully add the wedge into the axe eye. Too large a wedge doesn’t work nicely; hence, you should reduce it with a wood chisel. Then, saw off the axe handle. When the wedge slot is closed, it needs a small cut using a hacksaw. Applying wood glue to the wedge is the next task in this step, and you drive the wedge into the gap. Using wood glue is not mandatory, but it will secure everything. For the metal wedge, apply the necessary methods to make it a perfect fit by removing the sharp edges with sandpaper.  

Step 8: Secure the Handle

Use some coats of oil to get the best result from your new handle. Use 120-grit sandpaper to prepare the wood and apply wood oil with a clean rag. Many types of oil can give you good results, but Boiled Linseed Oil or tung oil works the best among all the options. Follow any axe oiling guide to do the task perfectly. After oiling, please leave it to dry for a day and store it well. Protecting your axe in this way can give your axe durability and suitable condition for an extended period. Your axe’s longevity depends on how nicely you care for it.  

Tips and Warnings

  • There are many hardware or online stores where you can find a new axe. So, if you don’t have much time to rehandle the axe or you don’t follow the steps well, don’t be sad because purchasing a new one from a store will save you time and effort.
  • You can get a custom-made axe handle to get the high-quality personality option. 
  • Go to the repair store near your place but make sure the fixer has enough expertise and equipment to replace or rehandle the axe quickly yet correctly. 
  • Don’t burn away the parts of the wooden axe. The metal might be damaged.

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What can I do to prevent the axe damage due to rust?

You can easily stop your axe from rusting by oiling the axe very lightly after each use. Don’t put away your axe wet. If you want your axe to look good, apply a thin coat of oil or wax the axe.  

How can oiling protect an axe handle? 

It would be best if you oiled your axe handle to keep it strong, tight, and look great. Oiling the axe handle is an effective way to protect it from rusty elements. 

Is oak a popular choice to make axe handles? 

The oak-formed axe handles are found almost all over the nation worldwide. Alongside this, it is also affordable for many. Among many different species of oak, white oak is the best choice to make the axe more durable. 

What type of oil should I use for the betterment of my axe handle?

Linseed oil is the most effective and recommended use for axe handles. This oil dries very quickly on the surface, which is too convenient to use. Besides, walnut oil or coconut oil works fine on axe handles too.

What is the purpose of curved blades of the axes?

The curve of the axe blade works to cut deeper into the wood while making its first contact with wood. It helps to make the cutting edge longer. Besides, the curve helps the swing momentum to rock the axe blade forward. 

Bottom Line

Many of you are unaware of axe handling or replacing an axe handle. When the axe is so precious to you, it is hardest to replace or change the axe. For whom it may concern, this content on ‘how to rehandle an axe’ has explained some easy steps to rehandle your axe correctly. Following the steps and the maintenance factors, you can get your axe back to working like before.  

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Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.

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