Introduction: How to Make a Mini AXE

Picture of How to Make a Mini AXE

While I was cleaning up my workshop I found a worn out circular saw blade. So I thought about making an axe out of it. It's 3mm thick, a little more than usual, which makes it perfect for this project.

Here you can download the plans for free:

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Step 1: Cutting the Printable Template

Picture of Cutting the Printable Template

After cutting the printable template, I'll glue it onto the disc with spray glue to guide me as I cut it. I'm going to cut it with an angle grinder. The thickness of the disc makes it harder to cut than in previous projects, but little by little I give shape to the steel.

While I'm doing this, I mark the position of the pins before tearing off the paper. Later I'll prepare a template that will help me give the axe's edge its proper angle. I sand it little by little to obtain a radius equal to the axe's edge. When using this kind of belt sanders to sand metal, it's best to put on a mask and not use the vacuum, because sparks come into contact with the woody debris inside the vacuum and eventually cause a fire. It's advisable to wait a few minutes after sanding before vacuuming.

Step 2: Drilling the Holes and Tempering

Picture of Drilling the Holes and Tempering

Now that I got hold of a blowtorch, I'll try distempering the steel, softening it and making it easier to drill holes in it. Once it starts to take on a black hue, I stop applying heat and wait for it to cool off gradually...

The operation starts off smoothly, but eventually the same thing that happened to the folding knife I'd made a while ago happens again... After drilling a few tenths of a millimeter, the bit stops advancing. I may not have distempered the steel enough... Then again, I'm sure a sturdy column drill at lower RPM could drill through the steel, but as it stands, I have no choice but to take the same approach I did with the knife. After making this little groove, the operation is back on track and I manage to drill the hole, although these bits are now in dire need of some sharpening... Then I'm going to temper the edge with the blowtorch. I heat the steel up until it's red hot, and then cool it down..

Step 3: Sand It

Picture of Sand It

Now it's time to sand it. I'll use my thickness sander with P120 grit sandpaper. I'll finish sanding it by hand. First with P320 grit and finally with P500. I'll sand the curved edges with a dremel.

Now I'll make a handle with this piece of olive wood. Also, I'll make a rebate for the steel with my table saw. This rebate is necessary to lengthen the axe's handle, otherwise it would be too short with just the steel. I finish the job by hand

Step 4: Final

Picture of Final

I'll use epoxy glue to bond the wood to the steel. I've made two pins out of a steel pipe to make the axe more resistent. After letting it dry for an hour, it's time to finish the job. I cut off what's left of the pin by hand. If I were to do this with the belt sander, the steel would heat up, softening the epoxy and weakening the handle.

With the belt sander and the thickness sander's drum, I continue sanding the handle into shape. I've mounted some P80 grit sandpaper on the sanding drum and attached the thickness sander's lid to the bottom of the sanding drum to collect dust and sawdust. When using these thickness sander drums like this, we must be careful not to damage the velcro underneath the sandpaper or deform the drum. If we work slowly and carefully, this drum is very helpful when doing this kind of jobs. Then, I finish the process by hand with files and sandpaper. I also drill a hole at the end of the handle to insert an 8mm tube which will allow me to hang the axe or attach a decorative string to it.


kickinit234 (author)2017-06-21

This is a great design I might cast it in bronze or cupronickel.


That's super nice, i love the wood you chose to use!

NADsWorkshop (author)2017-05-10

Clever idea. You watch "Forged In Fire" on the History Channel?

23singram (author)NADsWorkshop2017-05-15

Forged in fire is amazing!

thanks! Not yet but I will look for it

23singram (author)2017-05-15


Mihsin (author)2017-05-10

A fine piece of art.

Paoson Woodwork (author)Mihsin2017-05-11


Gadget Man 656 (author)2017-05-08

Is there any way that you could post the pattern of the Axe. I sure do like your design over some that I have seen. Great job

thanks! here you can download the pattern for free:

This is super cool, never thought of making one from a saw blade! :)

Matt2 Silver (author)2017-05-09

Beautiful work, I especially like the wood used for the handle and the added touch of the tubing used for the lanyard hole. Question though, I am under the assumption that newer circular saw blades are not great for projects like this because they aren't actually high carbon steel like they use to be in the good old days. To my knowledge, newer blades like the one use for this project are mild steel with carbide teeth brazed on for strength and wear resistance. am I wrong in my understanding, because if so, then circular saw blades would be a great source of inexpensive high carbon steel for all sorts of projects like this, but if I am correct then it would be very difficult to harden the steel to a point where it would hold a serviceable edge for any length of time.

hi Matt, you're right...

the old saw blades are better for this works, but these new blades can serve for a small projects, I have always worked this way!

MatthewN32 (author)2017-05-09


Rytag (author)2017-05-09

also good to add like a blotter opener, hammer end ect for other uses

Rytag (author)2017-05-06

This can be made into Connors tomahawk as well! (Assassins creed!)

Paoson Woodwork (author)Rytag2017-05-06

you're right!

Rytag (author)Paoson Woodwork2017-05-09

the cops will never know...... wink

Dakotamouse (author)2017-05-07

That was just soooo cool! Beautiful project and the video has so much useful information!


jessyratfink (author)2017-05-05

That is oddly adorable. :D

Great photos, too!

ShawnS60 (author)jessyratfink2017-05-07

I agree--knives from large-sized Craftsman brand closed end wrenches are also great metal working projects. PS. Pardon my diverging from topic at hand--my first thought just jumped to, I hope this person is not really a rat fink (although true, I sort of made a comment just so I could say rat fink; I'd never before had opportunity to write those two words in the same sentence). Great Instructable, mate! You've got my vote!

thanks Jessy!

TiffanyB7 (author)2017-05-06

I love this instructable! I could easily make one in a heartbeat! my boyfriend would probibly have a fit because of repurposing a used circular saw blade for the mini ax project, then loose the mini ax all together because he loves it too much! the biggest fan of my work right there.

You should try to do it! thanks


Ehlers_TV (author)2017-05-05

GREAT job,man ! Thumbs UP !


gm280 (author)2017-05-05

Very nice. I do like it and reusing that old saw blade is ever better. I've built knifes from old lawn mower blades before. No use in throw things away when there is still some use for them.

Paoson Woodwork (author)gm2802017-05-06

thank you!

RushFan (author)2017-05-05

Really well done, I gotta make one!

Paoson Woodwork (author)RushFan2017-05-06


PiotrW20 (author)2017-05-06

Would not it be easier to first make holes and then play with a heat shield ?

Waqar1994 (author)2017-05-05

beautiful ...
I mean it's awesome ... tiny Axe ..

thank you!

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Suso Caamanho. I like doing all sorts of stuff related to musical instruments, woodworking, computer science, electronics... On my website you will ... More »
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