Instructables
Picture of Making a replacement axe or hatchet handle
While visiting my Grandparents in the Prairies of Canada, I came across one of my Grandpa's old hewing hatchet heads.  Of course he had it in the scrap metal pile to get sold for 5 cents, but I picked it up and told him I was going to use it.  He said I was lucky I was his Grandson, or he would of wanted that 5 cents it was worth in scrap. 

This Instructable is for the "Cabot Woodcare Contest" and I'll go over the steps that I did in order to turn this piece of scrap metal (hewing hatchet head) into a beautiful usable tool.
 
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Step 1: Suggested tools and items on hand

Picture of Suggested tools and items on hand
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A hewing hatchet is what they used to use in order to make beams out of logs.  Basically they make notches along the length of a log and then shave them off on all four sides.  The following is a list of tools that I used in order to make my handle. It is by no means complete or conclusive and you can use what you have on hand, but these are a few things that can make things easier.  I unfortunately did not take pictures of my tools so I quickly scoured over Google images and found images of tools much like the ones I used.

A Tool in Need of a Handle - This Instructable could really be tailored to replace the handle of any tool you have
Wood for the Handle - I used Maple for mine and I would suggest that anyone venturing to do this uses a good hardwood or they could see their hard work break a lot sooner than expected.  I believe Ash is the most popular wood that people use
Wooden Wedge or Wedge Kit - Purchaced mine from Princess Auto but any reputable hardware/tool store should have these.  They are made from a softer wood so they compress while being driven in
Jig Saw - Make sure you have a few extra blades on hand as well.  I wore out 2 blades while cutting out my handle shape
Belt Sander - This was the biggest time saver.  I had a used 80 grit belt on it which really did the trick.  Because the belt was used, it wasn't as aggressive
Carbide Burr - This was the second biggest time saver.  Luckily I had a brand new carbide burr as well as access to a pneumatic die grinder.  You could also use a Dremel tool with a smaller carbide burr but I would suggesting not doing long griding sessions or you could burn out your tool
Square - I used a sliding t-square because that's what I had on hand.  You will be using this to get center lines as well as guaging handle thickness
Pencil - For tracing and making lines
80 Grit Emery Cloth - This will help smooth out and remove all the marks left from the belt sander and die grinder
Hand Saw - For cutting the top of the handle so it will go into the "eye" of the head as well as cutting the center split where the wedge will be driven into
Stain/Sealer/Oil/Finish - I had some very light colored oil finish which will help protect and seal the wood
Safety Gear - Safety glasses, hear protection, appropriate clothing, etc

Optional
Angle grider with flapper disc - To sharpen axe
Wood Burning Kit - To burn design into handle
Computer with Imaging software - To make the design to burn in

shawenough1 month ago

Nice job man

nschweers1 month ago

To make this part way way easier I suggest you use a drawknife.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drawknife

I took a piece that was cut to length and carved it into a handle in under an hour with one of those knives. Plus, doing this with a hand tool is so satisfying.

Refab9 months ago
Very nice work, the only thing I would have done different is brighten up the axe head ! Well done
Awesome work! I like the handle!
Though, you should probably give credit when you use other peoples photos....
cerberustugowar (author)  SlickSqueegie2 years ago
Thank you very much for checking it out and you are correct about the images. I unfortunately did not note the sources where I borrowed them from and a search brings up many of the same image from multiple sources. I however did make a new note that they were retrieved from Google images.
I am guilty of doing it a time or two myself.. no biggie. I doubt a company like Makita would have any issues on you using their saw pics (their name is already on it). They would actually love something like that LOL...
Great work anyway.. I learned how to burn a nice logo onto my projects with this instructable! 5 stars!
zieak2 years ago
Very nice work. I may have to do this for my axe quite soon.
Beautiful work :D
Cracking instructable and lovely workmanship. Great work.
Cracking instructable and lovely workmanship. Great work.
rjnerd2 years ago
A very traditional wood for axe handles is hickory - its got good "spring" to it, so it can absorb some shock. The easiest source I know of is a yard sale baseball bat.
cerberustugowar (author)  rjnerd2 years ago
Great idea on the baseball bat, I never thought of that and it's a very good way to get a quality piece of wood. I know that some bats are made with maple, white ash and even bamboo, all of which (except bamboo I think) would make great handle material.