Hi, this instructable will show you how to refurbish an old camp axe or hatchet like the one I found while working at an urban farm in Cleveland, Ohio. The hatchet belonged to my friends grandfather, Hal Johnson. Hal did a lot of work with this hatchet and his granddaughter, Dawn Johnson, couldn't bring herself to throw it out so I thought I would give it a second life. Now it is a tool that my friend loves to show off at her outdoor events at the Johnson Family Farm.
First I had to remove the old torn leather rings from the handle because so many rings were missing I decided to cut the rest off with a sharp utility knife.
Step 1: Refurbishing a Hatchet
After I cut off the leather rings I found spider eggs and rust had settled in on the handle so I used steel wool for the first cleaning and 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted to start gently because I didn't want to destroy any markings that I might find that Mr. Johnson might have left on his hatchet. Using gloves are extremely important because steel wool can cut unprotected hands.
Step 2: Refurbishing a Hatchet
Soaking the hatchet in a rust removing agent saved me a lot of energy and time. I choice of rust removers was vinegar. I let the metal hatchet soak for about two hours in a bucket of vinegar for then wiped off a lot of the rust with a clean rag. I also started using an electric hand sander with 80 grit sandpaper.this is my result.
Step 3: Refurbishing a Hatchet
Once I removed the rust I still wasn't satisfied because I felt the hatchet needed a protective coating to help delay the return of rust. So I sprayed it with a combination paint and primer. I used three coats of rustoleum to give it a nice smooth look.
Step 4: Refurbishing a Hatchet
After letting the hatchet sit in a warm place for two days i started wrapping the handle in paracord. I admit I should have used a darker color paracord but I used what I had. To help make a nice tight grip I used a strong cement to help hold the cord in place as I tightened it while wrapping. The end result was worth the effort.