Introduction: Tiny Shiny Pocket Axe
Time for a pocket axe!!!
The idea came to me when I tripped (yet again) on my shop axe (that's it, there with the blue head). This thing gets little use but always seems to be lurking underfoot. Plus, to be honest, sometimes I just want the extra confidence that carrying an axe affords you.
But what would I use it for????
An axe has literally a million and one... OK just one use. To Chop stuff!
For example I could:
Sharpen stakes for tiny vampires
Chop a cocktail onion
Clear dead shrubbery from desk
Protect myself during the zombie uprising
Open stubborn packages
Unleash one of these bad boys at the office dartboard for and instant win!
Let’s get started!!!
Step 1: Find the Pieces!
A little digging through the scrap bin and I found a small piece of 3/8 thick steel for this project.
I also used a piece of a discarded pallet for the handle.
Step 2: Draw and Shape the Head
I marked out the rough shape using a guaranteed to mark on
any surface pen. So far so good the pen did its job.
I decided to drill holes in the “head” for the handle. I marked and center punched the location then drilled it with an 1/8 inch bit. Since this type of drilling tends to have the hole wander, I went slow and used plenty of cutting fluid.
The hole opposite the sharp end was enlarged to 3/16.
From here I cut off the excess with a portable band saw in an upright stand. No one tells you this but those things are obnoxiously noisy.
I left some excess metal at the handle location so it would be easy to hold during grinding.
Step 3: Grind
I began with a belt grinder but quickly abandoned it for the sheer raw power of the aggressive grit flap disc on an angle grinder. Using great care the axe shape was beginning to show itself in the metal.
Once I was pleased with the shape I went back to the belt grinder and went up to 320 grit on all available faces of the axe.
Step 4: Separation
I removed the temporary handle the proceeded to try to make the handle holes into 1 teardrop shape. Much failed attempts and time spent with needle files and it was at the good enough stage.
The cut edge was then finished with the belt grinder.
Step 5: The Handle
I eyeballed a handle shape then set about making it from the broken pallet piece.
This first attempt looked all wrong when it was rough finished so a second attempt was made with better results.
The shaping was done with the belt grinder and hand sanding. The wood was then lightly stained with some left over tint.
Step 6: Polish and Mount the Handle
The polishing of the head was done with a rotary tool and buffing compound.
The handle was gently forced into the head and the end was then split with a razor knife. The same knife was used to remove a sliver of hardwood which was pounded into the handle to secure the head.
The excess handle was trimmed with a coping saw and the scratches were removed with buffing compound which unfortunately darkened the handle wood, hiding the contrast.
That's it! Finished!!!
Now I need to grow a beard!
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