Introduction: Budget Cold Steel Viking Hand Axe Improvement

About: I do periodic home DIY projects as well as tool customization. Check out my YouTube channels for some more projects:
While the Viking Hand Axe is a fairly handy tool, its novelty features and lack of mass don't lend themselves to mounting its head on such a long handle. I resolved to try a shorter handle and while I was at it added some personal touches on it.

Step 1: Test Fit to New Handle

I purchased a replacement throwing tomahawk handle for a Missouri River Company tomahawk. It's geometry was not meant to fit the Cold Steel head however, so some stock had to be removed.

Step 2: Sand Handle to Proper Dimension

Identify where to begin the sanding process on the handle to avoid removing too much material. I stopped and rechecked the fit periodically to reassess where to sand.

Step 3: Strip Clear Coat From Axe Head

Using Jasco paint and epoxy stripper, coat the head completely to avoid sections that won't take the blueing treatment. I also used a wire brush to scrub the nooks and crannies that are a little more tenacious.

Step 4: Apply Blue

I chose Berchwood Casey Super Blue to get the desired effect. Per the instructions on the bottle, apply the blue to the whole surface, allow to set for 30 seconds and rinse. I repeated the process 9 times to get the dark color I wanted.

Step 5: Apply Walnut Stain to the Handle

After reshaping the handle I sanded it with 400 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. After blowing it clean of dust apply your chosen stain. I used Berchwood Casey Walnut Stain. Apply the first coat uniformly over the surface and allow it to dry. I added a second coat and was satisfied with the color.

Step 6: Final Assembly

Once your head and handle are dry, simply slip the head into place and set tight to avoid wabble while in use.