Long before the use of power hammers and drop forges, axes were made by blacksmiths. Making tools is the heart of ironwork in the earliest days, and there is nothing more rewarding than using tools you have made yourself. An axe has many uses; it can split firewood, clear fence rows, create rustic wood products, and a necessary tool during hiking trails. However, it is challenging, but it can be simplified. Learn how to make a wooden axe with this guide.
Features of a Wooden Axe
An axe is a tool composed of a head and a handle. It is a straightforward instrument and a type of wedge that reduces the effort needed when chopping wood. It splits the wood into two by the pressure concentration on its blade. It is cheaper and easier to make, as only the axe’s head is made of metal, and its handle is usually made of wood. It can deliver a blow with greater force and is a useful tool at home, specifically for chopping, splitting, and piercing. It is made to be perfectly balanced to provide you with the most top swing speed and precision, multiplying the power at impact. With the aid of machines nowadays, it is much easier to learn how to make a wooden axe.
Steps in Making a Wooden Axe
Before starting the project axe-making, you need to gather some materials to ensure a smooth and efficient procedure. You will be using simple tools available in your home or shop. The following are the needed materials and the steps on how to make a wooden axe.
- Printable template
- Angle grinder
- Piece of olive wood
- Table saw
- Epoxy Glue
- 8mm tube
- Belt sander
Step 1: Cut a Printable Template
The first step on how to make a wooden axe is cutting a printable template. You can glue it onto the disc to guide you as you cut it using an angle grinder. It is hard to cut because the disc is thick, so you have to do it carefully. It would help if you marked the position of the pins before tearing off the paper. Then, sand it little by little to obtain a radius equal to the axe’s edge. Smooth all edges with a file, then file the bevel to make the cutting edge.
Step 2: Drilling the Holes and Tempering
Get hold of a blowtorch and try distempering the steel to soften it and make it easier to drill holes in it. Drill a few tenths of a millimeter at lower RPM through the steel. Then, temper the edge with the blowtorch. To harden the steel, you have to heat it to glowing red and plunge it immediately into cold water. In tempering the steel, you need to put the axe head in an oven at 475°F for 20 minutes and let cool slowly.
Step 3: Sand It and Make the Handle
It’s time to sand it using grit sandpaper. Then, smooth the curved edges with a Dremel. After enough smoothing, it’s time to make a handle with a piece of olive wood. Make a rebate for the steel with the table saw. This rebate is needed to lengthen the axe’s handle because it would be too short with just the steel. Bond the wood to the steel using epoxy glue. Make two pins out of a steel pipe to make the axe sturdier. After letting it dry for an hour, cut off what’s left of the hook by hand. Don’t cut off using the belt sander because the steel would heat up that might soften the epoxy and weaken the handle.
Step 4: Final Touch
This time, using the belt sander, continue sanding the handle into shape. Mount some grit sandpaper on the sanding drum and attach the thickness sander’s lid to the sanding drum’s bottom. It will collect dust and sawdust. When using these thickness sander drums, you must be careful not to damage the Velcro underneath the sandpaper or deform the drum. Finish the process with files and sandpaper by hand. Next, drill a hole at the end of the handle to insert an 8mm tube, which will allow you to hang the axe or attach a decorative string to it. Here’s how to learn more about axes.
An axe has a rich history of uses that include felling trees, hunting animals, and weaponry. Today, the axe is most commonly used at home, for most wood chopping and splitting or outdoor activities such as camping. The type of axe you need depends on the purpose you intend for it, but you are way ahead if you know how to make a wooden axe. Aside from having a useful tool, designing and working with the hands has many valuable advantages.