Help with a hatchet

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richarddownunder

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Hi,



axe2.jpg
axe1.jpg

I've inherited an old (and quite heavy) hatchet and I have been debating whether it is worth spending some time making a new handle for it and generally de-rusting and doing it up - the handle has a long split on one side and, as I'm planning to re-handle a full-size axe, this would be good practice on a smaller scale. Unfortunately it has no maker’s markings that I can see.

However, my first question is (not really knowing much about hatchets): does it look like the head is on upside down? The heel is usually bigger than the toe isn’t it - the heel points down? It's a bit hard to measure but it looks like the eye is wider at the bottom and I think the idea is it is usually wider at the top to accommodate the wedge? Just wondered as I think it looks a bit peculiar and didn’t want to re-handle it upside down if there is a convention. I suppose the other thing, is it worth saving (if anyone here is an axe expert and can tell just by the appearance)?


Thanks
Richard
 
If memory serves the bit you referred to as the heel is called the beard and should indeed be pointing down the line of the handle. It looks like someone has given it a bit of a battering with a hammer at some point in it's life, possibly to the extent that there's a curve to the head (although that could just be how the photo looks on my screen). If you can allow for that in rehafting then you'll have a useful tool there
 
This is what I was going on. I've managed to get the head off and am soaking it citric acid although it'll never look as nice as this one pictured below!! I think the picture I took distorts the shape and its fairly symmetrical.
axeanatomylabeled.jpg
 
There is simple pleasure it taking something that doesn't work and making it work again, hopefully for many years. I re-handled a claw hammer head a few years back and it is a joy to use. no reason for a perfectly good tool to end up in metal recycling. They were designed to have the handles replaced.
 
This is what I was going on. I've managed to get the head off and am soaking it citric acid although it'll never look as nice as this one pictured below!! I think the picture I took distorts the shape and its fairly symmetrical.
View attachment 183194
I based my heel and toe reply on what had to learn for a scouting badge 60 plus years ago as shown in here
26C57EEA-51B3-476F-B431-06D5B6C5E731.png


Interested to see the contradiction between this and the earlier diagram?
 
De-rusted (with citric acid), polished up a bit and new handle (with the head on with the pointy bit down). The heft means it splits kindling well. The main thing I wanted a go at was attaching the head with the wedge, which turned out well, so now I feel a lot happier about tackling a full size axe.

Cheers
Richard
hatchet 1.JPG
Hatchet 2.JPG
 
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