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The Eagle Has Landed!

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jimi43

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Those of you who follow the many bootfair threads will have seen this little rust-bucket amongst a recent haul....



...followed by a trip through the Corro Dip....



Now any bush basher knows that an axe works better with a handle so I thought I might attempt this for the first time on this little gem...bring it back to life.

In line with my normal philosophy of spending as little as possible...I thought that I might make use of a rather nice off-cut kindly given to me by Douglas....



Ash is usually relatively plain...a "constructional" timber but this piece had some rather nice patterning to it...as we shall see...

Notice also, my weapon of choice...the magnificent Millers Falls "Cigar" shave MF1....what a dream that tool is!

Oh...and following Tom LN's excellent video where I was awakened to the idea of turning a darn drum sander on its end...I knocked up this bit of kit...



...which turned out to be really handy!

First to rough out that "off-cut"....on the old Burgess/Tuffsaw marriage....



This machine has no idea it is a cr@ppy midget from time gone by now as it ripped through this tough ash as if it were butter...

A bit of carving at the end...and a test fit...



...and the stock was ready for a bit of shaving and shaping.....



The little cigar shave did most of the major stock removal...and is really controllable even on the very tight bends near the end.

A few hours later...the old Abranet>MicroMesh>cellulose sanding sealer repeat process being finished...the grain really came out...



It was a bit dark by then so I need to come back with some of those medullary ray shots but they are truly stunning...

And the end grain...



An African blackwood wedge locked it all together...



I'm really pleased with how this came out...and I am a major ash fan now...

All that is left to do is put some Tru-Oil on it...silk it up and hone that nice edge.

Thanks for the ash Douglas...I hope I have used it to its best advantage?

Jim
 

AndyT

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Nice work!

I think the next logical step is for you to go on a green woodworking weekend. I did, in Clisset Wood, in Herefordshire, in June a few years back. Not only was it a fascinating woodworking experience, where you could choose your ash log and then make a chair or stool from it, it was in an enchanting setting of great peace.
 

Aled Dafis

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Nice work Jim, I've been meaning to get my hands on an old axe for a few months now, but a combination of poor weather and a nice warm duvet on a Sunday morning has got the better of me as yet.

Aled
 

mickthetree

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That looks like a really nice job you have done on that. I often see these type of axe heads (blacksmith forged??) at botties and the like and always fancied making a new handle for one. I might have a go now I've seen this!
 

AndyT

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I like the job you have done there, Jim, but now that you have one functioning axe, you could use it, (if it's properly sharp) and maybe your new Japanese knife, to make a handle for another one. You could also use a bit of broken glass for the final smoothing.

What I'm on about is the real old-school skill in this video from Finland in 1938 in this much-linked to video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcfwlfz_tGs - I think you'll like it. (The smelly old roll-up is optional!)
 

jimi43

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Thanks for all the comments guys and the great video Andy! I don't think I have quite that skill yet but I do love watching those old guys work. I wonder what he would have made of the Millers Falls spokeshave!?

This is the second old axe I have found at a bootfair...my most favourite and often used being the old Ward & Payne...



Those are quite rare but other makers are relatively common but most are often neglected as they are usually totally covered in rust..

But as you can see...none are beyond rescue..it is only a case of selecting the good old smithy forged ones...the steel is wonderful!

Old "Baldy" now has a new keeper for another 50 years...and I am certain will be happily cutting away for many generations after that.

Jim
 

Woodchips2

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AndyT":riv8769x said:
Nice work!

I think the next logical step is for you to go on a green woodworking weekend. I did, in Clisset Wood, in Herefordshire, in June a few years back. Not only was it a fascinating woodworking experience, where you could choose your ash log and then make a chair or stool from it, it was in an enchanting setting of great peace.
I can also recommend this course venue http://www.greenwoodwork.co.uk/. The course tutor Gudrun Leitz is very good and turned all the oak balusters at the Globe Theatre on her pole lathe. You have free rein on the design of your chair or stool but Gudrun will guide you through all the stages of cleaving, using the shavehorse, pole lathe, steam bending and assembly without the use of glue. My chair is about 20 years old, is used every day and shows no sign of any of the joints coming loose. It is a very relaxing but rewarding week or weekend and you come home with a family heirloom!
Regards Keith
 

Blister

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Thanks for showing us how you brought your

Chopper back to life Jim

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
 

Cheshirechappie

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Splendid job there, Jim.

However, even the best axe or hatchet has limitations when dressing timber for - let's say - turning chairlegs from riven stock, so now you really need a side-axe to keep it company. And a proper felling axe. And maybe an adze or two....
 

jimi43

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Cheshirechappie":34b0fec9 said:
Splendid job there, Jim.

However, even the best axe or hatchet has limitations when dressing timber for - let's say - turning chairlegs from riven stock, so now you really need a side-axe to keep it company. And a proper felling axe. And maybe an adze or two....
Hi CC

Indeed! I have been looking for a possible orphan candidate side axe for a fair while now...

I am afraid that I am a bit finicky about what steel I would consider...I feel another W&P would be the ultimate....a Brades of course...or a Gilpin...

Whilst I appreciate marques of Scandinavian stock...I prefer the English, and particularly the Kent pattern...well I would now wouldn't I!? :mrgreen:

I am a lefty so probably a rehandle job would be ideal...so I can put it on the proper way around! :wink:

I fear the days of my felling a tree by hand have sadly gone...unless I want to end up back in Kings again! But a nice small detail axe is something I would love to own...sadly they are like rocking horse poo these days!

I'm sure some candidates will be amongst the fields of boot this season though.... :wink:

Jim
 

Scouse

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jimi43":2eugwcqf said:
I feel another W&P would be the ultimate....a Brades of course...or a Gilpin... Whilst I appreciate marques of Scandinavian stock...I prefer the English, and particularly the Kent pattern...
Funny how these things happen on this forum... I've not been putting up car boot finds, partly because of the weather, and partly because tools have been few and far between so far this year, so I was planning a bulk thread when I'd got enough bits to make it worthwhile.

Having said all that, this came up for 50p last week



It's a 'Chip Chop No1' by Gilpin of Cannock. I've chucked out the modern handle someone had jammed in, but the head seems good; can't find much about Gilpin as a company, so I've no idea as to age.

Looks like axe re-handling is the next big thing!

El.
 

jimi43

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Nice one Scouse me old bush whacker!

The CHIP CHOP No.1 was a very popular axe by Gilpin...yours is around 50 years old mate...about 1960 ish I would say given the stamp.

On looking for other axes I tended to troll the forum and THIS GUY rehandled one exactly the same as yours...he used a lighter wood but the handle is very traditional....as was mine for the Eagle. I did keep a few pictures of his though because I simply love that leather sheath and I have just the piece of leather waiting to do that with...all the way from a pig in a Colombian village...tanned in its own urine! (don't even ask!!! :lol: )

The GILPIN axes are much favoured because they are relatively light and good for camping and the likes. Yours is in perfect condition and well worth a bit of a dip in whichever cocktail you wish to try... :wink:

Looks to me though that a quick brush with a copper or brass brush and a tune up of that edge where you can just see the original grind would have been and you are ready to make a new handle for it.

I take it these are double edged chopping axes...(silly me...it's in the name!)? :oops:

WIP restoration is obviously mandatory!

Jim
 

Scouse

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Thanks for the link Jim, I like the handle he fitted, a little longer than I thought it would be but still in proportion.

WIP goes without saying, but it will have to wait a week or two as I'm snowed under with work at the moment, although if the weather keeps up weekends will be free!

I'm sure it will come in handy to meet my daughter's boyfriends; a six and a half foot tall 22 stone bloke answering the door with an axe in his hand will almost certainly ensure acceptable levels of behaviour from the young man...! :lol:
 

condeesteso

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very nice axe Scouse! If you need a nice bit of oily ash for it, let me know.
That link is excellent too - the leather pouch is a nice finishing touch.
I did the tru-oil trick on mine today... did I mention I got one for a birthday pressie - an Eagle, nice. But it wasn't finished :lol: so I had to oil the handle.
The only real issue I have with tru-oil is it's a bit addictive... oh, just one more coat then. I am considering doing a bench-top with it - it seems super-hard when dry, and with 0000 steel wool can be matted back easily.
 

Cheshirechappie

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condeesteso":19h74zn8 said:
very nice axe Scouse! If you need a nice bit of oily ash for it, let me know.
That link is excellent too - the leather pouch is a nice finishing touch.
I did the tru-oil trick on mine today... did I mention I got one for a birthday pressie - an Eagle, nice. But it wasn't finished :lol: so I had to oil the handle.
The only real issue I have with tru-oil is it's a bit addictive... oh, just one more coat then. I am considering doing a bench-top with it - it seems super-hard when dry, and with 0000 steel wool can be matted back easily.
Out of interest, Douglas, do you have a view on how Tru-Oil compares with, say, Danish Oil or Linseed Oil?
 

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