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JamesK

Removing Axe Head

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Ok so as I mentioned in my last post I screwed up making a handheld viking style hatchet, so I went to Lowes and picked up a pretty cheap wood handle hatchet. It's not a bad hatchet, but the handle is on there good and I don't really want to ruin the handle or make it unusable incase the other handle can't be fit on. So I was wondering if anybody had suggestions for how I could get this handle out, most likely epoxy used too. Epoxy I could just heat up and soften it, but I have to loosen the wood first. I'm fine with drilling into the handle and patching it up later with glue or something, but I don't really want to cut the handle off because I may use it again. 

Below I posted three pictures showing the unique wedge in the handle (That doesn't really look removable) as well as the shoulder that appears to have glue on it...any ideas? Thanks

File_000.jpeg

File_001.jpeg

File_002.jpeg

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Oh, and By the way this is my desired outcome. Plan is to draw out the middle section to elongate the reach and at the same time round out the top and have a slight beard in the bottom

File_000.jpeg

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If you're that set on saving the handle, I would try making a punch that is roughly the same shape, albeit slightly smaller, and try to drive it out with a big hammer.  Maybe heating it up a little at the same time to try to loosen up any epoxy that may be in there.  You could also try using a dremel and eating away the wedge in the center of the handle in order to release some of the pressure holding it in place.  Personally though, hatchet handles are relatively cheap, and could also be a fun project to make yourself.  You'll probably have more time and effort into getting that one out intact than it is worth.

Edited by Alex Middleton

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21 minutes ago, Alex Middleton said:

If you're that set on saving the handle, I would try making a punch that is roughly the same shape, albeit slightly smaller, and try to drive it out with a big hammer.  Maybe heating it up a little at the same time to try to loosen up any epoxy that may be in there.  You could also try using a dremel and eating away the wedge in the center of the handle in order to release some of the pressure holding it in place.  Personally though, hatchet handles are relatively cheap, and could also be a fun project to make yourself.  You'll probably have more time and effort into getting that one out intact than it is worth.

Yea you're right I probably won't worry about saving it much...I don't have a dremel tool but in your opinion do you think possibly by drilling multiple holes around the edge of the wood and wedge I could release enough pressure to hammer it?

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That's probably what you'll need to do to get it out anyway.  If you want to try to save it, drill out just the center wedge, then whack it good and hard and see what happens.

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36 minutes ago, Alex Middleton said:

That's probably what you'll need to do to get it out anyway.  If you want to try to save it, drill out just the center wedge, then whack it good and hard and see what happens.

Ok thanks for the advice, helps a lot!

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I'm with Alex. Ditch the wood.

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Alex I have removed a fair amount of ax heads to replace cracked and broken handles, over the years. You will be surprised how much you have to drill to loosen a head on a handle. And most of the time you will scar the inside of the eye with the bit. If that is not a problem then drill away!!! As for saving the handle you won't have much worth salvaging! If you just want it for a pattern cut it off right behind the head, and add enough to cover the width of the head +!!! 

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1 hour ago, Al Massey said:

I'm with Alex. Ditch the wood.

I ended up doing that, sawed through the top, threw the head into the forge and blasted the wood inside away, immediately turned to charcoal and just cleaned it up

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