Work in Progress

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Well I went to harbor freight and was looking at the axes / hatchets and decided to go with the $7.99 fiberglass handled hatchet instead. I also picked up a Firemen's Hatchet while I was there (a project to follow this one will be a boarding axe), which contributed to the choice of the fiberglass handle. So for around $30us I was able to get the Firemen's Hatchet (using a 20% off coupon), the fiberglass handled hatchet, and an 8" half round file. 


So after bringing them home and taking some pictures I got to work removing the fiberglass handle. That ended up being quite the chore. I knew starting out that the head was epoxied to the handle but I still figured it wouldn't be too hard taking it off. Boy was I wrong, beating on it using a cold chisel and 2# hammer for about 10 minutes it wouldn't yield. All it would do is chip a little of the epoxy out and fling it a crossed the garage (did I mention it's about 97°f in there right now). I tried getting a small wood carving chisel to cut the epoxy out and that didn't really help.

 Finally I gave up and got the torch out. I was reluctant to use the torch because I didn't want to ruin the temper of the axe head but I figured since I would just be heating the end furthest from the blade I should be fine. So I heated it up and smack it a little more with the hammer and cold chisel and it finally started to move a little. I reheated it again (never getting it hotter then needed) and gave the handle a few bends back and forth finally pulling it out. Victory is mine =) and it only took about 30 minutes. After removing the handle I cleaned up the eye to remove the rest of the epoxy which came out quite easily. 

So my lesson in all of this is buy the wood handled version if you don't feel comfortable heating the head up. 

So the next step is to work out how I want to proceed in reworking the axe head. Then draw the plan out on the head and get back to work on it.