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Author Topic: Helko axe head restoration  (Read 3475 times)

Offline Pacu

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Helko axe head restoration
« on: December 19, 2012, 03:22:40 AM »
Yesterday in the post I received an axe head from lowtech ( many thanks  :D). It needs a bit of TLC. I have never restored an axe head so this will be fun for all.  ;)

here is a link to the original posting

http://forum.multitool.or...ex.php/topic,40974.0.html

so first off here it is upon arrival. Micra for measurement sake.


here is the flip side


and into an oil bath to loosen some rust up




after a couple of hours and a good wipedown with a rag...




From the marks i can make out it is a Helko brand axe head - made in Germany. Not sure at to the date range on it. There are some numbers looks like above the name and a clover type mark on the flip side. It appears to been green at some point as there is green paint on it.



Offline Pacu

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 03:28:33 AM »
After looking up some axe restoration videos on youtube looks like i started out wrong. The concensus says to soak the head in a rust removal solution..vinegar is mentioned quite a bit as is CLR- a kitchen lime/rust removal liquid. CLR seems a bit harsh and $$. Vinegar it is!



and in for a good couple of days with the lid on..vinegar is rank!


Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 09:25:16 AM »
Great thread mate :)

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Offline sparky415

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 11:05:12 AM »
 

          :popcorn:
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Offline Pacu

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 11:26:43 AM »
Looks like the stinky vinegar is doing a right good job.




rust bits falling off the axe head.  After i get off work i'll go by and pick up some dobie or scotch brite scouring pads.

Offline Syph007

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2012, 03:52:24 PM »
Thats pretty cool.  Its one mean looking axe head. 

I saw the original pic when it still had a handle and it made me wonder if the handle was on backwards or by design.  I would think you'd want the nail puller pointed down toward the hand and handle, but in the pic it was pointing up.  :think:  Seems like it would be easier to pull a nail and use it crow bar style.  No idea but that's my few cents.  :D

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Offline 50ft-trad

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2012, 04:27:24 PM »
Yeah, I know wat you mean. Depends which way the taper is in the eye though I suppose  :think:

Offline Pacu

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2012, 11:24:42 PM »
Here is what i came home to today. Vinegar does a really good job at rust removal. Might add that it is cheap and readily available, stinks to high heaven though.  :P :skull:




Went by Home Depot and picked up some scotch bright pads and some high grit paper. Not sure if i want to use the grit paper yet.



After some scrubbing with a scotch pad... about 10 minutes or so of elbow grease...beagles ran away from the horrible stink.








not too bad for a 20 hour soak in vinegar. Think i'll let it soak a bit more.


Offline 50ft-trad

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2012, 11:29:30 PM »
That's coming up a treat mate  :tu:

Offline sparky415

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2012, 11:50:33 PM »

Very nice job Pacu

That's in really good condition and looks like it won't take a lot of work to sharpen it  :tu:
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Offline enki_ck

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 11:53:11 PM »
Very good progress pics. :tu: We'll need a performance demonstration video when it's done too. :pok:

Offline Pacu

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2012, 12:25:55 AM »
from this



to this



now back to the tub for an oil soak for a while. Thanks for the inside tip on keeping it rust free after the vinegar bath sparky415   :tu:


Offline Pacu

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2012, 12:27:15 AM »
now what to use



 ::)

Offline ironraven

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 02:01:54 AM »
I'm kind of digging that claw hammer butt
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Offline MultiMat

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2012, 03:56:44 PM »
 8) 8) , enjoying the progress mate  :cheers: :cheers:

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Offline Pacu

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2012, 04:18:13 PM »
prob heading out for the holidays but next week.... :o

1. gotta find a proper handle - hang it. I've read things about putting beeswax on the handle to make it less slippery. 

2. sharpen it...i've sharpened axes in scouts but want to do this one justice. Still researching how to do a good job here.  ::)

3. right now i've got the helko soaking in rem oil. This has been an interesting little project.

here is an idea to run past yall... Instead of letting the axe head sit in stagnant vinegar de-rustifing ( not a real word ) i came up with maybe using an airstone assembly from an aquarium to move the vinegar around in a tub.

like this but instead of water use vinegar solution..





or course it would have to be done on a porch outside to keep the wonderful aromatics at bay. :-X

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2012, 06:53:22 PM »
Looking good mate. :tu:

Offline lowtech

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2012, 11:50:18 AM »
 :tu: It´s good to see this head come back to life.

I am, too thinking the head was upside down, the handle clearly wasn´t teh first one on it and sat in teh head neither straight nor really fitting.

My brother mentioned that this Axe might be a German army (Bundeswehr) Axe like it was carried on Motor vehicles or one from the ex-GDR "Volksarmee", seems both carried Axes like that on their vehicles.

I just googled Helko Axes and they seem to be still producing Axes in Wuppertal, Germany (A city less known than Solingen, but nearby and producing very good cutlery and steel products for th least few hundred years)

Their American site is here:

http://www.helkonorthamerica.com/

As they are a Western German manufacturer, i guess we can rule them ouut for equipping the ormer GDR, making your Axe most likely a Bundeswehr item.

I found them for sale at a german Surplus-shop.
Here you can get an idea of the original handle shape:

http://www.raeer.com/shopexd.asp?id=20141


Offline Pacu

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2012, 10:57:49 PM »
now..back to business

been looking for a suitable handle at a couple of hardware stores...christmas traffic is still  :poh: :td: :bnghd: :surrender: :wait: :ahhh

Offline Pacu

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2012, 04:23:28 PM »
finding a handle for this is harder than i thought.  :think:





just a tad less than 2 cm across, and 4 cm long


Offline 50ft-trad

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2012, 04:29:29 PM »
Head for the woods, find a dead tree with a straight branch, take your axe and chop thro.... oh - it hasn't got a handle has it
 :facepalm:





 :P :angel: :D :D

Offline Pacu

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2012, 04:33:43 PM »
Head for the woods, find a dead tree with a straight branch, take your axe and chop thro.... oh - it hasn't got a handle has it
 :facepalm:





 :P :angel: :D :D



i'll use my teeth  :D


i think i found a handle at house handle company.  at 4 bucks i'll risk it.

Offline enki_ck

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2012, 04:36:28 PM »
Head for the woods, find a dead tree with a straight branch, take your axe and chop thro.... oh - it hasn't got a handle has it
 :facepalm:





 :P :angel: :D :D

 :rofl:

Sounded like a good advice though. ;)

Offline sparky415

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2012, 04:44:53 PM »


Head for the woods, find a dead tree with a straight branch, take your axe and chop thro.... oh - it hasn't got a handle has it
 :facepalm:





 :P :angel: :D :D


 :rofl:

Sounded like a good advice though. ;)


Works for hammers  :whistle:



   Still    :popcorn:
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Offline Pacu

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Re: Helko axe head restoration
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2013, 08:15:42 PM »
Head for the woods, find a dead tree with a straight branch, take your axe and chop thro.... oh - it hasn't got a handle has it
 :facepalm:





 :P :angel: :D :D




this is pert near the way to go. After finding nothing close to the size head opening i need i'll just make my own out of a hickory wheel barrow handle.
Time to put woodcarving merit badge to some use.  :facepalm:


This one i ordered from handle company was not big enough to fill all spaces in the head.



So using my Hunter XT saw i cut down the handle to a lenght that felt right.


Now to start removing material and and shaping the handle.

 

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