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How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?

id Offline Paperclip

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How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
on: June 29, 2011, 05:48:44 AM
I have no experience with axes but I've handled several different hammers/mallets whose heads have become loose. The heads are held by friction only to the handles. Axes like those made by Gransfors Bruks seem to be similar in construction, do they become looser as you use them? 


us Offline David

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #1 on: June 29, 2011, 06:57:46 AM
If an axe head is hung properly on a good handle to start with, not abused and given a little TLC along the way. You should get many years of use before it loosens up or the handle needs replaced.    :)
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gb Offline Sparky415

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011, 09:05:57 AM

And  :) If you have a look at the head of an Ax or hammer I think you will see a wedge hammered in to the end, that spreads the shaft so it can't come out (sometimes there's wood and metal wedges)
Over time the handle can dry out and shrink or the wedge can become loose (I have one at the moment to re-do   ::) )
This might have happened with the hammers you have used  :salute:
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id Offline Paperclip

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #3 on: June 29, 2011, 10:17:43 AM
So it's "just" friction afterall, but it must be pretty strong.

But now I have another question, what kind of advantage do "hafted axes" have compared to "single-piece" axes like this one:



 


gb Offline AimlessWanderer

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #4 on: June 29, 2011, 11:32:43 AM
It's not just friction. I believe the bore in the head is slightly tapered, so when the wedges are fitted that sparky415 mentioned, this flares the wood to lock into that taper. In other words the end of the handle is bigger than the bore of the head below it. Again, as mentioned above this can still loosen if the wood dries, wedge moves, or the wood is damaged through abuse as the head is no longer locked on the taper. I will say however, I have never had call to fit an axe head as mine have never given me any agro. The nearest I've had to do is reseat a wedge which loosened on a hammer many years ago

The main difference for me between steel handles and wooden is shock absorption. The steel handles will transmit the shock down the handle far more than a wooden one.

Granny B's (Gransfors Bruks) for me all the way!!  :D


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au Offline MultiMat

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #5 on: June 29, 2011, 02:07:05 PM
I have a old mattock that had a 'few' wedges in it  ::) ::) :D :D.
Versatile tool the mattock , the poor old washing machine had absolutely no idea what hit it  ::) ::) ::) ::) :D :D

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um Offline Mr. Whippy

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #6 on: June 29, 2011, 02:27:07 PM
I have a pick axe which has a different way to keep the handle on.  The handle is a straight shaft and the head is coned out.  The centripetal force of swinging the pick axe forces pick axe further onto the handle.  No wedges.


gb Offline AimlessWanderer

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 04:21:07 PM
I have a old mattock that had a 'few' wedges in it  ::) ::) :D :D.
Versatile tool the mattock , the poor old washing machine had absolutely no idea what hit it  ::) ::) ::) ::) :D :D

 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


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id Offline Paperclip

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 06:20:40 PM
I really appreciate the replies guys, they are really informative :salute:

I have a pick axe which has a different way to keep the handle on.  The handle is a straight shaft and the head is coned out.  The centripetal force of swinging the pick axe forces pick axe further onto the handle.  No wedges.

While browsing looking for info, I saw an axe whose construction similar to your description:


Wayne Kroncke

One drawback is that the handle has to be straight, I imagine.


scotland Offline Gareth

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011, 06:59:22 PM
Great video here about axes, shows how to 'hang' an axe form about 7minutes in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHmTLDG5aSg#]Handtools for Trail Work - Part 1
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id Offline Paperclip

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #10 on: June 29, 2011, 08:44:38 PM
Well, that's a really good vid (at least for me), thanks!


us Offline turnsouth

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #11 on: July 17, 2011, 03:08:09 PM
My uncle would always put the top half of his axes in a bucket of water for a couple of days after sharpening, to keep the handles swelled. I made the mistake of asking him one time "How to you do you get all the rust off?" Well 2 hours, and 2 sore arms later, we had a big stack of firewood, and two very shiny axe heads.
:bnghd:

I stopped asking dumb questions after that...
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gb Offline Sparky415

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #12 on: July 17, 2011, 04:10:06 PM
Turnsouth,

I have read somewhere on the internet (so it must be true   ;)  ) That soaking an Ax head in water is OK for a 'quick fix' but after it dries out it will be as loose as before or worse  :think:

But if it worked for your Uncle (he really had some great ideas!  :D ) it might work for others
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 04:12:40 PM by sparky415 »
Everything’s adjustable


00 Offline Freudian Frog

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Re: How do they keep the axe heads from falling off?
Reply #13 on: August 03, 2011, 05:19:21 PM
I really appreciate the replies guys, they are really informative :salute:

I have a pick axe which has a different way to keep the handle on.  The handle is a straight shaft and the head is coned out.  The centripetal force of swinging the pick axe forces pick axe further onto the handle.  No wedges.

While browsing looking for info, I saw an axe whose construction similar to your description:

One drawback is that the handle has to be straight, I imagine.

For the most part yes, I believe this is refered to as the hammer poll? On the upside it's easy to replace the handle.

My uncle would always put the top half of his axes in a bucket of water for a couple of days after sharpening, to keep the handles swelled. I made the mistake of asking him one time "How to you do you get all the rust off?" Well 2 hours, and 2 sore arms later, we had a big stack of firewood, and two very shiny axe heads.
:bnghd:

I stopped asking dumb questions after that...

Sharing is caring, thanks for the laugh. :rofl:
Got those frog legs.


 

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