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Thread: Hanging a Plumb, All Help and Advice Appreciated:)

  1. #1
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    Hanging a Plumb, All Help and Advice Appreciated:)


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    First, let me say that I have benefitted tremendously from all the information and knowledge shared here--Thank you!

    Also, I have enjoyed the many great pictures of axes. So below I will try to add a few photos and ask a few questions so that others might also benefit.

    So, I picked up an old Plumb on Ebay. The price was right, and I was in the mood to do some restoring. You can see it here:

    http://www.auctiva.com/hostedimages/...0,0,0&format=0

    Here's a photo of it now.



    I like the shape and edge geometry as I have it now, and all by cleaning up only brought it down to 3 lbs. 2.5 oz. (it was advertised on Ebay as weighting 3.4 lbs.)

    I also got my hands on some very nice octagonal, non-lacquered handles from House. After considerable time with a file, I have the fit pretty close to where I want it.









    When I hang the axe this way, with everything else fitting up basically right, it seems to lay diagonally as opposed to straight. Please see the line I traced.



    But when I reorient it to "fix" that line, I get the following poor fit inside the eye:



    So I guess I have two big questions:

    1. Does the first hang with the diagonal line across the bottom looks odd or is it problematic in any way?

    2. Regardless of how I hang it, there are a lot of rough areas and transitions on the handle that I want to clean up. I feel like I should do this after I hang the axe so that I can see exactly how the changes affect the overall package. But I am wondering if this will be difficult when having to work around the head?

    Thanks in advance!
    John Frankl

  2. #2
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    p.s. Although the handles are a bit rough and require a bit of work (which I actually enjoy!), the grain on all of them I have ordered is very good, they are all uniformly whitish in color, and they are tough (laughed at my attempts to work them with a knife, and are pretty slow going even with a double cut file).



    John Frankl

  3. #3
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    Hey, John. That looks like a top notch handle. The grain is absolutely ideal. Beautiful.

    I think your hang looks great! The angle looks correct to me. The bottom of the axe is angled. If you haven't already, you should look into "An Axe to Grind" as it will help with the "proper" angle for your axe head.

    That will be a great user, no doubt!!! Nice job!

  4. #4
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    Those axe heads that are angled on the bottom can be a pain sometime.

    Also look to see how the head conforms on the bottom - sometimes with those angled jobs you really have to get after the haft to make it line up properly. The handle you have chosen isnt exactly correct for the head, but it is close enough and once you properly wedge it, it will all work out. Just going to take some time. I would have it so the back of the haft is hitting the poll end of the axe - you can make up for a lot more give in the front - plus this should ensure a good head alingment overall - you dont want the axe too far forward - thats no good. Remember also based off of your gaps in your eye in relation to the axe head and haft, that will determine your wedge size. You might need to sand/cut.scrape your wedge size down in order to get a good proper deep fit. Just dont pound a non shaped wedge in there.

    Well hopes this helps. I probably made things worse!
    Axes4Life

  5. #5
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    That's a very nice looking axe. I dig that style and it looks good with that handle.

    Maybe try to bring it down on the shoulder a little further.
    I'm not good at explaining things so I won't even try. The above advice is excellent as usual

  6. #6
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    The hang looks good as seen in the first photo.

    Some of those old axes are very narrow in the center of the eye. By the time you get through the center the haft is much smaller than the top of the eye. When this happens you have a good candidate for cross-wedging. That is, you cut two perpendicular kerfs in the haft. Drive a wedge into the short cross kerf first, then drive 2 half-wedges into the main kerf. And splooge the whole thing up good with construction adhesive during installation. When you install the 3 wedges the construction adhesive will fill any voids (and squeeze out everywhere). You'll wind up with a very tight and durable hang.

  7. #7
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    BTW, nice axe and great restoration.

  8. #8
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    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far.

    I have been checking out An Axe to Grind and some other YouTube videos, as well as some of the older threads here.

    Memphis: Thank you. Those were my thoughts as well, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being lazy.

    Operator and Bear Hunter: Great points as well. I think I have more than enough meat left on the bottom to work with both pieces of excellent advice you have given me. I can use all that bulk to ensure a closer fit at the bottom (Operator) while also rasping some of it away to get the head closer to the shoulder/transition (Bear).

    Edit: Just saw Square Peg's reply as well. Yes! I was getting rub/high spots even when I really narrowed down the top of the handle. I hadn't considered that the axe head might not have a consistent internal taper. Thanks for that.
    John Frankl

  9. #9
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    Okay, I worked the haft some more and got the head seated quite a bit better.



    Alignment is still good, and most of the spaces between head and haft are closed.





    And, finally, here it is hung. It's on solid, but my wedge could have been longer, or I could have cut the perpendicular kerf suggested above.







    I don't like the gap, and am thinking about this.



    I know some consider it a sin but would the metal wedge fill in the gaps, adn would it be preferable to the gaps?

    Finally, with the handle much beefier than I want it in the end, here is where the axe balances. A few inches down the handle and a definite forward lean (big blade, small pole I guess).



    Any thoughts on where I should target the final balance would also be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
    John Frankl

  10. #10
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    I would guess that the steel wedge will not create enough expansion to fill your gaps. What kind of wood is that wedge?

    Not everyone is going to agree with this, but I'll tell you what I would do at this point. I would drill some holes in the wedge and pull it out. Pull the head off and cut another kerf perpendicular as suggested above. I would take down the sides of the haft a bit so you can get more wedge in. Start over with new wedges (3 wedge system). Hammer them home firmly. That is a pretty thin wedge, and I would guess that over time and use will likely allow the head to slip.

    Short of that, I would take a chisel and a hammer and create a kerf or crack perpendicular to the factory kerf. Then I would shape a wedge to fit across there out of something really tough like hickory or elm etc and drive it home in the crack you just created. I've done that and, yes, it does work.

    That's what I'd do...I'm sure some other fellers will have great alternatives.

    Matt
    Last edited by M3mphis; 10-08-2012 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Grammatical error.

  11. #11
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    Thanks. Glad I asked before driving a hunk of metal in.

    I'll do the first (drill and pull it out). The wedge is extremely thin and soft, so I'll go with something more substantial. Also, what about sanding the inside of the original kerf to get it a bit wider, as opposed to thinning the outside?

    In any case, I do believe the 3-wedge system is going to work best here.
    John Frankl

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Frankl View Post
    Thanks. Glad I asked before driving a hunk of metal in.

    I'll do the first (drill and pull it out). The wedge is extremely thin and soft, so I'll go with something more substantial. Also, what about sanding the inside of the original kerf to get it a bit wider, as opposed to thinning the outside?

    In any case, I do believe the 3-wedge system is going to work best here.
    I did that once on a 2x72 belt grinder by slipping the belt into the kerf. Worked fine for me.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by M3mphis View Post

    Not everyone is going to agree with this, but I'll tell you what I would do at this point. I would drill some holes in the wedge and pull it out.
    This. And then drive a fatter wedge in there, that will take up much of the space if it is done correctly. Remember, long and thin, but not too thin. What you have pictured is thinner than in most hatchet heads. All in good time young jedi.
    Axes4Life

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by M3mphis View Post
    I did that once on a 2x72 belt grinder by slipping the belt into the kerf. Worked fine for me.
    After further recollection, when I did this it rounded the corners of the wood inside the kerf since I was using the slack belt. I didn't like that too much. It did work, but I probably wouldn't bother with it again. Sorry if I led you astray.

  15. #15
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    First thing I'd do is use the the axe and see how it holds up. If it chops and doesn't come loose then there's nothing to fix.

    I will take the time to remove a wedge from a vintage handle that I want to save. But if it's a new handle that is easily replaced I'll just cut it off and get another.

  16. #16
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    Thanks to everyone for the great advice. Being impatient, I went with the first response, and it worked out well. I hear Square_peg loud and clear as well for pure function, but I'm doing this to learn as much as anything.

    I began by center punching the wedge to keep the drill bit where I wanted it, then
    I drilled it out and marked it for the second kerf.





    I then cut it and drilled a hole to prevent splitting the handle when the perpendicular wedge went in.





    A couple tests for thickness and depth.





    Drove it home and was basically able to get it very near the bottom of the kerf.





    Drove the second wedge in. Not as deep and began to push the first wedge out of true so I stopped. Still plenty deep.





    Wedge number three. good tight fit.





    First cut with coping saw.



    Sanded to 60 grit and a bit of boiled linseed oil. You can see the hardening line as well.



    Time to take a break and be grateful for all of your help



    Final photo with the oil soaked in a bit. This thing is not coming off short of a fire.



    I feel good about this as a first hang. Got lots of great advice and learned a lot.
    John Frankl

  17. #17
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    That came out great. If that's your first hang then you got talent.

  18. #18
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    Thank you. But I was just painting by the numbers that you guys laid out for me.
    John Frankl

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    Hell yeah, bro!!!! That looks fantastic! Pegs is right; you got skills.

  20. #20
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    Btw, I'm digging the jaw covers on your vice!

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