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Anyone polish their axe?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Whiskey_Jim, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Whiskey_Jim

    Whiskey_Jim

    246
    Feb 21, 2017
    I bought some sand paper since I don't have any heads to hang at the moment.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I find at least a certain degree of polish useful on the working regions of the bit, but not for cosmetic reasons since it'll quickly haze up with micro-scratches. Mirror polishing is a lot of work so I don't like to squander time on a flawless polish when I know it'll be wearing right off the second it's put to work. However, the smooth surface aids in penetration and release alike, so getting it nice and smooth to the touch helps in performance!
     
  3. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    I don't and probably don't own the equipment to do it. I do own a couple that a bought polished though. Sure doesn't hurt anything.
     
  4. Whiskey_Jim

    Whiskey_Jim

    246
    Feb 21, 2017
    That's $25 dollars of equipment and some elbow grease
     
  5. axen'questions

    axen'questions

    9
    Jan 10, 2016
    What did you use? Besides elbow grease of course.
     
  6. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel

    Feb 11, 2016
    No because patina and character comes from years of use and can't be had on a brand new axe.
     
  7. Moonw

    Moonw

    Nov 19, 2014
    Polishing adds rust resistance, fwiw.
     
  8. Whiskey_Jim

    Whiskey_Jim

    246
    Feb 21, 2017
    60 100 220 400 800 1500 grit wet sand paper
     
  9. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    I polish the bit for the reasons stated by 42 and Moonw. It helps alot with release.
     
  10. halfaxe

    halfaxe

    977
    Nov 29, 2012
    I did this American Ax Company axe just to outline the bevels. I used a buffing wheel on a grinder with compound. It's actually shinier than the picture shows.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  11. serotina

    serotina

    110
    Dec 9, 2005
    In theory I suppose, due to minimizing the surface area. I suspect that the effect is negligible in practical application however - because I've seen lots of polished steel surfaces rust readily under humid conditions (mostly rifles, which benefited not just from polishing but from bluing as well).

    To return to the OP's question, I've buffed a few edges, usually with scotchbrite disks on a grinder. It did seem to help a little but the effect was temporary as the surface inevitably gets scratched up in use. For a working ax it's not worth the bother even with a powered buffing setup.
     
  12. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Nice looking axe
     
  13. I'mSoSharp

    I'mSoSharp

    161
    Mar 8, 2011
    Not an axe but a tiny 9oz slip handle hatchet, bottom in first pic, no other reason than being flash.
    Bottom pic a hawk & ball peen hammer I forged from a VW drive shaft (hammer has splines, sorry for crappy phone pic).
    Polished to look good, not sure there is any point polishing a user as it'll get scratched up first use.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Moonw

    Moonw

    Nov 19, 2014
    Well, my experience showed increased rust resistance, so much in fact that I've complettely skipped oiling 5160 blades treated this way. I'm a believer :). Some steel just WANTS to rust, no matter what :), though.
     
  15. phantomknives

    phantomknives

    431
    Mar 31, 2016
    yeah, leaving polishing compound on is just as good as a patina IME but i havent done an entire head, just the bevels on my kellys
     
  16. Dair

    Dair

    17
    Mar 14, 2017
    Wow these look awesome, i need to get my grand dad to polish up my estwing sportsman haha
     
  17. Moonw

    Moonw

    Nov 19, 2014
    Of course I meant bevels only.
     
  18. serotina

    serotina

    110
    Dec 9, 2005
    5160 is well known to have a bit more corrosion resistance than straight carbon steel. While by no means stainless, that little bit of chromium helps with the rust.

    I've not seen the effect with straight carbon steel, and I'd be pretty skeptical of the effect even with alloys like 5160. I could see a person believing in it if they have axes made of both and started polishing about the time they added the 5160 blades to the mix.

    Now I have heard of electropolishing stainless to improve corrosion resistance. I suspect it owes its effect to depleting the surface in iron and thus concentrating the chromium slightly. Perhaps something similar is going on with your 5160, though I'd be hard pressed to imagine a mechanical polish changing the surface chemistry much.
     
  19. I'mSoSharp

    I'mSoSharp

    161
    Mar 8, 2011
    Polishing carbon steel does slow it's tendency to rust, how much is debatable with so many variables but it does make a difference.

    I always assumed it was because polishing gets rid of pits & lowers the surface area.

    Easy to try a couple of test bits of steel to see for yourself.
     
  20. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    The reason why polished carbon steel will rust up is mostly because it's bare un-passivated steel and so is in its most vulnerable state, albeit much less vulnerable than the same bare steel with a coarser surface. Induce a patina on the polish or blue it and you'll get a protective oxidized layer with the benefits of the polish. Any sort of coating will wear in use, but at a slow rate on actively used regions that keep it clean, and the unworn regions will be kept protected.
     

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