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A cheap mod to test- fireman's axe to Norlundish

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by schmittie, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. schmittie

    schmittie Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    I have looked high and low and really can't find a boy's axe or hatchet I like that I could put on a 20" handle. Apparently I need to take Operator's advice and bid higher!

    While surfin the net I came across some Harbor Freight Fireman's hatchet mods. From what I've read here, this length of handle is either 'love it' or 'hate it'. For $20 I thought I could mod this small axe, just to see if I like the concept. This will give me more time to find what I'm looking for as well and give me an idea what length handle I will like, I hope.

    Here is what I started with.


    First step is removal of the spike, red paint, and the finish on the handle, paint and all. After just a bit, here is what I've got.


    What I would like is to age it a little. So I pulled out the wood stains and gave it a few coats of gunstock and red oak. I also gun blued the head.


    Please don't laugh too hard!

    This is just an experiment. I'm going to try my hand at making a mask for it. I'd like to darken the handle just a little more then finish with tung oil. I may even blue the head again tomorrow then sharpen.

    I know, it's not vintage American made. But I'm hoping this learning experience will help for the next one, the real thing!!

    I'll post up other pics as I make progress, if you are interested.
  2. halfaxe


    Nov 29, 2012
    Looks good to me, just like a Norlund hudson bay. Nice mod.
  3. Square_peg


    Feb 1, 2012
    Looks like you're getting way more than $20 worth of fun out of that axe. :D

    It looks great.
  4. Diomedes Industries

    Diomedes Industries KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 19, 2007
    Why would we laugh at that?

    Are you happy? Then screw it. I am no judge of what floats a mans boat AND I happen to think it looks pretty cool. How does it swing? How did you cut off the point?

  5. Square_peg


    Feb 1, 2012
    With a paring knife? Remember, it's from Harbor Freight. ;)

    But seriously, I think that a hacksaw would be sufficient.
  6. schmittie

    schmittie Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 28, 2009

    Actually, I did start with a paring knife. It worked in the beginning. But I thought it would create too much heat and ruin the temper. So I switched to dental floss.
  7. Square_peg


    Feb 1, 2012
  8. Joe L. Bachs

    Joe L. Bachs

    Aug 1, 2012
    I think that looks good.. light, seems functional, plus if you lost it you're only out $20 and a hour or 2 of effort. Have you had a chance to take it out and use it yet?
  9. bobs1415


    Feb 10, 2013
    Nice result. Thanks for sharing.
  10. schmittie

    schmittie Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Tried my hand at making a mask. This is the first one I've attempted. I used some shock cord on the end of the strap (looped through some eyelets) to secure it to the antler button.



  11. A Visitor

    A Visitor

    Jan 19, 2009
    Looks good What does it weigh now? And does it use a standard size handle?

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