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axe handle help

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by FLINT77, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. FLINT77


    Apr 8, 2013
    I'm sorry to start another axe handle thread, but i want to make sure I'm not missing anything.

    I prefer 30-32" handles on my full size axes.

    I've ordered a few handles from HH but of the 5 I've ordered, only two remain hafted.

    my first 32" handle was fine. nice and straight. If I were to haft it again, I'd thin it out some more, especially near the shoulder, but its fine.

    my first 30" octagon had a serious tip and twist at the head end, so the axe head was pointing 20 deg to the right when looking down from above. I worked and worked on it to try to get it straight but eventually ran out of handle.

    I recently ordered a replacement 30" octagon and two 32" regular handles, all were hand selected and lacquer removed.

    when I received them though all 3 were octagon. so I thought, oh well, that's not a huge deal.

    all three had a slight twist, but nothing too serious - I think the octagon process must cut the handles with a slight twist, because they were all similar. The 30" handle I ended up sanding back oval, and now its nice and slim and I really like it.

    the bigger problem that I had with the two 32" handles - and actually something that seems common to the H handles is a serious constriction in the handle diameter right before the swell. I don't understand why they do this. The constriction was dramatic in one of the handles. On the worst of the two, the handle only measures 1" x 5/8" !!! Now, I'm all about a nice slim handle, but this is too much, and felt really weird in my hand. The other handle was 1 1/8" x 3/4" at the constriction before the swell - which I could kind of live with, but then the swell was 2" long, so I tried to "improve the shape and ended up ruining it. I don't want to bother with contacting them since I've already mounted and then removed heads from both.


    So, here is my question. is there anywhere else I can get good 30-32" handles.

    beaver tooth handle seems to only offer 36"

    I found that council tool offers a replacement 32" handle, so I'll probably try one of those.

    does anyone know how to order from tennessee hickory products? I went to their website, and didn't see an order form or anything. do they only sell wholesale? their website shows that they offer full size handles 30-36".

    also amazon offers link handles in 30 and 32" but the reviews are really poor, and it seems like it might be super hit or miss if you aren't able to pick them out by hand. has anyone had any good luck with ordered link handles?

    local stores only seem to carry 36".

    just making sure that I'm not missing something. I've done lots of searches, and I think this is everything, but just want to make sure. Thanks!
    Agent_H likes this.
  2. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    From an earlier post, about JNStools (dot com) which seems to carry a wide range of Tennessee Hickory handles, but I haven't ordered anything from them:

    ...a big surprise was the wide range of lengths currently available for both Single and Double bit axe handles (made by THH).

    Single bit axe handles in these sizes: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. 32, 33 , 34, 35, 36, 38 (38!!!)

    Double bit axe handles: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36

    Also interesting is that there are apparently some full-size single bit (not boys axe) and double bit (not cruiser) handles in the smaller sizes (28, 29, 30...), in addition to the boys axe and cruiser handles.

    (The boys axe handles were available in 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.)

    The name of the site that carries all these THH sizes is JNStools (dot com)
    FLINT77 and survivor45 like this.
  3. survivor45


    Feb 15, 2018
    I’m chiming in because I am going through the same ordeal.
    HH handles seem to lack quality control.
    I prefer 30” or even shorter on boys axe handles. I have a local saw shop that sells Tennessee Hickory Handles. But all double bits are 36”. And way thick !
    I just spent about six hours whittling down a handle to 30” length and thinner profile.
    I enjoy fitting the heads to handles. But I do not yet have the skills or tools to efficiently profile a whole handle.
    .[​IMG]image host
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    WinonaRail and FLINT77 like this.
  4. the possum

    the possum

    Jul 31, 2002
    I don't think you're missing anything. Replacement handles just flat out suck. This forum is filled with complaints. I can look through a hundred at various hardware stores and come home empty handed. No sense putting all that time and effort into something that will still be a polished turd in the end.

    I've taken to carving my own from scratch.

    By far the best tool(s) I've found for shaping hafts are Iwasaki Carving Files. They remove wood as quickly as a draw knife, but with all the control of a rasp, and leave a finish that barely needs sanding.
  5. survivor45


    Feb 15, 2018
    Ok so I don’t want to bad mouth what may be a good product line. In all fairness. The five Tennessee Hickory handles I hand picked. Were all well machined. And eyes close to dropping on the heads. My only issues are the length selection my local dealer carries and with the overall thickness of the handles themselves. So just treat them as a handle blank. That said I think they have a good product :thumbsup:
    Square_peg likes this.
  6. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Try getting in touch with the folks at Whiskey River Trading Co. and tell 'em I sent ya'. They may have something to meet your needs.
    FLINT77 and survivor45 like this.
  7. Nbrackett

    Nbrackett Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 19, 2015
    I don’t know if they will ship to individuals at these prices but they will if you show up at their door. ;)



    FLINT77 likes this.
  8. junkenstien


    Feb 15, 2017
    Baileys sells tennessee hickory handles as well,their customer service was top notch with me anyways.
    FLINT77 likes this.
  9. FLINT77


    Apr 8, 2013
    Thank's guys! this was all very helpful.

    I'll try either JNS tools or Bailey's, for a tennessee handle. I might try the council handle also.

    its all part of the fun I guess :)

    I would love to be able to carve one myself. Maybe I'll try one day.

    I found this diagram when I was searching old posts. this would be the pattern I would use.

    Square_peg, Miller '72 and survivor45 like this.
  10. Kyle363

    Kyle363 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 11, 2016
  11. Moonw


    Nov 19, 2014
    Miller '72 and FLINT77 like this.
  12. Old Axeman

    Old Axeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 10, 2015
    Moonw- I just looked at the East Coast Lumberjack page that you posted. I dont belong to facebook (or anything else on the internet besides this forum) so I could not really get a good look at his site. But, from what I could see, it looks like he knows what he is doing. Looked like reasonable prices for what you were getting. I think he is worth trying for ax hafts.
  13. Moonw


    Nov 19, 2014
    I don't use "social media", either. I see its use for businesses, but that's it.

    Slowly but surely, especially after all the Facebook-related security issues surfacing lately, I'm pretty confident we're becoming "trendy" :).
  14. junkenstien


    Feb 15, 2017
    Thanks for the east coast lumberjack info. looks promising,never heard of him either.
    Miller '72 and Moonw like this.
  15. cityofthesouth


    Jan 29, 2014
    Yeah I ignored this thread because .... well, the title .... but glad I finally clicked it. Nice to see some people out there decided to pick up the slack and do some nice work. Those links you guys provided are to some good looking products.
    Moonw likes this.
  16. FLINT77


    Apr 8, 2013
    Thanks for those additions! the rlambracht and the east coast lumberjack handles look really good!

    I don't have social media either - facebook seemed to not like me looking at the east coast lumberjack site without logging in.
    Miller '72 and Moonw like this.
  17. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    Another option, and I only say this to let people know, is that once in a while I will pick up premium handles at Lowes and post them online. Hand selected by me :D. I am selling them online for less that it honestly takes to make it worth my time, but as corny as this sounds, I know that lots of people around the country don't have access to what I do and don't live a reasonable distance from one of these stores as I do. I think I have 10 of them within a 20 mile radius and just want to make a few available. They are available in any length that you want as long as it is 36"...
  18. the possum

    the possum

    Jul 31, 2002
    Holy carp! I just checked out R Lambracht's page, and he makes some shapely stuff. Not always to my taste with his choice of grain orientation, but man, ya won't see stuff like this in a hardware store!

  19. survivor45


    Feb 15, 2018
    Just pick up from Lowes a Made in USA Ames DB handle 36”. They had about 7 and one had really good grain.
    I think I over looked these in the past because I did not want a 36” handle.
    But I now realize that’s all I can get local so I’ll just work with that. $9.98 plus tax. Not too bad.
    Square_peg and jblyttle like this.
  20. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    If you get a good one and are willing to shape it it's a great value.

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