Handles

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by fshaw, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. fshaw

    fshaw

    148
    Sep 28, 2006
    I have a few axes that have just been laying around but after this forum I'm looking forward to rehabbing them. I need to buy a few handles ranging from a Snow & Neeley Hudson Bay to a 2 pound double bit that belongd to my grandfather. I've read some reports of House Handle providing some marginal quality handles. Where's the best place for me to order a few handles that will be right the first time? I'd like to get nice straight handles that have good color and straight grain. This'll be my first go in many yeears at rehafting and I'd be will in to pay a bit extra to get a nice result.

    Thanks.

    Frank
     
  2. daniel.sorrels

    daniel.sorrels

    23
    Jun 21, 2015
    Of the dozen or so various length HH hafts I have purchased, I've personally not been disappointed. Granted I splurge and pay the premium, lacquer free, and usually octagonal. IMO, their products, with some fine tuning once on hand, are very satisfactory and always meet my criteria.
     
  3. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    There is nowhere that you can buy a close to perfect handle off the shelf. House Handle is good. Tennessee Hickory Products is good. Beaver-Tooth is the online retail branch of THP. IMO THP has the highest quality wood. But their hafts tend to be much too fat and need some serious slimming to make a great haft. My preference is to go to a local retailer of THP hafts and hand pick the best from among their stock.

    You will occasionally find pretty good Link (Seymour) handles at local hardware stores. For some reason their boys axe and cruiser axe handles tend to be pretty good - better than their full size stuff. They are my first choice for those sizes if I don't have time to modify a THP haft.
     
  4. chuxwan

    chuxwan

    423
    Aug 26, 2012
    I don't like being the guy who ignores your question and gives unsolicited advice, but IMO to get a good handle, you are already going to have to do so much shaping that you may as well go ahead and start making them from scratch. It'll be a blast, you'll save money, learn a lot more, and be a more well-rounded human for the effort :D
     
  5. cityofthesouth

    cityofthesouth

    Jan 29, 2014
    Just tossing in my hat on the last couple comments - your expectations might as well be set from the start. You will not buy a handle today that matches the way they were made in years past. Buy with realistic expectations, or make your own. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your outlook) that's what it's come down to for me.
     
  6. the possum

    the possum

    Jul 31, 2002
    Like the other guys, I have not yet found anywhere to reliably get a handle even remotely like a good old one. I tend to look at handles every time I stop by a store that sells them, and if I spot one with good grain, I buy it on the spot, even if I don't have a use for it at the time. One day I went on a hardware store marathon & must have looked at over a hundred handles. I came home with two. And even they needed serious reshaping.

    Right now I have like 3 different hatchet handles in the works, that I'm making from scratch. Can't find anything suitable for an old Swedish head, which has an eye larger than standard American ones. And I can't even find good lumber for it locally (don't wanna spend 3 hours on the road for it), so I split them out of the log myself. While I enjoy the work, I find it kinda ridiculous that it's my only real option.

    Funny you say that- now that you mention it, I saw the same thing. One of the handles I mentioned above was a Link boy's axe handle, and then months later I bought another identical one from the same store that was decent. Still need to find a head to put on it. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  7. RICKOFF

    RICKOFF

    372
    Jun 2, 2009
    I was in Home Depot the other week and was surprised that they no longer sell wood handles for hammers, needing one for a 3# Heller cross peen.
    In the garden section I found a post hole digger replacement handle 4 foot long and 1 3/8ths round with an Ames True Temper sticker ash or hickory (no species indicated) that will make a few handles. Interestingly enough it can be rotated so that the grain is perfectly oriented and only 9$.
     

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