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Hard to Find Handles That Match the Eye

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by TomBrooklyn, May 4, 2018.

  1. TomBrooklyn


    Aug 16, 2001
    Does anybody find it as difficult as I do to find hatchet and ax handles that fit the eye properly?

    If they were oversize in width and height it would be easy to trim them down to size; but usually I find handles that are either too thin, even after allowing for how much they'll spread with a wedge; or not long enough to fill the eye from bottom to top.
  2. junkenstien


    Feb 15, 2017
    Yes sir,bowman boys axe handles are the worst for that.Find them with perfect grain large swell and so skinny in the tongue it will rattle in a hatchet.
    Square_peg likes this.
  3. muleman77


    Jan 24, 2015
    Yeah, it's one of the many things you have to watch for when you pick 'em.
  4. 300Six


    Aug 29, 2013
    Only once over the past 20-30 handles I've installed did I have one that was an immediate fit. The handles I'm finding now haven't even seen an effort to dimensionally shape the eye end (tongue?). As long as what you start with is oversize it becomes a question of diligently rasping and filing away until the head fits. It'll be slow going the first time you do this. Draw reference lines along the top and the bottom (that you don't remove until last) to maintain alignment of the head with the handle. There'll be lots of youtube tutorials (check out 'an axe to grind' series from USFS) on this. If you're not confident initially, do a trial run with a 1 x 4 piece of soft pine which'll be much cheaper, easier and faster.
    And ... good luck!
  5. Drum4fun


    Mar 21, 2018
    Perhaps this "problem" has been around longer than we consider..thus, all the ax
    hafts with 2-12 nails/screws adorning the eye ?

  6. garry3


    Sep 11, 2012
    It's rare for me to have that issue. Most of the handles I get are manufactured by Link or House(not sure if that is why). I will on occasion come across an over sized eye on a vintage head though. The foreign made heads can be a problem and one of the reasons I usually don't keep them.
  7. Graillist

    Graillist Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 16, 2018
    The story of my life....I have several Craig Barr T-hawks I haven't been able to find handles for. I've purchased 3 handles that all haven't fit, maybe mine will fit yours...hahaha.

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