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Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by doodledogdad, Nov 9, 2018.
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Recommendations please! Thanks everyone.
Recommendation: curved handle
Single bit or double bit?
Single bit. 3.5 lbs.
I'm new to axe collecting and this is my first time attaching a haft! Length? Bent or straight? Where should a buy the haft? I have a Gransfors American Felling Axe with a 3.5 lb head and 31.5" handle, so I was thinking to set this 3.5 lb axe up a little differently.
It's a pretty solid looking head. 32"-36" curved handle would look and perform well. I'm partial to straight handles but have not used a "Michiganesque" on one.
Sadly there are no really good handles made anymore. Every choice will be a compromise. House Handle has a great variety and if you order AA grade you'll likely get a usable handle. Tennessee Hickory Products sells handles made of the finest white 2nd growth hickory. But they all come fat as a bat and require extensive thinning before they can be a great handle. Seymor/Link sells a variety of handles at major hardware stores. They are very much hit and miss. There's a lot of crappy handles to wade through but you find the occasional gem. Good boys axe handles and cruiser axe handles are more common than finding a good full size. There are a few smaller handle makers selling, too. Beaver Tooth and Whiskey River are 2 of the more prominent. Both may have decent or even very good stuff but have limited selections. Lastly, Vaughan still sell replacement handles. They have their own plant in Arkansas. You have to buy online though because I've never found any of their axe handles for sale in the hardware stores.
Thanks for the feedback and info. House Handles has an option for lacquer, as well as octagonal. I've never held an octagonal handle. Would this be a good choice for a full size (32"-36") felling axe?
Here is an example of a 32" octagonal handle in a "similarly shaped" head pattern:
Just ordered the 32" octagonal, curved, single bit hickory handle from House Handle Company. I paid the extra couple of bucks for hand picked and no lacquer. I'll post picks when I'm done. Thanks for your time and advice.
Their octagonalizing is really quick & dirty. It often results in the haft being too slim just before the swell.
Octagonalizing can be done pretty quickly and easily in your shop.
Thanks for the warning on octagonalizing (not a real word). I changed my order and will see how a feel about the handle before making any changes to it. Much appreciated.
Better if you control the process yourself.
House does go a little thin in the throat sometimes with their octagonals. The problem is that you won’t know it until they show up.
Here is an octagonal related thread:
yes, I've ordered a few octagonal handles from house with variable results. One was good and three were bad (one being really bad). The worst was constricted down to only 1" x 5/8" before the swell - which was just way way to skinny. Also, they all seem to have a twist to them that the regular handles do not - its like they don't get shaved down straight or something.
last night I octagonalized (I think it should be a word) a 32" link handle that I got from the hardware store and am very very pleased with the results. I just used a little 4 in 1 metal wood rasp, and it turned out really well. I'll probably post pictures on the what have you hung thread soon. and I don't have ANY special tools, it was literally just the rasp and a piece of sandpaper.
The last link handle I tried to work on the swell and butchered it, so each hang gets a little better and I learn a little more.
So, I went with the 36 inch curved handle from House Handle Company. It's a nice solid white piece of Hickory with pretty straight grain. I had to remove a lot of material to fit it through the eye, but it looks okay, I think. I definitely learned a few things that I will do differently next time. I think that I removed a little bit more material than I needed to and also cut the top off a little bit crooked. Here are a few pics. Thanks again everyone for your help and advice.
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If that's your first hang, nice job.