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Rehanging Without Damaging the Existing Handle

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by High_Noon, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. High_Noon

    High_Noon

    182
    Nov 14, 2014
    I've got an old Snow and Nealley boy's axe and the head is loose but not loose enough to fly off. I have tried to tighten the head by driving the existing large, steel wedge further into the haft, but that didn't work and I'm reluctant to soak it in BLO to tighten it up, as I'd rather remove the steel wedge and replace with a proper hardwood wedge. I cannot remove the steel wedge. I want to take the head off the handle and rehang the head on the existing handle. How can I remove the head without damaging the handle?

    Any input or advice would be appreciated. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  2. phantomknives

    phantomknives

    Mar 31, 2016
    wranglerstar has a really good idea for this but if you don't have an autobody slide hammer use a bunch of screw drivers, hammers, prying tools and specific words work eventually for pullin wedges. if you can push the head down the handle any more, do it and cut it off a bit so you can get a bit of purchase on the wedge.

    all of this is void if it's round. i don't know how to get those [email protected][email protected] out
     
  3. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    563
    Jul 31, 2017
    Just an idea ... have not tried it yet. Depending on the size of the round wedge, with the axe secured in the vise try to grab the wedge with Bridgeport nail puller.
    [​IMG]
    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-rex-64-usa-nail-puller-1884605363
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
    Yankee Josh likes this.
  4. A17

    A17

    890
    Jan 9, 2018
    I have removed 5 or so of them and my method is as follows. You will need a cold chisel of screwdriver that has the steel shank going through the handle, a vise, and a hammer. After securing the head, use the chisel or screwdriver to cut a slot in the wedge. When you have done that, use a screwdriver to pry the wedge high enough you can get a pair of vise grips on it. Once you have gotten them on, if its loose enough just wiggle it out. If not, use the vise grips and screwdriver to pull it out. If it's steel and not aluminum, maybe just use the chisel? I haven't encountered a steel parallel to the bit wedge. As for round ones, drill out the wood wedge on either side of where one point of it intercepts the wood wedge and use needle nose vise grips to wiggle it out. Whew! If you've made it this far, you have my respect. Anyway, that covers almost and wedge scenario I've encountered. This better help or I wasted 15 minutes I could have been watching American Ninja Warrior.:D
     
  5. A17

    A17

    890
    Jan 9, 2018
    crbnsteeladdict, I have done those round ones 2 or 3 times and they take 30-60 mins or so.
     
  6. High_Noon

    High_Noon

    182
    Nov 14, 2014
    Thanks fellas. The wedge is steel - not round - and is parallel to the bit & it's a Hoss. I will try the mentioned methods. I attempted to use a small chisel today, but I couldn't get a purchase on the steel wedge.

    I purchased the axe new, from Snow & Nealley in the early 80's (1983, if I remember correctly) and I have replaced the handle once. I reused the original steel wedge with the new handle and it held firm for almost 20 years. I guess the dry heat here shrunk the Hickory fibers a bit, causing the head to loosen up.

    Does anyone know if thraneaxeandsawco.com is still operating? I attempted to place an order for their Black Locust wedges, but the website wouldn't let me add them to my cart. I will call them tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
  7. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    563
    Jul 31, 2017
    In case you cannot drop the head any lower, you can drill a hole in the wedge and use self tapping screw or you may weld piece of steel on the top of the wedge.
     
    Jasper33 likes this.
  8. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Jasper33 likes this.
  9. quinton

    quinton

    Nov 4, 2006
    I've had 100% success removing 15 or 20 steel wedges by drilling a hole in the top of the steel wedge; then snug a drywall screw in and pry the wedge out.
     
    Miller '72, Maine20, Agent_H and 2 others like this.
  10. High_Noon

    High_Noon

    182
    Nov 14, 2014
    Thanks again for the suggestions.

    I can definitely drop the head - at least 1/4" lower. I feel confident I can remove the wedge based upon the methods discussed herein.
     
    Miller '72 and Agent_H like this.
  11. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Yep.
    What I have done is put in a screw, put locking pliers on the screw, put the locking pliers in the vise, then tap on the axe with a rubber or wood mallet.
     
    Miller '72, Agent_H and quinton like this.
  12. Kevin Houtzager

    Kevin Houtzager

    908
    Jun 25, 2017
    X
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    Miller '72, Agent_H and Trailsawyer like this.
  13. A17

    A17

    890
    Jan 9, 2018
    I use a grouser bar to punch out most old handles. For average people, a grouser bar is a replacement ridge on dozer tracks _,_,_,_ In this high tech diagram, they're the comma. It has a teardrop shape that even fits in hatchet eyes. My piece is about 1ft long, a cutoff from a huge bar. However, an old handle is probably gentler.
     
    Miller '72, Agent_H and Trailsawyer like this.
  14. High_Noon

    High_Noon

    182
    Nov 14, 2014
    Wouldn't pressing or punching out the old handle only work if the steel wedge was removed?

    When replacing axe handles in the past, I've pressed or drifted them out from the bottom (out the top) after cutting off the handle.
     
  15. A17

    A17

    890
    Jan 9, 2018
    Here's the grouser bar. In the last pic its on a 3 1/2 lber's eye.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. muleman77

    muleman77

    410
    Jan 24, 2015
    I made these. Once you get the wedges out it's a snap.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Miller '72, Jasper33, Agent_H and 4 others like this.
  17. High_Noon

    High_Noon

    182
    Nov 14, 2014
    Nice photos. Those drifts are awesome. I have a fairly large, octagon shaped brass rod I have used in the past, but those would obviously work a lot better.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
    muleman77 likes this.
  18. Kevin Houtzager

    Kevin Houtzager

    908
    Jun 25, 2017
    X
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    Agent_H likes this.
  19. muleman77

    muleman77

    410
    Jan 24, 2015
    I just used mild steel bar stock. Forged and ground to shape, and weld on a handle. No trouble yet, even a ridged eye, like the pulaski in the second pic.
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  20. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Those are some serious drifts Muleman :thumbsup:
    This is my usual route:
    [​IMG]
    Punch
    by Agent Hierarchy
     
    muleman77 and Square_peg like this.

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