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Author Topic: Steel Wedge for axe  (Read 1007 times)

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Steel Wedge for axe
« on: February 26, 2018, 03:57:20 pm »
Recently picked up a decent used axe but it didn't come with a steel wedge in the head.

Should I add one? I noticed the head was sliding off on a recent trip. I have knocked the head firmly back down on the shaft and made sure the wooden wedge is well seated and have the handle soaking in boiled linseed and it seems to be tight now but I would like a bit of security.

Is there a benefit to using those cylindrical wedges over a flat one?

Thoughts
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Offline rbinhood

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Re: Steel Wedge for axe
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 06:18:32 pm »
BV-Never heard of soaking the head in boiled linseed oil. Is there some advantage to this, aside from preserving the wood? Does it make the wood swell?

I don't think it could hurt to add a steel wedge. Never used a round one myself, only triangular.
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Offline Muskrat Rambler

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Re: Steel Wedge for axe
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 06:55:46 pm »
   I've always driven in a triangular steel wedge diagonally across the wooden wedge,although Mors Kochanski recommends driving 2 steel wedges alongside the wooden one. There's also the old farmers trick of drizzling a little antifreeze into a loose handle and axehead. The glycol swells the wood fibres .... at least for a while!
    I make ironwood axe handles once in a while and after letting the green wood season for a couple months,I bury the business end in a large coffee can of hot sand to really super dry the wood before fitting the head. About 20 to 30 minutes does it or until the wood gets slightly toasted. Hope that's of help


Offline Old Guide

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Re: Steel Wedge for axe
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 07:23:09 pm »
Boiled linseed oil would help preserve it and swell it. I use it slightly thinned with mineral spirits so it soaks in best.
 The only round wedges I ever saw and reused were from old handles I had to remove from the head. I have never seen round ones for sale. Steel wedges work and they never shrink.
Many wood wedges are softwood, the opposite of the hardwood handle, why? because they shrink and expand differently 'usually' keeping the handle tight.
Remember rags with boiled linseed oil on them can spontaneously combust so store, air, dispose or clean properly.
I like that hot sand drying method. Smart.

Offline trapmusher

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Re: Steel Wedge for axe
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 07:27:05 pm »
Washers or coins can make an axe head solid again. Never underestimate the power of a cent.

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: Steel Wedge for axe
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 08:05:21 pm »
BV-Never heard of soaking the head in boiled linseed oil. Is there some advantage to this, aside from preserving the wood? Does it make the wood swell?

I don't think it could hurt to add a steel wedge. Never used a round one myself, only triangular.

The air is so dry here that the wood shrinks so yes the plan is to swell the wood.

https://bigbeartools.com/store/outdoors/axes-hatchets/#!/Hultafors-Steel-Wedge-Round-2-pack/p/89465379/category=19055026
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Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: Steel Wedge for axe
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 08:12:17 pm »
Boiled linseed oil on its own won't do much for swelling, but cut with mineral spirit will help a lot!

Metal wedge are good, round I'm not sold on them....


Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: Steel Wedge for axe
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 08:20:35 pm »
Should have included that I had cut with turpentine.
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Offline lonelake

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Re: Steel Wedge for axe
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2018, 12:02:51 pm »
I would definitely sink a steel wedge. I think the cylinder wedges are sweet! More surface contact when pressing the wood out. If you can sink 2 standard size triangular steel wedges in however, that would also be very good.

LL
Simplicity in all things is the secret of the wilderness and one of its most valuable lessons. It is what we leave behind that is important. I think the matter of simplicity goes further than just food, equipment, and unnecessary gadgets; it goes into the matter of thoughts and objectives as well. When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost.
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