There are plenty of reasons why you might need to rehandle a throwing axe. It could have finally broken when being thrown, maybe you want to experiment with a new handle to get a competitive edge, or it could have been a find from an old garage sale that needs to be updated.
No matter the reason, it’s important to make sure you rehandle a throwing axe the right way so that you don’t end up with a tool that doesn’t work or breaks right away. In this article, we will teach you the proper way to rehandle an axe.
Choose the Right Axe for the Job
Ensure if you are going through all the trouble of rehandling an axe that, it follows axe throwing guidelines and isn’t illegal. A quick rundown of what makes a throwing axe head illegal:
- The blade is longer than 4 inches
- The blade is shorter than 3 inches
- Weight will make the entire axe weigh more than 2.5lbs
Once you know your axe head is legal, it’s time to pick out the perfect new handle.
Select Your New Axe Handle
The next step is to pick the right handle for your needs. This will depend on what kind of wood you want and how much weight you are looking to add. The most commonly used is American hickory because of its durability and flexibility. A few other good options are oak and ash. Ensure you cut them to follow axe throwing regulations:
- Handles must be between 13 and 17 inches long.
- This length is measured from the top of the axe head or whatever wood is protruding from the top of the axe head.
Inspect the Axe Head for Damage
It is important to check the axe head for any damage before using it. If the axe head is cracked or chipped, it can cause the axe to break while it is being used. It would be terrible to go through the effort of rehandling an axe just to have it break immediately.
Remove the Old Handle
Before installing a new handle, it is necessary to remove the old one. This can be done by using a hammer to knock out the wooden wedge that holds the handle in place. be careful not to damage the axe head in this process. The best way to prevent damage is to use a chisel to punch out the wood. Since you are replacing this wood, you don’t need to be gentle but be sure that the axe head is secured, so you don’t hammer it into yourself.
Create a Slot For a Wedge or Pin in the New Handle
Once the old handle has been removed, use a saw to cut a rivet at the end of the new handle. This rivet should be slightly smaller than the wooden wedge that will be used to secure it in place. Since it is smaller, this will slightly expand the handle to help lock the handle in place.
To secure with a pin, create a hole using a drill that is slightly smaller than your pin. Same with the wedge, this will help expand the end of the handle to secure it in the new axe head.
Insert the Wooden Wedge or Pin into the Handle
The wooden wedge should be inserted into the hole so that it is flush with the end of the handle. It’s never a bad idea to use wood glue during this process to ensure that the wedge or pin is extra secure. Use a rubber mallet to tap the wedge or pin into place. If you don’t have a rubber mallet, you can cover the pin or wedge with a cloth and use a normal hammer just be careful not to break the wood.
Hammer in Wooden Wedge until Tight
Use a rubber mallet to pound in the wooden wedge or pin until it is firmly secured in place. Be careful not to hit your hand while doing this!
Cut off any excess Handle Material
Throwing axes lengths are measured by the top of their handle, so if some is protruding from the top, be sure to remove the excess. Use a saw to cut off the excess. If it is only a small amount, you can always sand it down to be flush with the end of the handle. Don’t use a knife or the wrong equipment you can end up damaging the handle and ruining your work or cutting yourself.
Sand Down any Rough Edges on New Handle
When installing a new handle on an axe, it is important to sand down any rough edges until they are smooth and safe to touch. This can be done with handheld sandpaper or a power sander. Be sure to use caution while sanding, as the edges of the handle can be sharp.
Apply a Coat of Wood Sealant
To protect the new handle from moisture and rot, apply a coat of wood sealant. This will also give it a nice shine!
When installing a new handle on an axe, it is important to apply a coat of wood sealant to protect it from moisture and rot. This will keep the handle in good condition for years to come.
There are a variety of different types of wood sealant that can be used, but the most common is polyurethane. It is available in both clear and colored varieties, so you can choose the one that best matches the look of your axe.
To apply the wood sealant, simply pour it into a small bowl and use a brush to coat the entire length of the handle. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies and allow it to dry completely before using the axe.
Applying a coat of wood sealant to your axe handle is an important step in keeping it in good condition. By following these simple instructions, you can ensure that your axe will be safe to use for years to come.
Replacing the handle on a throwing axe is a simple process that can be done with just a few basic tools. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully, and you’ll have a new handle that’s ready to use in no time!