Jordan Holland wrote:Just finished hanging another axe and took a few pics of sharpening. I was going to do the onion thing but Rob beat me to it! Maybe sacrificing a patch of hair is proof enough for Douglas?
I dont usually apple a BB post because I can't approve them but I just felt like this needed an apple on it.
I found some old axes that have been rusting away in our garage for quite a while now. The edges were pretty much round, and there was a good amount of rust to remove on both of them. The rust removal was with the grinder and was fun. The initial sharpening was done with an angle grinder, and I finished the edges with a file today. I can't shave with the edges (I'm not that good yet) but these axes are ready to start cutting some wood again.
My neighbours are probably beginning to think that I am prepping for a zombie apocalypse with how many times they've seen me in the garage sharpening axes, knives, and homemade blades. lol. Just getting badges on Permies is all.
I recently picked up a big, 4.5 lb felling axe on eBay that has pretty good splitting geometry. The handle is going to break at the neck at some point (it's had a hard life) but, for now, I've cross-wedged it and it feels solid. All that is left to do is sharpen it! Cue the BB...
I used a flat mill file for the bulk of the shaping work, re-establishing (and then smoothing) the bevels. I held the axe by the handle using my big Record vise with some pieces of scrap ply to prevent the handle from being marred. I first work on the cheeks of the blade, then bring the file up to work towards the edge.
Once the shape is roughed in, I picked up my fine oilstone and got to work cleaning up the tooling marks. The file tends to leave little gouges in the steel and I like to polish (most of) those out. This also establishes a wire burr that can be stropped off, leaving a sharp edge.
I stropped using a piece of skin-side-up leather fixed to some oak and rubbed with white compound. At this point the axe is pretty sharp! I finished it off with a micro-bevel using some super-fine ceramic rods.
Here is the axe to begin with. Very dull.
I could cut paper when it was done - ish. There was still a little tearing as you can see. Much, much sharper than before though and I wouldn't want to push my hand into it like I did at the start. Sticks in a log with absolutely no problems. Can't wait to use it.