I had a collection of axe, hatchet, maul, and hammer heads that needed hanging. Some had broken or rotten handles, some had cheap or ugly handles, and some were missing handles altogether. I decided to make them all new hafts using hickory. Before I could start I cleaned up all the rust and scaling on the steel by soaking the heads in vinegar overnight, scrubbing with steel wool and thoroughly rinsing away the acid. After fitting the new hafts into their respective eyes, I applied some wood glue to some wooden wedges and pounded them into the kerfs. When the glue cured, I pounded two steel wedges perpendicular to the wood wedges. Next, I used a pen torch to heat a staple that I used to burn a little emblem into the wood so everyone knows to whom the tool belongs. I then applied a couple coats of varnish to the wood consisting of one part boiled linseed oil, one part turpentine, and one part pine tar, and the steel got a paste of paraffin wax melted in equal parts mineral oil. I plan on removing some mushrooming with a file as well as dressing up the cutting edges, sharpening and honing a little bit closer to the moment I’ll be using them.
From left to right: an 8 lb splitting maul, single bevel hewing hatchet, 6 lb splitting maul, a little camp hatchet, a Kelly felling axe with badly mushroomed poll, a forest axe, a little ball peen, and a 3 lb sledge (note the distinguishable temper lines on the 8lb maul, hewing hatchet, camp hatchet, felling axe, and to a lesser extent on the forest axe and 6 lb maul)