Friday, December 1, 2017

Restoring an Antique Hatchet

Our family runs a salsa/dip mix company.

Just a random piece of information.

To enliven your day. Wake up your mind. Transform your life. Knock off the shackles of boredom. Oblivion.



At one of the flea markets we go to every year, there's a fellow who sells overpriced old junk (some people call them "antiques"). All the regular stuff: old metal signs, broken draw knives, a random tin basin, some cheap wall hanger swords ("originals", of course), cheese grater from the 30s, some odd metal pieces of questionable usage (no one knows what they are), a Buck 110 that's been to hell and back (five times what a new one costs, a true steal if you could figure out how to put the handle back together), three meat hooks, a windowframe with three cracked panes, a washboard, an original Coca-Cola sign someone cut in half, ten Schrade sharpfinger knockoffs, and of course half a dozen "antique" hatchets (without handles affixed).

I was sold.

What can I say? No way I could pass up an overpriced old broken hatchet. It followed me home, and as a matter of course sat in my closet for two years. I hear that aging things make them better. Fine cheeses. Wine. Leather. Jeans. Figure the same ought to go for hatchets, right?

I'll just get on to the building. 


The angle grinder is the best tool I have found for roughly rough shaping the rough shapes of things. 

Bench grinders and belt sanders are great for making less rough the rough shapes of roughly shaped things. 

Higher grit belt on the 4 x (I can't remember the other number) belt sander. Adding new grind lines, makin' it shiny. 

Hand sanding the sides of the head. 

Lookin purty.

Ugh, red. 

Me. No. like.

Making the handle more interesting. Propane torch. 

Polishin de' handel.

Putting two and two together. 

The eye of this handle wasn't in too bad of shape, so all I did was cut a wedge out of a piece of scrap steel, and drove that down into the wood. Solid as a rock. 

And I got me a good as new hatchet. 

Which is ironic, actually. I can't stand hatchets. I'm much more of a machete type of guy. 

What's wrong with a hatchet you ask? Well, for starters, the blade is too short. The handle is too long. They are terribly balanced. Front heavy. Awkwardly shaped. They weigh too much. I mean, it's a wedge on a stick. With a hammer on the back. 

Basically, they are simply not machete-like enough to be useful. Unless you want to cut a tree in half or something.

In which case I'd use a chainsaw.

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