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axe sharpening?

Discussion in 'Knives' started by Landwomble, May 3, 2009.

  1. Landwomble

    Landwomble Empty Pockets

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    Ok, I've a nice but well used Fiskars hand axe that needs some work. It's got some notches in the blade from hitting woodscrews that I need to remove. So far my standard whetstone isn't up to it, suspect I need something more aggressive. Any tips on getting a decent edge? I'm ok with getting it sharp afterwards, I think. Does a standard 22 degree edge work ok or should I aim for something else on a hand axe?
     
  2. chmsam

    chmsam Loaded Pockets

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    From the Federal Highway Administration An Ax to Grind

    Lansky makes a hone called the Puck for jobs like this. Take a look and see if that would be useful.

    Sharp is good. Razor sharp is freakin' dangerous. Don't go overboard on the edge.

    Heck, even Boy's Life magazine has a video on this for the Scouts. A lot cruder but it's a cinch and safe even in the field.
     
  3. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Empty Pockets

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    An Ax to Grind is great! Get the vid and the book. Both are free.

    I like to use sandpaper backed by a mousepad. I sharpen pulling the sander towards me. You can keep the paper clean using a toothbrush.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. VT-aroo

    VT-aroo Loaded Pockets

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  5. GQGeek81

    GQGeek81 Loaded Pockets

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    I have to say that I always prescribed to the thought that they only need to be kinda sharp on my hatches and axes.

    Recently I got a Gransfors Bruks that came razor sharp and it was rather astonishing how much better it works.
     
  6. NoFair

    NoFair Loaded Pockets

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    Gotta agree with that. My Wetterlings axes (except the splitting maul) all take a shaving edge and keep it pretty well. Lots of things are easier with a sharp axe.

    Sverre
     
  7. fallow

    fallow Loaded Pockets

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    holey moley! I did almost exactly the same thing on the weekend, and how did I know that I'd find some way to fix my axe.

    I've got a fiskers axe
    [​IMG]

    and I was demolishing a potting shed out the back of my yard, I had a sledge hammer and my axe, the axe was doing a great job before I realised I had been hitting a fair few nails I didn't see. Sure enough the blade has a few chips and and tiny tip bend, I was gutted, it's been such a good axe, now it needs some serious TLC. Hopefully this thread will be all the help I need.
     
  8. ssmtbracer

    ssmtbracer EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have one of those lansky pucks it works well I even use it on my flat shovel
     
  9. fallow

    fallow Loaded Pockets

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    I think I could handle the small chips, but the ding in the end is a bit of a worry. Might have to take some pics and see what some of the pros think. I'd hate to think I've ruined a $100 AUD axe (yes they're $$$ here in OZ).
     
  10. jzmtl

    jzmtl Loaded Pockets

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    OUCH!

    It's probably best to get a cheap diamond stone, they remove metal fast. If you have an angle grinder you can use that with sanding disk (finest grit you can find, I used 120), but you need to be careful not overheat it.
     
  11. fallow

    fallow Loaded Pockets

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    ok so here's the pics, as you can see a small chip, and a ding at the tip, so what do the EDCF gurus have to say
     
  12. lauriek

    lauriek Loaded Pockets

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    That looks like it will grind out okay without losing too much metal... Obviously you are going to need a fairly aggressive coarse stone of some kind, and if you use an electrical grinder just make sure and do it in small bursts, or keep putting coolant on it to stop the metal overheating.

    You could lose a few % of the weight of the head by grinding these out, that's not a problem but learn from your experience and don't use an axe where there are nails/screws in the wood if you can avoid it.
     
  13. knifeguy

    knifeguy Loaded Pockets

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    I saw on a tv show not to long ago that the axe is actually designed to "pop" or "burst" the wood fibers, as opposed to cutting them, which is why axes work better when they are razor sharp.