Wooden Ax for a Desert Lumberjack

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I started growing this beard in early September this year and at the time it was pretty much because I hate shaving. While I was at it, I figured that I  might as well give it an honest effort at least once in my life. IMG_0301After I saw the majestic mane that was starting to develop, I decided I needed to complement it with a nice lumberjack outfit and ax for Halloween.

I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in nearly 10 years but I did know enough to think it might be ill-considered to walk my neighborhood with a real ax. After ordering my new favorite shirt, suspenders and hat, I was committed and decided a cheap plastic ax from the party store wasn’t going to cut it. After taking a look around my garage, I came up with a 2-inch thick alder piece that would be a perfect ax head and longer piece of poplar that was exactly what I would require for an ax handle.

 


Check out the video to watch how I made it!

 

IMG_0306After figuring out my design, I cut the head right in two using my band saw. Then I got a little tricky and tilted my band saw table to about 5° to create a taper inside the ax head.  Using a rasp I cleared out and widened the inside of the head and then glued it back together.

 

 

After finishing off the head of the ax, I used the band saw to help form the handle kind of just freehand. After I got started it was real easy to just skim the side of the band saw blade to remove most of what I needed. What I didn’t get with the band saw, my rasp got even if it was a fairly goodIMG_0307 workout. I don’t think I’ve ever used my rasp so much but I actually enjoyed the free-form shaping of the handle and could see my self getting into some similar projects.

 

After rasping and sanding until I was covered in a nice sweaty sawdusty sludge, everything got a coat or two of finish. I ended up just spraying the head with a silver spray paint and running a polyurethane soaked rag over the handle.

I found a few pieces of walnut that made good contrasting shims to really wedge the ax head onto the handle. After cleaning up the top of the shims I was good to go which was great because I only had a day until Halloween. I got a lot of great looks and had plenty of people think my ax was the real deal until I gave it to them and they saw how lightweight it was.

Overall, I’m pleased with how my wooden ax came out even if the woodworker in me is focusing on all of the things I could have done better.. Next time..

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