No matter what work or hobbies you want, an ax can always be helpful. Maybe you go camping a lot with your friends and you need it for kindling or chopping down small trees. Maybe your work includes going outdoor or using an ax, no matter what the ax is always an important tool to have around.
Buying axes can be a difficult process, there are a lot of different axes with a lot of different features. It can be a headache, especially if you don’t have enough time to do your research. That’s why we have reviewed a lot of axes on our website.
- Best Kindling Hatchets
- Best Viking Axes
- Best Axes For Carpenters
- 5 Best Double Bit Axes: Mini Guide & Detailed Reviews
What steps should you take?
There are a lot of local places that you can buy an ax too. But, the chances are that you will end up with a low-quality ax. That’s why I highly recommend checking our lists before buying one locally. But if for some reason you don’t want to buy the axes we recommended then there’s always another way. You can build your own ax.
It may sound ridiculous but I have seen a lot of people building their own ax. If you have enough knowledge then you can make a durable ax on your own. And if you don’t have enough knowledge then you should read the rest of the post so you can know what to do.
While you can, and probably should skip making the blade on your own. It is a long process and I’m not sure you will get good results. But what you can do is making your own handle.
Learn here: How to Sharpen Your Ax?
As you may know, the handle is probably the first thing that breaks when it comes to low-quality axes. Making your own handle can reduce the chances of the handle to break, and at the same time, you will make a handle that is the right fit for your hand.
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How to make your own ax handle?
If you already have a blade and you want to make a handle then make sure to check these tips and tricks before starting.
1. High-Quality Material
The material of the handle is important, that determines the quality of the handle. As a material, I highly suggest using wood instead of steel. The wood is more comfortable and it vibrates less while you are working.
Do you want your handle to last a lot of years or break after a few uses? If you want your handle to have a better lifespan then I highly suggest you using high-quality wood.
There are a lot of types of wood that you can use, but I mainly use Hickory. It is a known material for durability and almost every manufacturer that makes quality axes uses them. It is an easy material to work with, especially if you are just starting with woodworking and it also has the right grain.
If you want to take it to the next step, then you can use Osage orange wood, it is a tough but durable material. It fits perfectly for an axe handle.
2. Get the right tools
Whenever you choose the Hickory Wood or any other material you still need tools to make the handle. You can’t make it with your bare hands. You need the right tools. You need a rasp, a cabinet file [ medium ], and a cabinet scraper. If you want to take it to the next step, you can even use the band saw for shaping.
Making a handle takes time so make sure to plan all the supplies and tools beforehand so you can focus can be on making the handle and not on the tools. Make sure to buy all the tools in one trip so you don’t have to head back to the store a lot of times.
3. Learn how tools work
You can get all the tools you want, but if you don’t know how to use them then you won’t get good results. Each tool I mentioned earlier has its own purpose, it is important to know what they do and how to use them before starting the process, that will cut down your time and help you complete the task faster.
The rasp is a two-sided file, it is mostly used for shaping wood and other materials. The cabinet file does the same job, but it will give the handle a better look because it has a fine finish. The cabinet scraper does the same job that a sander does, it removes any marks or scratches that the wood has.
4. Choose a form
As you may know, the handle can come in different forms. It can be a straight handle or a curved one. Depending on your needs, you can choose one or the other. The curved one can take you more time and it is harder to make. One way to help you decide what form to choose is to look at the other old handle axes that you have.
If you find one that is comfortable then you can use that handle to make another one. Make sure to find one that fits your hand because that how your new handle is going to look.
You can use the old handle as a pattern by laying it on top of the new wood and trace the edges. It’s okay even if the head is still attached to the old handle. Once you trace the edges, you can trim away everything that is outside the lines. You don’t have to perfectly trim it for the first time, you still will have a lot of time to trim it later.
5. Watch Tutorials & Set Time Ahead
Reading the process is another thing, and watching the whole process is another thing. After reading this post make sure to check any YouTube video that shows you exactly what to do.
If you are new to woodworking then using the tools can be hard and that’s why you should read different tutorials that show you exactly how to use each of the tools I mentioned.
Also, make sure to set the time ahead before starting the process. As I have mentioned earlier, this isn’t an easy task and it will take you a lot of time. If you work during the week then you can work on the weekends, one weekend will do it.
Just make sure to buy the tools before and watch a couple of tutorials during the week. If you have all the necessary tools beforehand that can help you focus on the process. If you are the type of person that likes to learn by doing something then you can forget the tutorials and just start.