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Nah, I'm not giving advice. I'm looking for some.

Back in Idaho, a good axe handle would last half a life-time if well cared for and not abused. Down here in Hubs-of-Hell, Texas, where the daytime temps hover around 105 degrees and the humdity is such that bushes have been seen following dogs around - true story! - axe handles don't seem to last more'n two, maybe three years. Other than soaking them in water once in a while, what would be a good treatment to keep 'em snug? Any recommendations?
 

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My Grandpa (the Injun one) used to toss his axes, mauls and froes in a half bucket of kerosene. Not sure why, but I never heard him say their heads came off....
 

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always had that problem here. to a lesser extent, hammers also. the Arizona sun sucks the life out of about everything
 

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azmick said:
always had that problem here. to a lesser extent, hammers also. the Arizona sun sucks the life out of about everything
Yep, Mick is calling it right for out here in AZ. You can try to soak 'em, which will work for a while (along with rusted heads unless you oil them), they will dry out. I work for the power company and for 100+ years Creosote is what wooden utility poles were coated with; it keeps out moisture, prevents rot and repels insects, BUT....it's one of those PC-environmental no-no's these days, so I doubt you'd be able to find it easily, although I haven't looked recently. When I first moved into my home in the early 80's, landscaping with railroad ties was popular and you could buy Creosote at most hardware stores. It might help up at the attachment point if you have any available.
 

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Quarter Cherokee said:
Thank you, gentlemen. I'll look for some creosote and give that turpentine bath a try.
Try boiled linseed oil. I use it on my axe handles and it makes them last a long time longer. Same idea as above but it smells a bit better. :mrgreen:
 

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+1 on the boiled linseed oil - only I add some turpentine to make it soak in deeper and dry quicker.

3 parts linseed oil: 1 part turpentine - this is the old Gough Thomas formula for stock finishing! :)

Also, I put my axes, mauls, and such inside the shed when I'm through with them - otherwise the wood eventually dry-rots and turns to dust when left out in the elements. I think that much of the hickory that they now use for axe handles is inferior to what was formerly used - my grandad left his axes in a barely-covered woodshed and those handles seemed to last a lifetime or until someone broke one! :?

xtm
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, Xtimberman & Forester. Guess what I'm gonna do this afternoon after I split some firewood? Yeah, turpentine & linseed oil.

You gents are first rate in my book. I hate it when an axe goes flying off the handle. Or, gets loose.

Thanks, again.

QC
 

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I have read many definitions of what is a conservationist, and written not a few myself, but I suspect that the best one is written not with a pen, but with an axe. It is a matter of what a man thinks about while chopping, or while deciding what to chop. A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke he is writing his signature on the face of his land. Signatures, of course differ, whether written with axe or pen, and this is as it should be.
-Aldo Leopold
A Sand County Almanac
 

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npihanp

So true! I feel like I can solve the problems of the world when I've got an axe or splitting maul in my hands and a pile of wood at my feet.... :)

xtm
 

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That was a great post, Forester. If you own it, you take care of it. Dog, axe, gun, plot of land; how you take care of it says a lot about you as a man.
 

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Being East of the Miss. the only Ax-handles I've heard of were White-Oak used down south without a head. Never abided that.
 

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Here is some info from a retired forester. Don't use the water soak, stick with the linseed oil. The long grain of the wood will pull it up and should help with the wood fibers shrinking. A small plastic or metal tray with some linseed oil in it will allow the handle to take up as much as it needs. This will work on hammer handles as well. Some of us old farts are still using hammers with wooden handles.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, Stinger. I've been soaking several axe handles and a hatchet in some kerosene and linseed oil. Heavy on the linseed. What do I do next? Just wipe 'em off and let 'em dry?
 

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I sometimes leave mine in there for several days. After use I may put them back in there, it depends on how loose they may have been. The oil is better than water. Water will evaporate and take some moisture which had been in there. It may be a trial and error method for you. Please leave it where pets cannot get to it. I am not sure about how the kerosene will affect the wood. Kerosene being petroleum based might not be the best thing for wood. I use turpentine rather than mineral spirits. Turpentine does originate from trees. When I do linseed oil finishes on stocks I cut the linseed oil with turpentine. Linseed oil if not cut will remain sticky and un-dry for a really long time. Hope this helps.
 

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Quarter Cherokee said:
Nah, I'm not giving advice. I'm looking for some.

Back in Idaho, a good axe handle would last half a life-time if well cared for and not abused. Down here in Hubs-of-Hell, Texas, where the daytime temps hover around 105 degrees and the humdity is such that bushes have been seen following dogs around - true story! - axe handles don't seem to last more'n two, maybe three years. Other than soaking them in water once in a while, what would be a good treatment to keep 'em snug? Any recommendations?

I shall ask my better half what she uses.
 

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You might try some BALLISTOL. It was invented in Germany many years ago, but there is a company that makes it here in the USA. I use it on my wooden Butcher knife handles, gunstocks, leather, most everything, even insect bites.
It is a bore cleaner and gun lube as well.

http://www.ballistol.com
 

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Since an axe handle does not fit my hand, I shall ask the better half what she uses!
 
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