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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Proper Way To Install An Axe Handle.

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02-09-2018 11:16:52

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I'd be leery of drying the handle any more than it was, either before or after installing it--you're creating conditions that could lead to cracking, checking, or otherwise compromising the structural integrity of the handle. Also, check the grain alignment--it should run parallel to the striking face, not perpendicular. A reputable handle maker will ensure this before selling a handle, but it's not uncommon to have the grain incorrectly aligned, and it's even more common in round or nearly round handles like sledgehammers and splitting mauls, where it's easier to install the handle in an incorrect orientation. Also, I'm glad to see you did not soak the handle in anything after installing it--that's a surefire way to have problems, as no matter what you soak it in it WILL dry out, and make the handle looser (not to mention eventually rotten) than it was to begin with.

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02-09-2018 11:52:27

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 Re: Proper Way To Install An Axe Handle. in reply to TimV, 02-09-2018 11:16:52  
Yes, do not soak.If you soak a handle in the head it actually swells causing the fibers to rupture and weakening the handle.

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02-09-2018 12:37:04

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 Re: Proper Way To Install An Axe Handle. in reply to sms, 02-09-2018 11:52:27  
I was thinking of all the old pioneer barns that are still standing. The pegs for the joints were baked overnight so that normal atmospheric moisture would cause them to swell and never come out.

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02-09-2018 14:01:28

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 Re: Proper Way To Install An Axe Handle. in reply to rdandersom, 02-09-2018 12:37:04  
I will tell you what! Some of those pegs you really need to whallop them good to get them out. But....some you can almost wiggle out by hand. That is when you find a cracked beam or they built the frame with spring wood. So blasted green in spring time by fall the wood has dryed so much you needed to drive the pegs in further. An old timer at one of those government "reconstructions" was telling a couple of us off to the side how they needed to tighten up the frame on one of the sheds because of that. Just repeating his story folks. Also you end up with sagging floors and rafters. There are two very old churches near me and you should see how much sag there is from front to rear in Those roof lines.

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02-09-2018 18:33:40

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 Re: Proper Way To Install An Axe Handle. in reply to jeffcat, 02-09-2018 14:01:28  
My understanding is that the holes were purposefully bored out of alignment so the pegs pulled the joint together and made everything tight.

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