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Ax Sharpening?

Post in 'The Gear' started by xman23, Nov 9, 2009.

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  1. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    I just purchased a 18 inch kindling ax and maul from Snow & Nealley. Both are very sharp for now. I've done a search for sharpening instructions. There were descriptions of filling and wet grinding, etc. How and what do you guys use to dress the edge of your tools?

    Thanks for any help
    Tom

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I use a grinding wheel or a file and if you want the ax really sharp, finish with a wetstone.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    How do you like that Snow & Nealley?
  4. CTburning

    CTburning New Member

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    I used to use a craftsman single axe to do 95% of my splitting. I would split on the ground, miss, hit rocks, pound on it with a sledge and generally flat out abuse the axe. I would also break an axe every year but it's a craftsman, just trade it in for a new one. To put an edge on it quickly, I would run it across the belt sander and then you can use a file or stone to make it super sharp.
  5. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    I cheat w/ my old craftsman ax. I use an angle grinder (I clamp the ax to a work table).

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  6. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    whetstone

    my all-time favorite was the pedal grindstone in my grandfather's basement.
    Wish I had one today.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I coarse grind it with the angle grinder and then remove the grinder marks by going over it with an axe file.
  8. pteubel

    pteubel Feeling the Heat

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    Tormek. I like to shave with my axes ;)
  9. Marty

    Marty Feeling the Heat

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  10. Hakusan

    Hakusan New Member

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    What he said.
  11. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    Jay, I will give them a try this weekend, they look and feel good. Nice weight, large handle end to stop it from slipping thru your hand. I spilt 2x framing scraps for kindling. It's kiln dried and free from any dumpster just after the frame goes up.
    I was looking for a quick easy sharping tool. Anyone use one of those knife sharpeners that you drag down the blade?
  12. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Hand held rotary grinder, single cut flat file, maybe a whet stone to finish up (optional).
    Large bench vise as a holder.
  13. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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  14. Hakusan

    Hakusan New Member

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    S&N reply is understandable. Power grinders can change the temper of the steel and make it soft. I use stones to hone my axe. If you keep you axe in good shape, using a stone is quick and easy. You only need files if the axe is damaged.
  15. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Indeed, a hand- stone is best. But when rehabilitating tools used by others, I have resorted to single cut files and even a grinder on occasion. The blades in question do not seem to have softened noticeably. The old foot- operated grinder wheels were much better for this, no doubt. BTW the file and grinder were used more to correct overly wide shoulders than to achieve a better edge. This method was used to take a crappy camp hatchet I acquired used and upgrade it from mediocre to one of my most prized and effective tools for fine splitting and shaving punky wood. I have gotten several good tools as abandoned by family members, hand me down, gifts from neighbors, yard sale bargains, etc. No, I wouldn't take a grinder to a Fiskars, but then I'm too cheap to buy one new, anyway. ;-)
  16. dougstove

    dougstove Member

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    My grandfather had a wonderful foot-pedalled grinder wheel with a small water reservoir encasing the bottom side of the grinder wheel.
    The water kept everything cool, to avoid ruining the temper of the steel.
    Sadly, after he died, it disappeared from his barn before Dad and I could recuperate it.
  17. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    My father used to have a neat grinder in his machine shop, I think it was called a "visible grinder" - small vertical shaft motor spinning a large diameter narrow wheel - I'd guess 8-10" diameter, 1/4" thick. The wheel was full of radial slots. This gave a see through effect as the wheel spun, kind of like looking through the blades of a fan. The unit had a pretty strong light shining down on it from above, and you held the tool to be sharpened up against the bottom side of the wheel - the slots encouraged air flow that kept stuff cool, and you could actually see the edge as you were sharpening it by looking down through the slots... Not sure what happened to it, but it was a neat tool, never seen anything else like it.

    Gooserider
  18. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    I have used a blending disc (flap disc) on a air grinder to sharpen axes and lawn tractor blades. Seems to work well and leaves a very smooth finish unlike a grinder.
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