Restoring a broad axe

A couple years ago I bought a battered broad axe on Ebay. The front end of the blade had broken off and the rest of it was rusty and pitted. The handle had many small cracks, suggesting too much exposure to extremes of temperature and humidity. However, the price was right: About $50, compared to a new retail model like this.

I used a grinder to reshape the broken front of the blade, and bathed it in vinegar to loosen the rust. A wire brush in an electric drill then finished the rust removal. Not much can be done about the pitting, but the edge was clean enough that I could sharpen it.

I filled the cracks in the handle with a structural wood filler and let that dry. Afterwards I sanded it and applied several coats of boiled linseed oil.

The axe still needs some work, but it is now presentable:

There is a larger image here.

Sometime this summer I hope to try it out.

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