Many people fail to understand how crucial a wedge is for an axe handle. You’re endangering yourself and the people around you when swinging an axe that doesn’t have a wedge in its handle. So, if you’re replacing an axe handle on your own, I highly recommend using a wedge on the handle.
That brings me to the next part, how to make a wedge for an axe handle? Is it even possible? Of course, it is. If you can replace an axe handle by yourself, you can also make a wedge by yourself.
Let’s see how it’s done.
How to Make a Wedge for an Axe Handle in 5 Steps?
The process of making a wedge will depend on what material you’re going for. You can either use wood, plastic, or metal to make a wedge for the handle. I’ll discuss all of them so that you can make your wedge according to your preference. The procedure will also explain how to put a wedge in an axe handle.
Step 1: Pick a Piece of Wood
Depending on what kind of look you’re going for, pick a small piece of hardwood. It should be sturdy yet easy to shape. And make sure the piece is large enough so that when you curve it into shape, it doesn’t get smaller than the size you’re aiming for.
Step 2: Shape the Wood
The next thing you need to do is shape the wood into a wedge shape. I can’t provide you with specifics about sizing because it depends on the size of your axe handle. However, it’s better to keep the length about three-fourths of the axe handle.
Sand the piece until you’re entirely satisfied with the shape.
Step 3: Create a Kerf
A kerf is a saw cut. To be more elaborate, you need to slit the head of the axe handle where you will insert the wedge. It is not a necessary step when you’re using a metal wedge.
Step 4: Insert the Wedge
Now, use your hammer to insert the wedge inside the kerf. You will notice the handle getting tighter inside the eye of the axe blade. The blade won’t be loose anymore.
Step 5: Use Glue to Secure the Wedge
Even though it’s controversial whether you should use glue on your axe or not, I’ve always found it helpful. Securing the top with either glue or resin will surely upgrade the game a notch.
The wedge will be more durable, and the chance of loosening the handle will dramatically reduce. So, it’s not a bad idea to provide your axe with some extra security before swinging it.
A plastic wedge can be installed in a similar way. The process of creating a plastic wedge will vary depending on your preference.
One way of making a plastic wedge is simply curving an existing plastic piece into a wedge shape. Alternatively, you can 3D print a plastic wedge to make your work easier.
If you are using a metal axe wedge, you won’t need to create a kerf on the handle. Instead, you can simply hammer the piece inside the handle.
You can make a metal wedge using a few ways. One method is to change the shape of a piece of metal. You can go for brass, bronze, or iron. However, copper is not suitable for a wedge due to its softness.
Use a hammer and an anvil to beat the metal to a wedge shape. Then insert it into the handle using the hammer again.
Alternatively, you can forge a wedge using a wedge-shaped mold. Forging will make the process easier and make the shape more stable and clean.
Alternative to Making a Wedge
If you want to skip the entire procedure of making a wedge on your own, you can simply get an axe wedge kit. You won’t have to worry about variations either. You will find diverse axe wedge types on the market.
A few examples of different kinds of axe wedges are- round metal axe wedges, steel step wedges, the Swedish style wedge, the British style wedge, etc.
- Avoid using an axe with a loose handle.
- Always wear safety glasses when installing a wedge.
- If you’re installing store-bought wedges, read the instructions carefully.
- Check the axe head after installing the wedge.
- Consult a local professional if you are unsure about the procedure.
The function of a wedge is to tighten the handle-blade joint. That means the blade won’t get loosened around the eye and pop out from the handle. As a result, it not only ensures efficient use but also makes the axe safe to use.
So, to avoid any kind of accident that can hurt the people around you, it’s better to use a wedge inside the handle.
The most popular wood used for making axe handles is hickory. In addition, people also use oak, ash, sugar maple, yellow birch, cherry, walnut, mahogany, etc.
As crucial as using a wedge on the axe handle is, you need to get it right. If you make an ineffective wedge, it defeats the purpose of ensuring your safety. So, make sure you’ve got the instruction regarding how to make a wedge for an axe handle right.
If you have any confusion about the method, you can always go for easier solutions. However, it’s important that you don’t compromise your safety or the axe’s integrity. Please seek professional help or ask someone who is confident enough to do it for you.
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