Your axe becomes a very dangerous tool if the axe head is loose. The loose axe head can fly and may cause the accident. Do you think losing axe head means the axe is bad? NO! You are wrong. The best axe head can also lose. It is a common problem in the wood handle axe. If the moisture content is too high in your wood handle and then it is expected to happen.
Don’t worry! You don’t have to buy another splitting axe or throw the handle. There are many ways to fix the loose axe handle. You can properly fix the problem at home by following any of these methods.
In this article, I have discussed all the methods to fix the loose axe head step by step and also the preventive steps that you should take to stop losing the axe head.
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Method 1: Insert the Wedge
Inserting wedge is the proper method of fixing loose axe head. I have also discussed other methods but those are for quick fixing not effective for the long term.
Generally, metal and wooden wedge inset to fix the axe handle. You can insert a single wedge or combination wedge. For a single wedge, the force exerted across the handle only and for combination wedge, exerted force with both directions.
Follow the steps for insert Metal wedge
- Secure your axe with clamps or in a vise.
- Observe how loose and decide the width of the wedge.
- Soak the metal wedge in linseed oil.
- Insert the wedge in the slot at the end of the axe handle by hitting with the hammer or mallet.
- Apply epoxy resin for making hard.
Follow the steps for the wooden wedge
- Secure your axe with clamps or in a vise.
- Make the wooden wedge for your axe. The quick tips are you can make a wider wedge. Because you can cut the wooden wedge.
- Drive the wedge in as far as it will go and Trim the rest of the wedge.
- Apply epoxy resin for making it hard.
Here is the video that helps you fix loose axe head
If you already have a wedge that you installed. You have to remove it and insert a wider wedge. How to remove the wedge from the axe head?
For metal wedge, drill both sides of the wedge for loosening its grip. Hold the wedge with locking pliers and pull it with a claw hammer.
For wood wedge, Drill the wedge and put a screw in the hole tightly. Now grip and pull the screw with pliers.
How to Make the Wedge for Axe Head
- Change the angle on the miter gauge of the band saw in 2 degrees for making 4 degrees wedge.
- Take the wide stock of oak or hickory wood and align the edge of the work with the blade.
- Cut the stock and get a 4-degree wedge.
- Now come back, flip the stock, align it with the edge of the blade, and cut.
- Keep repeating the process over and over to make 4-degree wedges.
You can also make a wedge for handle by your hand. Here are the steps:
- Take a bevel gauge and set it for 2 degrees.
- Now layout the wedge (Watch the video for better understand)
- Now make a bevel cut and cross-cut with a handsaw and get a wooden wedge.
You can also buy a ready-made axe handle wedge. Here are the recommended axe handle wedges for you-
- Link Handle Wooden and Steel Axe Handle Wedges (3 Wedges: 2 Steel 1 Wooden)
- V & B Mfg. Co. 89004 Wood And Steel Handle Wedge (3 Wedges: 2 Steel 1 Wooden)
- Beaver Tooth Hatchet Handle Wood & Metal Wedges (20 Wedges: 10 Steel 10 Wooden)
Method 2: Soak the Loose Head into the Linseed Oil Bucket
- Pour some linseed oil into the bucket. Make sure that the axe head can completely drown in the oil.
- Clean the axe head and put it in the oil.
- Wait and let the wood to soak the oil. After soaking the wood will swelling and you will get a tight axe head.
You can also drill hole and fill the hole with the linseed oil. The oil is gradually soaked in the axe handle through the pores of the wood. After a few hours check the oil level, if the level becomes down, pour the extra oil. It is also an effective method But time-consuming.
Method 3: Hammer the Nail
- Hold the handle firmly.
- Simply take a few thicker nail and hammer the nail at the center of the axe handle.
- The nail spread the wood and tighten the loose axe head.
- You can also drill the center of the handle and put it into the screw. Don’t forget to pour linseed oil before screwing.
Never use more than 3-4 nails and always use the small and thicker nail. More and long nails can damage your handle.
Method 4: Soak the Axe Head in the Water
Simply take a bucket of water and soak the axe head in the bucket. After soaking the water the head will tight.
But it is not the recommended method to fix loose axe head. You can only apply this method for the short term, emergency tightening. Water can tighten the handle to the head but water evaporate quickly and make your head lose again.
Method 5: Rehandle the Axe
Rehandle the axe is the last method to fix the loose axe head. Remove the handle from the axe head and rehandle it in proper ways. Check this”How to rehandle an axe” article for step by step guide.
Tips and Warnings
- Before storing the axe, soak the head in the linseed oil.
- Never make or buy handles that have more than 15% moisture content.
- Never move an axe with a loose or unstable head. It may cause an accident(Read more: Axe safety guide).
Generally losing head is a problem of the wooden axe. But people like traditional wooden axe because the axe is well made and the handle can be easily changed that can’t possible in the case of fiber and forged handle axe.
Nowadays the trends are changing. Everyone has liked the composite axe handle that is jointed with axe head. You can try the fiber comp lightweight axe (Our pick: Fiskars x27) for your next purchases.
If you know any other way to fix loose axe head. Tell me in the comment section below.