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Axe surface finish - just for fun recomendations

pcm81

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Location
USA FL
Recently i bought a buffer and wanted a buffing project, so bought a set of 8 axe heads on ebay to do a restoration project. I will mirror polish at least one of them, however also have access to below listed surface finishes. Curious to hear your recommendations which axe heads you think will match up best with which surface finish. This is going to be a couple months long project... I am bored...

axes.jpg

Surface finishes i have access to:
1. silicon carbide blasting
2. buffing up to mirror
3. Manganese phosphate plating
4. Zinc nickel electroplating
5. caustic iron oxide (least favorite to mess with)
6. electroless nickel

I am thinking mirror polish on the big painted one, since it is likely to have least pitting...

Any suggestions?

I will add handles to axes and either keep them for occasional personal use or gift them to friends... in either case they are unlikely to see "heavy" use.
 

pcm81

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Location
USA FL
I kind of like the patina on the bottom right axe. Tempted to polish it smooth and let it redevelop that patina in a caustic bath. By varying the temperature you can control ration of magnetite to hematite deposit.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
I would start off with a decent rotary sander,a stout bench vise, safety glasses, and a quality dust mask.
DEWALT Rotary Sander, Variable Speed, Dust Shroud, 5-Inch (DWE6401DS) - Power Random Orbit Sanders - Amazon.com

You will likely have .020 (or what ) stock to remove.

Go finer abrasive paper on the machine, then go to automotive wet paper, and get down to perhaps 3000 grit...
and finish with compound on a buffing/rag wheel.

In a nice window frame, the group would be nice wall art for a man cave.

Just as they are would be nice wall art.
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
I was once so lonely I would glue seeds to my face in hopes that birds would come to visit me, at least long enough to peck their dinner from my very jowls.

But, I've never been THAT lonely to purposely polish up, on a buffer, rusty old axe heads.....
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
The first day of summer vacation I had my feet up watching cartoons on tv, I was 9, pops said "why are you not doing something?" I replied I am bored, I spent the next 3 months stacking rocks into a trail around the pond. Since, I have been able to keep enough balls in the air that nobody thinks I am bored, though, I have never thought to polish an ax head. I do know it is a requirement in some grades of firefighter training but I have no idea why.
 

bhigdog

Stainless
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Location
Eastern PA
CCC axe

During the great depression one of the government jobs programs was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). In central PA there were camps set up where young men lived and worked building roads, clearing woods, and other civil improvements. Since it was a "make work" type project most of the labor was manual with axes, saws, shovels etc.
A couple of years ago I was mousing around the remains of a camp and found a half buried double bit axe, badly rusted and the handle was long gone.
Rather than trying to restore it to "new" I decided leave it's age and battle scars but still show it as it might have looked when handed to that first young logger.
 

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GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
I actually own the very axe used by George Washington to chop down his father's cherry tree. It's a priceless national treasure. When I got it, the head had been so rusted and abused I replaced it, and the handle was rotted away and scarred so I replaced it also. Feast your eyes.axe.jpg
 

pcm81

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Location
USA FL
I was once so lonely I would glue seeds to my face in hopes that birds would come to visit me, at least long enough to peck their dinner from my very jowls.

But, I've never been THAT lonely to purposely polish up, on a buffer, rusty old axe heads.....

ROFL. Good one. This is my new buffer, so i was specifically looking for a buffing project to get more used to the new buffer.
 

pcm81

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Location
USA FL
The first day of summer vacation I had my feet up watching cartoons on tv, I was 9, pops said "why are you not doing something?" I replied I am bored, I spent the next 3 months stacking rocks into a trail around the pond. Since, I have been able to keep enough balls in the air that nobody thinks I am bored, though, I have never thought to polish an ax head. I do know it is a requirement in some grades of firefighter training but I have no idea why.

The only person in my life that has the authority to assign me work when i am bored is me.
 

pcm81

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Location
USA FL
During the great depression one of the government jobs programs was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). In central PA there were camps set up where young men lived and worked building roads, clearing woods, and other civil improvements. Since it was a "make work" type project most of the labor was manual with axes, saws, shovels etc.
A couple of years ago I was mousing around the remains of a camp and found a half buried double bit axe, badly rusted and the handle was long gone.
Rather than trying to restore it to "new" I decided leave it's age and battle scars but still show it as it might have looked when handed to that first young logger.

Well done restoration wise.
 

pcm81

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Location
USA FL
I was 9, he was 6'2, 250 lbs and had a leather belt with indian head nickels every 3 inches, he was not shy about using it.

I stacked the rocks

I totally dig it. And that belt is probably one of major contributors to why you grew up to be a good human being...
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
A highly polished axe head will show fingerprints. A sandblasted head will not. This may or may not be important to you. A highly polished one will be easy to wipe clean of sap, Lizzy juice etc.
Bill D
 

CalG

Diamond
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Vt USA
I have several axes and splitting mauls. I use a few of them a bit while working fuel wood.

My preference is for an iron oxide finish. it is very durable and long lasting. it burnishes to a fine smooth surface in use. Turning almost black.

As stated. a preferred surface finish.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
I actually own the very axe used by George Washington to chop down his father's cherry tree. It's a priceless national treasure. When I got it, the head had been so rusted and abused I replaced it, and the handle was rotted away and scarred so I replaced it also. Feast your eyes.View attachment 343009

And now with my having the rights to that original axe you can buy one at your local dime store. Ops , they don't have dime stores any more.

The CCC camps gave city boys a job planting trees. They lost on average 20 pounds or something and became 2 inches taller.
 








 
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