I found a nice old vintage axe in decent shape at the antique mall and figure $9 was a small price to pay for keeping me off the street. So this is the picture story of how I went about the refurbish.

So here is the star of the show, a 4 pound, Dayton Pattern axe made in Evansville IN by the Evansville Tools Works, hard to say how old it is but the building it was made in was razed in 1962 according to the internet, so it must be true. The beveled cheeks do give it away as an older axe as sometime in the 70 and 80 most makers went to flat cheeks to save of production costs. Evansville Tool works from what I can find seems to be and average American toolmaker from a bygone era.

The wedge needs replacing. Some yahoo put in a metal wedge, I hate metal wedges. They are a royal pain in the patootie to get out.

The edge is not really too bad, just a bit of re-profiling is all it really needs.

The haft is a 70s era straight replacement, The grain is perfectly aligned with no run out and appears to be good enough to re-use if I can set the head down a half inch.

Well there it is let's get to work on this bad boy. I needed to cut that electrical tape overstrike shield off, to my suprise there is a wire wrap under it.

OK, so I remove the wire too.

Pulling the wedge with a trick I came up with, fortunately the metal used for wedging is generally soft so it's easy to drill a small hole in the wedge, screw in a screw, and remove with a wonder bar or claw hammer.

With the steel wedge and the splinters of what was left of the old wood wedge removed just a couple of raps with the non-marring non-sparking copper hammer pops the head off the haft.

I pull the nail for hanging in the store display from the haft. The guy that rehung this thing before sure was lazy.

I used a soft wire wheel at a medium speed to remove the rust but leave the patina, the stamping is much clearer, as are the file marks from an earlier refurbish, probably when the straight haft was installed

With the rust cleaned off the steel it's time to break out the files, first issue is the mushrooming in the eye from pounding the head down on the haft with a hammer.

Next up I jam on old hammer handle through the eye so I can easily work with the vise and start profiling the edge.

I start filing away steel, working from a high point I just work the steel at a roughly 20 degree angle down to the edge.

Once I get it were I want it I flip it over and repeat. With a good basstard file it only took about 30 minutes.

After the file I move to emery cloth on a sanding block going from 150, 240, 320 and then off to the buffing wheel with the coarse black cutting compound.

I removed a little bit of wood from shoulders, where the base of the head meets the haft, to drop the head down on the haft by a half inch. Then sand the handle with 80 to 120 grit paper and treat it with a hot bee's wax and BLO mix to seal the wood.

The head was affixed to the haft with a contrasting Osage orange wedge i made from scrap.

It's good to go, we now have a tool that is every bit the tool of one of those $150 Swedish boutique axes for 9 bucks and a few hours of tinkering in the shop, let's go chop some wood!