Estwing Hatchet Help


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InkEd
August 8, 2013, 12:34 AM
My wife bought me an Estwing Hatchet (actually it's the carpenters axe model) that I wanted as a replacement for my rusty old worn out hatchet that belonged to my grandpa. I am impressed with the overall quality of the new on. It is made out of one solid piece of metal just like the Estwing hammer I'be had for over a decade.

Anyway, my problem is we ordered it online and it came delivered COMPLETELY unsharpened. I want to know where I can take it to get sharpened?(After the original sharpening, I'll maintain it myself like I have any other axe or knife.)

I live in the suburban Memphis area. Thank you.

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SuperNaut
August 8, 2013, 12:53 AM
Use it as an excuse to buy a grinder.

Seriously, everyone needs a grinder.

krupparms
August 8, 2013, 01:02 AM
I would contact Estwing & see about having them take care of it. I do agree about the grinder tho. Everyone needs one ( or 2)!

Mauser lover
August 8, 2013, 01:05 AM
Or a good belt sander! Or a couple of good grinders AND a belt sander!

InkEd
August 8, 2013, 01:59 AM
Have one but since it's sharp as a spoon right now, I want somebody better at it than me to put the initial edge on it. I may contact Estwing about it. You think a local hardware store could do it?

X-Rap
August 8, 2013, 09:45 AM
Check the phone book for saw blade sharpeners for starters.

rcmodel
August 8, 2013, 01:04 PM
Check the phone book for saw blade sharpeners for starters. This!!

And you don't want a grinder unless you want your new hatchet to look like somebody took a grinder to it!!!.

You want a belt sander.

It will do a course grind with a course belt.
And a shaving edge with a very fine belt.

And still look like new when you get done.

On the other hand, ax's & hatchets have been sharpened for century's by hand with a fine cut file & stones.

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/fs_publications/99232823/page15.cfm

rc

Deltaboy
August 8, 2013, 01:52 PM
Belt sander then a set of stones.

Vonderek
August 8, 2013, 02:00 PM
I have the same carpenter's hatchet. I found it in my backyard where it looked like someone used it as a shovel instead of as a hatchet. The edge was actually rounded. I don't have a belt sander or grinder so I put it in a vise and sharpened it with a file and it works fine for its intended purpose. Just make sure you wear heavy gloves if you use a vise as its an easy thing to make contact with the edge with your fingers as you are running the file.

jdh
August 8, 2013, 03:30 PM
And that ain't no ****!

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e236/jhooten/DSC_0347_zps548685b2.jpg

That was with a glove on BTW.

Tirod
August 8, 2013, 07:36 PM
Grinders aren't a good way to do it. They take off too much material, and they hollow grind it at the same time, with is exactly the wrong way to shape an edge for wood cutting.

The edge should be convex, smoothly tapering at an increasing radius to the edge. That makes it rounded to the ouside, and as the edge is forced into the wood fibers, it spreads them and accelerates the shock - causing the wood to split along the grain. A hollow grind doesn't, it just gets stuck in the wood because it doesn't aggressively spread the wood fiber.

If anything, sharpening on a grinder is usually the worst thing to do - most grinders have heavy coarse wheels on them, they run too fast, removing far too much of the steel and heating it past it's temper. Just say no to grinders.

Best thing to get is a good quality 12 inch "mill bastard" file, which is a smooth cut file with a single cut diagonal tooth - not a crosscut. It shaves the excess steel off the higher slope of the edge, and runs the taper back into a fine line where it becomes sharp again.

Axes don't have to be razor sharp - none really have the steel and temper to hold that fine an edge, they would chip out. What they do in cutting is use the impact of a swing, which is why they need a lot of material behind the edge in a convex shape. A hollow ground edge is much weaker and prone to more chipping, plus gets stuck in a tough grain which prompts twisting it out - cracking it even worse.

File an axe, it lasts a lot longer than grinding away on one. So will a knife - hand stones are a better solution than power operated ones.

bubba in ca
August 8, 2013, 11:18 PM
Scrounge a belt sander and carefully put it belly up in a bench vise, Use 120 grit because you are new at this and going too slow is better than cutting too fast. Have a bowl of water handy to dip the blade in as you go so it doesn`t over heat and damage the blade. Finish with a stone or puck.

120 grit doesn`t bite much at all, so as long as you are using the belt grinder correctly and have it secured in a cradle or vise you should be ok. Wear a dust mask and eye protection because the sander throws off everything from grit to steel to resin.

SuperNaut
August 8, 2013, 11:20 PM
Fine, use it as an excuse to get a grinder, belt sander, bastard file, and a set of stones.

Coyote3855
August 9, 2013, 03:45 PM
+1 on the belt sander upside down in a vice. I've used mine for everything from shovels (weed choppers) to axes and machetes. I don't remember what I paid for mine, but probably under $50 at a big box store. The water bucket is critical, easy to overheat expecially when the edge gets thin.

witchhunter
August 9, 2013, 10:22 PM
I would clamp the axe in a vice, not the sander. Or use a stationary belt sander, start coarse then fine, keep a good angle (35 degree) on the edge not like a knife (15 degree), you don't want it to chip!

icanthitabarn
August 10, 2013, 10:29 PM
QUOTE And you don't want a grinder unless you want your new hatchet to look like somebody took a grinder to it!!!.

........:)...............http://i1123.photobucket.com/albums/l542/g5uis23ft5h/smily_zps03fa8d63.gif

Yo Mama
August 12, 2013, 08:20 PM
Question:

Mine also came dull, but I always thought this was a working edge so it wouldn't be prone to chipping? Is this wrong?

rcmodel
August 12, 2013, 08:48 PM
My guess is, they ship them sort of dull to keep every dummy that runs his thumb over the edge in the store from getting sliced open like the one in post #10.

And / or slicing pieces off the leather sheath putting them back in, before not buying them.

Clean-up in the hatchet aisle, don'tca know!!!

Paul Bunyan shaved with his ax.
And I imagine most of those Collage Lumberjack champions you see on the TV show could too if they wanted too.

rc

Tirod
August 14, 2013, 11:06 PM
Funny guys.

A file or fine stone is what the old boys used, and they took them into the woods with them to keep them sharp during breaks.

http://www.wikihow.com/Sharpen-an-Axe
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22814
http://www.raymears.com/Woodlore/Bushcraft_Tips_And_Advice.cfm/11-How-to-Sharpen-an-Axe/
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/fs_publications/99232823/page15.cfm
https://lansky.com/index.php/blog/how-to-sharpen-an-axe-in-the-field/


If - if - there are huge chips, gouges, and nicks in the edge, a grinder or belt sander is good to get things back into shape - but not to get it sharp. One thing every pro mentions about the grinder is that it will take off too much material in the wrong place too fast, and it will overheat the steel and ruin the temper. Then you wind up filing a lot of soft steel into shape, which deforms, chips, and gets gouged again. Recipe for disaster.

Grinders are the last thing to recommend, and if the axe is that badly damaged, it might well be better to get a new one. File it from new, and it won't get that bad.

Sam Cade
August 14, 2013, 11:19 PM
Question:

Mine also came dull, but I always thought this was a working edge so it wouldn't be prone to chipping? Is this wrong?

A working edge for most axes should be hair poppin' sharp to start, IME.



I use a belt grinder for most of my axe sharpening. Field maintenance is with either a DMT diamond hone or a double cut handy file depending on requirements.

AJumbo
August 16, 2013, 07:36 PM
I carried an Estwing carpenter's hatchet for short time when I was framing houses. I traded it for a Plumb that was two ounces lighter, went back to the Estwing, then abandoned the idea altogether and bought a Vaughn framing hammer. The axes were just too heavy to use as hammers. I guess it took me three months to come to that conclusion.

The first thing my foreman did when I showed up with my shiny-new hatchet was to ask to see it. He immediately ran over to a concrete cleanout pile and chopped it into rubble. He handed the hatchet back to me and explained that greenhorns don't use sharp axes on his crew; he'd let me sharpen it after I began to show some proficiency with it, and didn't hurt myself or others while surmounting the learning curve. He was wise.

In still have both those hatchets, and use them for hatchet stuff, so they are kept sharp with a handy file and a puck stone.

xjsnake
August 16, 2013, 08:46 PM
Belt sander for major sharpening work. File/stones for touch ups.

dagger dog
August 17, 2013, 01:18 PM
I betcha Tirod has sharpened a few axes, a mill bastard file and a stone will make that Eastwing cut through tree limbs like hot butter.

They have some great steel in those axes, I have the small axe not the hand axe, the blade on it is thin and SHARP used for limbing only.

Electric grinders, belt sanders used without caution are good ways to ruin a good blade.

An old foot powdered grind stone with plenty of water to reduce over heating, is the best
way to quickly remove excess material.

A file is slower than the grindstone but a lot kinder to the bit. Once the edge is defined then the hand stone, usually a round one with course and fine sides is used to finish the edge.

Sam Cade
August 17, 2013, 02:00 PM
They have some great steel in those axes

It is 1055.

dagger dog
August 17, 2013, 10:30 PM
Sam,

I'm totally ignorant when it comes to the #'s that are used to describe steel alloys used for cutlery.

The Eastwing axe in my possession doesn't seem to be a stainless but rather a high carbon alloy similar to Buck, or Swiss army knife blades.

I usually have trouble keeping the edge from crumbling away with most harder stainless,(high nickel content ?) blades.

Do you know the make up, in lay terms ,of the 1055 alloy ?

Sam Cade
August 17, 2013, 10:39 PM
Do you know the make up, in lay terms ,of the 1055 alloy ?


Iron, Fe 98.41-98.9%
Manganese, Mn 0.60-0.90%
Carbon, C 0.50-0.60%
Sulfur, S ≤ 0.050%
Phosphorous, P ≤ 0.040$

http://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=6541


1055 is a simple carbon steel well suited for tools where toughness is the primary concern.

Sam Cade
August 17, 2013, 10:41 PM
Swiss army knife blades.

Those are stainless btw.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Army_knife

The martensitic stainless steel alloy used for the cutting blades is optimized for high toughness and corrosion resistance and has a composition of 15% chromium, 0.60% silicon, 0.52% carbon, 0.50% molybdenum, and 0.45% manganese and is designated X55CrMo14 or DIN 1.4110 according to Victorinox.[17] After a hardening process at 1040 C and annealing at 160 C the blades achieve an average blade steel hardness of 56 HRC. This steel hardness is suitable for practical use and easy resharpening, but less than achieved in stainless steel alloys used for blades optimized for high wear resistance. According to Victorinox the martensitic stainless steel alloy used for the parts is X39Cr13 or DIN 1.4031 and for the springs X20Cr13 or DIN 1.4021.[18][19]

dagger dog
August 18, 2013, 12:54 PM
I noticed the rostfrie on the blade , I would bet they use a lot of carbon, as they seem to hold an edge and easy to maintain.

Thanks

Tirod
August 18, 2013, 02:06 PM
Not too many have a foot powered grindstones to sharpen things with. I keep stumbling over some now and again, they are always cracked from being stored outdoors in the winter. Water drains down the stone to drip off the bottom, freezes, and a crack shows up. At that point they pretty quickly become a yard ornament.

The electric powered grinder that seems to be common these days is a 6 or 8" with a very rough stones - a grinder, not a sharpener. Big difference. That small diameter stone is ok for lawn mowers, it won't hollow grind the edge too shallow as it's thin in profile anyway. On a axe, hatchet or hawk, the working edge extends back three or four inches. No small stone can cover it all in one pass working the thickness down to the edge.

A belt sander will do better, but it flat grinds. You won't get a convex edge. The convex shape supports the edge with more material, and has an outward curve that reduces surface friction during the cut. It also accelerates the splitting action, which is something needed when chopping end grain. The better chopping blocks are end grain laid up for a cutting surface, as it's more abrasion resistant. Getting an accelerative wedging action with an axe or maul helps.

I'd say the introduction of the electric powered grinder is why axe and hatchet sales remain as high as they do. The filed or stoned axe lasted decades, which is why we still see so many available in second hand tool sales. Start looking for them made in the '60s on, many are short bitted and nearly ruined - all because of the electric grinder.

Don't take my word for it, the axe makers need your business. :evil:

Sam Cade
August 18, 2013, 02:41 PM
A belt sander will do better, but it flat grinds. You won't get a convex edge.

Unless you use a platen, belt grinder/sanders give a convex edge.


The precise shape of the convex is determined by pressure, belt weight and belt tension.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=187890&stc=1&d=1376851233

dagger dog
August 18, 2013, 06:18 PM
As you can tell the Eastwing has had it's share of use, but you can shave with it, it's spooky sharp, the blade is a little thin and it slips through hard or soft wood limbs like it's greased.

The other Hudsons Bay is a polished Snow and Nealy , it is kept waxed, it will blow chips like a chain saw.

The rectangular stone is a Norton, I think the round palm stone is too, both of them are 2 sided fine-course.

The files do the majority of the primary sharpening then the final working edge is defined with the bench stone and the round one rides in the hip pocket when afield.

Sam Cade
August 18, 2013, 08:13 PM
If anyone is interested, here is a quick 5 min video on how estwing axes are made.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XmTY6-uL58Y



Also if anyone has an estwing with a blown out handle I'd love to fix one.

rcmodel
August 18, 2013, 08:44 PM
Now that's cool, I don't care who ya are!!

Everyone keeps on about Estwing, and I'm gonna have to end up buying one.

All I need one for is to look at though!

But I was pretty impressed with the ones I looked at at Home Depot months ago!!

What I really really need & might use someday is an adz though.
And they don't make them.

rc

Sam Cade
August 18, 2013, 08:56 PM
What I really really need & might use someday is an adz though.


Go big or go home :what:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=187919&stc=1&d=1376873727

I've rehung and refurbed it, but I have no idea what I am going to do with the thing.

rcmodel
August 18, 2013, 09:21 PM
Dang guy, that's what I have been haunting the junk shops looking for now for several years.

I have some pesky tree roots left over from some ill-advised hedge plantings along the back fence 40 years ago.

Hell on lawn mower blades, and hell on saws-all blades while trying to saw them out underground.
And they show no signs of ever rotting away in my lifetime.

I long thought an Adz would take them out in one fell swoop.

If I still have enough energy left to swoop with one? :confused:

rc

LT.Diver
August 18, 2013, 09:27 PM
I have owned the same hatchet for forty years. I've replaced the head twice and the handle three times. Otherwise it's all original.

Ohen Cepel
August 18, 2013, 09:50 PM
You could likely fix the edge with a file. That is the way I would do it, slow and easy, sharp file will do it in no time and you won't need the extras.

However, if you want a reason to buy a belt sander and grinder you have one now. Even then, I would use the file.

SuperNaut
August 18, 2013, 11:09 PM
I have owned the same hatchet for forty years. I've replaced the head twice and the handle three times. Otherwise it's all original.
Uh-oh, philosophy!

rcmodel
August 18, 2013, 11:32 PM
Even worse.

Old, rusty, beat to death, peened over steel handle wedges!!

They probably are not even up to todays low-grade steel standards for handle wedges I betcha!

The Horror!! Oh The Horror!

rc

dagger dog
August 19, 2013, 05:29 PM
Sam,
nice video ! I sure like the leather but I bought the blue plastic handle, it was 20 bucks cheaper !


rc,

What you need is a mattock, but if your like me you would have to hire some young buck to swing it !

rcmodel
August 19, 2013, 07:31 PM
A Mattock is like a huge pick-ax, with the cutting edge mounted sideways.

Kinda like the adz in the photo Sam Cade posted in post #34, except with a pick on the other end of the head.

Most excellent for cutting through roots and digging up rocks underground.



Mattock:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattock

A digging & cutting tool.

Adz:
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/6883/adz

A wood workers tool.
They were first used century's ago by ship-builders and such for smoothing logs into planks & timbers rather then digging.

rc

Tirod
August 20, 2013, 11:41 AM
I have a new Collins pick mattock, it's great for the typically useless substance Ozarkers are fond of calling dirt. My little piece of it is about 50% rock once it have struggled down thru it to clay.

There's a reason the Army Engineer School is in the Missouri Ozarks, and the Infantry School is in sandy old Georgia. Engineers have heavy equipment and explosives, soldiers only have an entrenching tool, there's only so many hours in the day to teach something.

Thanks for the pic of the belt sander, yes, without the platen, it gets a convex edge nicely. They are rare in tool shops, however, most people seeing a belt sander have an electric powered hand tool in mind. I have a Bosch, runs great, I never sharpen anything on it. Upside down on a bench covered with tool drawer liner, it doesn't move around, but I have never figured out how to get the platen off it. Don't expect to, either.

Suggesting an expensive knifemakers shop grinder for the average guy is a bit pointless when most don't want to pony up the dollars for one. Harbor Freight's are $40 to 70, a Burr King $2,000. A good file is $10 and you can take it with you. Like filing a chain saw, you can stay ahead of it on your break. It's a bit harder to run a belt sander out in a woodlot, and I don't see the cost being a minimum 2X the tool as a positive. If you already have one, use it all you want.

Again, the axe makers need our support. Grind away.

Sam Cade
August 20, 2013, 12:51 PM
Suggesting an expensive knifemakers shop grinder for the average guy is a bit pointless when most don't want to pony up the dollars for one.

The 2x72 table mount belt grinder I use most was about $150 and was intended as a woodworking tool.



Again, the axe makers need our support. Grind away.

You are implying that sharpening an axe with a couple passes of flexible 320-400 grit belt at the end of the day before stropping is somehow more destructive to the bit than scratching at it with a bastard file? :scrutiny:



The OP was making inquiries as to edging a totally blunt axe. In that instance a properly used belt grinder is the best possible tool...and the tool used in the factory, albeit one on a grand scale.



I use a belt grinder for most of my axe sharpening. Field maintenance is with either a DMT diamond hone or a double cut handy file depending on requirements.

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