Axe sharpener


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JudgeHolden10
April 12, 2014, 04:16 PM
Mods: please delete this if it's too off-topic. I figured, though, that someone here would know the answer to this.

I have an axe (an Estwing camper's axe, if that matters) that I've used and abused. It desperately needs a good sharpening. Any suggestions as to something to sharpen it?

I've been kicking around the idea of buying an Apex or a Wicked Edge, but as far as I know, neither of these would work for an axe. :(

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thunder173
April 12, 2014, 04:27 PM
i'd recommend a mill file and an arkansas stone.

rcmodel
April 12, 2014, 04:30 PM
Several cheap alternatives.

Axes have been sharpened for century's with a fine-cut file.

Or, I just sharpened my lawn mover blades a while ago with a 5" disk sander pad in a electric drill.
http://www.doitbest.com/Hole+Saws-Ali+Industries+Inc-model-315144-doitbest-sku-315144.dib

Moving up in cost, a belt sander will do a fine job too.
http://www.harborfreight.com/4-inch-x-36-inch-belt-6-inch-disc-sander-97181.html

rc

Sam Cade
April 12, 2014, 05:27 PM
Belt grinder is the way to go, after all, that is how they are sharpened at the factory.

The only caveat is to take care not to overheat the bit. I use a coffee can full of ice to keep everything cool.

BenFoo
April 12, 2014, 05:36 PM
Ive used all the above plus a grinding disk on an angle grinder.

Dont use the reg cutting disks on the angle grinder to sharpen it. :)

JudgeHolden10
April 12, 2014, 10:14 PM
Thanks, all. My friend has a belt grinder; that will be where I start.

rcmodel
April 12, 2014, 10:24 PM
Be sure to run the belt AWAY from the edge, and away from you.

If you try it edge on to the running belt it's liable to dig in, take the ax away from you, and sling it across the shop at 180 MPH!

rc

jerkface11
April 12, 2014, 11:01 PM
RC it sounds like you might have learned that the hard way.

witchhunter
April 12, 2014, 11:38 PM
Belt sander. Don't try to give it a 15 degree knife edge. Because when chopping, it may chip. Around 35 degrees. Don't get the blade hot, this is very important. Start out with a 40-50 grit if it is bad and shape the blade.

rcmodel
April 12, 2014, 11:52 PM
RC it sounds like you might have learned that the hard wayNo, but I have ground a lot of custom knife blades over the years.

Never got cut or stabbed, by doing it the right way, the right direction with the belt.

rc

hso
April 13, 2014, 11:53 AM
sling it across the shop at 180 MPH!

Where it promptly rebounds off of something and heads back towards you at 90mph to drive the "point" home not to do that! :what:

CWL
April 13, 2014, 02:59 PM
Anybody ever try one of those ax-sharpening pucks? They come with 2 grits (coarse & fine) and are meant for axes, machetes and similar outdoor tools. Lansky & Norton makes them for relatively cheap.

http://thumbs1.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mqQowrg6REk3bEtocqqOTxg.jpg

zhyla
April 13, 2014, 11:49 PM
Be sure to run the belt AWAY from the edge, and away from you.

Hmmm... the big 4x36 sanders are scary beasts. I prefer the cheap 1x30 that HF sells for around $30. The belt runs down (like a grinder), you point the blade up and it's all good. This way you don't build up a wire edge and there's no chance of the belt ripping nicks out of the blade.

I have sharpened my axe with a grinder and with the 1x30 sander. Sander is definitely more controllable and worked out perfectly. My 4 year old daugher, having heard Taylor Swift's "Sparks Fly" song for months, saw me sharpening the axe a while back and went running to my wife to tell her she'd finally found what the song was about :).

For minor edge maintenance a file and stone work fine. But if your axe isn't missing parts of its edge you're not abusing it enough.

Mp7
April 14, 2014, 05:05 AM
Do wear eye protection.




Dont ask how i know....... :uhoh:

Zeke/PA
April 14, 2014, 07:19 AM
i'd recommend a mill file and an arkansas stone.
I was taught this method many moons ago by my Grandfather and still use it in spite of the fact that I have grinders and sanders at my disposal.

Deltaboy
April 23, 2014, 10:18 PM
Mill file and Stone

wheelgunslinger
April 24, 2014, 01:54 PM
Anybody ever try one of those ax-sharpening pucks?

Yeah. They're okay. But you have to be the kind of axe user who keeps his edge keen because they're more of a touch up piece.

If you own a cheaper axe with so-so steel, and don't keep it sharp, mind what you chop, or use it for splitting, you probably want to stick with a file.

MtnCreek
April 24, 2014, 02:27 PM
A little off topic:

Why use a stone after sharpening w/ a flat file? Do you use a stone on an axe that's just used for chopping?
Thanks.

Sam Cade
April 24, 2014, 02:38 PM
Why use a stone after sharpening w/ a flat file?

To get a finer edge.

Do you use a stone on an axe that's just used for chopping?

Depends on what you are chopping. ;)

If working in dirty wood or on the "grubbing" side of a double bit axe it usually isn't worth the effort to stone it.

Otherwise, I want my axes as sharp and I can get them without spoiling the geometry of the edge.

hso
April 24, 2014, 04:20 PM
Why use a stone?

A smoother surface works the material easier requiring a noticeable reduction in effort. This is the case even with something like an axe. Bites deeper, completes the task quicker.

22-rimfire
May 1, 2014, 08:35 PM
I use the diamond filel type sharpeners that you can buy at places like Ace, Lowe's and Home Depot. I also use the same sharpener for my machetes.

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