Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

How to tighten an adze head

Well, my vacation is nearly done. But here's one of the mini-projects that I accomplished.

I started working on this on Monday, Sept 19th. I finished it today, Sunday the 25th. Some of the intervening time was just spent waiting for the glue to dry -- as you'll see below.

This adze-ish tool -- with a pickaxe at the other end -- is one of the tools I picked up at an estate sale maybe half a year ago.  It's one of the tools that I cleaned up during this vacation, as described in another blog entry.

The metal portion was loose on the handle:  not enough to fall off, but certainly enough to make it annoying when trying to use the tool.

The first photo shows the tool in my workbench's vice.  I've used a chisel to create a groove to receive a wooden wedge, which will spread the end of the wooden handle and jam it against the inside of the "eye" of the tool's head.

The next photo shows the wedge that I created, and the branch that I created it from.  Next to my workbench I keep a bucket of hardwood branch sections, collected from my yard, just for making small dowels and pegs and such.

The wedge is probably about 15 degrees.  I didn't measure it; I just eyeballed it -- and it looked like about half of 30 degrees, so...

Here's a shot of me using sandpaper to smooth the surface of the wedge, so that it won't bind on the way in.  Because the piece is so small, it's actually easier to hold the sheet of sandpaper on a flat piece of wood, and rub the wedge back and forth across it.

Here's the tool, back in the vice.  The green towel isn't part of this process:  it's just there to make the photo clearer, by obscuring some of the clutter on the workbench.

Unfortunately, you can't tell -- but I made the tip of the wedge at a coarser angle than the rest of the wedge:  that's for strength; I figured that a very thin tip would be fragile, break off, and ruin the process.

Another shot, prior to my driving it in with a wooden mallet.  Lookit the glue!!!

And:  a few days later, after the glue has dried.  I've cut off the excess from the wedge; sanded it a little; used the bench grinder's wire wheel to clean the rust off the metal; WD-40'd the metal; and oiled the handle (including the "eye") with a a 50-50 mixture of boiled linseed oil and methyl alcohol (as a thinner). 

The handle is now quite snug in the eye of the tool.  However, if it becomes loose, I can tighten it up by driving a metal "hammer head" wedge into the eye, as indicated by the red line. Because the initial wedge is made of wood, I can drive the subsequent metal wedge through the initial wedge.

And if it loosens again, I can drive another metal wedge where the green line is.


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