Axe Blade Sharpening
My blade sharpening services in Mobile AL include axes. Most non-professional users of axes, meaning the average guy or gal, do not realize that an axe is not suppossed to be razor sharp. Blade sharpening for an axe should result in an edge that is great for all around use – chopping wood or felling trees.
Always wear gloves when sharpening an axe blade. The force used and the amount of steel to be removed from a very dull or damaged axe requires more force than you might think. Not that it can’t be done. It can, quite easily and that is the problem. You do not realize just how deeply you can push your fingers or palm into the blade. I wear and recommend heavy leather welders gloves.
- Clamp the axe edge up in a vise. Using an big, course file, first tackle any nicks that exists on the blade. Once they have been removed are extend no futher that the rest of the edge, proceed to file the edge in a downward motion. On the upstroke of the file, lift the file slightly above the blade so it does not file “in reverse.” Make a few passes on one side and then the other. Alternate between the sides of the edge. until you have an arc of shiny steel on both sides of the axe blade.
- Now start concentrating your attention on the edge. As you file the edge while looking for a slight burr or sliver of steel to appear on the edge opposite from the one you are filing. When you see this burr or sliver appear, stop filing.
- Put your file away and grab a sharpening stone. Apply the stone to the edge just as you did with the file – using a downward motion. What you hope to achieve here is removal of the marks left by the file. Removing those marks means you are in reality sharpening the edge even further and removing any courseness in the edge that may encourage the axe blade to stick in the wood. When those marks are gone, pick up a finer stone…
- .and in a circular motion, improve the edge further by removing any swirls or marks left by the previous stone.
Published: February 25, 2015