Cleaning an Axe After Use
An axe is basically a tool used for cutting wood. It is not designed as a precision tool, so many owners feel that it is alright to leave their axes at the mercy of the elements. Besides, with a head made of thick hard steel and an equally sturdy piece of wood for a handle, an axe may not seem to need any sort of maintenance. But if you want to keep it performing at its peak or prolong its useful life, you need to keep your axe free from rust. To do that, you need to keep it clean after you used it. Here are some tips.
Proper Way of Cleaning Your Axe
The first thing that you need to remember when cleaning your camp or chopping axe is to make sure that the head is thoroughly dry. Use paper towel or absorbent cloth to take excess water or moisture off the axe blade. If there is stubborn dirt or wood sap on the head, you can apply paint thinner or turpentine to remove any remaining grime on the axe head and handle. If you spot rust, make sure to scratch it off using sandpaper or steel wool.
Preventing Your Chopping Axe from Rusting
Nothing can ruin your axe worse than rust. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent rust from developing on the axe blade. You can spray light lubricants or oils after you used your axe. Light oils do not tend to gum up or solidify even in cold temperatures. But if you are a person who uses an axe a lot while exploring the outdoors, you can make use of gun oil as cleaner and anti-rust protection for your axe. Gun oil has been known to withstand the effects of extreme temperature levels.
For an all-around camp axe, you can use motor oil and even used oil as rust protection. However, these oils may be too messy and form into a sticky substance on the axe blade during cold weather conditions. If you do not mind that your axe has a gum-like resin on its blade, you can use heavy oils or even car and floor wax as these materials can inhibit rusting effectively. Finally, you can opt for beeswax or linseed oil if you do not have any of the light or heavy lubricants mentioned.
Storing Your Axe the Right Way
When storing your chopping axe, it is not enough that you clean and apply rust inhibitors on the axe head. Make it a point to wipe off excess wax or oil and then cover the head with a piece of cloth. This will not only add protection to the axe but it will also ensure safety for you and your family. Lastly, always store your axe in a cool dry place to avoid humid conditions that can pave the way for rust to develop.
In the end, a clean sharp chopping axe is not only about aesthetics or making it look like new for a longer time. Rather, a clean axe can only mean less workload for you as it will have enhanced performance when chopping wood.