How to Sharpen an Axe Blade
Working with a dull axe blade is dangerous and should always be avoided. It can lead to serious accidents. However, one can prevent this by knowing how to sharpen the axe. You should sharpen your axe every so often, since a sharp axe will help you get your work done in the minimum time possible, not to mention with minimal energy exerted.
The method of sharpening is a little bit uncomfortable because you are required to hold the axe in bizarre and difficult positions, along with exerting firm pressure while holding a file. Always remember to wear protective gear like thick gloves to get a firm and steady hold on the axe. If the axe slips off your grip, it can slice your flesh to the bone. Remember to take great precaution when doing this.
Step 1 – Clean It up
Carefully clean the blade. Make sure that dirt and oil are thoroughly removed from the blade and you have a firm grasp on the axe while doing this.
Step 2 – Filing
Make long and sweeping stroke using a 10 inch mill file, working your way across the bevel. Do not forget to do this process on the other side of the bevel as well. Keep turning the axe from side to side to ensure sharpness on both sides. Make sure that you are filing along the exact angle as the original bevel blade.
Step 3 – Honing, Sharpening and Finishing
Wet the stone with a generous amount of honing oil and then move it along the bevel, making a circular motion. Do not wipe off the paste that the stone produces. Just keep working on sharpening the blades. Use the course side of the stone first and then use the finer side of the stone for finishing.
Step 4 – Polishing
Coat the blades with oil. This process will help keep the blade sharp for a longer period. Keep in mind that dirt on your tool acts like a magnet. It attracts moisture, hence causing corrosion.
For a great axe performance, wax your axe frequently with rust preventive oil, and lower the rate of pressure when cutting wood or metal. A honed and well-polished blade does not just appear better, it also gives your tool a longer life span than the partially sharpened axes.
Another thing to remember is that you should wrap your axe with leather protection all the time to prevent corrosion, even if you only intend to carry it at short distances. When using it, avoid chopping on rocks because dirt can significantly affect the sharpness of your tool. When storing your axe, you should always make sure that it is sufficiently lubricated. You should also store it with a proper cover and keep it in an area where there is low humidity. If you take care of your axe properly, it can last a lifetime and even be passed on to the next generation.