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Axe Handle "Saver" Also Splits Wood
Shane Zeiger splits five to eight cords of wood per year by hand, so the chances of his breaking an axe handle are pretty good. Or were pretty good, before he came up with a metal axe handle "saver" that eliminated the problem.
  "It lets me split a log clean through at a point where the handle is most likely to break," says the Three Forks, Montana man.
  The axe handle "saver" consists of a sleeve made from 16 ga. galvanized sheet metal and measures about 8 in. long. Zeiger, who makes his living as a sheet metal worker, used a ballpeen hammer to roll the metal up to make a flange on top, which he then pop riveted together. He also welded a diagonal blade, made from 1/8-in. thick steel with a sharpened cutting edge, onto the bottom of the sleeve. Then he welded the blade to the axe head.
  "The cutting blade increases the cutting length of the axe which is important when you split wood, especially wood that doesn't have a straight grain," says Zeiger. "Sometimes as the axe head hits the wood, the handle comes down on a piece of unsplit wood and the weight of the head causes the handle to break off. The blade on my axe handle cuts down through that unsplit wood.
  "A new axe handle can cost $20 or more. In the past I tried wrapping wire or duct tape around the handle, but it never would hold. When I made this modification four years ago, I had been breaking one to two handles per year. Since then, I haven't broken a single handle. If the handle ever should break, I would just remove the rivets and open the sleeve a little, then pull the handle out and replace it."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Shane Zeiger, P. O. Box 367, Three Forks, Montana 59752 (ph 406 285-4851).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1