If you have some basic competence with woodworking tools and a vice or clamping workbench you can re-handle a Gransfors axe. It takes care and patience and, as always, working with tools can be dangerous. Consider the risks, not least dropping a razor sharp axe head on your foot. If you aren’t competent try asking a friend or a woodworker who is.
My woodwork is fairly rough and ready as you’ll see below, especially the last image which is a ‘how not to do it.’
Clamp the the axe securely ready for drilling. Look at how it’s fitted; this is what you are aiming for.
Drill out the ends of the steel wedge if your axe has one.
Drill out the wooden wedge to the full depth of the head.
Lever out the steel wedge.
Remove the steel wedge if your axe has one. Needle nosed pliers help.
Now you need to support the head in the jaws of the vice and drive the handle out with a suitable piece of wood and hammer. Don’t let the head fall on your foot!
Fit the handle; it will probably need work so that it will go all the way on. So remove the handle if there isn’t 6 to 10mm coming out of the head.
Remove the high points with a file or knife and make the slot wide enough so that the handle will go all the way onto the head. This may take a few goes at trimming and refitting the head.
When the handle is trimmed and the slot the right width there will be room for the wedges, and the handle will stick out a minimum of 1/4″ from the head. Gransfors use a two tonne press to fit handles, so take the time to make sure the handle is well seated and straight before fixing it with wedges.
Wood glue makes the wedge secure and helps you hammer the wedge into place. Use a wooden block and mallet so you don’t split the wedge. Trim the wedge and insert a metal wedge diagonally across the wooden wedge. It is crucial that the handle comes out beyond the head.
What not to do. If you trim the handle too much the metal wedge will split the handle rather than make the handle tighter. This handle is pretty much flush with the head so will work loose over time and may fly off.
You can buy genuine replacement Gransfors Bruk Axe Handles and Sheaths on our website.