Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bee Hive and a hatchet

Like I said yesterday was going to round up some wood for a top bar bee hive.
I found some 1"X12" in my scrap pile and got two sides 45" long and a bottom 50" long.
I cut some 1"X4" trim 45" long to go around and gathered up some more one inch boards to make the bars.
I hit a snag as one of my sides had a piece splitting out of it so I pried it open and put in some glue and clamped it tight. So that's as far as I got on that project yesterday.

As I was working on the bee hive I saw a hatchet head hanging on a nail by the door in my shop. It's been hanging there my whole life as far as I know and I notice it almost every time I'm in my shop. ( In case you don't know my shop was built by my great great grandpa around 1890) So I decided it finally needed a handle. I should of gone in the house and got the camera so I could of shown you the steps I took to create it but you'll just have to suffer through my description instead.

I went out to my wood pile and dug through my pile of slabwood. I bought a dumptruck load a couple weeks ago to burn in the furnace. I got a nice piece of white oak that was slightly larger and longer than I needed.
It was only about 1/4" thicker than it needed to be and about 1/2" wider. First and most important in my opinion I took a pencil and marked the center line on the narrow side of the wood. This is where the narrow side of the hole will go. Then I held the head up to the blank and marked how deep the head would sit on the handle.

When I did this I saw I could cut about 3/8" off the back of the blank so I ripped it down with the hand saw.(that was some work) Then I put the blank in the vise and starting with a rasp I worked the head into a rough shape to approximate the shape it needed to be. Then I put the head up to the blank and looked into the top of the hole and could see when I was getting close in size. After a little bit of work I could slip the head on the tip of the blank. After a tap I could see the marks where the wood was too tight and rasp that part off. soon I had it fairly close and I used a wooden block and a hammer and was able to drive the head the rest of the way on.

I then smoothed out the rest of the handle with the rasp and made a slightly smaller grip area near the bottom, rasping it down until it felt good in my hand. Next I drilled a hole near the bottom for a leather thong if I feel like putting one in. I then took it out and split a small pile of kindling with it. You will notice I didn't put a wedge in, and I think I really don't need one since the inside of the head was pitted with rust and when I drove it on it compressed the wood somewhat and it expanded into these pits inside the head. I made one like this years ago and it lasted a long time. If it loosens up I can drive a finish nail into the head to expand it.

I am quite please with what I ended up with.





Still clinging to my God and my guns,
Randy