Vern Burke, SwiftWater Edge Tool Works
Wow, We’ve got enough questions built up for a 2-parter!
1. (question about putting a bigger handle in a boy’s axe)
Aside from the fact that I have no idea why anyone would want to put anything longer than 28″ in a 2 1/2lb boy’s axe (I even go a bit shorter if I can find the appropriate handels), you want a handle that’s as close as possible to matching the length (fore and aft) of the eye in the axe head. Cutting down an oversize handle too much usually creates a bad problem trying to keep it wedged tightly. If you need a 32″-36″ handle, pick a 3lb to 3 1/2lb full sized poll axe.
2. (question about how to straighten a bent sickle bar mowing machine knife section)
Anything that gets run across in a field that’s bad enough to damage a sickle bar mowing machine is pretty much guaranteed to damage one or more knife sections. The bar itself may be possible to repair, knife sections that are damaged in any way need to be removed and replaced entirely. Anything else is a safety hazard.
3. (question about are vintage chisels meant to have a bent back)
With the exception of special purpose chisels such as slicks (the chisel is flat, the handle socket angles up) or chisel look alike tools such as the bark spud (the blade is curved for peeling bark from logs), the flat side of a chisel should be just that, more or less flat.
4. (question about straightening a warped knife)
If the steel of a knife, chisel, or other hand tool was soft enough to bend in the first place, there’s a 50/50 chance that it can be straightened without breaking it. It’s pretty much a roll of the dice. It’s worth trying on valuable blades that are seriously bent, just be prepared to toss it if it doesn’t go right.
Visit me at any of the following locations:
Depot St, Norridgewock, ME (Mondays)
Tractor Supply, Skowhegan, ME (Tuesday)
Somerset Woods turnout, Canaan Rd (Rt 2), Skowhegan,ME (Wednesday)
Arundel Flea Market, Rt 1 & Log Cabin Rd, Arundel, ME (Fridays)
Fryeburg Flea Market (Fryeburg Fairgrounds), Fryeburg, ME
(Sundays, Memorial Day thru end of September)
298 W Front St, Skowhegan, ME (all other days)
If you’re looking for a special tool, please drop me an
email and let me know and I’ll restore one just for you!
SwiftWater Edge Tool Works provides mobile sharpening services across Maine and mail in services around the world for handsaws, carbide blades, planer knives, hand planes, chain saws, knives, scissors, hair clippers, router bits, and almost any blade!