I was looking through my hickory axe handle staves for no particular reason the other day and came across one that just inspired me. I generally keep some good air-dried hickory on hand for handles because perfect axe handles can't be bought these days. Besides that, they're made from kiln dried wood which destroys the inherent properties of hickory. Anyways.. the stave inspired me mainly because it was ugly, and I wanted to use it to get rid of it. It had some wavey grain, a slight bow, and a little strip of brash wood near the heartwood side of the stave. So, I decided to hew the bow off of it to see if I thought I could get a double bit handle out of it before I cut it in half for shorter hatchet handle blanks. Here's a few pictures, and a short video of how the project went. A 3 1/2 lb. Collins era, Sager Double Bit axe head(1950-1955)I picked up a few years ago at a pawn shop for $5. After getting down to the brass tacks, I can see that the stave is BARELY wide enough to even think about hanging this head. I'm thinking maybe I can pull it off at this point. It's gonna work, but the shoulder is going to be a little narrower than I like on a double bit axe. It's shaping up after a few minutes of hewing with the hatchet. Making the tongue, and fitting it to the eye. Also starting to cut some facets with the rasp to ensure I keep the handle straight, and inline with the tongue and shoulder. Working on the shelf, and facets. This picture is a little confusing. I'm holding the tongue in my hand while sighting down the haft for straightness. Final facet tweaking with the rasp for geometric uniformity along the full length of the haft. This technique works for curvey single bit axe handles as well. Finally, the tongue is through the eye and ready to be hung. Kerf was cut, and the head was hung with a sassafras wedge. It doesn't show in the picture, but I cod locked the wedge by driving it deeper after trimming the tongue. The thickness of the haft is 13/16ths along the length. The swell. A little file work on the bits. Once through the hard oxidation layer, an old Ward's Master Quality file made pretty quick work of this part! After the bits were profiled, I hit them with a carborundum stone and then 180 paper. I took her to the woods this afternoon to work on a maple windfall. The axe feels good and smooth to me and seems really accurate. I grew up swinging homemade axe handles, and use the flex to my advantage. Just can't get that in a brought on box store handle anymore.