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Pick Axe

I have found an old pick axe head which belonged to my Father-in-Law and the wooden handle just fell apart.  I have cleaned the metal head and bought a new handle and slotted it through the head.  My question is how to keep the head firmly attached to the handle.  I also bought two small metal wedges to do the aforementioned but I don't know where to hammer them in. Will it be from the ground level up towards the top or downwards from top to ground.  Someone said I had to chisel out some of the wood before hammering the wedges down the side.  Any ideas?  





  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,347

    I've got a couple of large nails holding the head of mine in place. It seems to work! I'll go and take a look at it to see which way they go, but I'd think it would be from the handle down towards the head, otherwise the head will slide down the handle when you use it  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    Thanks Fairy Girl.

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 4,592

    A pickaxe head will generally jam itself onto the shaft pretty effectively without the use of wedges.  Just use it's own weight and drop it, top end down as in the picture, onto concrete a couple of times and it should hold fast.

    I've never had a problem with the head sliding down the shaft in use.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,347

    The nails are in with the heads at the handle side. I think mine was pretty old and had worn a fair bit, so it was quite loose. It's a bit wobbly just now.

    a bit like me image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    Thanks FG - I'll hammer the wedges in tomorrow as I don't want to risk the head slithering down on top of me. 

  • JIMMMYJIMMMY Posts: 241

    Hammer it down hard a few times, then soak it over night in water to swell the shaft that will ensure it is tight!

    My father always did this with both sledge hammers and pick axe before he used them!

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    The hole through the head is often shaped so it has a top and a bottom. The wedges usually go on the top side, not the handle side. The head of the shaft is also shaped so the head rests on the top of the handle, so it can't slip down. The wedges are to stop the head slipping off the top of the shaft and go on either side beside the points, if you see what I mean.
  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    Oh Welsh Onion that means I have got the wrong end of the stick!   By the 'Top' do you mean the widest part of the wooden handle?  As you can see by my picture the wood is wider beyond the metal head (nearest the grass) so I would have thought it wouldn't come off that end anyway so I'm totally confused now.  image

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    There's generally a softwood wedge that goes along the long axis of the eye and then a hardwood or steel wedge at right angles to it.  I agree about soaking it to swell the wood; you may need to repeat this from time to time.

  • Alan4711Alan4711 LincolnshirePosts: 1,632

    Forrester2  the head of yours has to be correct as the points face down or it wouldn't work leave it as it is or it will be upside down, as kt53 says hold the handle and drop the axe head down hard a few times this will do the trick, if you dont trust it staying in position wedge it from the long handle side ,but this is not normally needed, Good luck.

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