Author Topic: Wetterlings Hatchet  (Read 2196 times)

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Offline Plumber

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Wetterlings Hatchet
« on: May 10, 2020, 04:55:07 PM »
In about 1958, my Grandpa gave me a Wetterlings Hatchet for my Birthday. It was tucked away for almost 40 years in my garage. It's a little rusty, and hard to read the emblem. But you can just make out the SAW in the three small circles. I will try to clean it up, and would like to know the best way to keep the stamping that is left.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2020, 06:46:55 PM »
A good soak in vinegar or Coca-Cola for a day or two should do the trick.  Canned lye works quicker, but it is getting hard to find.....the meth-cookers have ruined my life! >:(
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2020, 11:38:22 AM »
In about 1958, my Grandpa gave me a Wetterlings Hatchet for my Birthday. It was tucked away for almost 40 years in my garage. It's a little rusty, and hard to read the emblem. But you can just make out the SAW in the three small circles. I will try to clean it up, and would like to know the best way to keep the stamping that is left.

 I think I have one similar to yours, it dates back to the '50's ~'60's era and belonged to my dad as well, todays Wetterlings axes are made in the same style as the Granfors Bruks with the extended head body, the originals were made more in the shape of the traditional Plumb Boy Scout hatchets that we all know so well. when I found mine in the basement of my fathers home the handle was dried out and cracked and the head was covered with surface rust, but there was no pitting and the pole end of the head wasn't badly peened over like some of the old axes and hatchets are that are normally found.
 I soaked it in a bath of white vinegar mixed with water for several days and it cleaned up almost like new, the temper line was quite visible and shows that the blade has not lost any of it's original shape from sharpening, the logo is still clear and sharp, I put a new old stock 14-1/2" handle on it and it looks new,  good luck with restoring yours, don't grind it if possible,  just soak it and clean it off with steel wool or scotch brite and see what it looks like before going to much further.   

 Mine has the traditional Wetterlings logo on the left side of the head and is marked with 'Drop forged' on the opposite side. 
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Offline Plumber

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2020, 06:11:23 PM »
Below the S A W mark, it is stamped "SWEDEN", and under that is "DROP FORGED".
After I chopped down a small maple in the woods behind the neighbor, my Dad gave the hatchet to his Dad to keep in his tool shed. I think that's how it got rusty, and pitted.
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Offline Dabberty

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2020, 02:51:57 AM »
Vinegar is indeed an option, and it will show the temper line nicely, but also removes the patina.
Try first a steel wire wheel on a drill for example if you want to keep the patina a bit.

Here some visual examples of vinegar vs steel wire wheel:

This one I soaked in vinegar, you can see the hardening line just above where the phantom bevels start. The steel is completely cleaned.


This gifted ochsenkopf I did with some steel wool and wd40, it looks much nicer i think.


This medieval axe had a very long vinegar bath, to get the rust from all the deep pits. There is no other way unless you paint it with something that also stops the rust going further.


This one I did with a steel wire wheel in my drill, it brings out the aging of the patina quite nicely i would say.



Whatever you do, make some before and after pics and share them here !
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2020, 08:33:57 AM »
I use the vinegar on some things and since most of my metal tools are not old it is the method used most often.  The Medieval ax is wonderful.  Is there a story to how it was found and where?
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Offline Dabberty

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2020, 08:57:38 AM »
Not much, i bought it on a local auction site like ebay, for around 8 usd, as an "rusty old axe".
After cleaning it this beauty came out.
In the european axe community it was agreed it could be somewhere between 1000 and 1500 years old, based on the weight, shape, shape of the eye, and the wrought iron used.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2020, 09:29:03 AM »
Thanks, quite a treasure.
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Offline Plumber

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2020, 09:13:30 PM »
Vinegar is indeed an option, and it will show the temper line nicely, but also removes the patina.
Try first a steel wire wheel on a drill for example if you want to keep the patina a bit.

Here some visual examples of vinegar vs steel wire wheel:

This one I soaked in vinegar, you can see the hardening line just above where the phantom bevels start. The steel is completely cleaned.


This gifted ochsenkopf I did with some steel wool and wd40, it looks much nicer i think.


This medieval axe had a very long vinegar bath, to get the rust from all the deep pits. There is no other way unless you paint it with something that also stops the rust going further.


This one I did with a steel wire wheel in my drill, it brings out the aging of the patina quite nicely i would say.



Whatever you do, make some before and after pics and share them here !
 
Dabberty, it's too late to do a before, but I have an after a bead blasting. It has lost all of the patina, and I would like to do something to get rid of the brightness. Any help would be appreciated.

It has the original handle, and I don't want to remove it to heat the head, for a patina. And I don't really want to paint it.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 09:20:40 PM by Plumber »
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Offline Dabberty

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2020, 11:07:42 PM »
Well, a real patina you get only after lots of use :-)
You could use gun blue for example.if you like the looks of that.
Or you could try to force a 'patina', for example with vinegar, mustard, and several other accid products.
You could go all crazy with it and draw figures or patterns with it. It will leave a dark kinda finish on the steel.
(Which is also relstively easy to remove with a sponge and soap)
It's a Fe oxide, a passive oxide that protects the steel from active oxidation. Rust or corrosion is Fe203, and harmful.
A lot of people use it on carbon knives, but I never have seen it done on an axe.
Anywhere between 20 minutes to 8 hours will give you a result. The longer the darker is the theory, but does not always work that way.
My suggestion is start splitting a few cords of wood, if you dont have any, offer your services to someone who does for a couple of beer :-)
Or perhaps someone else here has a solution for you.
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Offline Plumber

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2020, 07:14:20 AM »
Well, a real patina you get only after lots of use :-)
You could use gun blue for example.if you like the looks of that.
Or you could try to force a 'patina', for example with vinegar, mustard, and several other acid products.
You could go all crazy with it and draw figures or patterns with it. It will leave a dark kinda finish on the steel.
(Which is also relatively easy to remove with a sponge and soap)
It's a Fe oxide, a passive oxide that protects the steel from active oxidation. Rust or corrosion is Fe203, and harmful.
A lot of people use it on carbon knives, but I never have seen it done on an axe.
Anywhere between 20 minutes to 8 hours will give you a result. The longer the darker is the theory, but does not always work that way.
My suggestion is start splitting a few cords of wood, if you dont have any, offer your services to someone who does for a couple of beer :-)
Or perhaps someone else here has a solution for you.

I was thinking of diluting cold blue in water so that it doesn't get too dark. I plan to, first, test in on a piece of scrap steel. I'm looking for a modified form of magnetite (Fe3O4) not rust (Fe2O3).
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Offline Plumber

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2020, 07:21:57 PM »
I mixed 1/2 oz Van's Instant Gun Blue in 4 oz of water. Cleaned the axe head with alcohol, and applied the solution with a paint brush, to get an even coat. Than I rubbed it with 0000 steel wool. It came out a light gray, and a little blotchy.
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Offline Plumber

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2020, 07:46:24 PM »
I don't own any wall hangers, only three working axes.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2020, 08:28:41 PM »
I have three axes and two hatchets.  I find that I use a small Norlund more than any for trimming small branches and splitting small rounds into kindling.

The larger axes don't get much use these days and most of them are new enough to not hang on the wall.
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Offline Plumber

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2020, 08:40:52 PM »
I use my hatchet most of the time, and the small axe sometimes, but have never used Grandma's axe, and I've had it for 43 years.

When measuring a handle, do you measure from the head, or through the head?
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Offline Plumber

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2020, 08:50:27 PM »
I keep all of my tools shaving sharp, and use this strop to get them there. The leather portion is 3 1/2" X 14 1/2".
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Offline Dabberty

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2020, 09:45:28 PM »
When measuring a handle, do you measure from the head, or through the head?
From top of the axe till end of the handle
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Offline Plumber

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2020, 06:14:36 PM »
These measure, from the top of the head to the end of the handle, 14", 18", and 35.5".

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Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2020, 07:16:14 PM »
I have used Birchwood Casey cold blue with good results.  If you use the axe it won't stay dark for very long.



I used the cold blue on the hatchet.  The Collins Camp axe is one I bought when I was 9 with pop bottle money.  It cost $14 from Herter's at the time.

The hatchet is a garage sale find.  Stamped "Made in Sweden" on one side and 1 1/4 on the other.

Alan
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 07:56:47 PM by Alan R McDaniel Jr »

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2020, 08:35:46 PM »
I bought a Norlund hatchet at a flea market a couple of years ago.  $5 out the door.  I rehung it with a bit longer handle and used it a bit for trimming limbs off of down timber.  Cold blue might be worth doing to it and I have a lot of cold blue.

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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2020, 05:47:23 AM »

 Up here in New England humidity is a constant,  cutting and garden tools that aren't used often will get rusty if not protected or maintained periodically after use,  like Stan I don't use my axes like I used to and they go long periods without use, unlike my garden tools that live in one of my two yard sheds, my axes and hatchets live in my walk in  basement work shop when not in use,  the basement is heated pretty much year-round by the residual heat from the boiler and hot water heater, and it's used a lot so there's a lot of air movement to keep humidity down,  the best way I've found to keep them from getting surface rust is to wipe them off after use with a damp rag to get the sap and dirt off the head and give them a light oiling with WD-40 or a squirt of Rem oil, and whenever I happen to be using boiled linseed oil I give any axe heads that need it a quick light coat with whatever rag I was using.
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Offline Plumber

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2020, 09:49:22 AM »
I have used Birchwood Casey cold blue with good results.  If you use the axe it won't stay dark for very long.



I used the cold blue on the hatchet.  The Collins Camp axe is one I bought when I was 9 with pop bottle money.  It cost $14 from Herter's at the time.

The hatchet is a garage sale find.  Stamped "Made in Sweden" on one side and 1 1/4 on the other.

Alan

Alan, I have spent many hours browsing through Herter's in Waseca MN. Searching for "Herter's World Famous" hunting, camping, and fishing gear. I still have a few things from Herters. I have a recurve bow, and a "Herters World Famous Vit Glodo Duck Call".
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Offline Plumber

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Re: Wetterlings Hatchet
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2020, 10:03:21 AM »
I gave my Hatchet an upgrade to help protect it from my ineptness. I had some scraps of leather from another project, and one was big enough for what I wanted. I cut out a rough shape, put in some eyes, wet it, tied it on, and let it dry for two days. Than I marked out the final shape, cut it, dyed it, and let it dry. Today, I put mink oil on it, inside and out, heated it with a hair dryer, and tied it on. 



The old girl got a new bra, to protect her 60+ year old wood.  8)
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