Refurbing an old hatchet

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Senior Member
Jan 19, 2016
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Not sure if this is the right forum, but I'll leave that to the admins.

I was digging out in the yard today and unearthed an old Stilleto brand hatchet. This was buried near a PG&E pole in the back of our yard. PG&E apparently used to hand these out to the pole installers so I figure it got lost back in the early 60's when they were installing the overhead lines in our neighborhood.

Anyhow, I'd like to clean it up. Curious if any makers here have any thoughts on the best way to clean the blade up and then (re) blue it. I've watched a few videos and read a bit, seems everyone has a different method.

Thanks in advance guy's.

I have an old axe head I plan on refurbishing but I have only sharpened them in the past so I look forward to what more experienced folks have to say. For sharpening I clamp it in a vise and then take a metal file to it to cut the bevel and then do a sharpening stone progression to polish the bevel up. Shooting for a very convex grind with a mirror finished bevel. For the one I'm going to refurbish I was planning on cleaning it up with a wire brush thing attached to a drill. If that doesn't get things cleaned up fast enough then I'm going to buy an angle grinder. And once I get the rust cleaned up I'll sharpen it normal.
Wire brush on a bench grinder would be my first step, wear a mask , goggles and leather gloves.
Then I would apply navel jelly or something similar to remove small rust spots.
Getting the surface back to smooth might be a bit of work.
As Stringer said, a good new metal file is your friend for the bevel.
I'd dunk it in the electrolytic bucket to start, it'll blow all the crap off, convert any usable rusting steel back into non-rusted steel and set the whole thing with a stabilized iron oxide patina. Dry it, knock anything loose that'll come off, oil it then you can worry about handles/cleanup/sharpening.
angle grinder and stripping wheel will work very fast.

just search for "paint removing disc"