Monday, April 19, 2010

Pick Axe Four Dollars

Pick Axe Four Dollars

This pick axe was made from Walnut wood. The wood came from the large branch of a tree in our yard. When we had it trimmed for safety reasons we saved the wood and had it rough cut to planks. We took it in the trunk of our 1991 Buick LeSabre and to a field south of Franklin WI. My father drove our Champagne colored Buick on the canted edge of a farmers sod field all the way around and then we drove down a hill and through some trees. There we found some men working. One of them was the owner of a portable saw mill. A horizontally articulated band saw was mounted on a conveying framework that tracked the blade to cut a fixed board width down the length of the log. It was very noisy and dust was flying. Sometimes it skipped a little and jolted back to form a roughly surfaced cut. The wood was left to dry in the yard and somewhat stacked with interdispersed slats. It wasn’t protected enough from the elements and warped and eventually formed some black rot. My father and I made things with it through the years. Good strong dense hardwood with a strong core. The warpage and rot did prove to be a challenge to expedited woodworking but indeed a worthwhile endeavor.

The metal pick part was bought from; I believe it was for three or four dollars. The metal had an oxidized black finish. Using the iterative process it was cleaned with soap and water, emery cloth, wire brush, vinegar, spray can primed hung up to dry and finish painted with spray can gold colored paint and then clear coated.

The Walnut is actually two pieces of walnut laminated together, because that is all the wood I had to use to make it and because it is stronger that way. The end tip of the handle has a round brass fitting I custom made from recycled electrical parts that keeps it bastioned together in case I have to dig more extremely for gold with it.

The wooden handle is finished to smooth gloss and fitted much like my story of making hammer handles found elsewhere in my blogs.

And yes making nice crafts, charms, tools, and designs does tend to enrich our lives. Who knew?

God Bless,

Thomas Paul Murphy

Copyright 2010 Thomas Paul Murphy

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