Thursday, September 22, 2011

Re-magic-ing my Wood Chopping Maul

It's time to get a new maul handle. It's almost October already and I've had a couple large piles of wood hanging around on the side of our yard for most of the summer. That it's not chopped and stacked is one part "because it was too hot", one part "because I've been lazy" and one part "because my maul handle is cracking."

It's a fiber glass core maul handle. I used to use exclusively wooden handles, and blew through those pretty quickly. When I first started using the fiber glass core, it felt like a magic artifact one might get in some role playing game like Dungeons and Dragons. You know, like a +1 short sword or a magic mace that has +3 damage against orcs. But in this case it was a magic maul with +2 damage against oak and beech wood.

POW! POP! I could feel the maul doing the work for me.

It felt mystical. I could crack through a pile of wood in a half hour and my hands didn't have that jolted tingly sensation.

But I overshot the wood with the maul once in a while, here and there, like ya do and the handle landed square on the wood with tremendous force. Each time I did that I felt the core crack just a bit. Now there's a lump emerging from the plastic side where the fiberglass is buckling, and I can see splits in end of the fiberglass rod. At this point it would do as much good to punch the wood with my fists for all the good it's doing. The handle has just enough bounce and give now to make the maul more or less worthless.

Now I'm confronted with the task of removing the maul handle.

With wood, I'd just start a fire in the fire pit and toss the maul in and let the fire do the work (by the way, this is apparently terrible idea since there can be air pockets in the steel that could expand and cause a bit of flak...or that's what I hear...somehow it seems unlikely...but there it is). Then when the maul cooled I'd put in the new wooden handle.

With fiberglass, I'm not quite sure what to do. The handle is held in with a resin or epoxy. Probably best not to burn it. I'm thinking I may take a thin hack saw to the handle and chisel the rest of the handle out of the steel maul end.

I like the continuity of keeping my maul end and it seems wasteful to toss it and replace it when I could just change up the handle for the dozenth time.

We'll see how it works. Can't wait to get back to having a magical maul again.

1 comment:

Martin Langeland said...

Other thoughts:
Drill the handle end through the head.
put it in a vise and drive the handle out with a punch.
Any road, brute strength is needed with as much cunning as you can manage.
Good luck.