Monday, May 7, 2018

True Temper Flint Edge Kelly Works Pulaski, circa 1950's - 1960's, Restoration

The weather here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest has taken a turn for the better........with clear skies, warm temps, and a couple of days off, I decided to tackle a little project that's been pending for a year or so.  Time to re-handle an old Pulaski head that's been banging around the shop!


I picked up this Pulaski a year or so ago, from one of our local "junk stores".  Sometime recently it had the handle replaced with a fiberglass handle, that was epoxied in place.  It was a terrible job and poorly executed!  On top of that, how could anyone use an old fiberglass handle on a beautiful old Pulaski like this? !!!  I knew what I had to do.  I paid for it and hauled it home.  


Removing the handle turned out to be quite a miserable job!  After 2 hours of drilling, chipping and pounding, I finally separated the head from that miserable handle.  After that ordeal, the Pulaski head ended up under the workbench, waiting for just the right hickory handle to show up.  That day was last Saturday!  While running errands around town, I spotted the handle hanging on the rack at our local hardware store.  Beautiful, straight grain, and good color.  Perfect!


I spent the afternoon fitting the handle to the eye of the head and then set Pulaski head with wedges.  


I finished out the project with a healthy coating of Danish Oil, and a proper sanding of the handle.  All in all, I'm quite pleased with it! 

I left the head mostly "as found" with a natural patina.  I lightly sanded the head with very fine sandpaper to remove some loose rust, and then oiled it up.  I'll get to sharpening it soon, but for now it's just a joy to look at, as it is still quite dull.  I plan on making this Pulaski a "daily chopper" that I'll haul with me into the field, so I wanted to leave it with that great "been there, done that" patina.


There is a bit of red paint in a few of the stamped letters that hints of it having been a fire service Pulaski in a previous life.  Unfortunately, there is no way to tell now.


The Kelly Axe Company used both the True Temper, and Kelly Works names, as well as Flint Edge on their axes from about 1949 to 1983.  I am guessing from the condition and patina of the head, that this Pulaski is probably from the 1950's or 1960's.  

You can check out my other fire service Pulaski on an older FourBees blog post:
https://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.com/2015/11/us-forest-service-pulaski-fss-woodings.html 

These old Kelly Works axes were made from high quality, USA steel, and from my experience, hold a wicked sharp edge!  I can't wait to get it sharpened and give it a proper try-out!

Until then, let's take a look at the album.













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