The Intro Box
I want to start by thanking our subscribers. Thank you for joining us on this journey. We have had some awesome feedback, and we hope to hear from you guys more often.
Now lets move on to the first ever Homestead Box, and discover, together, what we can do with the items inside. These are just a few ideas, because this system of items in the Intro Box will flex into many rolls on your homestead. In this post we will cover how to restore a hoe or shovel, how to sharpen an ax or hatchet, and how to make a strop. This blog post is made in conjunction with our YouTube page, so don’t forget to watch the videos that go along with the Instructions here.
How to Restore a Hoe or Shovel (see YouTube video)
- Clean off all dirt and debris with a dry cloth
- Sand all finish off of the handle with coarse grit paper. Sand along the grain enough to get down to bare wood.
- Use your sanding block to make your handle silky smooth
- Apply Boiled linseed oil one thin coat at a time by putting the oil on a rag and wiping with the grain. Remove any excess and allow to dry 24hrs. Add up to 5 coats for great protection.
- Take your Medium Sanding sponge and remove any rust from the blade of the hoe.
- Next use your farmer’s file to work on the edge. Wear a glove and file into the edge (as opposed to off of the edge. Eventually you will feel a burr turn on the non-beveled side of the hoe blade.
- When you feel the burr along the entire edge you can stop filling. Take your Lansky Puck and soak it with mineral oil or olive oil. Take a few stroked on the flat side to remove the burr. You are done sharpening.
- Take some oil and wipe down all of the metal parts and store your hoe out of the weather. Revisit the handle treatment every 6months, and sharpen as necessary.
How to Sharpen an Axe or Hatchet
- Remove all dirt and rust.
- Clamp your axe into a vise with the head oriented flat.
- With a gloved hand, file your axe at approx. 25 degrees until a bur forms along the other side of the bit.
- Turn the Axe over in the vise and repeat the filing until the bur turns to the other side of the axe bit.
- Use the coarse side of your Lansky Puck to remove the file marks from the bit. The goal here is turn the bur to the other side while polishing out the file marks. Hold your Puck at 25 degrees and sharpen into the edge.
- Flip your axe over and repeat step 5 until the bur flips to the other side.
- Flip your axe again and use the finer side of your puck to polish out the marks from the coarse side. Turn the bur to the other side.
- Flip your axe and repeat step 7.
- When the bur turns and all of the coarse side marks are gone, strop your edge to remove the bur.
- Your axe should be very sharp at this point.
How to Make a Strop
- Cut a piece of wood to the width of your leather. IT IS BETTER TO USE THE REAL WIDTH INSTEAD OF MEASURING AND TRANSFERRING. See video for example.
- Leave the length 3-5inches longer than the leather piece.
- Mark the length of your leather by placing the leather on the wood, flushing it at one end and marking where it stops on the wood.
- Next draw your handle pattern on the wood.
- Cut or chisel the rough handle out.
- Sand or chisel your handle until you like it.
- Next glue the strop to the wood with wood glue. Use a vise or clamps to ensure good consistent bond.
- Let set for an hour.
- Trim up all of the edges with sand paper.
- Apply green compound to the leather. Always stop off of the blade edge.
These three projects should help you increase your skill set around the homestead. We not only want you to see the value of your box today, but also of the value of your box five years from now. If you take care of that hatchet it could out live you. Those skills gained never die. So until next time, keep learning, keep working, and keep in touch.