- Find or buy a forlorn hatchet.
- Scrub it down with a wire brush to remove rust. A little honing solution will help.
- Scour off the years with 100 grit sandpaper wetted with honing solution.
- Consider leaving some patina out of respect.
- Using a belt sharpener (preferred) or a sharpening stone, restore the cutting edge taking care to maintain the original angle.
- If necessary, fit the head onto a new handle and drive in the wedges with a hammer. The wooden wedge fits into a slot parallel to the head; drive in the smaller metal wedges perpendicular to the head.
- Customize the handle if you like. Use an exterior oil-based paint for smooth durable results.
The broad hatchet is the ideal tool for rough-hewing a timber before finer planing. One side of the head is flat and the other beveled to allow a flush swing along the face of the timber. There are some variations in head profile but the most common, and the one pictured above, is called the Kent pattern. (This textbook author has no idea if this is a beautiful coincidence or if his ancestors had anything to do with it. He wants to believe the latter.)