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Title:Restoring a Vintage 1920's Kelly Bush Axe

It goes by many names – bush axe, brush hook, bush hook, brush axe, zombie killer. Call it what you will, this Kelly Axe and Tool Co. axe has a fascinating history and it was a real treat to restore it. Video timestamps: 0:001:24 Overview 1:253:13 Disassembly 3:146:06 Rust removal and wire wheeling smaller parts 6:077:02 Sanding out saw cut marks on strap and bolt 7:037:44 Electrolysis of axe head 7:458:16 Examining axe head after electrolysis 8:179:25 Cleaning axe head with wire wheel and scotch-brite pad 9:2610:24 Examining axe head after cleaning 10:2511:00 Cleaning up deep scratches with file 11:0112:14 Sanding handle 12:1513:30 Painting 13:3114:32 Making a wedge 14:3317:47 Reassembling 17:4818:47 Sharpening 18:4819:31 Oiling the handle 19:3220:33 The big reveal! 20:3420:56 Testing 20:5721:11 Thank you and please subscribe! After some serious cleaning, the marker’s mark revealed itself – Kelly Axe and Tool Co., Charleston, W. VA., USA. This name and location specifically dates this axe between 1905 and 1929. Kelly Axe and Tool Co. started producing axes in Charleston in 1905 and then in 1930 an acquisition renamed the company to Kelly Axe and Tool Works. Looking through old Kelly catalogues from the 1920’s, it’s clear that the strap, bolt, washer, and hickory handle are not original. It’s unclear exactly how old these parts may be, but the patent numbers on the handle indicate at least the handle is still 70+ years old. The nut holding the strap in place took some serious persuading, but after removing it the rest came apart easily. There looked to be remnants of a wedge in the handle. Rust removal via electrolysis easily removed most of the rust from the head and Evaporust cleaned up the rest of the parts nicely. The electrolysis revealed remnants of Kelly’s signature red paint on the axe head. The small parts were hit with a bench grinder wire wheel and I hit the axe head with a wire wheel drill attachment followed by a green Scotch-Brite pad. I debated whether to grind off all the pits (the eternal debate in the restoration community!) and decided that doing so would not only make the entire axe head dangerously thin, but it would lose its character. Plus, to best replicate the original look it was going to be painted anyways. All metal parts were painted in three coats of Rustoleum industrial enamel spray paint. The handle was freshly sanded and had three applications of boiled linseed oil applied 24 hours apart. I made a new handle wedge out of hardwood maple that I chopped up with my axe I restored in a previous video. The blade was sharpened using a bastard (coarse) file using the technique recommended by the US Forestry Service for brush hooks. I tested the axe on some garbage tree shoots – the axe worked very well clearing brush less than 1” in diameter in a single swing. I found the best technique is to swing it somewhere between the style of an axe and scythe, kind of like a golf swing. Either way, it felt super awkward to swing but does a solid job hacking down brush quickly. It can also slice split logs into small slivers, although that’s not its intended purpose. Helpful video I referenced for bush axe sharpening technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib3_p... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Some of the tools and equipment I used in this video: (I may receive a portion of the sale of these items, but they do not cost you any extra. These are a great way to support my channel without any increased cost to you!) Camera: amzn.to/3EbiQfo 4" Bench Vise: amzn.to/3EgbSGb Buffing pads for drill: amzn.to/3Eqqp1O ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Check out my other axe restoration: https://youtu.be/lcGG-BdL6BM Follow me on Instagram: @catalyst_restorations #Restoration #Axe #Vintage


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