Been asked by a few customers recently to refurb their older English axe heads. We stock replacement handles for most Gransfors Bruk and Wetterlings axes so there is nearly always something that is a good fit and appropriate for most older English axes from small hatchets to large felling axes.
For the customer, it's certainly not the most economic option, a new reasonable quality axe might be similar money, but that is not the point. Old neglected axes are nearly always restorable so certainly don't need to be thrown away. Even if badly pitted with rust, they are easily reground and it's an opportunity, if required, to change the grind, with flat bevels for carving as an example.
Gransfors Bruk and Wetterlings have always proposed that tools should be made to last a lifetime or two, and there is no reason why this should not also be the case with many older englsh axes.
Axes often get abused. This can be the poll of the axe head being beaten with a steel hammer so the poll becomes mushroomed over and grinding away this relatively soft steel is straight-forward but in extreme cases the sides of the head that wrap around the handle become mishaped, in this instance the axe is normally beyond repair. Other typical abuses include a more general lack of regular sharpening and 'dings' along the cutting edge, through careless cutting on dirty chopping surfaces or through not using a leather sheath. Over time, handles can become loose in the head or damaged near the head through over-shooting, typically with firewood splitting axes.
In the attached picture, the kent pattern head took a hickory handle from the Gransfors Bruk Swedish Viking Axe and the smaller hatchet was perfect for a hickory handle from a Wetterlings Wilderness Hatchet.
The aforementioned customers asked for the 'full works treatment' for their sorry looking axes: a new handle, regrind, sharpen and hone, and a new sheath.
If you want to tackle an axe refurb yourself or if you want us to do it for you, get in touch. Love doing this stuff, it makes so much sense!