For the second hatchet, I went with a more decorative design with modern materials. I won't repeat the process for cleaning the head, but I used the same vinegar and wire brush technique for the head and a hickory handle pre-made from Ace Hardware.
The first hatchet handle was all linseed oil and the head had a patina. For this one I polished the head and painted the handle. To protect the unpainted sections I taped a shopping bag over it and began with the green portion. I used Rust-Oleum spray paint and let the bottom dry for about 20 minutes. Honestly, I should have waited longer for the second coat but I was a little rushed. To get a clean line for the red stripe I put tape on the semi-dried green part and moved the bag cover up. If you do this, try to minimize the overlap as there is a noticeable relief line on mine.
I wanted to give this hatchet a Kydex mask. I've made a sheath before using only a heat gun but I wasn't happy with the uniformity and there were a few hot spots that turned shiny.
With the help from engineers at the hackerspace I wired a thermocouple to a toaster oven. This can be used for tempering metal, re-flowing solder, softening plastics and other temperature-sensitive applications. This particular thermocouple couldn't handle the roughly 9 amps the oven drew, so we had to have it operate a 10 amp mechanical relay we scavenged. In a future post I'll upload the wiring schematics and details.
Kydex sheaths and holsters are made by heating it to a pliable temperature, wrapping it around the object and letting it cool slowly. Generally when you order it online it comes in 12" x 12" sheets; this particular batch is 0.08" thick and is easy to cut on a wood bandsaw.
First I heated the plastic to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and held it there for 15 minutes. The oven we built keeps it to within one degree of the target temperature so that made life easy. While the oven was heating I left the foam and hatchet on top to warm. When it was all heated, I sandwiched the hatchet between the Kydex pieces, foam, and clamped boards. The warmed hatchet and foam don't cool the Kydex as fast as they would at room temperature and the slowed the process improves definition.
After cooling for an hour, I removed it, aligned the pieces, and drilled the first 1/4" hole on the top. Using a hand-setter, I set a 1/4" eyelet to keep the pieces together while drilling.
I used more rivets than necessary on the mask, but the intention was to weave paracord through them and fasten it with a sliding cord lock. The bottom of the mask doesn't have rivets and functions like a spring-loaded flap.
The last remaining step was to put the final edge on the head with 220 grit sandpaper and the rods from a Spyderco Sharpmaker. Overall I'm happy with the final product as shown in the top photo and the new oven will make future projects significantly easier.