Turning Over: Restoring an Old Peavey

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One of the more unusual names in the lumberjack tool catalog is a peavey. Named after Joseph Peavey, this tool is a hooked and spiked lever used to manipulate logs, roll them, rotate them and more.

If you have an affinity for axes, pickaroons, and other tools of the trade, you are probably familiar with peaveys and their role. This story is about the peavey that I have restored and have been using for the past few years.

Over ten years ago I found a rusty looking metal hook that was attached to a broken wooden handle. It was placed in a “Free stuff” box on the side of the road, and as an enthusiastic repurposer / re-user / restorer I couldn’t have let this weird looking duck end up in the landfill.

I took the orphaned instrument and added it to my collection of items “In need of future restoration”. A few years have passed and in 2015 I finally had the chance to restore it.

What the hell is it?

It took me some time to find out what this tool actually was. The object I found looked like a steel cone with a hinged hook welded into it and a spick of some kind inserted through its narrow end. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the steel cone is placed on a broken wooden handle in the same way that a compass chisel is mounted on the handle.

I was lucky enough to have some books on early American lumber growing techniques and tools, so I decided to comb their pages in advance to solve this mystery. Fortunately in one of them, a book called A museum of early American instruments by Eric Sloane, I found the answer: it’s a peavey.

Purchase of a replacement handle

Once I knew what it was, I googled a handle replacement. Fortunately not only was I able to find a replacement handle, but I also found that the Name Peavey is still in business and produces peaveys and other large woodworking and cutting tools.

Installing the new handle

After pushing the broken wooden handle out of the socket and releasing the tip from its hole, I examined the socket. It was rusty and in need of some sanding, so I decided to give it some time. To help lock this mammoth in my grip, I built a auxiliary jaw which could hold and rotate the grip at different angles.

This jaw comes in handy with so many other projects that I hope you’ll build one regardless of whether you have a peavey to restore or not.

With the auxiliary jaw in place, I locked and smoothed the inside of the socket. To get the job done effectively and consistently I used a semicircular file followed by some PSA sandpaper on my new peavey handle. By temporarily applying sandpaper to the handle and then rubbing it in a circular fashion within the grip, I was able to achieve a tighter fit. After this, I removed the sandpaper from the handle and inserted it using a hammer.

I never imagined filing so much rust.

My first attempt at matching the handle and grip together.

It was a good fit but I thought I could pair them even better.

I then removed the grip in preparation to smooth the interior for a tighter fit.

After applying PSA sandpaper to the handle and reassembling the peavey grip, I started rotating the grip around the handle.

I inserted the socket with the help of a mallet.

Next, I filed all the rust from the shank of the tip and pushed it into its pre-drilled hole.

Not all forged spices are the same or truly symmetrical, so if you need to fine-tune the orientation of the tip relative to the axis of the handle you can take a Vise-Grip and twist the spick into the hole at the right angle before guiding it all the way in. bottom.

Once my Peavey was used, I began using it to enclose the logs in our property and organize them for long-term storage for future use.

Sometimes you will have to kick the hook into the bark to get a good buy before rolling the log.


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