How to replace a splitting maul head

Written by brent watkins
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Mauls used for splitting wood endure extreme stress for the job they perform. With each swing, the eight to twelve pound head slams into a log with great force, often requiring repeat attempts before the log is successfully split. As a result, continued use of a maul can lead to a loose maul head. A head that unexpectedly comes off the handle is a serious safety hazard, with the potential to strike you or another person in the vicinity.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vice
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • ¼-inch drill bit
  • Hand Saw
  • Large bolt
  • Sandpaper or copper fitting brush
  • Replacement handle (if needed)
  • Epoxy resin
  • Caulking cord sealer

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  1. 1

    Remove the loose head from the handle by cutting off the old handle just beneath the head using a hand saw.

  2. 2

    Support the head using a vice and opening the vice jaws wide enough to allow the remaining handle portion to fit inside the jaws, resting the head securely on top.

  3. 3

    Use your drill with the ¼-inch bit to make a series of holes in the handle shaft that remains in the maul head until the shaft is riddled with holes.

  4. 4

    Take your hammer and a large bolt and use the bolt to hammer out the remaining wood shaft. You may need to use extremely forceful blows to loosen the wood. Once loose, use the drill to push the shaft out from the maul head.

  5. 5

    Remove remaining debris left by the handle in the maul head. Scour the interior surface using sandpaper or a copper fitting brush. Scoring the surface will help the epoxy used in a later step to adhere.

  6. 6

    Insert the handle into the bottom of the maul head (bottom being towards the long end of the handle), making sure the handle end seats flush with the top of the maul head. Use your caulking cord sealer to make a seal around the handle where it meets the bottom of the maul head. This seal will ensure the epoxy used in a later step will not leak from the maul head before it dries.

  7. 7

    Mix your epoxy according to the supplied instructions. Properly mixed epoxy should have a consistent colour. Pour the epoxy resin into the gap around the handle at the top of the maul head. If the epoxy emerges through the seal made in the previous step, push the caulk firmly against the head until the leaking stops.

  8. 8

    Let the epoxy dry completely according to the usage instructions. Twenty-four hours is the usual time frame before the repaired maul head can be safely used.

Tips and warnings

  • A fibreglass handle costs only a few dollars more than a wood handle, but is far more durable.
  • Do not attempt to use the repaired maul before the epoxy has fully dried. Doing so may result in the head becoming unexpectedly detached.

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