More options for your axe, some of which you might find useful or perhaps not....

Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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Dog gone it, I really like that Wetterlings Forester's Axe but I find it just a little bit too small. So, looking around at all the options I saw that both Husquvarna and Wetterlings offer a carpenters hatchet. The carpenters hatchet is the same idea as that little foresters axe just on a slightly larger scale. Heads: forester's is 1.5 lbs. and the Husquvarna is 2.2 lbs.



It came with a nice handle that you can see here. Now it might be swell if your name is Thor, and you've got arms like Popeye, but for the likes of me it needs a longer handle. While I was on a roll I ordered a Muller hatchet with a 1 3/4 pound head as well, just to see.



Here it is, the head had a nice green paint that I removed, I don't need any help in loosing things in the woods.



I sure enjoyed hanging these axes, a lot of careful removal and fitting. I did place the wedge down on my little anvil and drove it home buy pounding on the end of the handle and it worked slick, didn't crack the wedge at all. Looked for a slow setting glue to use on the wedge, couldn't find any, decided not to use it after all. I left the handle extended past the edge of the axe head a little bit. I think I like that way.
I had steel wedges as well and I decided to put them in too, very, very hard to drive in, probably didn't need them and they did split the part of the handle that extends above the head. I doubt the crack extends any farther.






I've used them both here at home and I really like that narrow cutting blade on these axes. It's true it will get stuck more if you're splitting large chunks, but will it ever cut smooth and deep in normal chopping! I've never used a straight handle before and I really like it, it's not as pretty as the graceful curves on the other one but it seems to work better for me, I might change out that handle on the Husquvarna to a straight one.

The catalog at Traditional Woodworkers tells you right up front that the blades on the Muller hatchets are a little rough and dull; and they weren't kidding, I've seen sharper shovels! But no matter, some work with the file and it's just a dandy. For all that they are thin, both axe heads have held their edges no problem.
Now there is no way I need all these (and others) axes, but with out them I'd never discovered how much a slight difference in head weight and design and also handle length and shape can affect how the axe works for you. It seems to be a very unique thing, particular to a person's body.

Best Wishes, Rob

P.s. Happy People: A Year in the Tiaga........a movie not to miss!
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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Now, I realize that I'm rapidly becoming more of a bore with this nattering about size of heads and length of handle and design of said handle. Howsomever, I really did feel I'd discovered something curiously pleasant in using a straight handle, and given how clear an improvement it was for me, I'm left scratching my head why all the axes I've ever had and most all those offered in catalogs the vast majority came with that familiar pleasing curve to them.
Well, loony I may be but I've got a little company:

axeconnected.blogspot.com

The folks at that site have written a great deal on the subject of axes, not all of it have I read, but the section on handle length and shape put rational thought to what for me has been only my subjective impression.

If there is anyone here who is interested (perhaps excessively, like me) in axes and developing them into something more than a sharp club, you might want to check out that site.

Now, I need to order two straight axe handles; one for the carpenter's axe and the other to replace the handle on the Ox Head Forest Axe.
So, come on now; open the buckles on this straight jacket and let me loose!

Feeling a little confined,

Rob
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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Great post, I love axes too, but my stable is not as full as yours. I'm thinking about putting a longer handle on my Oxhead too, but I think I'll have to practice on some cheaper ones first. Even with the short handle, that Oxhead cuts very well! When I started cutting firewood last week, I managed to get both my main chainsaw and my backup saw stuck in a big tree, seems like a forgot how to do things. I knocked that big tree down with that Oxhead in short order....it was such a pleasure to use an axe with a very good edge on it. I'm gonna read that article later, right now, it's back to the chainsaw!
 
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Now, I realize that I'm rapidly becoming more of a bore with this nattering about size of heads and length of handle and design of said handle.

Rob, I’m enjoying the discussion even though I’m a goober when it comes to tripping axes and saws.

I have a few axes for work around the house, but rarely bring one when tripping. I have a couple of tripping saws, and find myself bring them only infrequently, and then using rarely using one when I do.

I’ve looked at various axes that come highly recommended (Gransfors or etc) but quickly come to the realization that I might as well not bring a cheap axe as not bring a good one.

I admire the sheaths and leather-work, and have been surprised that some high quality axes do not come with any cover. I do keep a small Fiskars in the truck for emergency purposes.

http://www2.fiskars.com/Gardening-and-Yard-Care/Products/Axes-and-Striking-Tools
 
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Aug 22, 2013
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Red Lake, Ontario
I used to bring a larger axe on trips and found I rarely used it. Recently I got a GB Small Forest axe and used it on this last trip and BINGO. The size of this axe is exactly the right size for the style of tripping I do. I have no desire to fell a 18" diameter tree. Not with an axe and not with a bow saw. However, limbing a felled 4-10" tree this is the right tool. I carry a 21" bow saw and that works well on those smaller trees just fine to cut lengths and then a little tap splitting a few lengths is all I need. The 2 lb weight and 19" handle make it easier to carry along.
Those axes you are showing look like fine tools.
 
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Boring thread? Never. BTW Rob, thanks for the additional info on leather work, I really do appreciate it. You’re an artisan.
I too like sharp things, like axes, saws and knives, but have no real need for them. What’s that got to do with it? I only have 2 axes in my tool kit, an old and cheap Canadian Tire thing, and a Fiskars hatchet. The axe has a red painted head with day-glo yellow sand papery handle end. I guess the ones with flashing WARNING! THIS IS THE SHARP END! were out of stock. I bought it because it was the cheapest. It keeps an edge, and I’m not too worried about losing it. The paint job probably shows up on sat photos. It has a curved handle, and guess what, it works pretty darned well! I bought the hatchet thinking I’d reduce my pack weight. The very first time I tried it, I bounced that Scandinavian #%&*tool off my shin. Yes, it’s sharp, but stays home now. When splitting wood, I’d rather have an axe with some length. I’ve never thought of the handle shape however. Interesting!
Last winter I poured over knife websites. You’ve now expanded my winter wish list to include axes. I say many thanks. My wife says you’re off our Christmas card list.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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Now, this is probably preaching to the choir, but just on the off chance if you haven't read Mors Kochanski's book "Bush Craft, outdoor skills and wilderness survival" in my opinion it's probably the best book of it's type I've ever read. I guess the only criticism or perhaps warning I might offer is that there is little or no "poof" in it. In my youth, I read many outdoor magazines and came to realize that in a given article there might be one or two solid nuggets of information surrounded by a great deal of poof to fill out the rest of the article. So if you're reading with a jaded eye like mine, it's best to hunker down and really read.

He's got a section on how to sharpen a saw; it was enough to give me the necessary encouragement to try my hand on a buck saw blade I got years ago. This saw blade is 28" X 1 1/2" about three and a half teeth to the inch and made to be re-sharpened. I got a saw set device at a junk store for fifty cents. Nobody knew what it was! I did my best on the blade and it wasn't too bad.
Made the frame from some scrap lumber in the common "H" shape. My stars! Who would have thought it would be so much fun to see a foot diameter fir log giving up a steady stream of sawdust with every stroke of my saw! And I did it! (with a little help from Mors!)

This outdoor world we like to fiddle around in does have it's dangers and all through the book are very valuable tips on how to avoid them. I really do recomended the book.

Some years ago I was splitting log sections and smited myself on the shin with a section of log that came flying from somewhere. Regular goose bump and really hurt. Got my attention; so I made myself a set of shin guards form a old stove pipe. It worked, kinda, sorta......Hm.....not that well.
Anyway I got a pair of store bought one's from Gemplers, nice bright yellow and thick polypropline molded to really fit well. They go on anytime I'm working with an axe here at home. They make even better ones now, but they're in black, I suppose that doesn't matter but I do like the yellow ones, much easier to find.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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Jun 12, 2012
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Hi OM,

I told my wife you made the shoes in picture 3 of the OP. She said no way. I said you don't know Oldie moldie like I do, nothing is out of the realm when it comes to leather.

We bet, she wash's my pick up, I weed her gardens.
 
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Rob, you need to change your username to AxeMan. I have one axe and no desire for more. I think.....But please continue to share and educate me!
 
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Jul 25, 2012
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Well Robin, I've been thinking on how to put this; ........maybe, a dirty truck is much less likely to be stolen? I'm sorry to have failed you buddy. However, they do say we need to eat more vegetables.

Yellow Canoe, Really, I don't know anything, just making a lot of noise. In a way though, an axe is like a canoe: it looks simple but there are so many subtle elements that can affect how it will perform. And, of course it's much cheaper to play around with than to acquire a collection of canoes!

Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
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Well Robin, I've been thinking on how to put this; ........maybe, a dirty truck is much less likely to be stolen? I'm sorry to have failed you buddy. However, they do say we need to eat more vegetables.

Yellow Canoe, Really, I don't know anything, just making a lot of noise. In a way though, an axe is like a canoe: it looks simple but there are so many subtle elements that can affect how it will perform. And, of course it's much cheaper to play around with than to acquire a collection of canoes!

Best Wishes, Rob

Not sure about that Geoff Burke of WCHA must have some hundred or so antique axes..
 
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If I read between the lines OM, you’re saying you didn’t make THOSE shoes, but you CAN make them?
My wife says: 1) She takes size 7 1/2
2) You’re back on our Christmas card list.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Well Brad, it looks like this is the thread that I disappoint my friends; I didn't make them.

Now, just between the two of us and you've got to promise not to tell anybody: I'm such an all round tough guy and harry-chested woodsman, able to leap tall firs at a single bound, that I went and got my feet tattooed to LOOK like moccasins! And all the time I'm running around in my bard feets! Saves a bunch on sox and what not. And if that wasn't enough I can perform mathematical computations up to the sum of twenty in a flash!

Now, please tell your wife I'm sorry I didn't qualify for a Christmas card, and if you're thinking of supporting axe manufactures near and far this winter maybe you ought to consider:
www.themoccasinshop.com They are the outlet for Minnetonka moccasins and are good people. I know they have plenty of 7 1/2 womens.


Well I'm off to wrassel bears before breakfast, or maybe for breakfast,

Rob
 
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