Variations on a Forest Axe.....

Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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I've had my little Collins axe for some time now, ever since I rescued it from a pile of discarded tools at the local thrift shop. It was in a sad way and needed to be sharpened to remove various nicks, the evidence of much pounding and subsequent mushrooming of the head removed. And of course a new handle. Never weighed the head but I'd guess somewhere around 2-2 1/4 pounds. Although it's quite sharp I've often wished for more heft to the head when I'm doing some serious chopping.

Discovered the Mueller line of axes; in business since 1675 in an Austrian village. traditionalwoodworker.com
Their forest axe has a 27 1/2" handle and a choice of heads: 2 1/4 or 2 3/4 pound head. I went with the heavier head. Well...I wanted more heft and I sure got it; side by side my poor little Collins seems to have shrunk! The new axe came with a serviceable sheath but I decided to make one just a little bit tougher.

This is the last photo where the Collins can even pretend that it's bigger!








Note my scout knife for scale.



The difference in the weight of the two heads seems to be invested in a thicker eye on the axe; as this is a area subject to deformation under stress of use, I'm glad I got the heavier one.



Some years ago I read a story about a fellow who went to cut firewood some distance from his camp. Turned out he gashed his leg pretty bad and could only stop the bleeding by holding the cut closed but he couldn't walk that way. He wound up using his boot lace to lash the wound closed. Made it back to camp and was able to doctor it up with his kit. So...anyways, from that I make all my axe sheaths to close with a top quality boot lace. Kind of like if you don't want it to rain, bring an umbrella.





The two axes with sheath weigh, Collins 3 lbs. 2 oz. Biber 4 lbs. 5 oz. For me I'm glad I got it; for that pound and a little bit it looks like I got a whole lot more axe. Of course picking any real tool is a very personal thing and I wouldn't suggest the Biber is for everyone.

Best Wishes, Rob



 
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Feb 1, 2013
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That is a thing of beauty! You ever think of making those sheaths for sale? I have an ox head axe with a similar head congifuration, can't find a sheath for it anywhere.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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"That is a thing of beauty!"

I second that, so you have a machine that can sew thru leather? And a pretty good eye to get the threads so neat.

What will we see tomorrow? Oldie Moldy'es line of hand made tripping clothes and hats...Great posts, glad your daughter showed you how to get these pictures up. (and a big inspiration to get out in the shop and working on my outfit)

Thanks Again.;)
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
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What's all the excitement about? It's Justin axe...a Biber axe. (ducking for cover...)


Hey, OM - those are a couple of really nice axes and sheaths. I like your idea for the bootlace closure. Think I'll steal that one. Another project for the coming winter!
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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838
What in the world are you ducking for cover for? Any time anyone can find a little humor in this life more power to them!!!

How about that poor kid, it seemed one minute he was everybody's darling and then the next the media can't wait to dump a load of manure on him. True he got up to some mischief but at what? Eighteen? Christmas, I don't know of anyone so young to be given all that who wouldn't have problems.

Say by the by....at the end of that thread about Colemans (or something???) your words were well done. I really admire your tact. Your jokes not so much.
Very glad you found you way over here.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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I gotta say, all that talk about bra's in the other thread, and I find myself getting more excited looking at that Biber axe. Gosh, I must have turned the corner finally when women are playing second fiddle to an axe!
 
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Like I said before, I’m not going down that bra sized sippy cup road again. My wife thought it was a hoot, but well, she married me, so her sense of humour (and taste) may not be all that it could be.
Anyway, OldieM, how do you do those rivets? Do you open a hole with an awl, and hammer together a 2- piece rivet? I’m just guessing here. Nice axes, and even nicer sheaths.
 
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Hi Brad, About those rivets, when I'm at the local hardware store I just buy the ones with the longest shanks. (plus the washer that makes up the backside of the rivet) I tried to punch the holes with my leather punch but the thickness of the leather was too much. What I do is start a smaller drill hole and go up in size until I can just barely press the rivet home. Sometimes from the drill there are little torn flaps of leather at the mouth of the hole; those I trim off, I don't want them to be holding the rivet away from the leather surface. I turn the rivet over so the shank is up and slip on the copper washer, I often take a very small deep well socket and place it on the washer and give it a tap, it helps to snug things up. Now I look how much of the shank extends beyond the washer. It seems I need about 3/16 to a 1/4 to make a nice rounded over cap to secure the washer tightly. What ever is too much I just cut off before I start tapping it down. I have a small ball-peen hammer and take my time.

Did you ever try making coffee that way and if you did how did you like (or not) it?

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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Hello Rob, thanks for the additional instruction, I really do appreciate it. It all sounds pretty straightforward, though my first attempt will be a learning experience. I’m going to research the materials with the intention of giving myself winter projects.
Yes, I’ve tried the cowboy coffee, and am not happy with my results. I’m not fussy enough with getting the grind fine enough, and with measuring the right amount of grounds. Practice will make perfect. That Wikipedia suggestion was great, thanks.
Take care,
Brad
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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Brad, Looking back I'm not satisfied in my answer to you about the rivets, it wasn't that clear. That little copper washer actually is pressed onto the shaft of the rivet by me pounding down with the small deep well socket. Left alone it rides on the top of the shaft and that's all the farther it will willing go. Then when it's pounded down it's holding tightly and the "mushroom" acts just to be sure it can't back off.



To the left is a rivet and washer as they come from the store. In the center is the shaft of a rivet sticking up out of the leather and you can see the depression left by the socket pressing the leather down on the shaft. Far right is a completed rivet.



Here is the washer smashed down tight. You can see small copper fragments that came off in it's passage. Note the slight depression in the surface of the leather.



Cutting off the extra shank. No matter how careful I am, after it's cut there is a small sharp bit left behind, I just get that with a file before I cut myself on it.
Now all that remains is to gently round over the remaining shank into a mushroom.

There! That's a better explanation.
Best Wishes, Rob
 
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