Woodcraft Thank you I do my best in my limited time.
garry3 What I know about how does Enrique work is limited, he cuts the wood at the correct season and he dries it for a long period using natural method. Basques have had very close relationship with wood, in few months will be publiseh a documentary about it, they have gathered good information about the wood and I think they will also make it public. I'll share it here when they release it.
Knowing the best moment to cut the wood is a complex question, first you have to know what wood you want to cut and what you find in that wood, the most common feature people looks for is the durability and strenght. The moon has two types of phases, one is the light you see in it and the other the height repect to the horizon. A combination of both is the best time to cut the wood, the lower the heigh of the moon the best time to cut durable wood, but this is difficult to know if you don't have an astronomic calendar. Between last quarter and new moon is the other period to cut durable wood, the most common method is to use only this phase as a reference. But each wood has its best moment, for example last quarter is better for the oak and new moon for the hazelnut. As I said this is a complex matter.
300Six Yes Enrique knows his job, it's a pity I have listened he will stop producing handles commercially. Maybe you could take his place after you experiment with the wood
FortyTwoBlades that's curious, here is thought between the advantages of the beech respect to the ash one is the shock absortion. About the hickory, I haven't used it as much as to have a long therm clear opinion about it, but I like it.
About ring porous woods as handles, I see people talks a lot about the grain orientation but nothing about the type of grain. Each wood is different but the fewer the rings the stronger the wood uses to be, this also can have a limit due to the problems big porous rings can bring. A debate and experiments about this would be a great subject.
Let's continue with the competitions,
2017-01-15 Aizarnazabal Golden axemen by couples Lopez Azpilikueta & Eneko Otaño vs Jon Rekondo & Donato Larretxea. They count all the time, the faster couple cutting all the woods wins.
I like Donato and Rekondo couple, that's a very solid team.