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Lets use those axes for what they were ment for.

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by rplarson2004, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. SC T100

    SC T100

    Apr 2, 2014
    Looks like fun! But man that's a lot of poison ivy.
     
  2. 252chevyboyz

    252chevyboyz

    147
    Jan 8, 2012
    Some work I did yesterday next to the river on a dead gum tree. With a recently restored 4lb Collins bit

    [​IMG]

    T2 Tappin'
     
  3. 252chevyboyz

    252chevyboyz

    147
    Jan 8, 2012
    [​IMG]

    T2 Tappin'
     
  4. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Good work. Is that tree recently dead?
     
  5. 252chevyboyz

    252chevyboyz

    147
    Jan 8, 2012
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Chunks that were thrown off

    [​IMG]

    T2 Tappin'
     
  6. 252chevyboyz

    252chevyboyz

    147
    Jan 8, 2012
    Since Hurricane Floyd hit us back in 1999 there have been several oaks that have perished in the floods. Just couldn't take being submerged in water for so long. Had to use a saw to get the last oak cut into logs. I'll post a pic below. Got to get these trees split into firewood within the next few days

    Once I got the first oak cut into logs:

    [​IMG]

    T2 Tappin'
     
  7. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Good to salvage the wood while you can.
     
  8. 252chevyboyz

    252chevyboyz

    147
    Jan 8, 2012
    I hate for it to sit and rot so I process as much as I can into firewood. Some to use in the house and some to sell. I burn the scraps left over and use the ash to spread out on the property. Hopefully it is doing some bit of good. I'll know in the spring when I plant some food plots for the four legged friends.

    T2 Tappin'
     
  9. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Wood ash is alkali so it can help neutralize acidic soils. But if your soil is already too high in PH you can make it worse.
     
  10. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Not much chopping today but I did some peeling with my pulaski. We're pushing this trail about 3 feet upslope to get on some better ground. We needed to cut this old log back so I'm cleaning the outer surface to protect my crosscut saw. I warmed my pulaski with a cigarette lighter before chopping with it. I didn't want to risk a chip.
    [​IMG]

    The work was made more difficult because the top half of the log was frozen solid. The lower half I just axcavated ( :D ) and it was warm in the ground. You can see the center is quite rotten.
    [​IMG]

    Two new trailworkers get their first taste of using the crosscut saw. They had a great time even though we had some difficulty. As the frozen wood became heated by friction it swelled and caused some bind. I'm going to have to set up another saw for winter with more set in the teeth. We had trouble getting a plastic felling wedge into the frozen cut. I ended up using my pulaski as a wedge and driving it with my boys axe. I have never used a pulaski like that before. There's enough of a poll under the adze to receive a blow. Once I got the kerf open with the pulaski the plastic wedges went right in. I'm definitely going to remember that trick.
    [​IMG]

    That rotten stuff in the bottom was like paste and it caused a lot of bind. It filled up the gullets and in between the teeth. Made for a miserable pull.

    You can see that Forest Service shovel I re-hung behind the log. I'm liking the longer handle on that tool.
    [​IMG]

    We're removing the duff layer and getting down to mineral soil which will make a lasting trail bed. Note the brown soil exposed where we've peeled back the dark duff layer. First we had to chip through 4 inches of frozen ground. Sometimes I gave up on chipping ground with the pulaski and went for the pick mattock. In deeper frost I've had to use a railroad pick.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    I really enjoy seeing these pictures of stuff being done.

    Always.
     
  12. Mr. Chips

    Mr. Chips

    285
    Apr 3, 2012
    Warming the pulaski with a cigarette lighter!

    Thanks for a good laugh!

    I am quite sure that it has never, in all recorded history gotten cold enough in Maple Valley WA to need to warm any axe let alone a pulaski cutting a rotten log!

    Those of us who live and have lived in places where it gets COLD (50 below cold enough for you?), and have needed to chop things, mostly have just done so with no axe warming, and no axe failure either.

    That pulaski has been babied some, I see. It has the snazziest haft I have ever seen on one.
     
  13. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    I'm sure you're right. It was crazy of me to be concerned.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. phantomknives

    phantomknives

    635
    Mar 31, 2016
    i havent done much today, just clearing some dead trees, i shoulda paid more attention to what i was chopping, straight into a knot, a dry one too, small roll in the edge but i got that straightened out. the axe was a kelly perfect jersey if you were wondering
     
  15. Woodcraft

    Woodcraft Gold Member Gold Member

    796
    Nov 7, 2016
    @Square_peg are you trying to say that the bit chipped because it was what? 40°f outside? You guys were working without jackets. I have heard tales of the old men in logging camps warming up axes under jackets in Maine and Michigan. Having used an axe in every Temperature Maine has had to throw at me I have never had to warm up a bit. That includes useing an axe to bust up ice. Perhaps you got pinched or hit a knot, or just sharpen the bit too thin for the work you do.
     
  16. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    It was 25° out. That's why we were dealing with frozen ground. You don't need a jacket when you're doing hard physical labor. It's only when you stop working that you cool down.

    It's common knowledge among experienced axemen to warm a cold axe before using it.

    From "An Ax to Grind"
    https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfpubs/pdf99232823/pdf99232823Pdpi300.pdf

    "The ax head is brittle at extremely cold temperatures. It is likely to chip unless it is warmed before using. One way to warm up your ax is to place it (sheathed of course) under your armpit, for a few minutes. Or warm it between your hands. If you don’t want to share some of your body heat with your ax (which by now should be considered a family member), chop very slowly for at least 2 minutes in order to warm the ax up in the wood."


    From "The Ax Book"

    "It is not only the body that is affected by the cold. A 19th century ax manufacturer published warning that axes should be warmed before using, lest they be too brittle."

    We have a tree here in the NW, Western Hemlock, which is known to have knots that are glass hard. Encountering one of these with a cold axe is asking for a chip. The top half of this tree was sound. The surface was deteriorated enough that I couldn't tell if it was Hemlock or Douglas Fir. I wasn't going to risk encountering another Hemlock knot with a cold axe.

    [​IMG]

    My grinds are a bit on the thin side. I like the efficiency and recognize that I have to take some precautions with my axes. You are of course welcome to use your axe however you see fit. And I will continue to do the same.
     
  17. Woodcraft

    Woodcraft Gold Member Gold Member

    796
    Nov 7, 2016
    "The ax head is brittle at extremely cold temperatures"
    You may want to read that again. 40°f is not extremely cold. Or 25°f, lol, is not extremely cold either. O°f or sub with a hard wind is extremely cold. That would be what that sentince is describing. You will know it is extremely cold because you will not be working, no matter how hard, without a jacket. For clarity, it was 40° during the day for a couple of days here. The ground was still frozen.
    You should consider a double bit if you prefer a thin bit. Keep one side clean and thin, and the other thicker. I would be willing to bet cold has nothing to do with it. Considering the books you quoted from you know full well that those chips are a normal occurrence when actually using an axe.
     
  18. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    The lower the temp, the more likely a chip. 25° and hemlock is not something I take lightly due to past experience. If the two chips I've just shown aren't convincing you can't be convinced. Peace, brother.
     
  19. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    There are some axes out there that I don't think you could chip no matter what you did to them. I warm most of mine when it is cold.
     
  20. Mr. Chips

    Mr. Chips

    285
    Apr 3, 2012
    Well there is a lot of folklore out there I guess.

    I would like to see how warmed the axe got after the cigarette lighter.

    Actually this could be a pretty good You Tube video - take the axe temp, warm the axe with a cigarette lighter and take the temp again, chop in the frozen log for 10 min., take the temp again and see the change in temp.

    I would like to see the effect of chopping "slowly for at least two min" on the axe temp. I think that I would like to see that at cool temperatures (say 25 - 35 degrees F), and at cold ones - say Zero F.

    I would be absolutely astounded, to find that slow chopping for two min had any affect whatsoever on the axe temp at zero degrees.

    I would be further astounded to discover that a temperature difference of say 20 degrees would have any difference at all in the brittleness of an axe.

    I agree that thin edges (which I also like) are more likely to blame.

    Maybe I have soft axes, though they seem to keep their edges pretty well, and I do make them pretty sharp and I think thin - here is a little item I made using only my Wetterlings pack axe a while ago:

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I have never, in over 60 years of pretty extensive axe work in hard and soft woods, ever chipped an axe like that.
     

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