1. Welcome to the New & Improved BladeForums. New software info here. Please report problems in Tech Support, and read existing threads before posting! - Spark
  2. I've changed the default forum style to Flat Awesome based on feedback. Don't like it? Click here to change how the forums look Feedback on this is welcome here.

Looking for racings axes

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by colormen1, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. colormen1

    colormen1

    5
    Jan 3, 2008
  2. littleknife

    littleknife

    Nov 29, 2000
    It seems that this forum is not frequented right now by people who used them, so my advice would be to try another forum:

    http://www.forestryforum.com/

    I hope they can help you. Good luck!
     
  3. colormen1

    colormen1

    5
    Jan 3, 2008
    Thx:thumbup:
     
  4. thechuck

    thechuck

    71
    Apr 4, 2007
    What exactly are you looking to do/spend?

    Practice axes start around $120.

    Full racing axes start around $275 and good ones are about $400. These axes are for green, knot free wood ONLY.

    A little more info and I can give you contact info for the people you want to talk to.

    -C
     
  5. colormen1

    colormen1

    5
    Jan 3, 2008
    I am looking for practice axe on you from racing am wanted only have a look
     
  6. thechuck

    thechuck

    71
    Apr 4, 2007
    Check out the site below. It's run by Carson Bosworth, a long time competitor on the Stihl Timbersports Series. I have ordered from him a few times. For most of the things he sells, you won't find better prices anywhere, that I have found. This is definitely true of practice axes. You want the Keech Timberman or the David Foster work axe. I use the Timberman.

    http://www.logrolling.org/racingaxes/products.asp
     
  7. Stubai

    Stubai

    Mar 16, 2007
    The Timberman axe would be a decent axe for practice. Bosworth has some good ones for sale, but you could also check out "Doc" Don Jastad's web page by logging on to www.theaxehole.com for further info. He is a big time collector and can push you in the right direction. Give Doc a call and tell him of your needs. He used to sell Ox-head race axes and some rare Trojan Hytest pieces from down under.

    The Tuatahi products are top notch and yes, they do make a 'working' axe which features a thicker edge so you don't have to worry about blowing out an edge as much. Race ready axes have super keen and thin edges and can chip or break if they impact a knot in the wood. They are NOT designed as a work axe and many a person has found that out the hard way.

    One of the most robust axes on the market is the Arvika 5 star, 4.5 pounder. Doc can fix you up with one of those and you can put any grind on it that you prefer. An Arvika with a half-bananna grind cuts like a dream.

    Alan Boyko of British Columbia is another race axe expert. He is well known in logging circles as a professional grinder/sharpener and would be an excellent contact for you.

    Finally, Bailey's offers a work axe which performs well although it it a bit on the soft side. Check them out on the net. Cheers.
     
  8. colormen1

    colormen1

    5
    Jan 3, 2008
    I am looking for detail photo Tuatahi Work Axes.I have got only bad you do not have somebody detailed??[​IMG]
    Thank you
     
  9. thechuck

    thechuck

    71
    Apr 4, 2007
    The Tuatahi work axes look just like the racing axes (before a master grinder gets ahold of them) but the steel is different. Also, unless you have someone grind the work axe for you, it will be pretty beefy, compared to most of the racing axes - essentially a flat grind.

    I have used the Bolstad axe as well. Although a few places have them now, Bailey's seems to have the best prices. As I have seen them, they come with a flat grind and a short chisel. Mike Eash just reground one for a friend of mine, but I haven't had a chance to chop with it yet. Also worth noting, the Bolstads I have seen (admittedly few) have come on poor quality handles. Something to consider.

    I am excited to have a racing axe talk going here. No offense to all the 'hawk guys out there, but I'm into the big boys.....
     
  10. Glock17JHP

    Glock17JHP

    621
    Aug 23, 2007
    OK... I'm getting scared here... :eek:
     
  11. Stubai

    Stubai

    Mar 16, 2007
    thechuck:

    I have both the Tuatahi race axe and the work axe. What info do you have on the difference in steel? I assumed they were fashioned out of the same material, indeed, both perform well. I do know that most of the competition axe-men have an inclination towards using the Tuatahi, but there are others who go with a Keech, Plumb or Aussie-Speed. The antique race axes have always interested me.

    I also heard that some of the best axes made by Tuatahi are kept 'down-under' and the lesser quality ones are shipped to the States and other places.
     
  12. thechuck

    thechuck

    71
    Apr 4, 2007
    I was told some time ago by a supplier that the steel used in the work axe was a softer, less brittle steel, which was less likely to be damaged by frozen or knotty wood. HOWEVER, based on your question, I contacted Tuatahi, and they said that the steel currently used in both axes is indeed the same. I was given no indication as to whether or not the steels used were once different. So, I appologize for (if briefly) spreading misinformation. On a related side note, some competitive axemen did metallurgical tests on a number of racing axe heads, from different manufacturers and ages. They found that axe steel is hardly uniform, between makers or vintages. This is probably not surprising, to anyone who has handled many competition axes. I personally notice the greatest difference in Keech/Keesteel/Aussie Speed (all the same manufacturer) axes. Luckily, they are date stamped, generally, and if you find one that you like, you might be able to beg or steal more from that year.

    Tuatahi is, without a doubt, the highest quality axe on the market, as well as the most popular. The Keech/Keesteel/Aussie Speed/Jack O'Toole brand is, in my observation, in second place. Oxhead currently makes racing axes, and is (or was, as of a year ago) the "official" axe sponsor of the Stihl Timbersports Series. I have never seen a single axeman compete with one though. The only Oxhead racer I have seen/handled was awarded to a college team at a competition, and was basically destroyed in green aspen during a practice session. As many of you have likely seen, Dave Bolstad has recently begun marketing a work/practice axe. They are on par with the Timberman in price, and look like they might be made of a bit harder steel. As they come off the shelf, the Bolstads are heavy flat grinds with a very short chisel. I know of one that has been sent to a professional grinder for reshaping. I'll give an update when it comes back. There are rumors that Stihl Timbersports Series Veteran/Superman Jason Wynyard is also working on a line of competition axes, though I have not heard when they might be available.

    Plumb never made "racing axes" that I am aware of, but many early racers did grind large Plumb axes to use for racing, before dedicated racers were available. Others in the category include Arvika and Hytest, though Hytest ALSO made dedicated racing axes later. Other companies that have made racing axes include Langdon, True Blue, Proaxe, Nivek, and others that do not come immediately to mind.

    I doubt that. I am fairly sure that all Tuatahi axes are forged of the same steel. Most axes shipped to the United States (or at least a great many) are shipped as blanks, that is, unshaped. It is the grinding that makes a great axe, and there are several grinders in North America that are world class. In general, the styles of wood chopped in the US are much different than those chopped "down under" and so axes used in one place are inappropriate for racing in the other. Personally, I have just bought an axe head from Tuatahi directly (not from a US grinder) to see how it compares in quality. Unfortunately, everything around here is frozen hard, so I have not had a chance to test it. Again, a review will follow.

    Feel free to ask more questions or disagree with anything I've said. I'd like to keep this thread going.
     
  13. thechuck

    thechuck

    71
    Apr 4, 2007
    Do you compete?
     
  14. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    Just how thin are we talking here, for the racing axes? Any chance of a top-down pic?
     
  15. hotsaws

    hotsaws

    4
    Feb 1, 2008
    i love tuatahi axes if you need a axes re ground pm me and i wall gave you mike eash info about who to get in tuch mike a great guy
     
  16. Stubai

    Stubai

    Mar 16, 2007
    Compete? No, not these days. Years previous I had some training but I was never a pro chopper. I did learn how to sharpen an axe though, and I can hang a head with the best of them.

    If I remember correctly, Hytest made an axe they called 'silver' which was a prized cutter and saw use in Australia. Also, the plumbs were ground down a bit and did see some use in logging shows in the pacific northwest.

    Racing axes are 'thinned' out to the point where they can be easily damaged if there is too much twisting motion to the chop or a knot is encountered. Anything below about 15 degrees would be pushing it in my estimation, but part of the reason these blades cut so well is that fact that they just glide/slice through the wood like a heavy knife.

    thechuck: I agree with your post, I'd like to keep this thread going since axes have considerable appeal to me.
     
  17. thechuck

    thechuck

    71
    Apr 4, 2007
    Yes, Mike Eash is a great guy and an excellent axe grinder. 3/4 axes in my box were done by him. He's also an excellent example of why woodchopping is a gentleman's sport.

    A couple of other guys who I have had contact with - directly or handled their axes - are Jim Hunt, Rudy Sanetta, and Nate "Bucket" Waterfield. Any of them will do great work.

    I know there are others - Doc Janstad (sp?) and Alan Boyko have both been mentioned in this forum, but I have not seen anything they have done (that I know of).
     
  18. thechuck

    thechuck

    71
    Apr 4, 2007
    This is a good first answer to the thinness question above. My fastest axes are 14-15 degree mitre grinds. I'll take a pic as soon as I can find my camera battery charger.

    In my experience, competition axes can also be damaged by bad juju, impure thoughts or tangled chakras. It seems odd that something so sharp and hard could be damaged in seemingly clean white pine or aspen, but I've seen it all.

    Unbelievably disheartening to sink a brand new ($400) axe into a clean block and have it come back with an S-curve in the blade, necessitating a regrind, costing $70, which will shrink the axe by about 1/2" in length and take it away for 6-8 weeks at least.
     
  19. thechuck

    thechuck

    71
    Apr 4, 2007
    I had new info from Tuatahi today.

    They are changing their work axe line. In the meantine, several options seem to be available. 1) the current work axes, which are (aparently) made of race axe steel, just thicker. 2) a line of chinese-made Tuatahi-style axes. These look a bit like the Bolstad axes (which look somewhat similar to the standard Tuatahis) are flat grinds with a "rough rolled edge," weigh a hair under 5 lbs and are about 7 1/4 long by 6 7/8 wide. They are intended for work, practice and rigging, and are judged (by Tuatahi) to be made of steel unsuitable for racing. On the plus side, heads (not including the considerable shipping from NZ) are only about $60, compared to ~$200 for the regular axe (with handle). Tuatahi is also offering a chinese made throwing axe for considerably less than their regular throwing axe.

    No word yet on what the new style of work axes will be like.
     
  20. Stubai

    Stubai

    Mar 16, 2007
    I once rolled the edge on a Timberman while hitting some cedar branches about three inches across. It was a bad moment for me, but a lesson. The profiled edge (16 degrees) was too thin for such travail.

    I do find it hard to believe that Tuatahi is selling a Chinese made product. This is a commentary on the way the world is going.
     

Share This Page