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Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by quinton, May 2, 2017.
I'm located just beyond the northern range limits of Shagbark Hickory but Bitternut Hickory is reasonably common around here. Have you by chance ever compared the two? If the difference is the same as Red Maple vs Sugar Maple then it isn't worth the effort. Sawyers in the Ottawa Valley refer to these as 'soft maple' and 'hard maple' and the durability and strength of each is quite different.
You weren't asking me, and I have no direct comparative experience with them, but looks like Bitternut has a lower modulus of rupture and elastic modulus than Shagbark but higher than White Ash. Sounds worth a shot to me.
I don't think there's "much" difference at all between the strength of any of the species of hickory, including pecan. I know I sure can't tell a difference when working it, and I know I've used at least 3 different species. I like the mockernut for staves because they tend to grow big and straight, and seem to have thicker sapwood. I may cut one this fall for staves.
I just worked for half and hour on this post and hit the back button and lost it all! I'm not typing it again, so I'll just post the pictures in sequence of the 3 pound Kelly Perfect hang I worked on after work this past week.
I did this Tommy Axe today. I really love these little axes! I wanted an original type handle, but with a little more length to take advantage of the heavier head these axes have. The original handles were 15", just a little short I think for the head weight.
Tommy Axes take, and hold a keen edge forever it seems, and with the head profile, the are good at chopping as well as hatchet work. Here's what I came up with.
The head, never sharpened.
Roughed out blank through the eye.
Good and straight with the head.
Working on facets with the rasp.
I like it!
Sharpened the bit. That ain't steel wool on the edge.
17 inches, it feels perfect!
nice, i found a western kelly like that, it had a paper label, methinks i should carve the handle down, its pretty thick, that little tommy's lookin noice
Great hang on the Perfect, Quinton. Really textbook.
And I agree that the Tommy Axe deserves a longer handle.
quinton, i have a few jewels of my own but yours are somethin else
Thanks! I appreciate that.
I would thin the handle until it suits your taste. I like handles in the 13/16ths- 7/8" thickness range. I have big paws, and that thickness just feels, and works the best for me. With care that Kelly will last a lifetime! Thanks, I really like the little Tommy Axe, I used it today to sharpen some stakes for a form.
Thanks! The Perfect swings really well. 17-18" seems about perfect for the Tommy handle, too.
Wedge to handle grain looks wise.
One more piece to a great tool
Thanks. I do think a quarter sawn wedge adds more stability to a hang.
The wedges I've been using lately are sassafras, another "softer" hardwood. A friend of mine with a portable band mill gave a few boards from some sassafras logs he milled around 25 years ago.
Wow, both look great. I really like those tommy axes for the reasons you mentioned and that handle is super
Thanks. I really like the handle on the Tommy. I think it's pretty close to the originals, and just the little bit of extra length makes a huge difference.
I bought this Craftsman hewing hatchet a few years back and decided to make a handle for it today.
I've been using an old Fayette R. Plumb anchor brand hewing hatchet off and on for a couple of years. The old Plumb has a beautiful old original straight handle which I have found surprisingly VERY comfortable to use. So that handle was my inspiration for this handle I made today for the Craftsman.
..And the money shot!
That reminds me of the hafts on WW2 surplus hatchets. They are very comfortable.