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Wetterlings axe fail....

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by sisk61, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. sisk61

    sisk61

    498
    Jun 24, 2011
    Whats up with Wetterlings???

    The other day I bought a Wetterlings from Smoky Mountain Knifeworks in Tennessee, Im not sure what the model is, but the handle length is 23 inches, and the total length is just under 26 inches. I was looking to get a Large Hunters axe, but i didnt like the shape of the head, so i went ahead and bout the one i have now. It has a heartwood hickory handle. I want to say its a swedish forest axe. It was 60 bucks, so i couldnt help but buy it.

    Anyways, today, i was hacking away at a tree, about 10 inches in diameter, and i noticed the head of the Wetterlings started wobbling. I kept working on the tree, but now with not as much might because i didnt want the head to fly off. next thing i know, the wooden wedge in the eye of the axe slips halfway out.. so i grabbed it and it was easily pulled out by hand.

    It really pisses my off. I have heard some people comment about how Wetterlings isnt doing so well in quality. In fact, i was just looking at a thread on this forum that talked about that.

    What do i do? Id like to get my money back if possible...

    Please excuse my use of axe terms, i am sorta new to the axe world and im not as informed as most of you

    Thanks!
     
  2. Crazyotter

    Crazyotter

    334
    Jun 26, 2010
    The first thing I'd do is email SMKW. Chances are they'll straighten you out. If not, you can always attempt to fix this yourself. So long as the fit of the wood inside the axes eye is tight (if not your looking at a new handle), and the alignment of the blade to the handle is decent, this is a simple fix. Chances are the kerf slot, where the wedge goes, isn't deep enough. Should be at least 2/3rds of the axe heads height, and you'll need a wedge thin enough to bottom out in the slot but tight enough to fit. Hardwore store wedges tend to be to thick and pop out, you'll just need a saw and a piece of soft wood to make one. G'luck.

    I forgot to mention, if you do choose to try putting a new wedge in, soak it in some linseed oil after. Makes a mess, but helps swell the wood (and it won't shrink after).
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  3. M3mphis

    M3mphis

    Jan 13, 2011
    Wood shrinks and swells with the relative humidity of the air. There is no axe manufacturer in the history of the world that can change that. Just put in a new wedge - problem solved.
     
  4. sisk61

    sisk61

    498
    Jun 24, 2011
    I looked at the old wedge, and it is way too short to fit to the bottom of the kerf slot. I will try this, thank you!
     
  5. Section10

    Section10

    114
    Jun 8, 2010
    It's a failure.
     
  6. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
  7. M3mphis

    M3mphis

    Jan 13, 2011
    So you'd rather have your money back than keep the axe assuming the handle was secured???

    Sure, it's a failure by definition. Seems like it would inconvenience a fella more to return it than just to simply drive in a new wedge, especially when the factory wedge is already out. It's like a 10 minute job...if you make your own wedge. Two minute job plus a run to the hardware store if you have to buy a wedge.
     
  8. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    I don't want my wedges to bottom out in the kerf. You want the wedge's thickness to stop its progress into the kerf, not its length. If it bottoms out then it's not tight.
     
  9. M3mphis

    M3mphis

    Jan 13, 2011
    :thumbup:
     
  10. sisk61

    sisk61

    498
    Jun 24, 2011
    Thanks! Im glad i came here! I am already learning a bunch!
     
  11. Mossyhorn

    Mossyhorn Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    There seems to be an over abundance of negative posts about Wetterlings. I've personally never had any problems with their products. Could it be the uninitiated expecting something
    that's just not within the norm?
     
  12. Turbo4x4

    Turbo4x4

    104
    Jun 4, 2011
    Have you ever heard of the defective axes from the GB or BMC? :))
     
  13. M3mphis

    M3mphis

    Jan 13, 2011
    GB: yes, I've seen plenty of posts of gb's with defects.

    BMC: they don't make axes. Those that they modify are on a MUCH smaller scale than wetterlings or GB.
     
  14. Broady

    Broady

    170
    Jan 15, 2011
    I only have 1 wetterling. It just a 1 1/2lb head, no handle. I also have a GB DB that I am not pleased with. You would think for $200+, they would saw the top portion of the handle square with the head, or put the makers stamp onto the head with a half-ass effort to make it square and even. I think some people throw things together with the idea of fit, form, and function, while others have a keen eye for quality and understand that people who are purchasing their product expect more than cut rate nonsense. Just my .02
     
  15. Crazyotter

    Crazyotter

    334
    Jun 26, 2010

    Not to go off topic, but I'm very interested in this. From my limited experience, every time I've done a thick hardware store wedge it'll stop about 2 inches in if I'm lucky (normally not even that). They never hold, no matter how tightly I put them in. But since I've started making my own wedges I can "fit" them to the kerf, rather thin at the bottom and gradually thickening so it is tight, then bottom them out and not have them move an inch. I think Monday I bottom'ed out a homemade wedge that was on the thin side, and I wanted to reset it, so I grabbed it with a vice and pulled. Five minutes later I called defeat. Discussion time?

    Edit: I do saw my kerf slightly more than 2/3rds of the axe heads height.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  16. Ravaillac

    Ravaillac

    Feb 14, 2005
    Well, some how, probably. When it comes to axe, you probably should expect some level of failure that can't be avoided, because they use natural products such as wood... Refitting the head, is actually, to me, some sort of normal routine maintenance.

    Now problems with GB, Wetterlings... and others keep being the same:
    * because people pay quite a lot of money (money warranted by the fact those products are made in developped countries by fairly paid workers, using traditional techniques, not by cheap labour in PRC), they expect flawless, while there's some "unavoidable failure rate".
    * when I get a defect, is it part of that "unavoidable failure rate" or did someone actually screw up
    * those brands pride themselves to be superior so that "unavoidable failure rate" is supposed to be lower, hence higher expectations

    Of course there are ways to lower those rate but it generally involves some radical solutions like replacing wood with plastics... From my experience, also, much more expensive custom axes often suffer the same kind of problem.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  17. Section10

    Section10

    114
    Jun 8, 2010
    Perfection is impossible and there will always be some flaws. I guess it depends on what you expect for your money. High prices ought to mean consistent (usually) high quality. Mistakes can happen, but they shouldn't be a trend. I think most people buy an expensive new axe because it looks pretty. If it can survive a few trips to the campground every year they will be happy with their fine axe and that is alright. A happy customer is what counts. Very, very few people use an axe to the extent that the average person did 100 years ago. Back then companies were forced to make quality because if they didn't it got found out pretty quickly. Not to criticize new axes. I don't use them so I am in no position to do so. I do think though that axe requirements have changed over the years and production has reflected that change.
     
  18. HandAxeProMan

    HandAxeProMan

    592
    Apr 9, 2011
    Many people that spend a fair amount of money for a product (a car, a gun, or an axe) expect a virgin while in reality almost all products are prostitutes and have defects. Our expectations almost always are higher than what mass production can deliver.
     
  19. sisk61

    sisk61

    498
    Jun 24, 2011
    I just have more experience with knives than i do axes. Ive never had a knife fail, and i put my knives through hard crap. so i guess my expectations just were naturally high.

    Heres a noobish question for ya, How do you make a wedge? and does it matter what wood you use? also, could one purchase linseed oil at walmart or something?
     
  20. M3mphis

    M3mphis

    Jan 13, 2011
    I've made wedges with a carpenter's axe and a knife or a hewing hatchet. I've also made them with a chop saw which is much faster.

    I've read to use softwood and I've read to use hardwood. I've used both. I've used poplar, white pine, oak, elm, hawthorn, and they've all worked fine. Hard woods are my favorite, though. Just make sure it's very dry.

    BLO is available at many places. Walmart I'm not sure of, but any hardware store will have. Most paint stores, feed stores, etc have it.
     

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