From Tree Trunk to Axe Handle

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Curt Hal, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. Curt Hal

    Curt Hal Gold Member Gold Member

    554
    Jul 8, 2014
    This guy’s videos are a treat to watch. He does almost everything by hand, from scratch. Best of all, no talking.
     
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  2. Dusty One

    Dusty One Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    Thanks for posting...Great video...Great work !
     
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  3. FLINT77

    FLINT77

    532
    Apr 8, 2013
    That was great, and I think he did a super job on the handle, but I personally don't like the way he left shoulder super fat, and chiseled into the shoulder to seat the lugs on the jersey. I think he should have taken the shoulder all down to the same level as the tongue - so the lugs are all totally on the outside of the wood, and not carved into it.

    Right after I joined BF there was a big discussion about this very thing and how the way he did it actually makes that sharp transition zone there at the shoulder much more likely to break. He talked about how strong and flexible the handle will be, but then left the shoulder way fat.
     
  4. Old Axeman

    Old Axeman Basic Member Basic Member

    863
    Jan 10, 2015
    Good video. He used the right tools, at the right time, with good technique. But I have problems with the finished haft. Not to pick, just to point some things out. Should not be a shelf under the lugs; The shoulder, on the back of the haft, should be right up under the bottom of the poll; the kerf is too deep, it should only be 2/3 of the eye depth; the wedge is too wide and not drive in deep enough; I dont like the grain orientation; the swell is shaped to give you hot spots in use. It is not a haft I would take into the wilderness on my only axe.
    Look at Quintons work for a master hand crafted hickory haft.
     
  5. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    Here is one to compare and contrast, also no talk. Showing expert work all-round in particular use of a drawknife making clean emphatic cuts at the shoulder. Hopefully the film starts at the right moment, the proceeding showing shovel handles or something. Nope, skip to about the 11 minute mark for axe handles.
     
  6. Old Axeman

    Old Axeman Basic Member Basic Member

    863
    Jan 10, 2015
    Also look at cityofthesouth's hand made hafts on this forum.
     
  7. JJHollowman

    JJHollowman Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 16, 2016
    I don't know if any of you are familiar with "ASMR" but I get it from vids like this. You're 100% right- no talking is the key. Really cool he gave Baronyx (whose a great supplier and here on BF too) a shout out. I couldn't begin to make anything half as elegant as that. the second vid was cool too- those old timers used hand tools with the precision and familiarity of countless hours. They wind up with something functional and professional, I'd wind up with something unrecognizable and burnable to maybe cook over.
     
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  8. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Old Axeman said it all.
    That shoulder is a bad idea, he cut the kerf way too deep, and that swell is well let's just say the shape we know and love came to be for good reason.
     
  9. FLINT77

    FLINT77

    532
    Apr 8, 2013
    the first video is great because of the traditional craftsmanship - though the shape of the handle is less than ideal.

    these videos use less traditional techniques, but the final handle shapes and hangs are pretty good.
    and this first one also has no talking :thumbsup:



    much longer, but pretty nice handle.

     
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  10. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I've seen this second one before and he does good work, I enjoyed watching it again.

    That first, when he started grinding on the head I was out.
     
  11. FLINT77

    FLINT77

    532
    Apr 8, 2013
    I think that's a flap disc in the first video. I don't think he's actually grinding on it. But I hear you - I'd never do that to an axe myself - not into the polished look.
     
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  12. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Yeah probably was a flap disk.

    It really is hard for me to understand why so many people want everything to look new and shiny.
    I can't say it's wrong and people are free to do what they want with their own tools, I simply don't understand why they do it.
     
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  13. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    We can say traditional, non-traditional, ecological, modern, mechanized .... Ok but I would include in the "traditional" that the handle blanks are riven and this is a material distinction in comparing the two cases. The run-0ut in both of the later is a striking and typical consequence of relying on sawed stock. Unfortunately, Mr Chickadee chose to cut it to close riving to 8ths rather than stopping at quarters which left him with insufficient material to orient the grain differently, or carve a standard swell, but I have no problem with the improvisation he chooses in forming the grip in light of the insufficiency, it's suitable to him and his condition which is rarely so with standardized solutions that demand our accommodation towards them.
     
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  14. gben

    gben

    501
    Nov 26, 2014
    I think the video is laughable.

    It is the definition of hipsterism. Two people, this guy and his wife, one has a career murdering people for oil in the Middle East, the other an "engineer", decide to play Little House on the Prairie and make themselves new identities as frontier settlers. Everything they have littered their property with, everything they do, every aesthetic they have ripped off is just a sickening cliche of hipsterism.
     
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  15. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    I've had a similar recent experience with a riven haft that had too many grain changes to work with a drawknife. Once I got close I had to set the drawknife down and finish with coarse rasps.

    I concur with Old Axeman's evaluation of the shelf, the kerf and the swell.
     
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  16. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    gben seems to have some deeper insights into the characters beyond what's presented by the camera. Maybe some bubbles have been burst. On the other hand simple observation is revealing enough for the initiated.
    My approach to riving is that it begins with material selection. Some woods are eliminated at the outset because the species is not suited to the technique. Maple, in anything other than a green, freshly cut condition rives poorly for example, and you'll get nowhere riving plum wood, where ash, oak, robinia, sweet chestnut... can be reliably riven. Riving reveals the character on a piece by piece basis, obvious for example in the old film I placed where the long tough fibers of ash are explicit and just what's wanted in an axe handle, and if there are indications of incompatibility we have the option of bailing early on. Just like they always say, and it's particularly applicable to working wood with axes, "Man has forgotten how to work with wood once they discovered the saw".
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
  17. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    The piece I was working was robinia - black locust. It split beautifully straight. The staves warped pretty bad in months 6-12 of the drying process. I let them dry for 3 years in a cool shady place with the ends painted and the bark left on.

    While using the drawknife I experienced frequent sudden grain shifts that resulted in piece shearing off as you would see in maple. Thankfully I had plenty of material to go ahead with rasps and finish the haft.

    I'll post more about the experience later.
     
  18. rjdankert

    rjdankert

    Mar 10, 2011
    Another one:


    [​IMG]


    Bob
     
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