Substitute for Wetterlings Les Stroud Bushman Axe?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Papa JB, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. Papa JB

    Papa JB

    Jun 17, 2020
    Looking for a small axe for camping and backpacking and the Wetterlings Les Stroud Bushman Axe has a lot of features that I like but doesn't seem to be in production any longer. Is there another axe that has similar characteristics and functionality?

    Design features of the Stroud Bushman Axe that I like:

    1. Good compromise of portability and functionality - with a 1.6 lb head and 22" length it is small enough to easily strap to a pack or even put inside a pack and total weight is only about 2.25 lb. It isn't big enough for extensive felling and chopping but the additional 6-8" of length should generate substantially more force for felling and chopping compared to a hatchet.

    2. Hammer poll - don't see anywhere that it says the poll is hardened but at least there is a hammer shaped poll for light work like tent stakes and stuff. Ideally the poll would be hardened to add some confidence to actually hammer on stuff.

    3. Wedge shaped head - the main reason that I would carry a small axe with or instead of a folding saw is to be able to split small logs so the wedge shape is preferable to a thin head. Ideally the axe would have a high centerline rather than a full wedge. The wedge shape is less ideal for felling/bucking but would still work for small logs or I could use a saw.

    The GB SFA is a similar size but doesn't have a purpose-built poll and is fairly thin, better for limbing and light felling than splitting.

    A boy's axe is a good multipurpose alternative and great for car camping but is bigger and heavier than I would like for backpacking. And I haven't seen one with a functional poll.
  2. crbnSteeladdict


    Jul 31, 2017
    Buy Council's Flying Fox and swap the handle for a longer one
    or maybe
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
    Plainsman likes this.
  3. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    crbnSteeladdict and Plainsman like this.
  4. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    The Hudson Bay axe would be a good alternative IMO.
    Zombiehasselhoff likes this.
  5. Papa JB

    Papa JB

    Jun 17, 2020
    Thank you for the great suggestions!

    Out of curiosity, does anyone make a full size axe with a hardened poll? A modern version of a Rafting Axe? I haven't been able to find one and other posts have said that there are very few old ones available.
  6. FLINT77


    Apr 8, 2013
    I'm not aware than anyone is currently making a full size axe with a hardened poll, except I think Liam Hoffman makes one, but they are pricey. If you watch eBay you can find one but expect to pay at least $100.
  7. Rise AU

    Rise AU

    Jun 15, 2018
    Seven pines forge make an axe almost identical, I would assume with a hardened poll. they say for light striking as heavy striking will damage the eye which would be true for the bushman also. Being forged from 4140 chromolly or 01 tool steel (your choice) it's probably of higher quality steel anyway and at $165 almost the same price.
    Id also consider a Finnish collared axe
    It appears they're making quality (in the heads atleast as handle fit and finish isn't amazing) reproductions of gfb, wetterlings, hultafors etc axes.
    Here's a gfb sfa "inspired" axe basically a copy for half the price.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
    thebrain likes this.
  8. budman5

    budman5 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    May 3, 2004
    I have a Bushman ax I would consider selling.
  9. Papa JB

    Papa JB

    Jun 17, 2020
    What condition is it in and how much do you want for it.
  10. thebrain


    Dec 12, 2007
    That Seven Pines is beautiful!! It looks like the big brother to a lathing hatchet I recently fell in love with.
    Rise AU likes this.
  11. thebrain


    Dec 12, 2007
    Husqvarna carpenters axe might be a good alternative, I forgot all about it until just now!
  12. Goose 7279

    Goose 7279 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 22, 2015
    Hardcore hammers has some axes with hardened polls council woodcraft pack axe also
  13. rxavage


    Aug 16, 2014
    I have the wetterling axe. The head came loose. Get the council tool velvicut bush craft, which I also own, it’s better imo.
  14. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    So...tighten it up? :)
  15. rxavage


    Aug 16, 2014
    I bumped it down more and added some axe head glue:eek:, which wrecked the axe for me but it functions fine. If I was more skilled at hafting I’d give it a go but seeing how my antique double bit came out I’m hesitant. I’m going to need some industrial solvent to free that head to try it again. :(
  16. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    A real easy way to tighten up a loose head is to make a conical wedge, bore a hole in the top of the eye to the required depth, and then drive it home. You can make them yourself, or buy them pre-made. They make a nice alternative to using an iron wedge since if you ever have to replace a broken handle you can just drill it out nice and easy, and if you need to tighten it even more just drive in another.

    Wilfred17, trevitrace and rxavage like this.

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