The axe-ident thread

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by A17, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. gben


    Nov 26, 2014
    Physics proves you are ignorant. As long as a maul is moving it has energy, and if it was all used up by the top log then when you split one log the maul would always stop at the ground and never bury itself in the dirt. To split a clean, knot-free piece of hardwood like Ash, Maple, Beech etc. it takes X amount of energy, and if the person swinging the maul puts in 2X then it will split two logs. A video is a great idea though, I just picked a gopro up at the Salvation Army so it is in the works........
  2. Old Axeman

    Old Axeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 10, 2015
    Remember, these are to be two 16" long logs just like the tens of thousands you split back in the 1970's. I am really looking forward to your video. How about throwing in that golf-club swing splitting thing in your video. With your perfect safety record this should not be a problem.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
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  3. Fmont

    Fmont Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    Ehh. The last thing I want to do is stir, but honestly physics are not on your side.

    I would sorta of urge you not to try this, in spite of previous claims. It is ironically exactly the type of tomfoolery that gets people hurt.

    That said, F=ma. Force equals mass times acceleration. So let's think about this, ignoring all sorts of things in physics that further make it unlikely.

    You're going to need substantially more than twice the force to get the job done, but let's just say twice as much for the argument's sake. So what needs to be altered? Looking at the equation we immediately see that we're dealing with one constant and one variable to arrive at the required force.

    The constant is mass, at 5lbs. If we were actually doing the physics we'd convert to correct units, but for this discussion knowing the mass isn't a variable is enough. So that leaves acceleration. Acceleration is measured in meters a second per second (m/s²). Let's subsequently consider that the variable is measured in distance over time squared. Is the distance of our acceleration changing? No. So what we're really talking about is time.

    So the position being made is that one (gben) can swing a maul more than twice as fast as "normal" at the very barest of minimums. I doubt it, that's way more impressive than it sounds on the surface. Consider that a pro golfer is only able to swing roughly 20-30% faster than an average amateur, not anywhere near 100%+...

    The only way this works is if the wood is of the type that wants to split just looking at it. A normal hardwood log the *requires* a decent swing, no freaking way. It's a specious plausibility that falls apart quickly when examined. I take up OA's flag.

    Hopefully this goes away when it doesn't wind up as the first video of said trick on youtube.
  4. Fmont

    Fmont Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    On a different front, I think a lot of the danger with axes is simply carrying around and keeping in close proximity 3-5lbs of sharp steel. Falling, dropping, bumping, etc., probably make up the bulk of axe-idents if I had to guess. Maybe not the crazy stories, but the casual cuts and bumps that happen.

    I have leather and tools, but haven't put in the time yet to start on a real journey into leatherwork. But it's a good impetus to get on it!
  5. Old Axeman

    Old Axeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 10, 2015
    Carrying and sharpening are probably the two biggest risks. Using, not so much in my experience, unless you are preforming some bonehead stunt.
  6. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    That's what I've found as well. Save twice every time I've cut or nicked myself with an axe it's been while filing or honing.
    Once when I was a kid I put a hatchet in my left chin bone and the other was last winter splitting a red oak branch and my axe bounced out and got my left thumb. I keep em all razor, or almost, sharp and it's wise to be mindful! No tricks or haphazard stunts here. I value my digits too much!
    ithinkverydeeply, A17 and Fmont like this.
  7. Fmont

    Fmont Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    Same here. Same notion as a sharp knife is safer than a dull one.
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  8. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    At least your axe is verifiably sharp. Keep it covered. And use lots of neosporin.
  9. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    I might believe a person could split 2 stacked rounds if they were incredibly easy wood to split like straight grained alder.

    For axe-idents, once as a young man I was busting up pallets for firewood with a boys axe. A piece of pallet flew up and hit me squarely in the forehead. My girlfriend (later wife) used to tease me about "hitting myself in the head with an axe". Not exactly how it happened but she had fun with it.

    Another time I was felling a piece of very hard fire-killed alpine fir at about 6500' in the North Cascades. My Collins boys axe glanced wildly off that hard dead wood and came out of my hands. It struck my shin right on the bottom knee seam of my Carhart logger jeans - thickest part of Carhart's heaviest pants. It made a laceration in my shin 1-1/2" long and about 3/8" deep. I shaved the hairs around it with my hunting knife and closed it with 2 bandaids. Went back to work. Still have the scar.
  10. Macchina


    Apr 7, 2006
    A few years ago at my cabin I had to split a couple small logs by the fire and instead of getting my maul I ran inside and grabbed my Collins Boy's Axe and ran back outside. The 3 steps from my porch to the ground were wet and my feet went up above my head and I sailed about 4 feet and landed on the ground on my back. In all the commotion my Axe went into the air and came down right on the web of my hand between my thumb and finger, barely cutting me. It could have been so much worse.

    What I wouldn't give to have video of that fall. It was like a cartoon.
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  11. gben


    Nov 26, 2014
    Fmont said:

    "That said, F=ma. Force equals mass times acceleration.
    So the position being made is that one (gben) can swing a maul more than twice as fast as "normal" at the very barest of minimums
    The only way this works is if the wood is of the type that wants to split just looking at it."

    Another guy does the work for me, thank-you. First of all Energy equals mass times VELOCITY, acceleration has nothing to do with it, it is simply how fast you get up to said Velocity. So you did not even get the equation right from the get-go. Hilarious, that was Error number one.

    Error number two that both you and your equally uneducated predecessor made was that someone has to use their maximum capacity to split the wood they are splitting in the first place.

    The other stunning admission is that neither of you apparently know how easy it is to split green hardwood. Maple, Ash, Beech, Cherry etc. all split very easily when free of knots and cut in the standard 16" length for firewood. Even splitting a log with a KNOT in it is easy if you face the knot towards you so you split beside or AROUND it, do any of you know that??? When we cut a tree down it went from standing to split and stacked in one or two workdays, if it was seasoned wood then it would be hard to split, but people who need firewood want to cut it up and split it asap so it is ready to use asap. It is actually easy to split many pieces of firewood using one hand and just the weight of the falling maul will do the work, let alone any added velocity from a swing.

    Is it a misconception that all hipsters have that when a large hardwood log is split with a maul the first strike is always dead center to split it exactly in half or something??? Because all experienced at the art know that on a large log it is "slabbed", where the first split takes two or three inches off the side. Then it is slabbed again at ninety or 180 degrees until it is small enough to maybe take a whack at the center of the heartwood. Not to mention of you hit the exact center of any log with an axe or maul all you are going to do is break the handle because often they do not split straight, and the head will go into the log while the handle hits solid wood because the split veered off at thirty or forty degrees etc..

    Doing trick splitting with a maul IS dangerous for the average human being, just like driving 100mph is dangerous for the average driver, but if someone spends hundreds of hours splitting wood over years, or hundreds of hours driving over 100mph over years as as in NASCAR, then they are going to be able to do it safely, and a lot more safely than someone who spends most of their time sitting in armchairs at a computer monitor or walking around looking at a smart-phone.

    I could believe a lot of hipsters trying to split wood the first or second time would hurt themselves, especially if they try something "trick" when they don't even know what they are doing in the first place, but that is not what I did. I grew up splitting wood with a maul and did it for years, and slowly worked out how to do tricks to either save time or just have fun. When you are talking about someone hurting themselves with an axe or maul, then you are talking about someone who either has very low experience using one, or someone that has so little aptitude for it that they may never be proficient at it no matter how many hours they work at it, as in the case of someone who adopts the persona of a woodsman, beard, plaid shirt and all, to participate in a fashion-trend. Know anyone like that???
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  12. ithinkverydeeply

    ithinkverydeeply Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 17, 2018
    Midevil warfare hipsters? Why does the instructor get a real axe and the student gets a rickety ass wooden shield?
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  13. Fmont

    Fmont Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    "it is simply how fast you get up to said Velocity."

    That's called acceleration.
    Meek1 likes this.
  14. Agent_H


    Aug 21, 2013
    I think we’ve forgotten what’s important here.
  15. Miller '72

    Miller '72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2017
    Where did you find that!? :thumbsup::cool:

    I had a friend do that once with a splitting maul :D;)
    ...I couldnt resist:D
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  16. jmarston


    Dec 6, 2010
    Most of my cuts have been from sharpening. Almost always from rushing.

    My worst accident involved one of my favourite dogs. A tree had fallen across one of my trails. I enjoy axe work and wasnt in a rush so I grabbed my freshly hung felling axe. A 3.5 lb Walters on a 32" birch haft. I was eager to get going and hadn't made a mask for this axe. No matter. The tree was only a couple hundred feet down the trail so off I went. Practicing proper, safe as possible axe carrying.
    This dog loved running the trails and would run way ahead then back to check on me and way ahead again. Looking for bears or porcupine or squirrels, she loved them all. I had somehow gotten ahead of her as she was sniffing out in the woods and as she bounded by I felt her bump my axe.

    I saw her stumble and heard her yelp. I though maybe she had just jammed her shoulder as she went by. My heart dropped as I got closer.

    The bump had been her scalp running along the freshly sharpened bit. It split her scalp down to the bone for about six inches. I yelled and swore not knowing what else to do. I could see she was in pain but in the swearing she thought I was mad at her.

    I calmed myself down and slowly walked over to her. I held the flap of her scalp onto her head, calmed her with my other hand and led her back to the house. Unfortunately I had to put her down when I got back as she had lost so much blood.

    Moral of the story is don't be complacent with your guards. Even following proper carrying technique, and axe can still be very dangerous. Keep aware of potential risks at all times.
  17. Fmont

    Fmont Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    That's a rough and sobering story.
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  18. Meek1

    Meek1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 11, 2019
    Did he take down 2 helicopters? Or just 1?
  19. Agent_H


    Aug 21, 2013
    Depends on how long you watch it!
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  20. Agent_H


    Aug 21, 2013
    This is terrible jmartson. :(
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