- Feb 3, 2006
I usually sharpen to 1000 grit.
Alright guys! There you´re right. But here in Germany are double bits completely unkown. I never saw one in a shop or at any guy at work. So we have just the "regular" axes, I don´t keep 'em as sharp as some of you guys do.
Ah yes. The double bit question. Isnt really a matter of question, but more a matter of need. The double bit was not popular in europe due to the use and size of the product(timber). In america, it made a comeback due to one simple reason. The trees were bigger than in europe, and guys did not want to huff it back to camp for a full on resharpening. Loggers told blacksmiths, and hence the double bit wasnt reborn I would say, but yet more realized I guess. You take a logger in the pacific NW of the USA, travel say a mile, makes 50 swings, and has to have a resharpen? Just think about that for a second. Hell most people would claim welfare if you ask this of them, this guy probably has a shack and 2 kids - and it doesnt matter what it takes, he will provide, but he needs a sharp axe to do so. These are the guys i think about when I get my hands on an old axe.
When splitting very hard wood your edge needs to sharpened to a fine razor edge and an acute angle just to get bite into the wood. I've had sharp mauls rejected by very hard wood even when making a full roundhouse swing. When I get into that stuff then I use a finely honed wedge and a 3 lb. sledge. Nothing made of wood can stop that.
Perhaps the point we might be miscommunicating on is that I am using a finely honed cutting/chopping axe as a baseline for the "razor edge." With a splitting axe/maul/wedge I want the steel to widen quickly behind the point to support the edge and to keep it from sticking.
I've never curled an edge splitting wood in 40 years. I've had hard wood reject all but the sharpest axes and wedges.
Our splitting experiences differ.
Yeah! That are the small but fine differences.
But I would like to buy and use a double bit, if I would ever see one I´m interested in, how they work and if their is more pull to another "regular" axe. But that´s now really OT. Sorry!
from Peter Vido:
Our primary splitting tools are 3-1/2 to 4 lb. axes, not mauls. We use a maul only occasionally, but one with a 6 lb. head, not 8 lb.
......The toughest-to-split species we used to encounter in these parts was elm; 30 years ago, there were still some of the old ones left standing -- but dying rapidly by then. Many had very tight and twisted grain; most mauls (or wedges) would just bounce back before penetrating.