Thursday, April 6, 2017

Handling a hatchet

Olav has made a new handle for a hatchet.
He was looking for a piece of lightly crooked ash, so he could make a handle that would swing out.

I had an old piece of ash just like that, and as you can see from the pictures, the wood has been put to excellent use.

I don't know the brand of the hatchet, but it looks as though it is sharpened and ready to go.

All pictures are courtesy of Olav





12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Off course it does.
      Olav made it :-)

      Cheers
      Jonas

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  2. Beautiful! And here I am buying handles pre made! Actually, I have a question for you. Have you any experience in using Hickory straight from the log? I have several nice pieces that I split and are seasoning and should hopefully be ready to go in a few months. There is heartwood and sap wood (these logs were approximately 8 to 10 inches in diameter) I was wondering if it would be okay to use pieces with both heart and sap wood, or if that might be a mistake.
    I will trust to your expertise!!
    Thanks
    Bill

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bill.
      Olav is a great craftsman, and somehow ha makes all those things look fantastic.

      I have never worked with hickory, so I don't know anything specific on that species.

      I suppose that you can use both heartwood and sap wood in the same piece, but it depends on what you are going to make.
      For instance if I am building something out of larch for outdoor use I try to discard the sap wood because it is not durable. The heartwood on the other hand is.
      But if I were to make a table top or a board for a bookshelf etc. i would use the piece with both the heartwood and the sap wood on it.
      If you can avoid pieces with the pith, it is usually the best. Unless you make posts for timber framing, in that case pith in the middle is OK. But still FOC (Free Of Center) is better.

      I hope that helped a little, but I would probably read up on hickory and its workability etc. instead of trusting my advice.

      Brgds
      Jonas

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  3. Nice, to my eyes it look like he got the right bend, proportions and etc. Look just right!

    I have a single bevel axe that need such an handle, but trying to find a correct one is proving difficult, would probably have to make my own...

    Bob, with his shop helper, Rudy

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bob.

      I think that the unless you manage to find a speciality shop that deals in handles for axes and hatches, your best bet is to make one yourself.
      It looks to me like there is approximately 2" of swing in the handle. And it looks very fine to me considering the size of the the head.

      Brgds
      Jonas (without a shop helper out here..)

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  4. Check out the poem 'Axe Handles" by Gary Snyder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suzanne.
      Thanks for pointing out that poem to me.
      Being a father, there is so much truth in the poem the way I understand it.

      Have a nice weekend
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  5. You've got me wondering how many handled tools we use that should have a different shape, and how many handles are shaped to accommodate mass production. Gerhard Marx makes hammers that are reportedly wonderful to use: http://www.jenesaisquoiwoodworking.com/the-jenesaisquoi-persuader/ . There are also many tools in Woodworking in Estonia that have shapes we don't normally find today, but apparently suited the work. Thanks to you and Olav for some new (but old) insights.
    Yet another way for old fashioned to be cool. :)
    Jeff

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jeff

      I think that you have a very valid point in that a lot of handles have gradually been shaped to be easier to manufacture.
      It could also be that at a certain point it wasn't economical to make your own custom handle anymore, and the tool was used comparatively little, so an 80% solution on the handle was good enough.

      My hatchet/broad axe has got a bit more of a straight handle, but the head of the hatchet is formed so as to angle the handle the way it should. It can be seen in one of the pictures in Brians old blog post.
      http://toolerable.blogspot.no/2014/08/modern-danish-welsh-stick-chair-build.html
      I rarely use that thing, and if it is the wrong type of handle that is already on it, I guess I would not know.
      But I think it is the original one, and I also suspect that the user might be the problem if I don't get fine results using it :-)
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  6. If I'm not mistaken that is a German made hatchet manufactured by Busch Bros., of Remscheid, Germany.
    Marked with F.W.B. and a stag head in the circle.

    I have one just like it.

    Peter Follansbee mentions one in a blog post here:

    https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/the-hatchet/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ejminer.

      I'll Ask Olav once I get back.
      But it is very likely that you are correct.

      I haven't even had a chance to try his hatchet yet. He made the handle just after I went back to sea.
      I suspect that he has also made some sort of sheath to cover the edge while it is not in use. He is normally very efficient in getting those sort of things done.
      Thanks for commenting.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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