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Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #33069 08/04/15 09:32 AM
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D Wagstaff Offline
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This one squaring up axe I'm getting into good order for waiting work.

This one recently acquired and handled I am not yet so pleased with.

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #33071 08/08/15 01:26 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hello everyone tonight

Hi Don

Thanks for the nice photos

That first axe sure makes me want to do a little hewing, it really is a great looking axe, nice styling,--it appears to have the best qualities of both worlds in its designing

The second axe is great also, nice size, you can see from its appearance it seems to be handled left handed, correct me if I am wrong

The handle has a nice sweep up to it compared to the first one which appears to be fairly straight

I just wonder how you can use both axes with such a different handle styling, and maintain accuracy

The head on the second axe seems to have been hand constructed rather than forged, it makes for a lovely appearance, and is only meant for a left handed person

it also appears to have a few miles on it being narrower on the leading edge

I'll bet they both hold a nice edge

Thanks again for coming on line

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #33072 08/08/15 02:57 PM
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Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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Who knows Richard, it might be due to your getting the thread going again or it might be due to the new, (old) grindstone I got this week but just yesterday I took that axe to the sharpening room and got it ready to go, even set another stem on the trestle for squaring up in the next day or so. Once I get to edging I can say then how that one hold its sharpness, I'm not so sure at the moment to be honest so I'm holding my breath because it is no easy thing to get my hands on one of these axes.

You got a good eye to spot the character of that other axe right away. How do you distinguish constructed and forged, by the way? The iron and the steel on that axe are both really special and yes, it takes a mighty keen edge and holds it like that.

That axe has a pretty new handle of Hawthorn and I am still experimenting with it having cut it down in length from how it started and well, it still doesn't suit me in the least I must say - the handle that is - probably I'll have to start over. The curves are all in the wrong places and I got to stand on the opposite from the one I'm working. Actually the curve must begin abruptly as it comes out the collar and only upwards and none or very little skew at all. It's a special axe and it deserves an equally good handle, so I'm feeling bad about that up till now

Last edited by Cecile en Don Wa; 08/08/15 03:00 PM.
Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #33073 08/09/15 01:49 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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hi Don and others looking in tonight

If I might ask Don, would it be possible to post an end of the handle looking towards the head pics of both axes, just to get a real feel of how the heads are hung

I do believe many would benefit from the above angle shots of these beautiful tools

I have gazed on many broadaxes over the years, and never tire of seeing new ones, and you have two that are top of the line, and should be passed around for study

Thanks again

Richard
NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #33074 08/09/15 10:56 AM
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We can begin with the 1st side axe, what I have come to know as skradbila, the side axe of Sweden.
Plane to see, there is a single bevel

The handle after the collar fairly straight
Only the section entering the collar has a crook.

Well, the geometry on the axe head has its own particularities I can go into another time, not now.

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #33075 08/09/15 11:02 AM
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Not to get ahead of the game but here, a look at the other one as it was just after getting its new handle:

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #33076 08/10/15 12:50 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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hello everyone tonight

Hi Don

Those are great views, and I am sure very educational indeed

That first axe even with the straight axe handle ( no up sweep after exiting the head) should work well, but having said that it means that the hewer will need to bend down more as he works along, at least using the method that I use, because I like to chop/hew with the keen edge of the axe parallel with the centre line of the log, striking downwards

I know others work differently ie: striking back along the side of the log, not my preferred way by any means

It just makes my blood run cold to see how some hew, not safely by any stretch of the imagination

enjoy

Richard
NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #33077 08/10/15 07:39 AM
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Well I have some bad news, the axe in question is in need of an axe doctor. While working to get the edge into good order I grew suspicious of the steel. The iron of the body also struck me as odd once it became visible as some of the oxidation got rubbed away during the sharpening and grinding process but the major concern is the folding and easily dented cutting edge. How could such a thing happen is the question.

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #33078 08/10/15 08:19 PM
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These early signs something was amiss.

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #33079 08/11/15 12:15 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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hello everyone tonight

Hi Don

Just wondering how much of the tool steel inset is visible?
Might be a possibility that the axe head has been used so much that it has exhausted the tool steel insert, and the mild steel that comprises 90% of the head has now reached the cutting area

Another possibility is that the axe has been stored in such a way that it came in contact with the ground for an extended period of time, this will draw the temper out of the tool steel

If that is the case, and there is still lots of tool steel visible, you should be able to have it re tempered by a local blacksmith or a good machinist, using a tempering guide in an old mechanic's manual

The trick will be to not get the tempering too hard so that the steel becomes prone to failure along the cutting edge

It is a little easier to control the tempering using today's technology, in yesteryear the blacksmith if they were good could watch and follow the color pattern in the steel as it cooled and hardened--I have had some old tools re tempered by our resident blacksmith George York over the years it was great to watch him work steel, he could just about do anything, or make anything or repair anything you needed in the restoration field

We were working on an 1865 Carding machine one time and it was then I was introduced by George to the different bolt threads used at that time, but that is for another discussion

enjoy

Richard
NH

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