Forged Carving Axe with Apple Handle

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Project by bobasaurus posted 01-02-2016 09:59 PM 1233 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just finished making the handle for this carving axe/hatchet. The head was custom forged for me by John Switzer of Black Bear Forge, who I met at the Lie-Nielsen hand tool event in Denver a while back. It’s O1 tool steel, differential tempered, with a punched eye. The handle is apple wood that I laminated to get the grain in the correct orientation for strength. As a result, the colors are a bit two-tone from the heartwood and sapwood. I got to use my fancy rasps and spokeshaves, so it was very fun to make. Finished with BLO. It sure cuts well, and fits my hand perfectly.


-- Allen, Colorado

12 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7358 posts in 1424 days

#1 posted 01-02-2016 10:35 PM

What a cool AXE ! Looks good !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Carbide's profile


210 posts in 1863 days

#2 posted 01-02-2016 10:41 PM

Looks great! Now it is time to use it on some projects.

-- When it feels like a job, it isn't a hobby anymore.

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 504 days

#3 posted 01-03-2016 02:24 AM

Durn that’s nice! I have wanted a carving axe for a long time, that one is sweet!

-- Learn Relentlessly

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


2295 posts in 1826 days

#4 posted 01-03-2016 03:04 AM

Excellent work!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Andre's profile


992 posts in 1223 days

#5 posted 01-03-2016 03:58 AM

A beautiful Axe like that and you cheaped out on a couple of wedges? Have you no shame! LOL!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View CFrye's profile (online now)


8558 posts in 1257 days

#6 posted 01-03-2016 09:42 AM

Great pics of a beautiful tool, Allen!

-- God bless, Candy

View majuvla's profile


8664 posts in 2285 days

#7 posted 01-03-2016 10:47 AM

Nice shape and top ending.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1720 posts in 1387 days

#8 posted 01-03-2016 12:27 PM

Now that is a cool project. Very nicely done

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1768 days

#9 posted 01-03-2016 01:15 PM

I really like that, are you going to do some carving?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2284 days

#10 posted 01-03-2016 02:22 PM

Alan, that is a beautiful axe. Well done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View john2005's profile


1741 posts in 1595 days

#11 posted 01-13-2016 03:10 AM

Thats awesome. I think it will look even better as that apple starts to age. Nice work!

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2601 days

#12 posted 01-13-2016 05:05 AM

Thanks for the comments. I love using this axe, it works great. I’m fond of apple wood for tool handles, though it’s hard to find it straight-grained (had to search forever for the two boards I have). I have the axe hanging off the saw till on my in-progress tool wall:

-- Allen, Colorado

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