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Forum topic by Rick M posted 10-27-2014 04:08 AM 2167 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rick M

7923 posts in 1845 days


10-27-2014 04:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: axe hewing axe broad axe

I want to buy an axe for rough hewing small logs, just removing the bark, sapwood, and squaring up the log. Looking at axes there are quite a few different kinds and I’m wondering if there are any axe experts that can tell me some specifics in what to look for so I don’t buy the wrong kind or a crappy axe. I’ll be shopping for vintage axes so specific brand recommendations are a plus.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/


25 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1774 days


#1 posted 10-27-2014 07:44 AM

I don’t know much about hewing but the first thing that came to my mind. What in rough hewing? Is there different degrees of hewing? Say like rough, medium and finished hewing?

I bet this guy know something about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Au1TbIyLcPU

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2283 days


#2 posted 10-27-2014 10:32 AM

I looked for one at flea markets for over a year, but could only find huge hewing axes, the kind used for hewing large beams. I’d guess that this is because these are the style that people want to hang on their walls. I recently bought a small broad hatchet sold by Lee Valley for a pretty reasonable price ($59) and have been pretty happy with it, though I haven’t used it enough to endorse it more strongly than that.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=72046&cat=1,41131

A more direct answer to your question: I’d consider buying anything that was made in Sweden, but there were so many small factories and shops making this kind of tool 150 years ago that the brands available in the used market will probably vary by region. And in my experience most old axes don’t even have any kind of identifying mark.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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jinkyjock

487 posts in 1039 days


#3 posted 10-27-2014 10:55 AM

Rick M.
Will be following your post with some interest.
Loads of tree-felling in my area for new Motorway build.
Free Wood !!!!!

AlaskaGuy

Superb video, fun and informative.
Thanks for posting (both).

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mahdee

3553 posts in 1233 days


#4 posted 10-27-2014 11:30 AM

Using a spade or a draw knife are best for debarking trees. A broad axe is great for cleaning up chips off a log. I use to use combination of chainsaw, double bit axe and another axe to square logs before I got a broad axe.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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mahdee

3553 posts in 1233 days


#5 posted 10-27-2014 11:37 AM

These folks have the best axe quality and selection.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

452 posts in 1400 days


#6 posted 10-27-2014 02:04 PM

I have looked off an on over the last years for a hewing hatchet. Over seas models being one of the more sought after hatchets with the German, Fuchs being the one I saw brought up often. Follansbee has about the most useful information both video and text when it comes to the subject of hewing hatchets.

As far the easiest to come by the Kent pattern is about the most commonly found in the flea markets, antique stores, etc… and almost all will serve well with a little work and overall are the cheapest route (Plumb, Belknap, Collins, etc..).

I have come across a few I liked at historical reenactment fairs/traps/what ever you call them being sold by some of the participants. You have to usually ask as most of the stuff they are pedaling is more inline with the average Joe looking for decorative twisted forged plant hangers, coat hangers, etc…. Usually the ones I find run in the mid 200 to 300 range and turns me off as I could put the same towards something a little more collectible to use and currently using one is more about something that would have been handy a few times and “neat” to use.

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bandit571

14596 posts in 2148 days


#7 posted 10-27-2014 02:27 PM

There is a series of videos on youtube from China. Made by a “GE Hong” the fellow in the videos uses a small hatchet as a chisel driver. One videos shows the bench covered by at least 40 different small axes, hatchets , and othe r edged items. Might be worth the time to look it up? Not sure about translating it, though. He speaks fast, and in Mandarin…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Rick M

7923 posts in 1845 days


#8 posted 10-27-2014 04:23 PM


Follansbee has about the most useful information both video and text when it comes to the subject of hewing hatchets.

As far the easiest to come by the Kent pattern is about the most commonly found …
- TravisH

Thanks Travis, this gave me some reading.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7482 posts in 1472 days


#9 posted 10-28-2014 01:00 PM

Whenever we stop at flea markets I also watch for axes, but all I see are old rusted out pieces of junk from the hardware stores.

The link that mrjinx posted ( These folks ) has some pretty neat axes, but are you prepared to sell one of your kids for an axe?

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

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bold1

262 posts in 1312 days


#10 posted 10-28-2014 02:17 PM

When you run your searches check lathers hatchets. Some companies list small hand axes as lathers tools.

View upchuck's profile

upchuck

540 posts in 1130 days


#11 posted 10-28-2014 05:03 PM

Rick M.-

Buy an axe! Use that axe. Decide what you like or don’t like about it and refine your target search. I don’t know what your budget is but I see axes at yard sales and flea markets all of the time. I have a half of a dozen axes and twice that many hatchets. I’ve never paid more than $5.00 for any of them and $2-3 is more common. No handle? Buy it anyway. You’re a woodworker right? With a saw (to cut the wedge kerf) a spoke shave, rasp and file you can handle an axe head in an hour or two or less.

I would grab the first axe (or head) I found from any American or European maker I found that was $5.00 or less. I’d avoid India or any axe that was marked with an Asian (except Japan) country. But axes were made by the millions by hundreds of companies over the past 200 years. Even here in old tool hell they are dirt cheap and common. True Temper, Collins, Kelly, Mann, Plumb, Norlund are just a few of the makers worth looking at.

An axe in the hand is a very simple and very useful tool. They are easy to sharpen with only a file and easy to modify with handle length and shape. Get one (or six).

chuck

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Rick M

7923 posts in 1845 days


#12 posted 10-28-2014 06:35 PM


True Temper, Collins, Kelly, Mann, Plumb, Norlund are just a few of the makers worth looking at.

chuck

- upchuck

Thanks, just what I was looking for.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Ocelot

1470 posts in 2103 days


#13 posted 10-28-2014 08:23 PM

My Dad had a small ax by Herters. It was very hard and brittle – had a corner broken off the blade. We also had common soft steel axes – which were always dull. So, there is a tradeoff. That’s really all I know.

-Paul

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Ocelot

1470 posts in 2103 days


#14 posted 10-28-2014 08:32 PM

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TravisH

452 posts in 1400 days


#15 posted 10-28-2014 09:09 PM

I rarely come across them for less than 40 (the old hewing hatchets). I do find some of the camp hatchets and such for cheaper but they would require way to much grinding for me to mess with. The issue in my area is any small hatchet with rust is an instant “antique” and they will sit for ever at 40 bucks or more. May get lucky and find a non branded one at times and they are about half that price.

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