Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Can you get more Neander than an axe?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central NY State
    Posts
    3,374

    Can you get more Neander than an axe?

    Well the old axe handle I made in 2004 was getting pretty worn down, mostly from some bad hits over the years. It failed catastrophically yesterday, fortunately with the head broken off embedded in a chunk of firewood. I buy my firewood split, but usually split it further before burning to have more choices loading the woodstove. Old handle on the left, replacement as a WIP on the right.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_8406.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	87.5 KB 
ID:	64975

    So I took a piece of white oak, and using drawknife, spokehaves and rasp [oh yeah I did use a bandsaw to get near the overall shape] I came up with a new handle. You can see some of the ray flecks. Finish is BLO.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	axe small.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	112.2 KB 
ID:	64973

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	date.jpg 
Views:	51 
Size:	86.8 KB 
ID:	64974
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2 axes small.jpg  
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
    Posts
    2,449
    That is great Ken. Can I assume you used dry oak to shape your handle because you will be fitting it immediately? I guess what I asking is, knowing how much easier it is to shape wood when it is green do people rough them out while they are green and then fit them when they are dry or just shape and fit them from dry wood?

    Sent from my MB612 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Bill Satko; 02-12-2012 at 03:56 PM.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
    Posts
    3,798
    Quote Originally Posted by ken werner View Post
    ..............I buy my firewood split, but usually split it further before burning to have more choices loading the woodstove.......
    I do the same, but just because it makes it easier for the wife to carry in .........kidding
    Nice job Ken!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central NY State
    Posts
    3,374
    Bill, it's a piece I rived out of the log last winter, and it has been leaning up against my shop outdoors since. It was going to be a continuous arm for a Windsor chair, but I didn't like how it turned out for that application. So it isn't quite dry, but it also isn't very green. since the axe lives in my unheated and somewhat damp basement garage, I don't think I have to worry about it drying out too much. I don't know what others do, but I used the materials and methods I had available.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,472
    it will be courious to see how white oak handles the stress of splitting wood.. hickory is the norm for handles like this .. looks good though ken.. wont be long now and you will be driving horses to work
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central NY State
    Posts
    3,374
    Hickory is the standard, but the last one I made was ash and it lasted 8 years, so we'll see about the white oak. What's your guess Larry? I tried it out and it feels good.

    Reminds me of the old joke:
    Old timer: "Son, this is the best axe I've ever owned, it's lasted me 50 odd years."
    Youngster: "Really?"
    Old timer: "Yup, it's been through two heads and five handles, sure is the best axe ever."
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,472
    using the factors that you have had more practice at swinging the axe,, that means less misses so there for the x factor is increased and white oak staves on barrels are tough so i would say your good for 10 to 15yrs after all these calculations, but some weather conditions will alter the outcomes
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,251
    Very nice Ken, i was going to say i always thought ash was the way to go now i learn its hickory never thought of oak taking the blows. Be interesting to see how it holds up.

    I know a while back during my paving reno and new gate build i had to refit the handle on my short builders 4lb hammer and used some Jatoba i had to make a nice long hammer handle. It works but i aint sure such a dense wood is right either. It dont have the elastiscity that ash has so when i used it as a stake pounding hammer i snapped the hammer head off once. But i think it was more of a case of me trying to make a 4lb hammer act as a sledge hammer. lol.


    But Ken you sure got a way with the spokeshave and drawknife. Nice shape to the handle.
    cheers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,014
    Quote Originally Posted by ken werner View Post
    ...
    Reminds me of the old joke:
    Old timer: "Son, this is the best axe I've ever owned, it's lasted me 50 odd years."
    Youngster: "Really?"
    Old timer: "Yup, it's been through two heads and five handles, sure is the best axe ever."
    I'll have to share that one with a few people who I know would relate.

    The handle looks great, Ken. I agree with the previous comments about your skill with a drawknife.

    On the hickory vs. ash vs. oak debate...I always make my axe handles out of pine. They don't last very long, but I feel like a he-man animal every time I break one.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,698
    My dad was telling me that an old blacksmith had told him that he really liked cottonwood for hammer handles. Since then he's used it for some of his farrier hammers for a few years and really likes it - it has a "flat" feel that gives it kind of a deadblow like feel. I reckon that wouldn't be as desirable for an axe where you want some bounce (although I could see it for a carving/hewing axe maybe).

    I do wonder if oak would "zing" to much if you used it a lot. If you happen to get a 4 hour stretch with that axe, let us know how your hands feel... tingly?

    I recently picked up an old carving axe head ($2.50 and its looking pretty good so far..) and have been debating what sort of a handle I want on it so pretty timely here

    Either way great form on the handle

Similar Threads

  1. Neander Stools
    By ken werner in forum Handtool Project Showcase
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 07-09-2012, 02:03 PM
  2. Deal on some Neander saws
    By Matt Ducar in forum Hot Deals
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-08-2011, 12:27 PM
  3. An exercise in neander
    By Stu Gillard in forum Handtool Project Showcase
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 02-16-2009, 12:41 PM
  4. can i be a neander too, please please!!?
    By Chris Mire in forum Neander Tool Questions and Show & Tell
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 01-19-2007, 02:30 PM
  5. Got me some neander tools!
    By Alan DuBoff in forum Neander Tool Questions and Show & Tell
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 12-13-2006, 06:15 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •