Axes

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Axes

Postby ilerner2 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:17 am

These are all of a single bevel type like a broad axe. Are they good for anything other than making round logs square? I was given three of them.ImageImageImage
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Re: Axes

Postby Billman » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:44 pm

No good at all - I'll take them off your hands..... Seriously, yes well worth fitting handles - small side axes of this type are not used for squaring logs (it would take far too long), but they used to be part of every carpenter's tool kit - they are also invaluable for trimming blanks for bowl turning, spindles for chair legs and a multitude of similar uses..

One looks like a double bevel, but the image isn't clear - or maybe a single bevel that has been sharpened on both sides...

I note your location is Mexico, so these are more probably of American origin than British...
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Re: Axes

Postby ilerner2 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:09 pm

Billman, thank you for the reply. After more than 220 views I was beginning to think that no one on this forum uses axes or at least side axes.

All the wood work that I saw as a child was my father but it was all kiln dried lumber, never green wood. So this whole process is new to me. So if you will indulge me I have a few questions for you on these and their uses.

My present mental image of these is for creating relatively flat surfaces. So for spindles as you mentioned, a person could use a side axe to create the square ends commonly seen on spindles of ...... lets say stair railings? But I'm having trouble seeing why a person would prefer a side axe versus a double beveled axe ......... a side axe designed for flat surfaces being used for trimming a bowl blank that is intended to be round. I picture the use of a side axe as being able to produce a cut into the wood that proceeds in a straight line without having to angle the head of the axe into the wood while chopping. Can you give me some insight here?

Also, without knowing any better looking at these axes they look like they could be used/handled in either a left hand or right hand setup. How do I tell if they are one or the other ie made for right hand or left hand use?

Thank you. I really appreciate the input. I'm a real noob when it comes to this stuff.
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Re: Axes

Postby ilerner2 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:52 am

Billman wrote:No good at all - I'll take them off your hands..... Seriously, yes well worth fitting handles - small side axes of this type are not used for squaring logs (it would take far too long), but they used to be part of every carpenter's tool kit - they are also invaluable for trimming blanks for bowl turning, spindles for chair legs and a multitude of similar uses..

One looks like a double bevel, but the image isn't clear - or maybe a single bevel that has been sharpened on both sides...

That one looks more a case of someone trying to sharpen it improperly. With a little work it could be brought back again to it's proper relationship to the bevel.

I note your location is Mexico, so these are more probably of American origin than British...


Yes but what you are not considering is the obvious in that I brought them with me from Canada. The axes all came from the prairie provinces which are all farming provinces for the most part. Lots of homesteading done in those areas. And as Canada was a British protectorate for many decades I suspect the origin of these is more likely of British origin than USA simply because of the preferential trade agreements our two countries had for many decades. I have looked but yet have not found any makers marks at all.

As I now know from a little research, these axes are in high demand and seem to have a small clique of society that are seeking them out. Much like any specialty too I guess.
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Re: Axes

Postby Steve Martin » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:46 am

In response to the left-hand v. right-hand question. I have 6 or so single edged hatchets. Have had to replace handles on 3. I use them in spoon carving classes. I try to always have at least one handled for lefties. Depending on the maker, I find almost no difference in whether the handle is left or right. If you are one handed or the other and you consistently put the new handle on that side and don't pay attention to the manner in which you sharpen, you may skew the geometry of the blade to the way you normally sharpen the blade, based on how you place the handle, ice., you will make the edge right handed or left handed. I do have one hatchet head that seems to have "ears" coming down lower on one side of the head than on the other. I think the maker did this to emphasize that the handle be attached so these "ears" extend down toward the handle, probably making that support stronger.

Hope this is helpful! Just reflects my experience. I agree there are folks like me who prefer the flat sided heads for carving, though they sometimes seem to be heavier than the double beveled heads. Young folks and some small boned women prefer them because of the weight. I try to buy any of them I see. Keep trying new things. Watch the internet and share your successes. Some groups on Facebook are supportive and informative.
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Re: Axes

Postby Billman » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:42 pm

Side axes were widely used in many trades, e.g wheelwrights and coopers... In France one finds them called doloires, hence doloire de sabotier (clog-maker) and doloire de tonnelier (cooper)...

But you are correct, often an ordinary double bevelled axe will do the job just as well... Hence in many countries hewing axes are also double bevelled as well as single bevelled..

Small side axes like these often have the eye in line with the blade, so can be handled from either side to make it RH or LH - often the user made the handle, and offset it accordingly...

Larger side axes tend to have the eye twisted left or right, and some e.g. larger 'bearded' axes of the type found in Germany and Austria are invariably handed...
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