Precursors to the Swedish Carving Axe?

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Precursors to the Swedish Carving Axe?

Postby Andrea L Willett » Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:24 am

Isn't it interesting (to me anyway, I might be boring you all to tears) how similar the blade on Gransfors Bruks Swedish Carving Axe Image is to types D & E of Jan Petersen's typology of Viking axe blades?
Image
Image

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Re: Precursors to the Swedish Carving Axe?

Postby gavin » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:31 am

Andrea L Willett wrote:Isn't it interesting (to me anyway, I might be boring you all to tears) how similar the blade on Gransfors Bruks Swedish Carving Axe ... is to types D & E of Jan Petersen's typology of Viking axe blades?

Naah, this is not boring! :D At least - not to this community!
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Postby goldsmithexile » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:48 pm

ggogle kirves and check out the finnish axe forms they normally are socketed
I dont think the swedish people have ever really allowed axes to fall out of popular use as they have in Britain
The gransfors axes are just the latest versuions of forms and principles that stretch way back into history
Any way on the whole I prefer English axes now, I have a finnish axe but its steel is frankly POOR compared to a brades or similar calssic english axe
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Re: Precursors to the Swedish Carving Axe?

Postby robin wood » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:23 pm

Andrea L Willett wrote:Isn't it interesting (to me anyway, I might be boring you all to tears) how similar the blade on Gransfors Bruks Swedish Carving Axe Image is to types D & E of Jan Petersen's typology of Viking axe blades?
Image
Image

Andrea the reenactor


Thanks for posting the pics Andrea, yes interesting similarities but interesting differences too. The carving axe is quite thick just back from the edge, Japanese axes tend to be this way too and it gives good balance and accuracy. Older axes tend to be thinner there. I don't have Jan Petersen's typology of Viking axe blades, sounds interesting if not too rare or expensive, do you have a full ref?
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Postby Trevor Watson » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:43 pm

Wonderful to hear from another re-enactor talking about axes. If you can find a copy the report of the Mastermyr (spelling?) tool chest its well worth it. I have one somewhere but can't put my hands on it. I am also custodian of copies of 5 or 6 of the axes and adzes for one of my early Saxon groups.
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Postby Andrea L Willett » Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:59 pm

Here is the whole of Jan PetersenÂ’s De Norske Vikingesverd only itÂ’s in Norwegian.

http://stud.imma.dk/deltahak/nils.ander ... esverd.pdf

Here is the link to the English translations of the axe & spear typologies from DNV done by this helpful Norwegian reenactor. HeÂ’s even added in illustrations of some of the Rygh examples referred to in the original text but not actually shown in DNV.

http://forum.blankvaapen.org/showthread.php?t=744

Here is a link from an excavation in Dublin that shows a type M axe with a cross-section that seems to match what Robin describes. Only problem is, theyÂ’ve illustrated it upside down if the only surviving example with itÂ’s haft still attached is correct.

http://www.mglarc.com/projects/viking_d ... h_linn.htm

Trevor, have Mastermyr book at home. Will check tonight.

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Postby robin wood » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:46 am

wow fantastic links Andrea thanks for those. Particularly the second one...so what is that forum? do you read Norwegian?

Great to see the variety of those axes, I wonder if the original text discusses use? which were battle axes, which for felling, for carving, for rough squaring and which for fine finishing? Its a shame they didn't show a top view like they did for the Irish head, it tells as much if not more than the side view.

The Irish one is very interesting. I have an old Swedish axe which has an almost identical cross section. This is created by the method of welding the steel edge onto the iron back.

Image

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Here is the top view of the swedish carving axe

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A cheap japanese axe from axminster which is my favourite kindling splitter

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I really want one of these japanese carpenters axes but they are very expensive. Quite similar to some of the viking axes.

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Most of my axes are english kent pattern, these

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many of these can be a bit thin near the eye, the eye is made by folding the metal round a mandrel to easier to do with thin metal. The best ones are thicker like this

Image
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Postby paul atkin » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:10 am

A Big Hello to Andrea and Trevor, its nice to know theres more reenacters out there :D great links andrea, you probably already know about it, but Carol A Morris,, wood and wooworking in anglo-scandanavian and medieval york, is a great read and full of wood finds from coppergate, its not cheap but well worth it. and geifrey peiters at eceneron makes superb axes that are copied from original finds, great when you need to be authentic in camp, if you need his no pm me. ps its great to see a whole thread about axes, keep the pics coming.
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Postby Nicola Wood » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:28 am

I don't know if there's links elsewhere on here, but you axe fans might like some video Robin took in Germany of the Japanese guy hewing beams barefoot :shock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueIB0h4SzHc ... I'd be impressed if you can watch that without curling your toes up!

... and the Germans being more German about it :wink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j506cXGvOPg

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Postby Andrea L Willett » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:40 am

robin wood wrote:wow fantastic links Andrea thanks for those. Particularly the second one...so what is that forum? do you read Norwegian?
No problem. Some sort of Norwegian reenactors forum by the look of it. My husband James recently found that link posted on another forum, Armour Archive I believe. No I don't speak anything but the Australian slanguage. :)

Great to see the variety of those axes, I wonder if the original text discusses use? which were battle axes, which for felling, for carving, for rough squaring and which for fine finishing? Its a shame they didn't show a top view like they did for the Irish head, it tells as much if not more than the side view.
The translation is the complete text from that chapter to the best of my knowledge. They're all believed to be axes for combat though the author notes in the text the difficulty in separating the weapons out from the tools. In some cases it's probably just diferent uses for the same axe.
Most of the old references (and some of the new ones unfortunately) have the same problem with not enough information; dimensions, weights, varying views, where the piece is held, who owns it, etc. They're REALLY annoying. Petersen at least tells you where the items were found.

The Irish one is very interesting. I have an old Swedish axe which has an almost identical cross section. This is created by the method of welding the steel edge onto the iron back.
The Irish one is a type M. Most of the Viking ones found in Ireland (my group does Hiberno-Norse Dublin 1008AD if you'll remember) are type M's. Here are 3 more: The first 2 are finds from the rivers Robe and Boyne the third is from Ballinderry Crannog No. 1.
Image
Image
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Here is the top view of the swedish carving axe
So it's not flat on one side? Am I mistaken or is it only sharpened on one side?

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Postby Andrea L Willett » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:49 am

paul atkin wrote:A Big Hello to Andrea and Trevor, its nice to know theres more reenacters out there :D great links andrea, you probably already know about it, but Carol A Morris,, wood and wooworking in anglo-scandanavian and medieval york, is a great read
Hello Paul! Got it. The book on sheaths & scabbards from Dublin just came out too so the book budget's somewhat depleted at the moment. The book on the weapons from the Dublin excavations are due out at the end of this year (theoretically). That's the next purchase.
geifrey peiters at eceneron makes superb axes that are copied from original finds, great when you need to be authentic in camp, if you need his no pm me. ps its great to see a whole thread about axes, keep the pics coming.
Not yet. Silly #%^%^#$#$ ran up the rear end of our car last week and wrote it off so all purchases are in abeyance until that gets sorted out.

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Postby Heinrich H » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:02 pm

I would like to add that the "swedish carvingaxe" is a relatively new axe.
Inspired by old worn axes where the edge was worn out in front and therefore got this form, Wille Sundkvist (I belive it was him....) and Gränfors designed this axe.

So this is not a traditional axe in Sweden. Never have I seen a old axe like that.
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Postby robin wood » Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:36 am

Heinrich H wrote:I would like to add that the "swedish carvingaxe" is a relatively new axe.
Inspired by old worn axes where the edge was worn out in front and therefore got this form, Wille Sundkvist (I belive it was him....) and Gränfors designed this axe.
.


Thanks for that Heinrich,

Yes it was Wille Sundqvist who designed the axe specifically for spooncarving and it does it very well.

Where abouts in Sweden are you from? I think you may be our only Swedish forum member, so far.
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axes

Postby Follansbee » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:58 am

Interesting stuff about the Swedish axes, and others. I use one of the Swedish ones when I make spoons, Image

but my main gig is making joined furniture, which requires lots of flat stuff. mostly oak. To prepare that material for planing, I use this German hatchet

Image
Image

I know next to nothing about it. If anyone knows about these axes made by J FR Fuchs, Cannstatt, sock it to me. I'd love to learn more about it. it's far & away the best hewing hatchet I've ever used.

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Postby robin wood » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:02 am

oooh nice axes Peter. Is that the Gransfors "viking axe". I like the look of your German axe, lovely crisp forging but know nothing about it sorry, perhaps when we get some German members signed up we will find out more.
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