Ash for axe handle?

Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
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Hi all,

I have a double bit axe had I've had for years that I'd like to put a handle on. Does anyone know where I might be able to get a suitable piece of ash for this?

From memory the eye is 3x3/4" and the head weighs in the region of 4lbs. It would need a longer handle - say 36" - So not exactly a small piece of wood.


If anyone could point me in the right direction that would be appreciated. Better yet if someone has the skills to do the jobs for me I'd be more than happy to pay for your time.

All the best
Andy
 

Mesquite

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Mar 5, 2008
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Not sure about ash suppliers Andy around your way but have you thought about reducing down a hickory pick handle to fit the axe?

Plenty of suppliers of those and being hickory will make a good handle.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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I'm not sure I understand exactly what you're looking for. Are you looking for an axe handle of the proper dimensions made of ash? Or are you looking for an ash blank to carve the handle yourself? If the former, you might have to settle for a handle made of whatever wood the suppliers there have (pr pay a premium price for a special; order) On the other hand a good lumber yard or DIY shop might be able to supply you with an ash 2x4 to carve one from?
 

Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
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Scotland
I'm not sure I understand exactly what you're looking for. Are you looking for an axe handle of the proper dimensions made of ash? Or are you looking for an ash blank to carve the handle yourself? If the former, you might have to settle for a handle made of whatever wood the suppliers there have (pr pay a premium price for a special; order) On the other hand a good lumber yard or DIY shop might be able to supply you with an ash 2x4 to carve one from?

Either. I can do it myself if I get a suitable piece of timber or I can pay to have someone else make it for me. I've only asked for ash as we don't have hickory in the UK. I'm sure there are several suitable woods but Ash is the "go to" as far as I was aware.


I had considered a pick handle but they taper too much too quickly. I need about 4" of straight material at the top to fit the eye.

Cheers Kepis, I'll double check the dimensions when I get back to the workshop but I think that eye isn't tall enough.

Andy
 
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WealdenWoodsman

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Oct 10, 2017
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Best bit of advice is to get to know a woody, you'll have a good stream of Ash for life! (As long as die-back doesn't get there first...)

I am constantly approached by friends and strangers alike about Ash for carving, but mostly for wood turning blanks. Beginning of the month I felled three decent sized trees in the coppice, most of it was gone within the first week. I do however have some stuff I kept for myself which might work for your needs.

Will have a look tomorrow as I just need to check if they are long enough. If I find a blank that fits the bill its yours. Only problem is that you will need to let it season.:)
 
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Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
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Best bit of advice is to get to know a woody, you'll have a good stream of Ash for life! (As long as die-back doesn't get there first...)

I am constantly approached by friends and strangers alike about Ash for carving, but mostly for wood turning blanks. Beginning of the month I felled three decent sized trees in the coppice, most of it was gone within the first week. I do however have some stuff I kept for myself which might work for your needs.

Will have a look tomorrow as I just need to check if they are long enough. If I find a blank that fits the bill its yours. Only problem is that you will need to let it season.:)

That would be very much appreciated, thank you. Letting it season wouldn't be a problem. I've a thousand other things I should be doing at the minute.

Andy
 

WealdenWoodsman

Forager
Oct 10, 2017
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Get Ash and Birch are the best, as long as they are straight grained.
Cricket bats are made from willow wood, would this be suitable too?,

I know a few local farmers and hedgers who swear by Willow for axe handles, has been something I have been meaning to test for ages.
 
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Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
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I've used fruit woods like Cherry / Plum for axe handles in the past and have been pleased with the results but have never tried Willow. I can see the logic behind it but have never heard of it being used before.

Andy
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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Good luck with it. When you get around to actually doing the project don't forget to share pix with us.
 

WealdenWoodsman

Forager
Oct 10, 2017
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The longest piece I have is 26 inches, thought I had longer but apparently not.

Obviously a lot shorter than you need, sorry for getting your hopes up. Will keep an eye out locally for you though.
 

Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
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The longest piece I have is 26 inches, thought I had longer but apparently not.

Obviously a lot shorter than you need, sorry for getting your hopes up. Will keep an eye out locally for you though.

No worries chap - thanks for taking the time. I'll have a better look into finding a saw mill near me.

Will do Santaman.

All the best
Andy
 

mr dazzler

Native
Aug 28, 2004
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I know a few local farmers and hedgers who swear by Willow for axe handles, has been something I have been meaning to test for ages.
Maybe they sweared by willer becawse it is easy to acquire in a hurry (and its as light as polystyrene too) or they were having a joke. But bearing in mind its quite soft, like alder is, I'm wondering if it would compress too easy inside the head socket and loosen quickly? I have never used it as a handle material although made several one piece fen shovels or spades from it. It doesnt split much. If you set up an axe with it, let us know how it goes
 

Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
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Scotland
I'm going to use the Ash Beezer can get for me. There's too much work in a handle to risk it on a wood like Willow. As mentioned above I have never even heard of Willow being used for axe handles before this thread.

All the best
Andy