limited edition axes

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Dave Budd

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I'm thinking of making a very limited run of axes EXCLUSIVE to BCUK. I'm planning to make 5 axes and offer them to members, but I wanted your input on the design :)

It's going to be a hatchet size as I'm doing all the work by hand (i long for the day I can have a power hammer/press!). They will all be of about the same size, shape and weight and have cleft ash handles.

Firstly, what shape head? I'm leaning towards a nice Hudson bay shape or a fairly even dovetail with slightly curved edge. Square hammer poll

Secondly size. No more than about 700g. I'm leaning towards lighter these days, around the 4-500g but that's why I'm asking what you lot prefer.

The handles will be from cleft ash (from my woods) and I plan to make them straight so those who prefer a long handle can do, those who prefer a short one can cut it down and those who don't yet know can have a play and decide as time goes by ;)

Sheath will be wet formed heavy veg tan and stitched, brown most likely.

so shape and size? I'll be aiming to have these axes ready by the Moot. Price will depend on size to some extent, but likely to be around the £150 mark.
 

Dave Budd

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Well, since no body other than Rob has an opinion I guess either BCUK members don't like the idea of their very own axe, or they just haven't decided what they like :fishing: :rolleyes:

I like the idea of a British hawk. something a litlte heavier than the American favourites that are generally quite small maybe?

I shall see what crawls out of the forge... :viking:
 

British Red

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Hmmm double bit cruiser pocket axe?

Heavily bearded 4 lug would be nice

Decent 4lb racing axe

2lb splitter on a 26" helve

Custom maul............



Pass the hanky :)
 

John Fenna

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Oct 7, 2006
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Oh - I would love one...but SWMBO would use it to chop me and the rest of my axe collection into little pieces...cash is somewhat tight and I am in need of selling stuff - not investing :(
 

Dave Budd

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I know the feeling guys. I've just bought a new extension to my workshop, so I'm feeling the pinch quite severely too :(

I'll see what happens with these axes, though I think some of Reds will be definate no goers :rolleyes: I made a double edged nessy once, never again! Racing axe is a bit on the big and shiny side (unless there are hatchet race these days?), 2lb splitter is possible and a Bearded axe is on my list of to dos though :)
 

Dave Budd

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the trouble is that people are used to the idea that a good axe costs less than £40, which is fine if the smith is able to move the bar from one special set of dies to another in a very powerful press or power hammer, but if you make it by hand then it take just as long as a knife and is a shed load more hard work!

I understand that a lot of folk won't want to spend this much on an axe, but they would spend a lot more on a knife that has far less work or skill involved in its manufacture :rolleyes:

But I make things for those that want them and sell them at a price that means that I can just about pay the rent ;)
 

robevs73

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Sep 17, 2008
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This I know after spending a weekend making axes with Dave last year, I have made about 70 knives by stock removal and its a hell of a lot easyer than forging an axe, thats why I have not got an issue with spending £100+ on a hand forged axe. A few years ago I spent £120 on a GB french pattern hawk and it was a load of un-usable crap that I sold on.
 

poddle

New Member
Not saying it's not worth it Dave, and I totally agree that you have to pay the rent and make a living, fair play.

It's just that for me such a price would never be justified, as I am an occasional axe user, I am sure though that the more regular user would appreciate the difference.

Do professional lumber jacks / tree surgeons use such axes as yours Dave? or do they pop down to Jewsons and pick up a cheapy?

I suppose they would be the people to ask.
ATB
 

British Red

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I was discussing just such a thing with a tree surgeon the other day. He uses Husqys, petrol chippers, Stihls etc. No hand tools at all.

Thats a business that has to make a profit though, far from "Bushcraft".

He did take my GB working axe and Cegga axes and have a try. He was amazed at their utility. I think I have talked him into a limbing axe :)
 

British Red

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Dec 30, 2005
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I'm actually quite saddened reading this thread.

Not that anyone is rude, just the observation that Dave made on the value of this tool. I read Dave's thread on forging an axe with fascination. These things are harder to make - much harder to make - than a stock removal blade and basic riverted on handle - using bought in parts.

That's not to decry knife makers - hell I can't do it. But these items are core to what we do - and they dont seem valued like a knife is. Now I would be in the queue were it not for my new homestead and impending move and lack of income (and the collection of Wetterlings, GBs, Ceggas and Lee Reeves)

A one off axe?

For that money?

Bargain!!

Trade for exotically made booze and soap Dave? :D
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
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I agree - bargain!
Having some idea of the work involved, and the good looks of the hand forged work I would be in like a shot...if I had any money :(
Recent repair to my van cost me the best part of a grand and I never earn much as it is - but that is what I chose so I can't moan :)
However - I can recomend Reds soap (I am just getting to the end of the supply I traded from him) and if you are up for trades then we too might work something out....:D
 

Chris the Cat

Full Member
Jan 29, 2008
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My knives from Dave are the best I have used , and I have used plenty in my 25+ years
of this 'hobby'
My axe is £50 pound cheaper than my favorite bushcraft knife ( Green man pro. )
It is a lot of money but it will be worth every penny. Those of us who know Dave,
who know his standards, and have seen him at work understand that it is a more than fair price.
Times are hard at the mo., I have just lost my job, this will be my last purchase for some time.
I am glad that it is an axe by Dave Budd.
My best.
Chris.

P.s Red, I am desperate for somepine tar soap!! Can you help Sir?
Chris.
 
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