Selecting an axe (picture heavy)

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happybonzo

Tenderfoot
Dec 17, 2005
85
0
74
Nr Emsworth, Hants
Many thanks for that link
The problem that I find with the Weald and Downland is that they are more expensive than just about anybody else.
Also, I'm not sure of you can just go to the shop without going to the Museum itself.
I would add that I am working some 10 acres, in total, of Coppice that has been over-stood for nearly 60 to 70 years. Everything is being done by hand with a view to getting some product out whether it is for continuous weave fencing and hurdles or just for charcoal and / or firewood.
I would use a chainsaw but as you may know, you have to have a ticket to say that you have been on a course. The trouble is these courses cost at least £300 plus! A lot to pay when its only your hobby.
So, now that I've done the 3 inch stuff with a machete I want to move onto the bigger trees with the axe :)
 

chas brookes

Full Member
Jun 20, 2006
1,293
129
west sussex
Hi
Weald and Downland are not the cheapest but their prices include postage, also you can visit shop without going in the museum.
Tamarack Outdoors have a 20% off sale at the moment

http://www.tamarackoutdoors.co.uk/

A word of caution an Axe used in inexperienced hands is a very dangerous tool, there are many on the forum who can tell you some horror stories of axe injuries.
Try and get some instruction from experienced woodsman, I know you mentioned the cost of courses but an Axe Use Course such as those ran by

http://www.woodcraftschool.co.uk/the-whole-of-the-tree.htm

are a worthwhile investment I learnt a lot on the course I attended the most important things being

1, Do not work alone when using an Axe
2, Always have a Suitable First Aid Kit with you Available for immediate use
3, Do not attempt any cutting operations that you have any doubt about your ability to carry out, your sixth sense is normally right.

I hope this advice is of use

:)
 

happybonzo

Tenderfoot
Dec 17, 2005
85
0
74
Nr Emsworth, Hants
Bless you for a good heart - those are timely reminders.
I have been using a chainsaw for over 40 years and felling with an axe for probably longer than that.
If ever you are down that way go and have a look at Morris's of Dunsford on Dartmoor: Traditional makers of billhooks. It is a fascinating time to be had there and you can buy hooks at very sensible money - you'll enjoy watching a craftsman working.

http://www.woodsmithstore.co.uk/shop/Products/Tools/Billhooks/
 

chas brookes

Full Member
Jun 20, 2006
1,293
129
west sussex
Hi
Indeed they do I have a lovely Dunsford Billhook among my collection of sharps.
It is a lovely tool to use and to be recommended to anyone after a billhook.
:) :lmao: :) :lmao:
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,810
742
Mercia
Bonz,

Go to the Weald and Downland. They are great people and will haul out 10 of one type of axe and let you pick them over - worth an extra fiver at least just to take your pick! Plus, please, go into the museum - and go into the basement of the shell building. Any place with 50 axe TYPES from a 4 foot gull wing head downwards(yes - just the head is 4' long) has to be seen to be believed - half a dozen types of man trap too. Its a fantastic place to visit.

Oh BTW if you are a private chainsaw user you don't need a certificate - although training and all the correct safety gear (boots, bib, jacket, gloves etc.) is of course strongly reccomended, its not legally required.

Red
 

Chinkapin

Settler
Jan 5, 2009
746
1
81
Kansas USA
Klenchblaize: Marble's axes were first made in the U.S. about 1890 or so. The original was referred to as the "Marble's Safety Axe," It was of very high quality and was considered just about the best American axe made. Marble later made hunting knives and they were very popular. There was a time in this country when a man that owned a Marble's axe and hunting knife was considered to be outfitted as well as could be. Axe sales slowly fell off and hunting knife sales were discontinued in the late 1970's. The company also manufactured aftermarket sights for rifles that were of very high quality. They are still in business today and you have a very good axe. I understand that they are going to discontinue the wooden handle in favor of some high-tech (plastic??) one. You probably have what will become a collector's item. Congratulations ! Oh, they began remanufacturing knives some years back so they are now available once again.
 
I don't like carrying a lot of weight, so when in the woods I generally only carry my 18th century English trade tomahawk. If I have extra work to do such as constructing a large shelter, then I might pack along my light half-axe. Both of these require no wedge to hold the helve in place, as the helve drops in from the top of the eye just like a pickaxe or mattock.
If I need something larger for constructing say a log cabin, then I take along my straight helved felling axe.






 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,810
742
Mercia
That'll be a Caribou (Reindeer) skin. If you see brownish ones in my photos they are beaver and the fawn ones are deer :)

I like animal skins!

Red
 

Toby_2008

Member
Nov 19, 2008
34
0
29
Hertfordshire
That'll be a Caribou (Reindeer) skin. If you see brownish ones in my photos they are beaver and the fawn ones are deer :)

I like animal skins!

Red

So do I, I'm not 100% sure why i like them but I really do!

Maybe you could have a look in on this thread I have started and put your opinions in? --- http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44655

Have you done all your skins yourself or have you bought some of them?

Cheers,
Toby
 
G

gmgannon

Guest
My apologies if this has been previously noted, but this seemed very fitting to this discussion:

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe.” -- Abraham Lincoln

Words to live by, gentlemen. Great postings and many thanks to all for the sage advice on axe selection and use.
 

Laurentius

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 13, 2009
2,084
352
Knowhere
I got myself a nice little axe on Saturday (Shades of Bob Marley, looking for a big tree) a little bit bigger than the smallest Gransfors Bruks offering and all for 3GBP. Not had the opportunity to try it out yet but what appealed to me was the way it felt and balanced in my somewhat arthritic hands. No idea of the maker but it is clearly old enough for that not to matter. (Did they ever make bad choppers in the old days?)
 
Got myself an RM axe ...... don't sigh it works for me. I'm not exactly a wee Lad all 6'4" and 15 stone of me, and the longer haft makes it much better to use. My Grampa told me that the best axe should go from your armpit to your hand and no more, and it shouldn't be too heavy but well balanced. The RM axe fits that bill for me and the advice was right, I tried a Scf axe and it wasn't bad but the RM just felt better to me over all. Axes are a bit like knives and boots, there's one out there for everyone and its never the same as the next persons choice, you just use what's best for you.
 
Bigger is fine, all depends on what the intended use is & how much weight you are prepared/able to carry. I have never in my life ever needed to cut wood for the fire whilst in the forest. I use my tomahawk for making shelter, cutting trap & shelter pegs, generally making things I need whilst in camp. It will serve me as a hunting tool if needs be & for self-defence. But a larger axe is handy when constructing larger shelters or a garden fence or pallasade.
I spent a lot of time in English forests during my youth, now I live in a forest in New England NSW. The woodlands are a little different, but not that different. What do you chaps with larger axes use them for?
Regards, Keith.
[video=youtube;kHokFCSVXD8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHokFCSVXD8[/video]
[video=youtube;fUHU1WgLjbA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUHU1WgLjbA[/video]
[video=youtube;gtDrpahgkQ8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtDrpahgkQ8[/video]
[video=youtube;E18juRVmy_k]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E18juRVmy_k[/video]

These videos are all relavent if you are interested.
 

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