How Sharp Do You Keep an Axe?

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On Apr 14, 12:45pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I tried that and on the roots I was cutting (young and succulent) the standard demo blade filled up very quickly rendering it practically useless after a few strokes. I can see a standard demo blade being just fine for something a bit more dense, dryer, and mature.
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I guess this guy's axe is pretty damn safe then, but I bet you still cringe when you watch it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueIB0h4SzHc

R
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The technique doesn't look any different from how they did it here in yesteryear... Having worked in leather soled 18th century style shoes, that aren't particularly "grippy," barefoot might actually be better. Also, like a good chef keeps his fingers curled while using a knife, this craftsman has his toes curled (and maybe his sphincter muscle)!
John
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On 4/15/2011 2:24 AM, RicodJour wrote:

I love that axe that he has! I am going to have to see about finding one like that.
It does not make me cringe when I watch him. But I am one of those that believes that the best safety equipment is your mind and your skill, not gadgets.
--
Robert Allison
New Braunfels, TX
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On Fri, 15 Apr 2011 09:12:33 -0500, Robert Allison

That's just a regular, unsided broadaxe, Robert. Some were built for lefthanded or righthanded people and the blade is offset to one side. Pics of the various profiles: http://goo.gl/Y2mUd
I like the bearded style 1800s broadaxe by Gransfors Bruks.

He's fairly safe. A newbie doing that would be unsafe. Hmm, did he appear to be missing that left little toe...?
-- Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
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On 4/15/2011 12:45 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

$450.00 for an axe! No wonder I don't have one.
--
Robert Allison
New Braunfels, TX
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On 4/16/2011 1:09 AM, Robert Allison wrote:

When did Festool get in the axe business?
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
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On Sat, 16 Apr 2011 01:09:04 -0500, Robert Allison

Yeah, they're truly beauties, but he's a bit too proud of his axes for my budget. (I think he's in cahoots with that Festool guy.) I found a broadhatchet, a saw set, and some other tool (3pcs) on eBay for total delivered price of $14.34. Unfortunately, the handle came separately and was unusable.
Most everything you buy used will have been abused. Hammering on the tail, nail chips on the face, cracks and gouges in the handle at the head. But a little work makes 'em yours, and they'll be every bit as functional as a very expensive axe.
-- Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
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Sculpting axe, yes, if I want the hewing marks part of the finish. For a regular utility axe, file or coarse stone, the edge isn't going to be babied.
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Well.... I generally sharpen my axe, hatchet and machete "shaving sharp..." I want them to cut and stick, not whack and bounce. A dull one of any of them can be down right dangerous. As needed, I do a relief grind on a slow speed grinder or water grinder. The machete is finished with a buffing wheel and the others on Arkansas stones. My intent is to keep these tools out of the dirt. On that note though, I've encountered embedded dirt, rocks, barded wire, bullets, and other things in trees.
If I'm chopping roots I use a sharpened Cutter Mattock (e.g., http://www.easydigging.com/Garden_Tool/pick_mattock.html . This is sharpened on the grinder only... it's cutting in dirt after all!
The right tool and a sharp tool make the job easier and safer!
John
BTW, I sharpen my shovels, post hole digger, and other gardening/digging tools on a grinder also... I don't personally know of anyone else that does that today but do recall back in the 1960s an elderly man whom had apprenticed as a blacksmith as a child in Poland who did so. He came to the US after WWII and had acres of hand turned, and maintained vegetable gardens. I recall watching him cutting fields with a scythe! He had a stone in his pocket to keep that sharp too.
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When cutting with an axe, keep it SHARP! However, if splitting wood, u
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Sorry, that one "sent" before I wanted it to! When splitting, use a dull axe, the theory being that it wedges the the wood fibers apart, rather than slicing through them with a sharp axe. I caught the devil one time when I tried to sharpen the woodshed axe. Nahmie
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wrote:

The person who told you that probably wanted to punish you, Nahmie. The sharp end starts the split by allowing the splitter to enter the wood, especially in crosslinked woods. The width of the head or wedge forces it. Doing it all by brute force takes a lot more energy than necessary. I'll use a sharp axe, TYVM. Hydraulic splitters don't have to worry, as they have the mechanical advantage.
P.S: Did you ever get that truck out of that ditch? (Some synapses never die; memory persists;sorry!) <gd&r>
-- Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
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On 4/16/11 9:04 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

Yes and no. With the research I've done since posting this, I've found that an axe (what I asked about) can be scary sharp, and should be kept pretty darn sharp. A wedge (or maul) should be kept dull and was never intended to be sharp. A splitting axe (dual purpose) is to be kept sharp like a regular axe.
For those who care.... I quickly discovered the benefits of an axe that is sharp enough to "stick" and have to be pulled out, rather than bounce off.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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Makes a whole lotta sense to me. A survey crew I worked on one summer (we laid out the monument system for Bruce Nuclear Power plant back in '67) had a few 'axe-men' as well as a few chainsaw guys blazing a trail to create line-of-sight for the surveyors. Those ax guys gave those blades a quick file and hone every chance/ break they had. "To stop the ax from bouncing." Those guys would take care of a 3" maple sapling with a couple of one-handed swipes with a small ax.
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wrote:

Yup, got the truck out late that night. How did you remember? I'd forgotten it until you mentioned it.
BTW, that was the same axe my Uncle used for splitting all the time. It wasn't really DULL dull, just didn't have a real sharp edge. It was also a double-bit axe, wwith the other end sharpened. I've always liked a double-bit, just seems to feel better balanced.(to me, anyway)
Long as we're digtging up memories . . . . do you still have the speil about "dark suckers" Thatb was you, wasn't it?
Nahmie
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wrote:

The incident inspired me. (To what, I have no idea, it just did.)

I agree, and balance is important to me. I get more work done with a 5 or 8# sledge than a 20. OTOH, I have a 5# one-sided sledge with just a bit of triangular head on the other side. It has caused more misses than any single hammer I've ever had the misfortune of grabbing. Someone gave it to me and I haven't been successful in finding a new home for it. I guess I don't want the karma that might come with passing it on.

Yeah, I still have it. Someone recently posted it either here on on Wreck.Metalheads. ;)
And while we're in the land of memories, let us not forget antigrav.
--snip-- Asking the mystic Oracle...
Question: If you drop a buttered piece of bread, it will fall on the floor butter side down. If a cat is dropped from a window or some other high and towering place, it will land on its feet.
But if you attach a buttered piece of bread, butter side up to a cat's back and toss them both out the window? Will the cat land on its feet? Or will the butter splat on the ground?
And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
Even if you are too lazy to do the experiment yourself you should be able to deduce the obvious result. The laws of butterology demand that the butter must hit the ground, and the equally strict laws of feline aerodynamics demand that the cat can not smash its furry back.
If the combined construct were to land, nature would have no way to resolve this paradox. Therefore, it simply does not fall.
That's right, you clever mortal, (well, as clever as a mortal can get) you have discovered the secret of *ANTIGRAVITY*! A buttered cat will, when released, quickly move to a height where forces of cat-twisting and butter repulsion are in equilibrium. This equilibrium point can be modified by scraping off some of the butter, or removing some of the cat's limbs (not recommended, as it produces an unfavourably high demand for fresh cats), allowing descent.
Most of the civilized species of the Universe already use this very principle to drive their ships while within a planetary system. The loud humming heard by most sighters of UFOs, is, in fact, the purring of several hundred tabbies.
The one obvious danger is, of course, that if the cats manage to eat the bread off their backs they will instantly plummet. Of course the cats *will* land on their feet, but this generally doesn't do them much good at all, since shortly after they make their graceful landing several tons of red-hot starship and pissed off aliens come crashing down on top of them.
--snip--
-- Threee days before Tucson, Howard Dean explained that the tea party movement is "the last gasp of the generation that has trouble with diversity." Rising to the challenge of lowering his reputation and the tone of public discourse, Dean smeared tea partiers as racists: They oppose Obama's agenda, Obama is African-American, ergo...
Let us hope that Dean is the last gasp of the generation of liberals whose default position in any argument is to indict opponents as racists. This McCarthyism of the left -- devoid of intellectual content, unsupported by data -- is a mental tic, not an idea but a tactic for avoiding engagement with ideas. It expresses limitless contempt for the American people, who have reciprocated by reducing liberalism to its current characteristics of electoral weakness and bad sociology. --George Will 14 JAN 2011 Article titled "Tragedies often spark plenty of analysis"
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ROTFL!!
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wrote:

remember seeing it here, and don't frequent Metalheads. (or just email it to me, my addy is good.
Norm
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wrote:

Ax and ye shall receive:
--snip-- For years, it has been believed that electric bulbs emit light, but recent information has proven otherwise. Electric bulbs don't emit light; they suck dark. Thus, we call these bulbs Dark-Suckers.
The Dark-Sucker Theory and the existence of dark-suckers prove that dark has mass and is heavier than light.
First, the basis of the Dark-Sucker Theory is that electric bulbs suck dark.
For example, take the Dark-Sucker in the room you are in. There is much less dark right next to it than there is elsewhere. The larger the Dark-Sucker, the greater its capacity to suck dark. Dark-Suckers in the parking lot have a much greater capacity to suck dark than the ones in this room.
As it is with all things, Dark-Suckers don't last forever. Once they are full of dark, they can no longer suck. This is proven by the dark spot on a full Dark-Sucker.
A candle is a primitive Dark-Sucker. A new candle has a white wick. You can see that after the first use, the wick turns black, representing all the dark that has been sucked into it. If you put a pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, it will turn black. This is because it got in the way of the dark flowing into the candle. One of the disadvantages of these primitive Dark-Suckers is their limited range.
There are also portable Dark-Suckers. In these, the bulbs can't handle all the dark by themselves and must be aided by a Dark Storage Unit. When the Dark Storage Unit is full, it must be either emptied or replaced before the portable Dark-Sucker can operate again.
Dark has mass. When dark goes into a Dark-Sucker, friction from the mass generates heat. Thus, it is not wise to touch an operating Dark-Sucker. Candles present a special problem as the mass must travel into a solid wick instead of through clear glass. This generates a great amount of heat and therefore it's not wise to touch an operating candle-type Dark-Sucker.
Also, dark is heavier than light. If you were to swim just below the surface of the lake, you would see a lot of light. If you were to slowly swim deeper and deeper, you would notice it getting darker and darker. When you get really deep, you would be in total darkness. This is because the heavier dark sinks to the bottom of the lake and the lighter light floats at the top. This is why it is called light.
Finally, we must prove that dark is faster than light. If you were to stand in a lit room in front of a closed, dark closet, and slowly opened the closet door, you would see the light slowly enter the closet. But since dark is so fast, you would not be able to see the dark leave the closet.
Next time you see what is called an electric bulb, remember that it is really a Dark-Sucker.
- Thanks to Russ Jones, Scoutmaster, Troop 575 & National Jamboree Troop 1636, South Plains Council, Lubbock, Texas
--snip--
-- Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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