Thursday, March 2, 2017

Homemade Hunter's Axe

Well some of you may remember this Plumb hatchet project I did awhile back.  There was just something about it that didn't do it for me on the handle.  I've been wanting to do something different with it and finally made up my mind.  It's a 1.5lb head and the edge is 3 1/2 inches.  It's an old WWII hatchet and the profile on it is just awesome.  I've always liked the looks of the handle on the GB hunters axe so I thought I'd use that shape as my inspiration.  Now the big axe in the pic is a 3lb Keen Kutter that I want to rehandle on a 28" straight haft for a fallers buddy axe down the road.  So I repurposed the big axe handle for the hunters axe project.   

So I measured out the length to be a little over 19 inches and cut the handle in the places to get the shape I wanted and got it fitted. 

All sanded

I decided to try torching the handle a bit on this one as well.  I have never done one until now but I like it.

Now I applied quite a few coats of Watco.  Will probably do some more but it looks darn good so far

trying it out some.

carved a stool for Jack with it.  It is a great carver.  Handle looks thin but it feels just right.

It'll make a good woods companion.  It's been awhile since I had a 1.5lb head for a half axe.  I forgot how light they feel. 

Hope you liked it and thanks for looking!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Restored FSS Pulaski Axe

This is an old Barco FSS Pulaski that I've had kicking around for a couple years.  Which is odd for me cause I really like it and have from the beginning.  I finally got it finished up.  Here is the project

How she started

hand filed out that chip and took off most of the rust while leaving some of the patina

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cheap Mans Fallers Belt Kit

So I wanted to keep my tools handy on me when I'm doing tree work but I didn't want to drop $40-50 to get a wedge pouch and a quick access axe scabbard.  If I was a pro then sure.  But I'm not.  So I set out to see what would make do and came up with the following.  All these items I already had on hand so it cost me nothing to put together.  Most of this stuff you probably have as well, and if not these items are cheap and readily available in any area I would think.

Wedge pouch -   I was looking for something that could work and then thought a wedge and an AR mag are pretty close in size.  And it was close enough.  This is a single mag pouch and I can fit two 8 in. wedges inside it.  It's snug but works fine and they are securely in there.  I did have to retie the bungee cord to be single lined to extend it enough to reach over the wedges. The molle webbing worked great to hold your scrench.  You could hang a fallers tape from it was well and probably carry a file too.

Next up I wanted one of those quick access axe scabbards that holds your axe upright on your backside.  They looked handy so started looking for something I could make one out of.  I didn't have a leather piece big enough for one and I didn't know if leather would be rigid enough to hold the shape well to keep the axe where you want it.  So started looking for something plastic that would be hard enough to hold a shape and strong enough the axe wouldn't easily pierce it. Then I saw one of my empty 5qt oil jugs.  And here we go...

Looks like it will be a tight squeeze on my Council pack axe.  I'm hoping to get it to fit as this axe is a great fallers buddy.

I decided to try and heat the plastic to bend it out a bit and see if the clearance will work for the pack axe.  I'll roll the dice and see what happens.

Well I didn't have any mini bolts small enough so I again looked at what I had and decided to go with some small zip ties.  I drilled small holes and lashed em up.

the bottom of this jug did have ridges that added a lot of stability to the bottom.  Especially when overlapped a bit.

well it was just too small for the pack axe.  I'll do another one later for it.

So went and got my slightly smaller Plumb Cedar half axe and it fit fine.  It's just under 19" and the head is 1.75lb.  It should work great too. 

the kit!

cut out a couple belt slits

now for your modeling pics in the garage shop runway...

Well it turned out pretty good and works as intended.  Cost nothing, also weighs nothing.  Well I learned a bit for the next one I'll make.  First off I made it backwards.  The scabbards I've seen the axe handle is on your strong arm side, I flipped this one for lefty.  This still works easy though.  I don't think it will bother me that bad.  I'm interested to see how will the zip ties hold up.  I'll throw a couple extra in my tool kit I keep in the truck just in case.  As for the next one I'm thinking an old storage bin might make a good candidate.  We shall see.

So I would call this one a win.  I got my weekend warrior fallers kit for a bargain.

Hope you liked it!  Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe review

Here is a look at the soon to come Saddle Axe from Council Tool.  It will be in their Velvicut line of axes.  Here are the specs:

OAL   15.25"
Head Weight  2lb, 5160 steel
"C" stamped side has a 25 degree edge and the "USA" stamped side is 32 degree edge

Comes with a two piece sheath with matching stamps.  It's a handsome setup

I hit the woods to see how it did.  First up was harvesting some pitchwood from low hanging dead pine branches

ended up being a good little harvest for few minutes work

I also used the wider edge to clear some thorn vines.  Having two edges was pretty nice as I could do ground work and still know I have a nice sharp edge on the other side.  Backpackers could really find this handy for clearing out the ground shrub and roots for their sleeping spot.

Next up I found a dead standing pine and felled it

It worked very well.  The handle on this one is spot on.  It has that "just feels right" in your hand.  The end swell is nice and it's nice for choking up on too.  At 15 inches it is just long enough to do a two handed swing if you want as well.

I notched out a V cut on the stump and proceeding to saw a few logs

Splitting it down was no problem

I left this little pile to come back to in the future.  It was pretty damp from all the moisture we've had here lately.

next I wanted to see how it would do for carving out flat sides and it did good here too.

I decided to keep with the carving theme and proceeded to make a mallet with it.  The 2lb head is a nice size for carving.  Not too heavy to wear you out but just heavy enough the head does most of the work for you.  I started out sawing it to length and sawing the head part in a little.

Came out pretty good for about 10 minutes of work

A handy way to split with a double is to sink the head in the stump straight up and then you can baton your logs down on to the edge.  It's a very safe and controlled way to split.

Edge held up great all day.  I will mention the edges were razor sharp on arrival.  Both were hair shaving sharp.

Grain was certainly acceptable on a hatchet. 

Overall I think this saddle axe makes a great woods companion.  It's easy to see why Nessmuk liked them in his travels.  I found the weight and length to compliment each other and the added benefit of two working edges at all times give you confidence to get a job done right.  Here's a parting Nessmuk trio pic and my gear for the day.  I think I'll find this axe in my pack a lot.

thanks for looking