Saturday, February 25, 2012

Access to Tools

You know the problem with this place? Not enough tree stumps!

Tree stumps make excellent chopping blocks, if they're big enough. "Big" is kind of an issue around here, when it comes to trees.

The best I could do was this big timber, which I don't know where it came from but it's like a railroad tie with giantism. Unfortunately it had already stood in the sun for a long time, and halfway through the winter it started splitting like the firewood. I need a better block, but in the meantime there's all this old heavy-gauge wire laying around...

This was the coolest find ever. Hardware-store axes, at least the two I've had, are useless. Okay for splitting, maybe, marginally, but shite for chopping. You have to grind for a month to get an edge, then they won't hold it. Good axes are expensive.

I found this axe head on the ground one day, while walking the boys. No clue what the story is. It's real beat-up, but holds a great edge. Only cost me an axe handle and a little clean-up. As you can see, the handle is already well-endowed with idiot marks.

The one necessary skill a year and a half at the saw shop didn't teach me was how to sharpen chains without an expensive grinder. I'm only now learning how to file chain teeth. Getting there.


Anonymous said...

A bit of radiator hose or some other such rubbery substance and some zip ties or some other such ligature will keeps those over strikes from bashing up that axe handle and save you having to do much swearing later.


Tierlieb said...

If you think commercial axes suck, simply learn how to heat treat them yourself. Axes can be heat treated the same way as chisels, heat to orange-red, quench blade half in oil, use remaining heat from still warm back to draw temper. Go for straw-yellow as color. Then quench completely.

Time-trusted method. Useful if you are far from the next tool shop.