Firstly we’d both like to say a big thank you to everyone for their response to our recent announcement. We’ve been reading through all of your comments and emails and have been somewhat overwhelmed by the level of support. This means a huge amount to us and will certainly help us along our way.
Today I wanted to write a little about my axe. This is one of my favourte tools and yet clearly isn’t that essential because you really don’t see that many of us using them. People often find it surprising that I use an axe, mainly because of the context; I use it in all of my furniture making rather than the usual woodland crafts or for cleaving firewood.
I’m hoping to show a bit more about my use of an axe through some future videos but for now here are some of my main thoughts:
If everyone used an axe in furniture making then hand tools would definitely be considered more dangerous!
How many times have you clipped your thumb with your hammer?!
The axe which I use most is heavy and it’s a side axe.
Side axes are expensive and for most of us won’t really be worth it. Instead opt for a light weight hatchet. It gets used mainly for edge work and for this a hatchet will be just as suitable whilst being better balanced and so easier to use in the less experienced hand. Fatigue is the enemy with a tool like this so a more managable weight will be better.
Axes are a very fast and efficient tool once mastered.
There’s no quicker way to remove a lot of waste but it does take quite a bit of skill to gain the benefits. Using an axe is not only about taking precise blows but more importantly about understanding how the wood works. Once you can read your wood in an instant you’ll know exactly how to go about removing the waste in just moments. But with anything that’s fast it only takes one small mistake and you’ve ruined your work so you need to read your timber carefully – once you’ve gone past your line you can’t put material back!
I feel the videos will be a good way to really get across the use of the axe along with some important notes on safety but in the meantime if you fancy giving it ago, just remember that with this tool you’ll only hit your thumb once!