Until 50 or 100 years ago rural woodworkers commonly used axes for preliminary shaping on a wide variety of items, such as chair parts, kitchen ware (bowls, spoons), farm implements, etc.. Axes were also used by carpenters for trimming shingles, fitting joints, and hewing logs and square beams. If you're interested in traditional woodworking you may find that axe work is not only interesting and challenging; it can be a very efficient way to shape wood. At Country Workshops we have assembled a collection of some of the best axes currently available. If you have questions about the different models, do not hesitate to phone us.
Important Notice: Axes are among the most dangerous hand tools. Improper use can cause serious injury. Before using any axe, be sure to receive proper instruction or training. We also teach axe use in several classes, most notably Carving Bowls and Spoons.
New From Hans Karlsson Klensmide AB
SVANTE'S BABY. Our name for this axe is a bit corny, but this tool is quite impressive. When Drew Langsner first saw one of these little axes, which are hand forged by Swedish knife maker Svante Djarv, he thought it must be for children. However, during chairmaking class in Norway, Drew had a chance to try one. He was surprised to learn that this baby axe really packs some punch, and it's extremely easy to control. The secret is the small, but dense head, combined with the nicely balanced handle. The blade is 2-3/4 inches wide; the 12 inch handle is duplicator shaped with a rough surface for getting a good, easy grip. The axe (head and handle) weighs about 13 ounces. For detail spoon carving, light sculptural work, and camping. And this is a perfect first axe for youngsters.
Axe Selection Compared
GRANSFORS BRUKS AXES
Gransfors Bruks axes are produced in a small Swedish axe factory, originally set up in 1910 in the Nordanstig rural district of Halsingland. Each axe is individually forged (and initialed with a hot stamp) by a master smith, then hardened and tempered to hold a keen edge. All Gransfors axes have a hickory handle, and are supplied with a leather guard. A complimentary copy of The Axe Book comes with each axe.
CARVING AXE. This contemporary version of a traditional Swedish carving axe was designed by Wille Sundqvist -- master craftsman, teacher and author of Swedish Carving Techniques. The head is 36 ounces, with a 4-1/2" blade fitted to a 15" hickory handle. An excellent tool for hewing bowls and other larger projects, including architectural work. A leather guard comes with the sloyd axe. The Axe Book is included.
SMALL FOREST AXE. This is the perfect single bit axe for light limbing in the woods, camping, splitting smallish firewood, and for cutting through cross fibers in large logs while splitting out chair parts. With a touched up inner bevel (see the Shop Tip) it's surprisingly good for hewing. The 24-ounce head is 3-1/4" wide, and is fitted to a 19" handle. At this size and weight the Woods Axe can be used single or double handed. With a hickory handle, leather guard and The Axe Book.
* Granfors Bruks axes come with a leather guard and a copy of The Axe Book.
How To Order