Hafting a Hewing Axe

I’ve got a 1890’s Douglas Axehead model ‘Pittsburgh” for hewing. One side is beveled and it is a little offset for hewing timber into lumber. I hafted it with mountain cedar (juniper actually) and after an hour of use the beefy handle broke much to my surprise.  It was a *very* beefy handle overly thick and still it broke. That tells me juniper is quite brittle and can’t use it for handles for striking tools. I still have one on my spoon hatchet but it has broken once, an I merely reused the handle because it was too long anyway.

I’m using oak this time, it worked for my mallet, which also had a broken juniper handle.  The handle is naturally curved oak wood from the tree that fell in my front lawn.  I’ve gotten it shaped to roughly what I want, I’m going to leave it to dry for another 2 weeks then work it down to the final shape.  I really want to avoid any shrinkage after fitting.

On length, it is for hewing not felling. So shorter than a felling axe, and research says about 28-30″. After all, this axe is just going up and down to chop off wood lumps between the jogs.

 

Axe handleDouglas Hewing Axe Head

 

 

 

 

-Update –

May 2, 2016

Finished the hafting. Leather cover from scrap leather and some tooling tools.

Douglas Pittsburg 9# axehead on a 29" handle. 32" from bottom of handle to toe of axehead.

Douglas Pittsburg 9# axehead on a 29″ handle. 32″ from bottom of handle to toe of axehead.

Scrap leather cover with a nice little tree.

Scrap leather cover with a nice little tree.


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