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.
May 2, 2016
Finished the hafting. Leather cover from scrap leather and some tooling tools.