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Jun 18, 2021 - 11:00:14 AM
1530 posts since 7/14/2004

No, not the musical instrument kind.  A real axe. The wood butchering kind. The kind that will take your foot off if you are careless.

I have 2 that I treasure. A Norlund Hudson Bay style single bit that I bought new in 1970 when I moved to Alaska and an Eddie Bauer (made by Collins I think) double bit bought the same year. Also have a Norlund hatchet.

Neither of my axes have seen a lot of use.  I have downed a lot of large timber in Alaska clearing drill sites, helicopter pads and survey lines.  All of that work was done using my employers axes and chain saws.

I was surprised to learn recently that Norlund and Eddie Bauer axes have become collectibles.

So, are you an axe user, axe fan or collector?  What brand and style are your favorites? 

Jun 18, 2021 - 11:10:21 AM

3519 posts since 9/12/2016

I could not get the hang of it at all. I was using ,, Just a generic flea market 1 blade. sharpened ,but maybe incorrectly

Jun 18, 2021 - 11:21:56 AM

YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

207 posts since 5/11/2021

Mostly replaced with mechanical devices. My "axe" is a Husqvarna 450, and my "splitting maul" is a Brave 24 Ton. They'll both remove appendages if you're careless!

I do have a couple Estwing small hatchets I use for making kindling and taking camping, but I hesitate to even call them an axe. I really like Estwing for axes/hammers.

Jun 18, 2021 - 11:25:55 AM

Owen

Canada

8984 posts since 6/5/2011

Have had a couple of hatchets and picks, a mattock and a machette, but this beauty (?) is the only "real" axe I've ever owned. ....Purchased at MacLeod's Hardware in Beausejour, MB in 1971.  I used to be fairly decent at felling a tree close to where I wanted to, but since about 2000 it's had a v-e-r-y easy life.  Model/style very close to this:

Norlund Collectible Axes & Hatches for sale | eBay

Jun 18, 2021 - 6:59:21 PM

Brian T

Canada

18366 posts since 6/5/2008

Had a couple of Sandvik in a past life. Good performers.
Nice 36 oz for cutting and kindling. 56 oz splitter for birch firewood.

Now everything I use for the grapes is Fiskars. Everything holds up well.

I have an assortment of cheap hatchets in the shop which I use for wedges, splitting bolts and logs. Get a split started and walk the hatchet wedges behind. Lots of wooden wedges as well.

We see mostly Scandinavian steel here, nobody complains.

Jun 18, 2021 - 7:31:25 PM

RonR

USA

1843 posts since 11/29/2012

I had a plumb single edged axe I would use to cut the 100 pound drums of asphalt to load a roofing kettle. After the kettle was loaded, I would go onto the roof and chop the base of the parapet walls to make the tear off go easier. After doing that for 17 years, I really didn't have a desire to chop down a tree. with the thing.

Jun 18, 2021 - 9:40:10 PM

12238 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Sheenjack

No, not the musical instrument kind.  A real axe. The wood butchering kind. The kind that will take your foot off if you are careless.

I have 2 that I treasure. A Norlund Hudson Bay style single bit that I bought new in 1970 when I moved to Alaska and an Eddie Bauer (made by Collins I think) double bit bought the same year. Also have a Norlund hatchet.

Neither of my axes have seen a lot of use.  I have downed a lot of large timber in Alaska clearing drill sites, helicopter pads and survey lines.  All of that work was done using my employers axes and chain saws.

I was surprised to learn recently that Norlund and Eddie Bauer axes have become collectibles.

So, are you an axe user, axe fan or collector?  What brand and style are your favorites? 


I've been looking for a Lee Reeves Nessmuk double bladed axe.  They are real expensive as I do not think he makes them anymore ...... a very useful collectors item.

Edited by - BanjoLink on 06/18/2021 21:41:05

Jun 19, 2021 - 12:51:25 AM

3603 posts since 4/22/2018

My favourite axe is a Gransfors small forest axe. The head was given to me by a friend who had rescued it from another friends yard where it had been left rusting outside for some years. He ground the rust off and cleaned it up and I put a handle on it. It’s a cracking axe to take out in the woods with the kids - I wouldn’t want to fell any big trees with it, but it’s really great for smaller trees.

My other axes - felling, mattock and maul are all made by ‘Roughneck’ a proprietary make of a good hardware supply firm in the U.K. - good quality no frills reasonably priced type kit.


 

Jun 19, 2021 - 4:47:27 AM
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2138 posts since 2/12/2009

I have a few Gransfor axes too, another of my hobbies is green woodworking and I use the small forest axe and the Swedish carving axe plus a few drawknives, wedges and other assorted hand tools, all mostly Gransfor.

Jun 19, 2021 - 10:09:55 AM

74703 posts since 5/9/2007

I get my 'glas handled axes and hatchets at Harbor Freight or Job Lots.$25 for both.
Last winter I found a wooden axe handle (Truper) I had bought at ACE hardware a few years ago and forgotten about.
I fitted it to an old head that's been kicking around for years and it turned into my go-to axe for splitting.It has more rigidity than the 'glas handles and I like the feel of hickory over plastic.

Jun 19, 2021 - 7:26:20 PM
like this

mander

USA

4662 posts since 10/7/2007

My youngest son is the axe maker in the family.

I just grind them. :-)

Jun 19, 2021 - 8:35:17 PM
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12238 posts since 1/15/2005

This is the Reeves Nessmuk that I would like.  Let me know if you know where one is for sale!


 

Jun 19, 2021 - 9:36:27 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24835 posts since 6/25/2005

Good timing. This one ran today:
 

https://www.comicskingdom.com/zits/

Jun 20, 2021 - 2:50:03 AM

3603 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink

This is the Reeves Nessmuk that I would like.  Let me know if you know where one is for sale!


I'd also have to order myself an ambulance if I ever bought one of those.

Jun 20, 2021 - 5:25:45 AM

2 posts since 12/29/2019

BanjoLink , You are right: Lee Reeves is no longer making the Nessmuk double bit axe. However coveted, these do pop up infrequently for sale on pre-owned custom "blade" sites, for example Arizona Custom Knives. One sold there last year, and you can click on that image and request an email notification when another becomes available. Other ideas are to contact the owners of custom blade consignment sites (A.G Russell, Nordic Knives, Michigan Knives) or outdoor shops like the Kittery Trading Post in Maine. They are likely to know, before posting, when a product like the Reeves Nessmuk is coming their way. In addition to my interests in clawhammer banjo, I am also a "bushcraft" enthusiast and spend a lot of time outdoors. And while many will argue that you can split a piece of kindling with any properly ground blade -which is true - like a finely crafted banjo (if you are luck to get to hold one) a finely crafted tool can offer a simple and sublime pleasure in exercising camp chores. Its hard to describe, but if you have ever held a hand forged hatchet and gone through the motions, versus a production hardware variety, you know what I mean: it's all in the steel and shape of the head, the feel and balance of the haft, etc. So good luck in your search, and in the meanwhile if you've an inclination to sit by the campfire this summer with your banjo, have fun !!

Jun 20, 2021 - 6:49:54 AM
likes this

12238 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Wet Spaniel
quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink

This is the Reeves Nessmuk that I would like.  Let me know if you know where one is for sale!


I'd also have to order myself an ambulance if I ever bought one of those.


Oh no Jonty ......... these axes are meant to look at .... not use!wink

Jun 20, 2021 - 6:55:23 AM

12238 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by doverarnolds

BanjoLink , You are right: Lee Reeves is no longer making the Nessmuk double bit axe. However coveted, these do pop up infrequently for sale on pre-owned custom "blade" sites, for example Arizona Custom Knives. One sold there last year, and you can click on that image and request an email notification when another becomes available. Other ideas are to contact the owners of custom blade consignment sites (A.G Russell, Nordic Knives, Michigan Knives) or outdoor shops like the Kittery Trading Post in Maine. They are likely to know, before posting, when a product like the Reeves Nessmuk is coming their way. In addition to my interests in clawhammer banjo, I am also a "bushcraft" enthusiast and spend a lot of time outdoors. And while many will argue that you can split a piece of kindling with any properly ground blade -which is true - like a finely crafted banjo (if you are luck to get to hold one) a finely crafted tool can offer a simple and sublime pleasure in exercising camp chores. Its hard to describe, but if you have ever held a hand forged hatchet and gone through the motions, versus a production hardware variety, you know what I mean: it's all in the steel and shape of the head, the feel and balance of the haft, etc. So good luck in your search, and in the meanwhile if you've an inclination to sit by the campfire this summer with your banjo, have fun !!


Thanks Jerry ..... you are right on everything you said!

I do check the sites you mentioned and was at the Blade Sow in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago looking for one.  I missed on a couple of them at an auction house near me (Brunks) about 6 months ago.  I was not familiar with them until I saw them in the auction and just knew I had to have one.  A friend of mine and I bid on the pair and were going to each take one, but we just were not prepared at the time to pay what they eventually went for.  If I knew then how difficult it was to find one I probably would have pulled the trigger.  I'll sit tight and wait for one to pop up.

Jun 21, 2021 - 6:04:39 AM
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Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13474 posts since 5/24/2005

I am getting spooked at my age with my 40 year old double blade ax. I lot can go wrong that can end with serious injury. Besides what little "axing" I do I like a single with more weight behind the blade.. Based on a recommendation years ago I bought a handmade Swedish short handled hand ax for green wood splitting and carving. What little wood splitting I might do is with a sledge hammer, a maul, and a couple of splitting bombs or grenades.
But, alas, the electric chain saw and long handled pruners are my primary tools now.
Brad

Jun 21, 2021 - 8:59:43 AM

8thpol

USA

5490 posts since 3/3/2005

Collins Company .....Its a local thing in these parts.

Jun 21, 2021 - 9:06:34 AM
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12238 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by 8thpol

Collins Company .....Its a local thing in these parts.


Been making cutting tools forever .... made lots of machetes for sure.  

Jun 21, 2021 - 10:22:04 AM

Brian T

Canada

18366 posts since 6/5/2008

In this day and time, users pooh-pooh double-bitted axes.
They are meant for Loggers Sports events and little else.
Watching ranch women throwing double bits is sobering.
They are strong, fast and accurate.

Jun 21, 2021 - 10:49:12 AM

3603 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink

Oh no Jonty ......... these axes are meant to look at .... not use!wink


I can't do that John - if I own an axe, it's going to get used.  You'd be mortally depressed with mu collection of Mora knives too, after your amazing collection, mine are all to be used and abused so cheap and cheerful does the trick.  My hunting buddy has a beautiful hand made knife that cost him hundreds - it is a lovely thing, but when it's covered in claret and guts - I just can't compute why.

Jun 21, 2021 - 11:00:42 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

915 posts since 8/9/2019

My go-to axe is actually a differentially-hardened parang hand forged from reclaimed truck leafspring. Chopping power of a medium sized axe in the more universally applicable geometry of a south-east Asian machete.

For heavier duty tasks I get out the chain saws




Jun 21, 2021 - 3:17:48 PM

3603 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by ChunoTheDog

My go-to axe is actually a differentially-hardened parang hand forged from reclaimed truck leafspring. Chopping power of a medium sized axe in the more universally applicable geometry of a south-east Asian machete.

For heavier duty tasks I get out the chain saws


Did you make that yourself Antoine ?

Jun 21, 2021 - 3:28:46 PM

12238 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Wet Spaniel
quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink

Oh no Jonty ......... these axes are meant to look at .... not use!wink


I can't do that John - if I own an axe, it's going to get used.  You'd be mortally depressed with mu collection of Mora knives too, after your amazing collection, mine are all to be used and abused so cheap and cheerful does the trick.  My hunting buddy has a beautiful hand made knife that cost him hundreds - it is a lovely thing, but when it's covered in claret and guts - I just can't compute why.


I know you can't Jonty ...... these things were made to use.  However, I really consider them works of art as well as utilitarian.  For the very expensive "collectible" edges, I would have no interest in any of them that would not fulfill the role as to what they were meant for.  Nothing beats a finely made instrument that is used for its intended purpose.

Jun 21, 2021 - 4:24:29 PM

3603 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink
quote:
Originally posted by Wet Spaniel
quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink

Oh no Jonty ......... these axes are meant to look at .... not use!wink


I can't do that John - if I own an axe, it's going to get used.  You'd be mortally depressed with mu collection of Mora knives too, after your amazing collection, mine are all to be used and abused so cheap and cheerful does the trick.  My hunting buddy has a beautiful hand made knife that cost him hundreds - it is a lovely thing, but when it's covered in claret and guts - I just can't compute why.


I know you can't Jonty ...... these things were made to use.  However, I really consider them works of art as well as utilitarian.  For the very expensive "collectible" edges, I would have no interest in any of them that would not fulfill the role as to what they were meant for.  Nothing beats a finely made instrument that is used for its intended purpose.


I completely understand you John and recognise some of them as things of beauty - it's just that my mind set would not allow me to own something that I see as a tool that I wasn't going to use ... probably just as well with the state of my bank balance smiley

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