In the Saw Shop, YouTube videos, the good, the bad, the worse: crosscut saws and axes,


Vern Burke, SwiftWater Edge Tool Works

Skowhegan, ME

Thanks to everyone on YouTube for posting their best “how not to” axe and crosscut saw videos!

First on the list today is this crosscut saw video. It’s bad enough beating two guys up trying to moose around a racing/competition style two man crosscut as a working saw, it crosses the line into full on ridiculous to use one as a one man saw (yes, I know they do that in competition). Find yourself a classic one man working crosscut saw and you won’t be grumbling about using it.

Second up is this axe video. This is like watching a woodpecker at work. For real chopping work (vs “around the camp” stuff), the longer the handle, the better. On a boy’s axe like this, stick with a full 28″ handle. On a full sized poll axe, chop with a 34″-36″ handle. Anything shorter on a poll axe, relegate it to splitting duty. You can’t develop the power needed for a good chop with a short handle, not to mention control issues, awkward stance, and the danger of having that short handled axe coming back at you when you miss the wood.

Finally, there’s this forestry program video. First, don’t stand in line with the crosscut saw and never put any part of yourself on the teeth side of the saw. It’s really awkward and dragging those sharp teeth across your leg is NOT going to be pleasant. Second, get an axe with a decent length handle to chop with, that one makes you chop like a girl (just kidding 🙂 ).

Visit me at any of the following locations:

Depot St, Norridgewock, ME (Mondays)

Tractor Supply, Skowhegan, ME (Tuesday)

Somerset Woods turnout, Canaan Rd (Rt 2), Skowhegan,ME (Wednesday)

Arundel Flea Market, Rt 1 & Log Cabin Rd, Arundel, ME (Fridays)

Fryeburg Flea Market (Fryeburg Fairgrounds), Fryeburg, ME
(Sundays, Memorial Day thru end of September)

298 W Front St, Skowhegan, ME (all other days)

If you’re looking for a special tool, please drop me an
email and let me know and I’ll restore one just for you!

SwiftWater Edge Tool Works provides mobile sharpening services across Maine and mail in services around the world for handsaws, carbide blades, planer knives, hand planes, chain saws, knives, scissors, hair clippers, router bits, and almost any blade!

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One thought on “In the Saw Shop, YouTube videos, the good, the bad, the worse: crosscut saws and axes,

  1. You can get a hell of a swing with a 36″ handle, I use mine for splitting. When it comes to “chopping” (that is to say cutting across the grain), Im going nowhere near a full 36″ handle with a heavy. sustainable, effecient chopping is all about accuracy. Fatigue causes more swings off mark (even half an inch will throw your notch off). So a happy medium of heavy enough to throw your chip and light enough to keep you fresh. For me thats probably 3 pound head on a 31″ handle.

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