You Tube tool videos, the good, the bad, the really ugly: axe follies.

Vern Burke, SwiftWater Edge Tool Works

Skowhegan, ME

Yup, it’s that time again! I show you the YouTube videos of the tools of yesterday, which ones show you what to do, and which ones show you what NOT to do!

Where the heck do I start with this German lumberjacks (mis)using axes. First off, if you’re going to swing an axe like a girl, swing it like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sister, not Olive Oyl. Short little chops don’t do much except wear you out prematurely. Next, avoid tramping around in the direction the tree is aimed to go over. Do NOT cut the notch more than half way through the tree before making the back cut. Make the back cut a good bit higher than the notch to encourage the tree to go over toward the notch (the back cut on this tree was far too close to even with the notch, you risk the tree going over the wrong way). Finally, aim better, one of the most dangerous situations you can have is the tree being felled hanging up in another tree.

Here’s the next example of felling a tree with an axe WRONG. Cut the notch from one side of the tree and the back cut from the opposite side. Don’t chew the notch around the tree like a beaver. Start your notch in the direction the tree is already leaning (this one isn’t even close). Once again, stay the heck out of the path the tree is likely to fall. Get your dumb face and the camera away from the swinging axe head!

Finally, we’ve got one more example of axe mayhem. There’s a reason they call it a “splitting axe”! I’m not a fan of the modern splitting axes with the wide flared cheeks for splitting, but forget chopping with them! Not only would they take a LOT more effort and do a lousy job (a beaver wouldn’t even take credit for a stump like that), the flared cheeks make them dangerous to chop with since the flare can make the head glance off the wood instead of biting, with unpredictable results.

Visit me at any of the following locations:

B&G Treasures, 11 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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