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Gimlet

Show us your tools

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Following on from gary112's pics of his Hereford hooks, why not show us your hooks and blades.

 

Here's my every day tool kit.

 

Top is a cheapo anonymous staff hook bought from an agri-merchant. It's actually quite good. The blade is tough and keeps an edge well and because it was a cheap one I don't mind if I have to hoik out wire netting with it.

 

Below that is a John Beavis Olivemead pattern Slasher

Hooks, left to right, are a John Beavis 10" Brades, a vintage 10" Gilpin and a John Beavis 8 1/2" Brades Gent's. I've got a JB spar hook as well and a stack of vintage hooks in various stages of restoration.

 

Axes are a 3 1/2 lb John Beavis hedging axe and a Granfors right hand grind broad axe.

The mallets are holly. The curved one is for knocking in stakes, the straight one is for tapping down binders.

 

Shears are heavy duty 6 mm thick Darlac which can handle 1/2" stems.

The sheath is from Woodsmith Store and is extremely well made. If you want and off-the-shelf sheath, it's the on I'd go for.

 

Various loppers and chainsaws as well.

1320329053_DSC_0201(2).thumb.JPG.09ec3676aca0c782ea5505bd13c4281e.JPG  

 

Edited by Gimlet
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18 minutes ago, Gimlet said:

Following on from gary112's pics of his Hereford hooks, why not show us your hooks and blades.

 

Here's my every day tool kit.

 

Top is a cheapo anonymous staff hook bought from an agri-merchant. It's actually quite good. The blade is tough and keeps an edge well and because it was a cheap one I don't mind if I have to hoik out wire netting with it.

 

Below that is a John Beavis Olivemead pattern Slasher

Hooks, left to right, are a John Beavis 10" Brades, a vintage 10" Gilpin and a John Beavis 8 1/2" Brades Gent's. I've got a JB spar hook as well and a stack of vintage hooks in various stages of restoration.

 

Axes are a 3 1/2 lb John Beavis hedging axe and a Granfors right hand grind broad axe.

The mallets are holly. The curved one is for knocking in stakes, the straight one is for tapping down binders.

 

Shears are heavy duty 6 mm thick Darlac which can handle 1/2" stems.

The sheath is from Woodsmith Store and is extremely well made. If you want and off-the-shelf sheath, it's the on I'd go for.

 

Various loppers and chainsaws as well.

1320329053_DSC_0201(2).thumb.JPG.09ec3676aca0c782ea5505bd13c4281e.JPG  

 

Nice selection there,i like the little Beavis hedging axe

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Both axes are supposed to be 3 1/2 lb but it's hard to believe they are looking at them side by side. The Granfors definitely feels heavier than the JB. Could be the size and shape. 

The JB is harder steel. Don't know if that makes any difference. Both hold an edge very well.

 

Only bought the Granfors a week or so ago and after just one job I find I'm reaching for it more than a hook for anything more than about 1 1/2" thick.

Edited by Gimlet
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I am not looking at anyone's toddger .  That's my  final answer . ☺️

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16 hours ago, forestgough said:

hi gimlet

 can you confirm if those holly mallets are just a section of trunk with  a branch growing out as the handle.

Yes they are. I'd cut a holly tree down and I cut as many potential mallet sections from it as I could.

What looks like it's going to make a good mallet doesn't necessarily feel right in the hand. So I tend to take any holly pieces that come my way to make hedge mallets and just try them out. If they're no good they become firewood or go to my nephew for wood turning.

I've had several but these two are my go-to pair because they just feel perfect to use. 

Edited by Gimlet

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I should add, the hand made tools might look brand new but they're about nine years old, except the hedging axe which is three. At the end of every day before I sharpen up, I spray each tool with WD40, polish off the tree sap and resin with wire wool and sharpen.

 

If you never let corrosion start your tools last forever and a polished blade is so much better to use than one that's rust pitted and coated in gunk. 

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3 hours ago, timbernut said:

Hi Gimlet, out of interest, what’s the feature/s of the hedging axe that make it fit for purpose?

Well, having enough weight that it does a lot of the cutting for you, but not so much you can't use it one-handed all day. 3 1/2 lb for me is about right. And the right length shaft for the head to keep it balanced. That's a personal thing and you have to try one and see what's right for you.

 

A bearded axehead is preferable because you can get your hand into the cutout and push the axehead directly in a paring motion and your fingers are protected behind the blade.

A double bevel grind makes for a more all-round axe but a single bevel side grind is best if you're using it chiefly for making pleach cuts as a double grind tends to deflect the blade away from the cut. If you're making a very long pleach cut in a thick stem, a double beveled axe head will likely get wedged in the cut before you've taken enough wood out of it to get it to bend, or it will split the stem before you are ready; whereas a side grind will drive the edge into the wood like a chisel and continue cutting new wood rather than getting stuck or splitting the stem. When cutting brittle or split-prone species you will lose far fewer stems with a side axe than you would with a double bevel. I find a side axe is good for fore-hand lopping as well, though less good back-hand. 

The Granfors broad axes can be ordered with a left or right hand crank, so the shaft isn't parallel with the blade edge but kicked slightly away from it. That's a hewing axe adaptation to keep your hand away from the work and stop you barking your fingers, but it is useful in hedge laying as well, especially when working in a congested clump of stems.  

 

My JB double bevel axe I find is a brilliant coppicing tool. I use it when I'm cutting stakes and binders. It gets into tight stools and is great for trimming, snedding and putting points on stakes.

It is also the more balanced of those two axes as well. He's paired the shaft with the head perfectly. The Granfors fells a tad top-heavy, like it could do with a heavier shaft or a counter weight in the butt. It's not much, but that's the difference between mass-produced and hand-made tools.

Edited by Gimlet

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