Jump to content
Graham

Best axes.

Recommended Posts

All this sharp enough to shave with is nonsense; makes no difference sharpening it to that degree only makes it go blunt quicker

 

It doesn't. My two main edge tools for hedge laying are an old SJ Yorks hook and Ox Head axe. At razor sharpness they are easy to use and at the end of a day they will have lost little of their edge. Unless I've hit some crap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

have to say that for hedgelaying the tools need to be sharp or just dig in and make it hard work. i have a peddle wet stone and that brings them up.

and can shave with them when done. if they are neglected i use a flat chain saw file to get a edge then finish off with a fine canoe stone. but tools need to be razor sharp yes do loose ege but if sharp just a rub over with a stone and as good as new. i try and do mine at least once a week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have both a forest axe and a maul from gransfors - love them to bits but would drop them in a heartbeat for decent elwell axes - say a 2lb head on a custom handle.

 

carboot sales is the way to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i have both a forest axe and a maul from gransfors - love them to bits but would drop them in a heartbeat for decent elwell axes - say a 2lb head on a custom handle.

 

carboot sales is the way to go.

 

I have a passion for English edge tools: axes, hooks, slashers etc. But the best axe for hedge laying is the Oxhead. With a shorter helve it handles and cuts like nothing else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

draw back with gransfos is the axe head is rather on the fat side unlike a proper side axe witch is thin. i have a elwell 4lb axe and it is a dream to work with. as other post a nice thin 2lb axe would be nice to have in tool kit.

can you show some photos of the ox head be interested in what it looks like.

i am trying to thin down my gransfos on the wet stone but will take time to get it nice and thin. but a good axe for hedgelaying.

my other tool is my elweel spar hook nice and small with a sharp edge ideal for cleaning binders when cut down. and for cleaning wiskers up on hedge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
draw back with gransfos is the axe head is rather on the fat side unlike a proper side axe witch is thin. i have a elwell 4lb axe and it is a dream to work with. as other post a nice thin 2lb axe would be nice to have in tool kit.

can you show some photos of the ox head be interested in what it looks like.

i am trying to thin down my gransfos on the wet stone but will take time to get it nice and thin. but a good axe for hedgelaying.

my other tool is my elweel spar hook nice and small with a sharp edge ideal for cleaning binders when cut down. and for cleaning wiskers up on hedge

p

 

Yep, them people from Elwell knew what they were doing, shape, that's the thing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the only way to get a axe as good as a elwell is get a good tool blacksmith to make one. Dorset gave me the name of a forge in wiltshire olive forge and they make axes will make it to the design you want. may have to get hold of them see what they can do

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

was told by the old guy that taught me allot about coppicing a sharp tool earns you money a blunt one costs you money allways .a nightmare when you find a bit of wire when hedge laying and gap the axe or billhook then have to spend hours getting it back to razor sharp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to disparage traditional blacksmiths.

But surely with present cutting edge metal understanding/tool steels/technology.

It should be entirely practical to CNC mill an Ax to bespoke diminsions.

Especially easy to scan a favourite old Axe/billhook/handtool and simply "clone" an even better replacment.

Bang out a few subtly different prototypes in mild steel to try the "heft" perhaps.

And with the prices currently being paid for genunine "hand-made" tools.

Entirely profitable for an astute business person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not to disparage traditional blacksmiths.

But surely with present cutting edge metal understanding/tool steels/technology.

It should be entirely practical to CNC mill an Ax to bespoke diminsions.

Especially easy to scan a favourite old Axe/billhook/handtool and simply "clone" an even better replacment.

 

Funnily enough, no. The process of forging causes grain refinement and alignment. You just wouldn't get the same microstructure by machining from a billet.

 

In addition to the technical considerations, it isn't that cost-effective. Consider the shape of rectangular section billet you would need to start with and think about how much weight that is. The scrap is of negligible value so you are wasting that. You would also get through a lot of tool wear to machine it out. You would also have all the heat-treatment costs to get the hardening and tempering, which pretty much offsets the energy costs in forging. In the end it's cheaper just to forge it.

 

There is a smith I know who I spent a week with who is brilliant at forging tools. He particularly specialises in hammers. I first ran across him when I needed a pair of shearing hammers (used for a particular job in wooden boatbuilding). He made them to a drawing, forging by eye and measuring to dimension and supplied them (complete with handles) at £25 each. I think you would struggle to match this by machining them.

 

Alec

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Featured Adverts

About

Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.