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The Craziest Axe Ever Made!

So it seems to be one of the most important things in a test like this. Is consistency? We’ve got to have consistent wood to get accurate outcome right. How much more consistent Can we get then two rounds from the exact same tree? So let me fire up the chainsaw, We’ll cut out four rounds here, We’re going to try to splitting methods We’re going to try Working around the corners, knocking the edges off and then we’ll do the traditional p ie method.

I think this is going to give us a pretty good on answer on which one is the best bits best splitter. I Was thinking on the way down here, one of the funniest things, one of funny stories I ever heard I wanted to share with you guys all the fighting here was From some of you guys from the old days of Wrangler. Barn blog will remember my old hint, a neighbor Henry Henry was in his late 80s Early 90s Get, but he was a logger.

His whole life up on Mount Hood and Mount Saint Helens up in that area Worked as a mechanic as well, and he was one of the most brilliant guys. I ever met smartest guys Mechanical genius. He never learned to read So he was telling me a story. His wife Marion they used to she used to do a lot of canning, and so she was doing this water bath canning in her kitchen, and she was Had this big metal jack.

You know the jack the game used to play where you drop the ball And you pick up the jacks. You know they kind of look like a cowl trap, those little metal things with the balls on the ends. Well, she had kind of a novelty one. It was a great big one here, several pounds and she had that in her kitchen And she would use that to wait down the jars, because when your water bath canning, You know they want to lift up.

You got to keep him down, so this Jack had been sitting in this boiling hot water for a long time. You know like half hour, so it was hot. You know hundreds of degrees. Well, She she had oven, mitts or something she would take it out And she sat it on the counter right when she set it down the counter one of Henry’s friends came by To visit and he came in and sat down at the counters, like hey, Marion How’s it going Where’s Henry at and He looked at this great big jack and he reached over.

He granted It Just come out of this boiling hot water. He reached over his bare hands, picked it up and set it back down. I looked at Marion and said: don’t take me long to look at something Told me that story. I thought that that was That I ever did here. You know he didn’t haul her or hoop or yell. I mean that’s the epitome of that’s a tough guy right. There Don’t take me long to look at. I thought that that was pretty funny here, All right.

Let’s get this sharpened up and we’ll make that last cut and we’ll get to Get this article moving along. Alright, alright, let’s bring out the first the first round. Alright, let’s talk about two radical different schools of thought right here, So first off This is this: is my go-to right here? This is the Prandial. It’s called. I call it the Bismarck because it looks to it. It reminds me of everything: It’s German, big, strong, overbuilt Powerful, lasts a long lifetime It.

This is my go-to. When all else fails It would I really get something: that’s gnarled and and big. This is my biggest heaviest sledge And there’s a lot of really cool features of this. You know you take it for granted. You most people just look at this and think oh yeah Sledge is a sledge is a sledge, but it’s not there’s so much evolution. That’s went into this Perfect example. This is rare to see this on an edge this here.

That’s for hooking, That’s having two tools in one you notice earlier. Maybe that I was using this to move those rounds around. You can use the tool to bite into there because of that little beak That sticks down and move things around very rare. You don’t see that on big box stores, You don’t see that hardly anymore, That that’s really a nice attention to detail a long taper. Look at that beautiful taper.

In this thing It’s got a long taper, so you don’t have a great big bulbous And on it that when you strike into something wet would you’ve had malls it just bounced out very frustrating. You don’t get so much of that here because of just the superior design and shape now this over here, the the Chopper one. This is a very different school of thought here. This is more of A splitting axe rather than splitting maul.

What’s the difference? Well, the handle for one you can see: it’s got a traditional style, a handle there We’ll cover that here in a minute, But a little bit faster swinging speed a little bit different concept. Of course, the the chopper one has this mechanical advantage. When, then, that’s what we’re we’re here to find out today is this going to be superior to The traditional heavy maul as he sort of wings flip out there? Is it going to below this waterway It’s going to knock it out, So that’s well find that fight.

That’s what we’re going to find out today, let’s cover the handles real quickly and then we’ll get into the test. So not only do the heads share a Completely different school of thought when it comes to splitting wood, So the handles you want to see two perfect examples of how handles should be done right here. Oh so so much this I could go on and on about this all day again to the casual observer, You’re just going to Think as a handles and handles a handle right, no man, this brandy, I I wish brandy axes were available in the States.

Instead of just a Europe because man, they are the more that I use them, you know they have become Next to grab force, Brooks my go-to axes, the ones that I keep. I access coming through my hands all the time, The ones that I’m really reluctant to give away are these. I just love them They’re, so much good to say about them. Just the handles alone would be a article look at this strong Heavy handle right here, But it what it does is it gives you that strength up here where you have a tendency to over strike.

We’ve all done that you’ll look at malls and they’re beat up right. There gives you some longevity there. It gives you a few. If you miss, you can make a few mistakes on it, not break your handle and Then it tapers down here to where your hands are going to be working into a nice comfortable, more manageable size. This is too fat. This is just right, But they don’t stop. There and here’s where the rubber meets the road and what you don’t see is it actually has a little palm Swell on it that that really helps with fatigue, and it’s it’s not typically done, because it costs more money.

You have to start with a much bigger piece of wood to end up with that, and then they I mean there’s so much this Hand. I can’t even tell you from the way It’s hung to the eye. It’s really really well done, but it’s a straight handle. So and that’s what you usually get from a mall now, this here is a Splitting axe. Now these are more popular, They were certainly more popular out west, especially There’s guys that used to split wood all the time.

Even I think, when my dad was in high school, There was some guys to have the paper mill. Young guys would work down there And that’s what they did all day. Is they split firewood for the wood boilers and he said they look like look like Mr.. Olympian, bodybuilders yeah the shoulders in the back. Imagine having a job where you split wood all the time, but they preferred a splitting axe and that may have something to do with.

It could be regional as well as The type of wood that we split, which would have been Douglas fir at that at that mill. But look at this. This is Handle perfection right here. It is got a beautiful fawns foot with a little kick on it. It has a nice curve to it. It is so good. I’ve looked at it and felt it and studied that I am going to use this as a template for future splitting axes. It’s really that good.

I mean look at that. It’s got a nice big swell at the end of it. You know if you can see that or not right. There comes down fits the hand really well beautiful. Sweeping sweeping arc really Just really works with the body. It’s I just man, I’m ranting. I could go on and on about these head, let’s split Good grief of going on about handles and go on all day. Should it’s a whole article in itself there? Okay! So I changed my mind: we’re going to We’re going to use this one piece: We’re going to Chop opposite sides, because it’s so symmetrical that I think that that’s going to give us the best best test so Plus and run out of daylight, been messing around so Long, okay, So, let’s start with the chopper one chopper one here will work on the right-hand side and then we’ll work over here on the left with the HMS Bismarck.

Okay, you ready We’re going to Just do the side chop method here, Oh Didn’t! Stick! Let’s give it two hits Three Four: Okay, five! Well, We have five right there to knock it off the side. Nice thing about it. Is it didn’t? Stick right, We don’t like sticking. That’s Creep makes us gives us a lot of extra work. Okay, now the Bismark. Try to do a hit in the same place here, Both those split in the same okay.

Let’s move the camera and they’ll work. Don’t hit these two side. I guess we could do it right here. It’s a little bit tall for me, this chopping block, but That’s alright, We’ll make it work. Hopefully we’re going to focus okay, so we’ll do the right here With the chopper one. Oh man, that was a good! Oh Yeah! That’s two: oh, if I would have hit it that would have been the third one would have knocked that off there, That was User error.

Oh man, the pressures on pressures on for the Bismark Got the same piece of wood, pretty consistent here. Oh, that was a good one, felt the crack. Oh again, the same thing I’ll back up a little bit okay, so we got three again three again, So you remember, we talked about the fibrous Fibrous. I wonder if that would have that Chopper would have knocked that one off if I would hit it right. Okay, Now We got two more splits here.

Can this? Can we do it in one with the chopper one? Here we go. Oh Yeah, look at it blasted apart, no fibres remaining. Alright, That’s pretty good we’re were we were on the top there yeah right there Will the Bismark Will let chop And one here, Oh Even with more authority, if I had to admit it, Okay. So, let’s do a quick: Let’s do the pie method. I’d say that was a push That was a push Man. Is there anything better then out in the forest, splitting Doug Fir In the cold autumn day 27 degrees.

Today, Okay, now We’ll try the pie method, We’ll see what happens, who comes out on top and I’ll, give you my conclusions here, I’m forming opinions right now So last time we did the slabbing method right, where we take it and knock the four corners off and Then usually one billet left in the middle, you can split it We’re going to do the traditional way, the pie method, this time and I’ll just I brought you a little bit closer And then we’ll alternate.

So, let’s start with a chopper one, We’ll see how many times It’s going to take the split here so ready. Okay, one two, Three, Four: Five! Oh! I missed six, Seven, eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven twelve thirteen Fifteen. Sixteen come on It’s complete split over here. I would, of course I would have moved around with the split, but I wanted to see if I could split it. I Lost track We’re going to we’re in it now come on, come on Getting personal.

What was going on there? It wasn’t any there’s no nod or anything there really Man that that was not very good. All right, That’s well another one on See what the Bismarck can do, man How to get you out, Get you in shape. So this is Actually the Bismarck set a bit of a disadvantage here, because this one’s even bigger This one’s, even bigger, We’ll see we’ll see what happens same tree. These two were connected to each other side.

Whoo All right, I don’t know how how scientific this is. Let’s just We’ll get others a knot right there. There wasn’t a knot. There wasn’t a knot with the chopper one well come on with German power they can overcome. Oh, I feel solid one, two Three, We might be here for a while I’ll. Let you guys can’t worry about All you hardwood guys. Tell me all the time how easy this stuff is to split. We work for our Steel Whoo.

That’s a heavy Malda split! I just wait. We got a crack, that’s it! It’s Curtains now matter time. Oh Yeah! I love it, love it CrossFit CrossFit. Does it counter if I pry it apart, We keep at it We’re not going to give up Yeah Come on one more All right. I wasn’t Counting give me a Give me the count in the comments. Man. I think I need to get out and chop some more wood all right. So, let’s wrap it up with my conclusions, All right friends, So I Wanted somebody go go back and if you can reread that put the comments, how many well, how many swings did it take for each one? I Guess is that definitive, but it was a tie on the first one.

It was probably pretty close to a tie on the second one, so it’s all going to come down to user experience. How about that user experience because they’re, obviously they both work. I have to say That I do feel a little bit of I don’t know if I’d call it pain or discomfort In my hands from the mechanical motion of the vibration coming from those jaws slapping up Transferring through the handle. Even though There’s a good hickory looks like a Hickory handle my hands, They hurt a little bit.

I don’t. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m just soft, but I don’t think that it would be of wise or a guy would really want to. If you were say one of those guys back in the 60s that split wood for a living, If you’d want to swing this all day, you know I don’t know – I haven’t done it, But I kind of feel like that may could be a problem. Now is that going to be an issue for the rest of us who, you know maybe go out and split wood for 3-4 hours in the Morning or until lunch not probably not, but it could be.

I don’t remember, I split a lot of wood and I don’t remember feeling that that pain in my hands and I think That it’s a direct directly to that. I knew it now. I know when I went into the wood I could kind of jarred me. It’s kind of that’s kind of uncomfortable, So I’d say that that was a downside. It there’s no such thing as magic. Of course We knew that, but I can pretty much say From my experience so far that it’s not a toy.

It is not a toy, and – and – and this is This is a one specific Type of wood – will it work better with maple or with beech or with oak or Hickory. You know, I don’t know that’s up to you. Would I recommend it over something? Like the Bismarck, No, I don’t. I don’t think so. I don’t dislike it at all, but that that pain From the vibration is a big problem for me, even though I do like a lot about it, but you’re going to have some added maintenance issues there Possibility these things breaking.

I just don’t know I I just haven’t seen an advantage that would overcome The kind of the hand pain factor over the ee old Bismarck right here. This is a good one right here. That’s That’s pretty hard to beat a little easier to swing this one. This was a little bit lighter, But I think that’s enough. I think we you draw your own conclusion, so appreciate the Appreciate you guys taking the time to read.

If you don’t mind, take a moment. Click the thumbs up, I’m working hard out here for you guys, So it’s what you could do to way. You could say thank you. It helps the blog out and so another article I wanted to do that. I thought we maybe will do real quick, while I’m out here is Maybe test the Bismarck up against a wedge after wedges I’ve got two style wedges I got the prandtl’s Versus the regular wedge And I’ve always been curious to see.

Is it? Is there an advantage which one would be better Which which is going to be faster and more efficient? So if you’d like to see that, let me know in the comments – and we can I’m going in it’s going to be suppertime here But come back out tomorrow and do it. So thanks for reading and we’ll see you guys on the next article


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Will An AXE Split A Chain In Half???

How this all came about was unpicked was reading a movie Cool Hand Luke and, in this movie Cool Hand Luke. I think the Paul Newman Character was able to chop his ankle chains and free himself with an axe and three strokes.

Today, we’re going to put that to the test For this test, we’re going to use some standard logging chain. I believe that this is 5/16 pretty heavy-duty stuff and The axe that we’re going to be using is, of course, a heavy duty chopping. Ask -axe of the basque design. I chose this one because it has a lot of weight to it and a big cutting area. So let’s put it up on the Block and see what happens So, our first chop We’re going to use a big-.

This is about a 6×8 Doug Fir piece of cribbing, And I’m just going to go directly onto the wood and to see -this is a pretty heavy chain. I don’t know if Paul Newman’s chain was going to be. It was quite this heavy, but we’ll see what happens. I fear that it’s going to push it into the block, If that happens, we’ll put start putting some harder surfaces on there, but let’s give a swing and and find out We’ll Glove up here.

…. Alright, let’s see… [ Chuckles ]. I don’t know about this. That might be some Hollywood, but we’ll see Oh Man, What happened there, So that was as hard as I could swing…. Got- it aimed- right there hit right where I was aiming there right across that link, And the problem is that the force of the axe pressed the chain down into the wood, and it just wasn’t enough backing there [ Chuckles ] That really pushed it in There that you can see.

.. Where’d, we strike right there, So we got through not very far, not very far at all, probably about 35… 35 % through the chain. So, let’s put a little bit harder surface on there, a little chunk of plywood and try it again and see what happens All right if we put a little piece of plywood across [ t ] here that that’s pretty hard We’re going across the grain rather than Into it and I’ll get a new piece of chain here and hopefully hit it Right there.

.. See, if that doesn’t, do it, Okay, going to go right there for that one, pretty small target here Hard as I can go…, Oh Goodness, That is a lot Of force and that didn’t work very well, either It just mashed it down into the plywood Boy. I’d say if you were on a Florida chain gang and you had a block of wood, to cut your leg shackles with you might Well, you might be there awhile. There might be a better option.

Okay, there we can see So that right there actually cut through even less than the first one That -I thought that that would have Been harder than that Well, there’s only one thing left to do and that’s to put a really hard surface down, which is going to be a little bit hard on the axe, But…. We can always fix that. Alright, how about a piece of mild steel? What if we put a mild steel on there, That’s certainly not going to press through This was the first strike.

The second strike, the third one… We’ll try to go right through there To see. If we can chop through that in one hit, Even against the wood, you can see we’re getting uh, certainly getting a little bit of damage on that axe, but still plenty of edge there. I don’t think we have any prob-. I think it’s definitely sharp enough, but let’s see what happens here, You know what I’m going to put some safety glasses on There.

We go hard as I can. What happened there? Oh goodness, look at that that did indeed cut through that chain-link. Look at that. It cut all the way through on one side and Almost all the way through. On the other side, You can see the first two strikes here. It looks like maybe hit the same piece right there, But I want to see if we would like to see if it’s possible to cut through that chain in one strike.

Let’s try it again. Let me see if I can swing it even harder That steel on there Will cut, try to cut through this one right here. It doesn’t have any Nick’s in it right. There See what we’ve got there yeah again. Look at that! That’s a pretty amazing! That’s a clean cut right through that that deal, But it didn’t cut all the way through I’d like to see if we could get it one Chop. If I hit it perfectly and hard enough, I’ve bent our bar there a little bit hard enough.

I think We could actually do it. There’s a lot of force there a lot of force. Let’s see, let’s try this piece right here. Okay, let’s give it all. We got a one chop through a logging chain And a piece of steel. The white Dodge pickup, a lot of folks, have been asking about that. If I got a new rig, It’s not mine, it belongs to a friend of mine, Who is one of the volunteers, for the fire department He’s putting a new transmission and he doesn’t have a shop to work in so he’s.

That’s why it’s here he’s just finishing up putting a new new tranny in and exhaust system. So If you were wondering okay, let’s pull this tight, I Really liked it would like to chop this I’ll. Try it one more time And see if we can get all the way through it, nice big heavy axe. Oh we did it. Let’s take a look at that, so it is possible. It is definitely possible. It works Sure enough. So I guess Paul Newman actually could have chopped his chains off with an axe.

There’s a link. You can see, there’s a certainly the two pieces and That’s good to know. I guess I’m surprised, I didn’t think I didn’t think you could chop through that with one hit, but boy that axe sure put to Put the hurt on that flat bar. Let’s take a look at the edge. I’ve been really impressed with these Basque Axes. You know a little bit of chipping right there, nothing that can’t be repaired actually quite easily, But that is very interesting.

You Know what I would really like to know is: can you cut a big fat cable with an axe? You know all those movies where they cut the cable, So here’s an old logging choker, That’s pretty much served. Its purpose is starting to fray and every time I grab it. Stabs me in the hand, I’ll be glad to get rid of it, But I always read, though you see those old movies where they’re like a fishing boat or the old Sailing ships or whatever they were, there, always get the axe.

You know something It’s it’s dragging the ship down And they always have an axe at the ready and they cut through those gigantic cables. On that I don’t know about that. This stuff is pretty tough, but let’s try it and see. This is probably about a Maybe a 5 – that’s probably a 3/8 cable. So it’s not an insignificant bit of cable. But let’s put that up on here and see if that will indeed chop in one hit: Okay 3/8 cable hard, as I can How’bout that Indeed an axe will definitely cut a cable, it’s multi-strands there, it cut through all of them, except for one little piece.

So that’s that’s, definitely a truth too Yeah that actually cuts pretty simple. There huh that’s kind of interesting, So there we have it. I hope that answers your question. Unpicked and axe will indeed cut through a Logging chain in one stroke, as well as a stranded cable. So Well that was fun I’ll spend the next hour working the chips out of that axe. So, just to to tell you guys, what’s been going on lately, So I haven’t been putting up a lot of articles because, as as you know, I’ve been on two wildland fires And I’m.

I guess I’m happy to report that I think wildland season is over. For the year It has been raining solid for two days I talked to the guys that are on the fire and they’re pretty much pulling everything and wrapping up and everyone’s under the Pretty much in agreement that the season in this area at least, is completely over. Just starting to get snow on the mountains, I think it looks like to the north.

There Mount Fuji. There is starting to get a fresh cap on it and it’s just incredible how quickly the seasons change when we were just sweltering in the heat on that fire. Back to tin, pants and warm clothes and long johns and getting ready for winter, so there’s a look, got a whole bunch of stuff To share with you guys, We’ll be finishing, bringing in the firewood We’ll be doing some work with the firewood processor.

I got a whole bunch of stuff to get ready for winter. It’s just today’s. I don’t want to get out there and do it, because it’s raining and it’ll stop here in a few days And we’ll get out there and get those last things finalized. We got a whole new load of logging, a log truckload of some really great wood That I’m splitting with a couple of the guys at the volunteer fire department. We got some nice lodgepole from the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, That is a bone dry, so that lodgepole makes really wonderful, firewood, smells great And we’ll be cutting that a bunch of that here pretty soon Anything else to report, I’m really enjoying the poison oak that I Picked up from the fire We, I have it on my neck and covering about a third of my body And that’s always a good time, if any of you guys have a recipe To give me some relief from that.

I would be all ears because it is absolutely miserable If you’ve ever had it in this area. It feels What it feels like these little like little drops of acid Wherever it is all of your body, And I knew it. You know it happens to me every time the same way, And I knew I was going to get it. What I, what we do is we have the all those fire hoses and we drag them around through through the forest, and It’s got that poison oak all over and that oil gets on that fire hose and when we were doing a back haul, we’re pulling All That hose and bringing it back in when we were done with it, You know we were throwing those big bundles up on her shoulder and I got it all over my neck And I don’t know if it’s spreading and I’ve got it on my legs and on My arms and it’s just hateful, It’s absolutely people.

What else was there something else someone to share with you? Oh The van the welding, so I’ve got a welder coming Brian who, But you guys, know Brian. He works for me a couple days a week. He’s actually he’s a pretty good TIG welder. Apparently he hasn’t done aluminum, but he’s done a lot of steel and chromoly Doing bicycle frames. We’ve got a Lincoln welder coming that we’ll be able to do TIG And I’ve never done it before so we’ll do some articles on that and kind of I’ll be curious to see how how well Me not ever being able to not welding with TIG.

I can get up to speed on that. I’ve always been something I’ve always wanted to try. So we’ll share that experience as well. Maybe Brian can share a few tips with us that he’s picked up. He seems to be pretty well checked out on it, But I guess that’s it. So, thanks for reading and we’ll see you guys on the next article


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