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  • #46
    Originally posted by Brian T View Post
    I am surprised that Gregg (Kestrel) has not put the entire booklet on the internet.
    However:
    There are centuries of experience by Pacific Northwest carvers in that little thing.
    I'm fussy about copyright issues so it's a $4.00 small-sized recipe booklet for adzes.
    You get one for free if you ever buy an adze blade from those guys.

    Having said that, look at lots of examples. Get the basic elbow about 55 degrees.
    Don't cut the actual blade notch until you settle on blade position for the Holm Constant (hand position).
    A pair of hose clamps is good enough for the experiments.
    I emailed Gregg twice and never got a response, plus called and never got a return call. I get it he’s very busy, he’s making a quality product that is in demand good for them. If they made a nice glossy pictured book with lots of useful instruction paying top dollar would be a sound investment, but even charging $4 plus shipping for information that most every other maker gives away seem cheesy, unless they are heirloom secret family recipes that can’t be found else where. Look at how much info Scott at caribou has on his website, it’s fantastic! that a lone made me want to buy some tools from them, unfortunately I didn’t have the money at the time to drop on what I needed. When I have a question Jim has been there on the phone at north bay, his irons may not be as finely ground (other than the edges Which are perfect) than makers like kestrel but his work is completely forged and not just pressed stock like other knife makers, that’s why I own 7 of his tools. I wanted to buy three adze from kestrel plus a few knifes but there was a 8 month wait which is fine but I needed some questions answered and never got them so I ordered else where. I do use the two kestrel crook knifes as much as any of my PNW tools and I’d definitely buy more if I could get them, the handles have been causing some hand pain where I grip in the saddle of the handle. I’ll probably re haft them because they get grabbed first in some of the classes I do and others have the same experience. I’ve been working with two smiths in Europe and one in Canada to incorporate some European and PNW style tools. I should be getting my latest axe soon.

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    • #47
      In the past 5(?) years, I've had short emails with Charlie Prince, the new guy at Kestrel.
      I'm convinced that you need to have a handle that fits you for size or else it will eventually hurt.
      I have big hands and long fingers so I can't imagine factory handles are my size.
      A tennis ball is a really good strop for PacNW adze blades.
      Brian T

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Brian T View Post
        In the past 5(?) years, I've had short emails with Charlie Prince, the new guy at Kestrel.
        I'm convinced that you need to have a handle that fits you for size or else it will eventually hurt.
        I have big hands and long fingers so I can't imagine factory handles are my size.
        A tennis ball is a really good strop for PacNW adze blades.
        Your right about the handles, I have a harder time with handles I’ve not customized or completely changed myself the older I get. The north bay handles are the size but I like the shape of the kestrels. Im slowly going through my knifes and rehafting them. Are you only using cord to hold your blades and irons? I know we’ve had this conversation before haha

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        • #49
          I use short #7 wood screws to set the blades in a puddle of epoxy. Carve off the squeeze-out tomorrow.
          The cord is mostly cosmetic to cover the grubby hafting job. The untarred cord usually gets buttered with plain wood glue.
          None of them have ever come loose. I have had rivets come loose.

          After a while, the right size just feels good. Don't even have to look at it.
          After prototypes, start big and shave it down.

          Adzes: the blade seat is a little bit concave.
          Dry wrapping is powerful enough to pull the blade down on the seat, dry.
          No need for anything else.
          Some carvers never get beyond the hose-clamp stage!!! It works.
          Last edited by Brian T; 07-25-2019, 02:30 PM.
          Brian T

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Brian T View Post
            I have several adzes and another one on the bench.
            I buy blades which come with handle patterns and the rest is entirely up to me.
            It is a fact that with shipping and exchange to Canada, the blades cost me approx $100.00 each.

            You don't show where you are. North Bay Forge and Kestrel Tool are in WA. Caroboo is north here in BC.
            All my blades have come from Kestrel. I'm convinced that you really do get what you pay for.

            http://kestreltool.com/index.html

            They are used on carvings in the 24 - 64 inch range of size.
            Start with a 5" x 5" x 64" western red cedar post. Make it round.
            Is that sort of what you had in mind?

            I have the 7/75 Stubai which feels and works like a rat-rod version of an ice axe. Not at all worth the new price.
            I have a Baby Sitka elbow adze that performs really well for the rough-out work but in weight, almost too small.
            I have a D adze that is an absolute dream to use. I can even push it like a Stanley plane if I have to.
            I have a full Sitka gutter blade on the bench for a bigger, heavier elbow adze.

            AdzesB.JPGKestrel 20s.jpg
            Hi Brian,
            Our correct name is Cariboo Blades Tools and Knives, not Caroboo. Good tutorials. Most of the adze we make for Haida carvers is forged from 1/2" leaf spring, and 5/16" thick head saw blade. We are making one now forged from 1/2" thick spring, custom for big canoes.
            I like your designs. Kestral's a great company.

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            • #51
              And a very good day to you, sir. Hope you wintered well, that cold at the end of January
              took at least 50% of my grape vines = lots of dead wood pruning.

              My apologies for my gross mispelling of your company name. I was typing in haste and my proof-reading is terrible.

              I have big hands and very long fingers so many tool handles are too thin. I like to make the handles to fit me. Much less fatigue. The snail on the D adze is a constant reminder of my slow carving pace.

              I'm looking at 1/2" on a ruler. That seems awfully thick or are you depending upon the weight as well?
              If I needed to move up in carving tool size, I'd consider things like slicks. 1/4" leaf spring ought to be plenty.
              Brian T

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Brian T View Post
                And a very good day to you, sir. Hope you wintered well, that cold at the end of January
                took at least 50% of my grape vines = lots of dead wood pruning.

                My apologies for my gross mispelling of your company name. I was typing in haste and my proof-reading is terrible.

                I have big hands and very long fingers so many tool handles are too thin. I like to make the handles to me. Much less fatigue. The snail on the D adze is a constant reminder of my slow carving pace.

                I'm looking at 1/2" on a ruler. That seems awfully thick or are you depending upon the weight as well?
                If I needed to move up in carving tool size, I'd consider things like slicks. 1/4" leaf spring ought to be plenty.

                The steel is forged into a blade with a whisper of the 1/2" thickness along the center. Custom work where the thickness and weight are needed. 1/4" leaf is easier to work.
                With handles some carvers on the coast prefer long, thick handles (1.5") on adze and slicks so that they can cut and carve to fit themselves.

                We lost a few small apple trees and some raspberry bushes. There is some dead wood in the saskatoon bushes and they're tough.

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                • #53
                  I have been intrigued by First Nations tools to the extent that I took a class in Campbell River, B.C. The adze proved quite effective for roughing out a mask or bowl. But for much of what I carve it seems easier to prepare the carving blank with power tools such as a bandsaw. The adze I used during the class was made from a leaf spring. The handle was a natural fork in a branch of yew. The blade was attached with a single wood screw (no wrappings).

                  PNWadze.jpg

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                  • #54
                    I would like to make an elbow adze handle from a tree branch. But try as I might in many, many miles of logging roads I never see what I need. Even if I did, I can't justify dropping an entire tree for the sake of one branch, no matter how special it looks.

                    ​​​​​​So my adze handles are all seasoned birch with the growth rings parallel to the side faces.
                    Brian T

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                    • #55
                      Pacific Yew were once stripped from logging forests as "trash trees."

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                      • #56
                        The SPF (Spruce-Pine-Fir) business up here is focused on pulp and 2x4. That's it.
                        Doug fir, the cedars depending on where you are. Even big birch is a weed to those people.
                        The Birch is wonderful carving wood but in such a small niche market.

                        There's Yew, Arbutus and others on the BC south coast down into WA but north of Sechelt, I don't believe we have a coastal biogeoclimatic zone for those species.

                        I thought that Gregg (Kestrel Tool) was recommending alder for elbow adze handles?
                        Locally, I have never seen anything (Alder or Birch) that would come even close to a useful size.
                        Maybe I find a branch but it's growing out at 90 degrees = useless.
                        note: 55 degrees is common, some carvers go 45 degrees for the elbow.

                        I broke a couple of birch handles back in the beginning but I've made one now that's about 3/8" thicker over the top joint and it's holding up very well on the Baby Sitka adze blade.

                        Next is the full Sitka. 2" x 6" x 36" birch to cut some for those. I'll thin the hand grip and maybe do some decoration.
                        Brian T

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                        • #57
                          An old Sto:lo carver up here used elbows from small Douglas firs. We use to make blades for them. He had a dozen adze, all the handles were fir. Seemed to be a fine choice. Looked and felt great.
                          We make a style Haida developed. Eliminating the elbow. Its in between a European and traditional PNW adze. Same balance, angles and can be the same weight as the traditional elbow adze.

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                          • #58
                            I'd like to see those some day. Never imagined using Doug fir for handles. Must be some kind of sticky resin mess to prep the handle wood. I've just bought some nice birch and I have a pattern for a full size Sitka and a blade from Kestrel so might as well build it up and see how it swings. Got work to do on 2 poles that will be a good test.

                            I built up a D adze from Kestrel. Should have stretched the pattern another 1/4" or 3/8" for my big hands. For weight and balance, it really is a delight to swing.
                            I discovered that I can push it to shave like a Stanley Jack Plane as well.
                            Brian T

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