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Carving hatchet recommendations?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Squid-61 View Post
    Depends on how much actual carving you intend to do with it. If you're mainly going to split and debark with some preliminary roughing I'd suggest a good camp axe with about a 14" handle and a slightly modified edge to aid in carving. Those true carving axes are great for that purpose but not so great for more general use and their acute edge is more easily damaged than a more convex edge. I found a Swedish Axe Works 1.25 lb axe at a flea market that I reground to a more acute but still convex edge and sharpened to a polished edge with hand stones and it does great for chopping, splitting, debarking and general roughing. I can't see buying a super expensive carving or hewing axe for hobby crafting or occasional bushcraft adventures.
    That's the kind of info I was looking for. I'm going to spend a little more time tuning the edge on that cheap camp hatchet before I decide whether to spend real money. 'cause as you said, I'm mostly going to do chopping, splitting, debarking and general roughing. Once I get an idea of how much "general roughing" or any more detailed work I'm going to do, I might lay down a bit more cash.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Brian T View Post
      There is a ritualistic process for spoon carving which is rarely, if ever, shared here.
      As I have learned, you are allowed three particular tools and no others. None. Dogma.
      First, a true "carver's axe." Second, a straight knife with approx 4" blade.
      Third, a spoon knife, aka a really crooked knife.
      Examples would be MoraFrost #162, #163 and #164.

      The same rigid experience appears in carving kuksa from birch burl.

      I don't know if this process is drawn from the Sammi people experience in Scandinavian countries or not.
      As I said in a previous post, I'm not a traditionalist. I have little use for ritual. If I'm in my shop, I'll use the bandsaw to rough out the shape. Well, I'll probably do it with the hatchet a few times, just to learn how it's done. 'cause I will want to do this out in the field where I won't have a bandsaw, and the lack of a good clamping setup might make using the bow saw difficult.

      I know guys who are into "Viking woodwork" who won't use a hook knife. Some just use a hatchet. Their spoon bowls are basically elongated inverted pyramids. Not my thing. I'll use the hatchet, my carving knife, and a hook knife.



      • #18
        True enough. There are easier ways to carve a spoon.
        Brian T


        • #19
          Here is a link on use of the hatchet in wood work:


          • #20
            Found this one too:
            Looks like another project to try.


            • #21
              The axe or hatchet is just a tool to be used where it best fits the job. If the job starts with an axe and gets to the point where your using the axe like a knife, you've used it enough, go to a knife. I only use an axe for splitting, bark removal where a knife is too small and very rough shaping like getting one flat surface for stability on my band saw. Since I'm in suburbia not a forest I use my band saw for most rough shaping; faster, safer and more accurate than an axe. Having said that, that axe hewn stool looks great.