Monday, July 25, 2011

Basic Axe Use Part 1: Chopping

So, I finally got the next set of videos done. I know a bunch of you guys emailed me asking for a video on how to use an axe. This series is intended to show some basic techniques, or at least show them to the best of my abilities.

Part 1 of 4:

Unfortunately, some of the footage I had did not come out well, so I had to leave it out of the video. Some things you may want to consider that are not specifically addressed in the video:

1. As you can notice, the bottom section of the V notch is almost horizontal. To make it an ideal V, both the top and bottom cuts on the V would be at a 45 degree angle. Unfortunately, it is very hard to make an upward facing cut on the bottom section of the notch. It can be done with a hatchet or smaller axe, but becomes more difficult with larger axes. The cut actually does have a slight bevel facing up towards the center. This makes it easier for the axe to cut the wood fibers.

2. Don’t think that you need to do the exact same things for every tree this size. Different types of wood perform differently. With a softer wood, or a tree that is not dry, you may very well be able to get through a tree this size without having to make a back cut.

3. As you have noticed, I don’t use any eye protection. I never have, and I do not like to carry any into the woods. However, if you want to be on the safe side, bring a pair of safety glasses. There is nothing wrong with being safe.

The full set of videos is now up on YouTube, but I will post them here over the next few days. 

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