Woodworking Tools and Axes – The Ultimate Resource

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Axes and their Woodworking Cousins

When I say axes and woodwork, many people would think, well duh! But what I’m talking about doesn’t involve felling trees or splitting wood. In a nutshell I’m talking about carving and construction. Most people just think about axes and destruction, cutting down trees, fire axes being used to bust through walls, but not tools of an interesting craft.

There is a whole other side to axes that gets overshadowed in culture by certain destructive behavior.

This article is meant to be an introduction to axes used in finer woodworking and other tools that are used along side them. Although this is only an introduction it’s going to be a fairly extensive read. I chose to write in sections to break it up rather than rambling monotony. I do want to make it clear I am not a professional woodworker.

For professional woodworking, my #1 recommendation hands down would be: Teds Woodworking Class.

I am just a run of the mill wood tool enthusiast. I do quite a bit of research for each and every article I write, including the topics I have knowledge of already.

Let’s start with Wood Carving.

Today many people use axes to rough out designs in wood, then go for the finer cutting tools to create the finished piece. This can work for any medium to large carving project ranging from wooden spoons to furniture – and beyond.

Small carvings (whittling) can be difficult with an axe and due to the size you may add time to your project instead of saving it. I myself dabble in the art of kitchen utensil carving.

Using an axe to rough out your design before switching over to smaller tools saves you at least an hour per spoon. In general when using axes in wood working it’s for roughing purposes. In wood working you rough things out to save time, body, and your tools. Axes can even be used to rough out a new axe handle. There are specialized types of axes for different tasks. 

I’m going to use the process of creating an axe handle to explain methods and the other tools used to end up with a complete custom handmade axe handle. Generally the process and methods used in creating an axe handle will also apply to most other carving projects.

First things first, you need some wood. When it comes to wood for axe handles, there are only a handful of species that can take year after year of abuse before needing replacement. Of course longevity is also determined by care and maintenance, but that’s a different article.

The Number One Choice for axe makers worldwide is good ole American Hickory.Hickory is well known for it’s strength and flexibility, both crucial traits in an axe handle. Second would be Ash, which is just slightly less flexible.

Those are the two main options when making a longer handle. With short handles there is not as much force being used so your options open up a bit more. I have had success with young Birch, and I also enjoy using young Maple and Oak.

different parts of the axe handle for woodworking
Axe Handle Anatomy

I use young wood because it is more flexible than old wood. It also gives the handle a longer life before it ages to the point of failure. By young wood I mean small trees, or even branches from the tree.

I’d say if you are creating a handle that is fourteen inches or less, you could likely get away with using just about any hardwood. Some might not agree with me, I’m just looking at it in regards to physics.A short handle doesn’t require a lot of flexibility.

There are a few important things to look for in the wood itself. You’re going to want to make sure that there are no knots in the wood, you want one solid piece of quality wood with a nice straight grain running all the way down the handle.

The straighter the grain the less points of weakness in the wood. I believe it also allows for a bit more flexibility.

Before we get into the good stuff, there may need to be some wood preparation ahead of time. One such task is debarking which simply means taking the bark off. This can be done in a number of ways, and depending on your wood you might even be able to just wait until the roughing stage.

But lets assume we are starting with a typical round log. One of my favorite tools for this job is the draw knife. It’s a very old, very simple tool, that I find fun and relaxing to use. It also gets the job

done quick. It is essentially a long blade, with a perpendicular handle on each end. You pull it toward you along the log and basically shave the the bark off.

This method allows a lot of control and leaves a fairly smooth surface. It can also be used further along in the process which I will discuss later. A great one for beginners is made by Robert Larson, made out of high quality German steel. (See more details here)

Flexcut, a popular carving tool maker also creates some draw knives that are great for those just learning about the tool, you can get a nice set by Flexcut on Amazon here.

There is another method familiar to the woodsman of days gone by, though still in use in small applications today. This tool used to be a must have in the log work industry.

It’s a bark spud, simply put it’s a straight handle with a smooth scraper on the end. This tool is used by pushing it up under the bark with a light prying motion that pops the bark away from the wood fibers.

When you get good enough with it and get a little lucky, you can take off large sheets of whole bark which can be used for other projects. There are a few variations to this tool but they all work in the same way. This is a great option for a Bark Spud that works perfectly

This particular bark spud is made by Peavey Mfg. Company a long standing hand tool maker here in my home state of Maine. Sadly tough times have prevented the company from keeping all aspects of manufacturing in house. But I still like to support the old Maine companies.

You could also just use a knife to cut the bark off but that is more time consuming and harder on the wrist.

During the prep stage it will likely be necessary to take off large portions of wood to bring your blank into a smaller more manageable and less time consuming size.

You could use an axe to do some hard roughing. But for more accuracy, ease, and of course speed there is a tool for that! It’s called a froe. This is one of my favorite tools, I’m not sure why. I think it has to do with my passion for form and function.

Again this is a super simple tool that can do so much. A froe is basically like a draw knife but beefier, and with only one handle that is long to provide leverage.

In simple terms, the blade of the froe is pounded into the top of your log a few inches, you then pull on the handle a bit and the wood will split right where you pounded the froe in. This allows you to take off large chunks of wood without having to carve or chip it all off.

Which also means you have some good chunks of wood left to make other things with. The froe can also be used to simply split the log into halves or quarters. Peavey Mfg. Company also produces these fine tools and for a great price. Good froes for a good price are hard to come by these days. You can find the Peavey Froe here.

However there is a more modern and dare I say it cool froe out there, that I myself would not mind having. Made by Buck Knives, it’s a little flashy but well made with good 5160 steel. Check out their Compadre Froe here. Another option for a froe comes from a small family owned business in South Dakota called Redneck Convent. Similar in terms of quality, their froe can be found here

The next thing you need to do is put your handle design onto the wood. You can make a pattern to trace, or even trace an already existing handle. Some people cut the design from paper and using spray adhesive they glue it to the wood.

I don’t recommend trying to freehand directly onto the wood as the grain makes it difficult to create smooth lines without a guide making your pattern less accurate and more open to interpretation during the carving process.

That may be the way you like to do things, I personally like to have an accurate plan that I stick to until complete. It works either way, plan before, or as you go, both can produce a striking handle….see what I did there…striking handle.

Now comes the fun part, roughing it out. Honestly you can use any small axe to rough out an axe handle. The method is fairly straight forward, you choke up on the handle and use small swings to take off small to medium strips of wood until you have the general shape of your handle.

It’s pretty simple but of course the more you do it the better you will get, allowing you to gain more control and precision which will in turn allow you to do even finer roughing getting you closer to the final product before you have to move on to other tools.

So what kind of axes are ideal for these types of purposes you ask? Well lets take a look at a few options. Like I said you can use just about any well sharpened axe. But there are some types and styles that many people choose to use for such projects.

The first one I’d like to show you is made by Condor Tool & Knife, it is a variation of a carpenters axe pattern and is considered their woodworking axe. Many people don’t realize that Condors tools are made using German materials and German machinery, however they are manufactured in El Salvador.

Originally based only in Solingen, Germany they expanded to El Salvador in the 1960’s in order to better serve their growing international market.

Just a fun fact I wanted to share. Back to the axe! Condor’s Woodworker axe is made of 1045 carbon steel, has an 18” Hickory handle and of course is made with the German quality I spoke of in my article, Bushcraft Axes.

Check out more details on the Woodworker Axe here. 

Just a fun fact I wanted to share. Back to the axe! Condor’s Woodworker axe is made of 1045 carbon steel, has an 18” Hickory handle and of course is made with the German quality I spoke of in my article, Bushcraft Axes. Check out more details on the Woodworker Axe here. 

This next hatchet is a bit different, but it is a very high quality and highly useful tool. Located in Ono Japan, another global hot spot for high quality steel. Silky is a company known for their high quality saws since the early 1900’s. The past quality of their saws is mirrored in all of their modern day products. Silky is a very well known name among woodworkers.

The Silky NATA Hatchet looks a lot like a froe and works much like a machete, but has the burl of a hatchet. The blade is 5.7mm thick, 9.5 inches long and weighs in at 1.5 pounds, which is roughly the same as a small hatchet. It is made of high quality steel and chrome plated to aid in rust resistance. The blade is also replaceable.

I find these great for roughing purposes, they are sharp and accurate, tough but agile. You may prefer a traditional axe to this, but you will still love this for other uses. You really can’t go wrong with any of Silky’s products. It also comes with a pretty cool sheath, warranty and is highly rated on Amazon. 

Remember our Swedish friends Hults Bruk operated by our other Swedish friends Hultafors? Well they have a great entry into our carving axe array. It’s a little guy, which makes it a very manageable tool for a variety of projects.

The Hults Bruk Jonaker hatchet has only a 9.4 inch contoured handle. The head only weighs one pound. The small size of this hatchet allows for very good accuracy and fine roughing.

You will find these small style hatchets will also allow you to work longer before feeling fatigued. The Jonaker hatchet comes with an attractive hand crafted leather sheath. Both axe and sheath will last multiple lifetimes with proper care. 

Then of course we have our ever popular Swedish friends over at Gränsfors Bruks. The Hand Hatchet by Gransfors is an attractive little tool, it just looks steeped in tradition and the traditional life. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know.

The ever present level of quality is included in the hatchet just as with every axe they produce. Much like the Hults Bruk, this hatchet is a little guy coming in at 10.5 inches and weighing in at 1.5 pounds.

This is a great little carving axe due to it’s size and also it’s style. The sharp bearded design is very useful for making finer cuts and chops. The handle shape and length provides great control, comfort, and accuracy. Gransfors tends to be pricey in the eyes of many but this hatchet is quite modestly priced for the quality and longevity of the tool.

Next up we have Husqvarna with their modestly priced entry. Don’t be mistaken, the low price does not represent low quality in this situation. Husqvarna axes are produced by Hults Bruk.

Husqvarnas 13 inch hatchet is a simple pattern, and a simple contoured handle weighing in at around two pounds. Now I do want to mention, if you read the reviews on Amazon you will see a whole lot of broken axes and people calling them junk.

You will see many photos of axes broken in the same spot. I want to make it clear, this is due to over hardening which isn’t necessarily bad. I also want to point out many of the reviewers (I read them also) have issues of improper use.

One person stated they were trying to chop up a hickory stump. A small hatchet vs a hard dense partially dried Hickory stump…the stump will win every time. Either way the hardening issue was resolved and they also offer a 90-day warranty. Check out more details on Amazon here.

Last but not least I have a very popular one for you. Gransfors Bruks provides us the mighty Swedish Carving Axe. The design and size of this axe are designed for carving.

The upward swoop of the blade makes it very useful for carving as well as scraping and planing. When you choke up on the handle and begin carving with this axe, it feels like the axe is part of your hand and arm.

It’s very comfortable, but I do have long arms and large hands. This axe has a four and a half inch curved bit, it weighs two pounds and has a fourteen inch handle.

I believe they can be obtained in either a single or double bevel depending on what you will be using it for most, double bevel being for general carving tasks, single bevel for more hewing type or detail carving.

A single bevel aids in leaving a flat level surface on the wood, such as when carving angles. This axe is pricey but it will last forever with proper care, this is a family heirloom tool, honestly every tool here that I have shown has the potential to be an heirloom tool with proper use, care and maintenance. It can be found here.

This is just a handful out of a pile of options available. I know the axes shown here are quality tools, and most of them are also very popular in the role of a carving axe. As I said before just about any axe can be used to rough out an axe handle.

Though I would recommend something small and light, and a curved bit is very helpful. Another carving axe coming out soon that might be worth a look is the Esee carving axe. I don’t know too much about it yet but from what I can tell it’s built similar to a tactical axe but with a bit more heft.

One more honorable mention would be the Biber Classic Hatchet made by Mueller of Austria. Very handy carving and roughing tool.

Alright, so you got your wood, you used your draw knife to debark it and then your froe to bring it down to a workable size. Then you added your pattern to the wood and roughed out the design with your trusty axe. Now what?

Well now it’s time to start smoothing out your handle and start to shape it.

There are many options to choose from to achieve this. More than one method can be used and likely will make the finished product that much better. We’re now going to go back to the draw knife, a small to medium draw knife is good for this task.

Before we move on, I’d like to tell you about one of my favorite companies in the world of axes and knives. To my knowledge and experience this company has consistently produced high quality products at very reasonable prices for a very long time. This company is MoraKniv of Sweden, what can I say.. those Swedes make some good stuff.

MoraKniv came to be in 1891, the interesting thing is they manufactured timber sleds. They did produce knives but they were for in house use by employees of the factory. Being located in a region known for a long history in knife making and great steel helped them realize their real destiny, cutting tools.

You may be thinking why are we talking about a knife company? Well because they make other things as well such as this hatchet, which I’m certain is of high quality being made of Boron Steel.

Although I love the company I also love the traditional axe. I’m not a fan of plastic handles or proprietary designs when it comes to axes. But that’s not why I mention Mora, they also make draw knives!

The MoraKniv wood splitting 220 knife has a 4.5 inch blade made of carbon steel with oiled birch handles. It’s a quality tool, and is perfect for shaping your axe handle. Best of all it’s price is affordable for pretty much everyone. As with all tools, proper care will make it last a long time.

MoraKniv doesn’t sell direct, but they are available here. They also have a slightly smaller version with a 4.3 inch blade and different handles here.

Another option for the shaping is a spokeshave, named as such if I recall correctly due to the fact it was often used in the making of the spokes on wagon wheels. It’s also great when making furniture and many other items. I love spokeshaves because their usefulness usually far outweighs their expense.

Everyone has heard of Stanley Tools, founded by Frederick Stanley back in 1843, located in Connecticut. They offer a fairly popular option for a very low price.

It’s a pretty small and simple tool but it is very useful. Simply put, it’s a handle with a blade embedded in it with the goal of shaving wood, similar to a wood plane but with more freedom of movement similar to a draw knife.

Spokeshaves come flat bladed or curved. I have yet to use a curved one, but I can only assume they are just as useful if not more. Check out Stanely’s top rated spokeshave here.

Remember at the beginning when I mentioned draw knives and Robert Larson? Well guess what, he makes spokeshaves too! Made of high quality German steel you can’t go wrong with the Kunz 151 flat spokeshave; Check it out here

For those with fancier tastes, check out the snazzy wooden spokeshave made by Hock, pricey but pretty and I’m guessing it works real nice too. It’s also made in the USA. Check it out here. Oooh shiny!

Alright so you have taken your draw knife and/or spokeshave and have completed the rough rounding and contouring of your handle. It’s starting to look like an axe handle isn’t it? Now it’s time to smooth it out and fine tune those curves.

I introduce to you the Saw Rasp by Shinto, it is a 9 inch flat rasp made of 10 saw blades which cut into the cut on the push stroke. These things work great for axe handle shaping, they can do rough work and fine work.

If you do anything with wood carving, you should have one of these in your tool box. I can say, it’s similar to a traditional rasp but much better. They are double sides with course and fine. They can also be used on soft metals, plastic and plaster too!

You could also use a file or traditional wood rasp. I have one of these and it works quite well and was a very affordable addition to my toolbox. I also have one of these sets of small rasps for detail work, they work quite well and allow for some more defined characteristics on your axe handle.

Now that you have a nearly completed axe handle, there are only a few more steps to go!

The next thing we will be doing is shaping the handle to fit our axe head. These can be forged, bought or restored. To see how you can forge your own axe head, check out this Forge an Axe article.  

The first thing I do is set the head on top of the handle nice and straight and trace the inside of the eye onto the top of the handle. This gives you a rough guide of the final shape you need to achieve.

I’ve done the shaping using a knife, rasp, sandpaper, and all of those things work well enough. They are a little tedious and time consuming as you want to achieve the best fit possible.

This requires that you shape a little and then test the fit, shape some more, test the fit, and so on. I recently broke down and decided to try my hand with my Dremel Tool. I know I know, how dare I…

But I must admit I think I was able to achieve the best fit possible. The precision and speed of the Dremel simply can’t be matched by hand tools and elbow grease.

The method I use to get the best fit is to rub a pencil on the wood which allows you to see where the axes head rubs against when you try to put it on the handle. Quickly buzz down those spots and try again.

Eventually you get to a point where the axe head just barely slides onto the handle with moderate effort. I feel guilty for using the Dremel but hey, I’ve done it the other ways plenty of times, and it 

is 2018, no reason we can’t mix a little tradition and technology. It also provides the best fit which is the safest and longest lasting fit.

This step can be tedious however you choose to go about it, but take your time and see it through without rushing or lowering your work standard and you will be rewarded with a great fit, as if the steel and the wood were made for each other.

Next you will have to cut the kerf, which is the cut in the top of the handle where you install the wedge – locking the axe head to the handle. The kerf needs 

to be nice and straight and a little deeper than the width of your axe head. For this you will need a small saw. The Stanley 20 inch fine cut saw has done good work for me in the past, but my current favorite is the Shark Corp 15 inch Carpentry pull saw.

I bought one of these years ago and am still using the same blade without sharpening it! It has done me well, I like that it is a pull saw, I feel like it gives me more control over my cut, and produced a cleaner slice. Basically it slows you down and keeps you focused but at the same time is able to cut very fast.

It also cuts other materials; it doesn’t have to be a wood working saw. You could use a hack saw, or a scroll saw, whatever you want as long as the cut is straight and clean.

The last thing we need to do in regards to the woodwork itself is give the whole thing a good sanding. I like to make my handles very smooth and soft and so I go up a few grits. To top it off I give it a rub down with commercial finishing Scotch pads.

At last you have a smooth, sleek, beautiful handle ready to be paired to steel.

But wait, what else can be done the make it even nicer? Bringing out the grain, that’s what. For this I recommend Boiled Linseed Oil, a few coats of it.

This will really bring the beauty of the wood out and give your axe a look that just draws attention and reminds people of their grandfather chopping firewood behind the shed during fall.

Now all you need is a wedge and a small mallet. Slide your axe head onto your handle and insert the wedge into the top. Lightly but firmly tap the wedge evenly all the way down as far as it will go.

The deeper it gets the harder you can tap. If you tap it too hard the wedge can crack or splinter, which isn’t the end of the world it just doesn’t look as nice when all is said and done.

Now that your wedge is firmly in place grab you saw again and saw off any excess handle sticking out from the top of the axe, leaving about a quarter inch of clearance.

The purpose of leaving a little extra is to drip a bead of boiled linseed oil covering the entire top of the handle, position it upright and allow it to soak in. Keep doing this until it doesn’t soak in anymore, in my experience it’s usually three or four times.

I also like to flip the axe and allow some oil to run along the seem between the steel and the wood. The purpose of adding this oil is not only to protect the axe and metal but to cause the wood within the axe head to swell, creating a lock tight fit.

The quarter inch left protruding from the top will also swell holding the axe head down firmly. This lock tight fit between wood and steel will remain until the woods begins to dry out again and shrink a little.

But a bit more oil and sometimes a new wedge is often all that is needed to bring an old handle back to life.

The absolute last step that I do personally, is I take my rag used to wipe up excess oil and I rub down the entire axe with it. I then put the axe in a warm part of the house for 48 hours before I consider it officially done.

There are different oils and resins people like to use on their handles. Some are for better grip, some are for better wood protection. Whatever your best oils for axe handles are, its always better to have something than nothing at all.

I’ll admit when it comes to carving – axes are mostly just used for the rough work. But there are so many other areas where axes get a lot more use. For example back when homes were made from logs, axes were paramount.

From felling the trees, delimbing them, bucking the logs, and then hewing or shaping the logs into building material, axes pretty much took the cake when it came to the most important home building tool.

I think hewing is a neat process, yeah.. I said neat. Simply put hewing is the rough squaring of logs, the first step to producing straight square or rectangular beams. This can be achieved to some degree with most axes but there is one specifically designed for the task.

Can you guess what it’s called? A Hewing Axe of course or a Broad Axe. The hatchet sized version is often known as a Hewing Hatchet or Side Axe.

Once hewn, logs may be further smoothed using draw knives and planes. Another tool used for hewing is the cousin of the axe, the Adze. It’s sort of like an axe head turned sideways on the handle. It’s a very cool tool and dates back a long time, it to is used in many different ways and comes in many different varieties.

The Adze or Adz is much less known than the popular axe. However, the adze is almost as much responsible for the advancement of the human race as the axe.

Much like axes, the adze came about during the stone age and were basically just a stone – usually flint that was chipped in order to create the tools bladed properties. It was the ancient Egyptians that really made the adze shine. They are credited with adding a wooden handle and using copper or bronze for the tool head allowing for more longevity and better performance.

Then came the Iron Age. I call them cousins, but when I think about it the axe and the adze are more like brothers from different mothers. The grew up together, evolved together, and they worked together throughout history in a number of various ways, and in a number of different forms.

From log cabins to wagon wheels and ships, the axe and adze worked hand in hand.

The adze deserves a lot more credit than it receives from the general public. Even kids know what an axe is but if you say adze they won’t have a clue. The adze is also used in carving, bowl carving mainly.

-Adze used for construction – generally have a flat and slightly angled blade

-Adze for bowl carving or other rounded projects – generally have a curved blade, either the whole blade is curved or some simply have a steeper angle to them.

They take this form in order to essentially scoop the wood out of the bowl, a flat adze wouldn’t be able to do this. A flat adze is more for hewing type purposes. Here is an example of a straight adze, here is an example of a bowl adze.

As you can see they are quite different, but similar in function – much like all of the axe variation. These are just two basic examples of the adze as used today. However there were many more uses long ago when wood was our primary building material for everything.

Alright, now that I got that off my chest lets get back to axes shall we.

I want to talk about Timber Framing and joinery. Once you have yourself a big pile of hewed logs, it’s time to prepare them for construction. You could use them as is and build yourself a log cabin. But a more interesting route is timber framing.

Some of the joints used to construct timber frame buildings appeared as early as 200 BC. The tools and methods have improved through time, but the basis still remains in the traditional practices. Timber frame structures were found in many places around the globe from long before there was ever timber framing in the New World.

Timber frame structures are built to last, which can be seen in some of the very old buildings across the world which still use this architecture to this day.

The reason for their longevity is similar to that of the longevity of a hickory axe handle – It’s strong and flexible. With proper maintenance it can last a very long time. Timber framing consists of beams being shaped to fit together; once fit they are usually held in place by dowels, though bolts seem to be the popular choice these days.

Mortise Axe
Mortise Axe

A Mortise Axe combined with a wooden mallet are used together similarly to a chisel for cutting notches (mortises) into beams. This is where the tenon from the other beam will fit, locking the beams together.

Most new mortise axes are made by specialty blacksmiths and cost a good amount. However there are a few here and there such as this one by Kirschen, which looks like less of an axe and more of it’s own tool.

There are actual Mortise Axes such as the one produced by Gransfors Bruk. Once fit together a Wood Auger is used to bore a hole through the joint, where a wooden peg will be installed using a mallet. Or more often today, a drill will be used to create a bolt hole.

This simple technique which has been used throughout recorded time along with other techniques and practices will give you a strong long lasting frame for you to build your home around.

The point of this article was to show that everything we now do with electric and automatic machines was once done by hand and known as craftsmanship. Back during the days where things took time and energy to complete, so if you were going to do it you were going to do it well.

Having to start over would be very time consuming and could slow the entire project down. I think it is important that we do not let these skills and tools disappear simply due to modernization. There may come a day when these skills and tools are needed again. Imagine if suddenly we had no electricity, there would be a lot of old world skills we’d have to employ to keep society running smoothly.

It’s important that we don’t forget where we came from and how things came to be what they are today. It is the past that has brought us to the present, but in our busy modern day lives we forget the past and are told to look to the future. There is no future without a past.

With so many problems today in regards to climate and pollution and sustainability we should remember a time when we did in fact live with minimal impact to the environment for a very long time.

Everything used to be made of wood, and everything used to be made using the tools I talked about here and many others. This was just a very light introduction to traditional woodworking. If you are new to woodwork and would like to learn more I suggest the following books.

A Timber Framer’s Workshop by Steve Chappell is a very good book on timber framing, and highly recommended. It includes high quality photos, engineering specifics, techniques and more. It was originally written in 1983, the year I was born. Though it has been revised and updated in the years since.

Eric Sloane is the author of several books covering historical and traditional tools and methods. His books include great drawings of many many tools from years gone by. I love his books and own many. A Museum of Early American Tools is on of my favorites.

Do you guys remember Roy Underhill? Host of The Woodwrights Shop on PBS since 1979, thats 37 season! Well he put out a book in 1981, also called The Woodwright’s Shop. It is highly rated and very informational.

Traditional Woodworking Handtools by Graham Blackburn is a great book depicting many tools. It is a great reference guide for beginners and veteran woodworkers.

The Ax Book: The lore and Science of the Woodcutter, by Dudley Cook is very popular among axe enthusiasts, I have my own copy right next to me at this very moment haha. It has great information regarding axes of all sorts, use, technique and more.

Another book I have right beside me at this moment is American Axes, by Henry Kauffman which for the most part is a picture representation of many axes from American history, along with brief descriptions and explanations.

The best tool author in my opinion is Thomas Lamond, who has books covering many woodworking tools and several books about axes alone, and separate books for axes from different areas. I own the New England Axe books he created.

The amount of research and effort in his books is astounding being a researcher myself. To learn more about spokeshaves check out .Manufactured and patented spokeshaves & similar tools.

And for the best woodworking plans on the whole internet, my top recommendation would be Teds Woodworking here. So many fun and amazing projects in this one.

So there you have it folks, a toe in the vast pool of woodworking information. I hope my article inspired you to learn more, both from me and other sources.

Like I said before, lets not lose touch with tradition so much, we might need it again some day. They may not be modern skills, but they are skills worth having.

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