Axe

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Hanging in the workshop is a Kent-Pattern Axe with a 2½lb Head, curved bit and a Brown Oak haft (handle, if you prefer).

The Axe

Things You Can Use The Axe For

Prior to the widespread introduction of portable power tools, the axe was an invaluable component of the Carpenters and Joiners toolkit on site. Whilst widely assumed to be a blunt instrument, the opposite is true both literally and figuratively.

The axe is ideally suited to cutting away large amounts of waste, being used essentially in the same fashion as a very large chisel, with the advantage that it is also it's own mallet.

It's the appropriate tool to use for:

  • Removing initial waste from lap joints and tennons in large timbers.
  • Removing the waste at the outside edges of wide dado (housing) joints after initially defining the joint with a saw.
  • Initially removing waste from curved work until close enough to the line to define the curve with a compass plane, spokeshave or drawknife.
  • Hewing timber in the round to provide a flat surface to begin refining with a plane, adze or drawknife.

When using the axe for the latter two tasks it may be useful to switch from swinging the axe to paring with it, the haft has been shaped to allow users to comfortably choke their grip up close to the edge and place their fingers on the flat of the head, and the flat portion of the haft. In this position small controlled movements, with great control over the direction of cut can be achieved, allowing smaller chips to be pared off with accuracy.

Things You Shouldn't Use The Axe For

  • Hacking AT things.
  • Felling Trees.
    • It's not big enough to fell anything more than a few years old effectively.
    • More to the point Hackspace is not a wooded area, you should not encounter trees in the Hackspace. If you do rather than fell them, maybe contact the trustees to look into why and just make one final check you've not inadvertently wandered into some woodland whilst thinking about your next project .
  • As a Hammer or by Striking with a Hammer.
    • How would you like to have the back of your head bashed against something? Not very Much? Well neither would the axe, in spite of being metallic (unlike you) it did't evolve to be used as a striking tool (just like you).