Spent the afternoon cutting Oak

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by David Martin, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    ^ I'm sure that is part of the equation. When clearing brush I don't know how I could keep the ax from hitting the ground. It's going to happen.
    Thus, I sharpen it every day before use. DM
     
  2. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    This is a 16" Emory oak, you can see the signs of drought on it. Even with this it cut 50% harder than live oak. Which is like a white oak.
    Now, I'll go to the limb work using my Hults. DM
    Hults15.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  3. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Here it is all cut up. DM
    Hults16.jpg
     
  4. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I would say after stacking it,'not split' this gave me 1/4 cord. Maybe a little more. Taking an ax to it and doing the limb work before cutting up
    the logs saved me gasoline and chain saw time. Which is an expensive unit to run. Thus, I see saving in my work because of ax use and exercise. I'm hoping by Sept. this will cured enough to split well and then I'll haul it to the barn. I hope some of you other ax men are out
    getting a load of wood, making use of the isolation time. DM
     
  5. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    924
    Jul 31, 2017
    It looks like unforgiving land for plants. Any idea how old is this particular oak?
    I assume you had to water you pecan trees. How deep is your water well?
     
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  6. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    We have been in drought for mostly 30 years. Last year we had a record year of rain with 20.5". Thus, I'm hoping we are pulling out of it.
    That tree was 30 years old and that's just the rings I could count. DM
     
  7. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Here is yesterday's effort. I have enough oak cut and stacked for this coming winter. Just needs curing, splitting and hauling into the dry.
    This keeping me busy during 'lock-down'. My Hults is a good ax for limb work, brush and splitting. DM
    Hults17.jpg
     
  8. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I use a N-95 when I cut wood because there is a dust that comes off the wood and settles in my throat and I have to hark this out afterward.
    But use caution because using this mask causes oxygen depletion and after 20-30 mins. I have to put my saw down and remove the mask to
    get a good breath of air. I have nearly passed out from using it. These masks are not made to be worn during exerting exercise. DM
     
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  9. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    I’m with on that. I wear an N95 alot for carpentry or metal work. They’re fine at rest.

    I try to cut from the upwind side. I don’t like breathing oily sawdust. But when I don’t have s choice I wear my mask.
     
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  10. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    This morning I was splitting some oak 10" logs that I had cut in January. There has not been much rain on this wood and it didn't split well.
    Requiring 10-11 chops for each log to get them in half. I was using my 4# Hults. I guess it needs more curing.? DM
     
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  11. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Ok, ax men this morning I took the 6lb. Council to split my oak with. On this wood, a very different story today. Usually one hit to split
    these trunks. Some took 4 but mostly 2 hits would have them in half. It is, 90* here and I'm out getting my wood split and ready
    for the barn. DM
    councilsplits6.jpg
     
  12. thunderstick

    thunderstick

    513
    Jan 15, 2007
    You mention about your handles only lasting a year. I'm wondering if they would last longer if you dried them first in your environment and preferably by the wood stove or a dehumidifier. If they are shrunk below the normal moisture level, snug fit, gorilla glued (expandable glue); they should get tighter after installation as they increase their moisture content. Hockey stick tape on the handle goes a long way saving abrasions as well.
    Anyway these practices work well for me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
  13. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    thunderstick, I have a couple of axes that need handles. Ha, a yearly thing. I have Gorilla glue on hand and will try your suggested method
    and give some feed back. The hafts were purchased over a month ago. Since, I'm not heating our home now, I can set them out in direct
    sun for a week or 2 then hang them. I'll look for the hockey stick tape. Thanks and more on this later. DM
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  14. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    924
    Jul 31, 2017
    Could you post some pics of the damage to current hafts? If Emory Oak just chews your hickory handles than you might benefit from metal collar(use smallest screw possible to hold it in place so it won't be a starting point for a crack).
     
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  15. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    A lot of different opinions on this. DM
     
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  16. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Here is my Hults ax. DM
    Hults18.jpg
     
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  17. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I am in agreement about trying to minimize the moisture content as far as possible before hanging. At least in the tongue.
    I have every intention of making a sort of drying box that I can control the humidity in that's large enough to fit 3 or 4 tongues in at a time. I just haven't gotten around to doing it. But I also put them in front of an electric heater, near the wood stove or sitting on a forced hot air vent. I've had very good results using all three.
    All that said I don't think it's your issue is it? Your issue is breaking axe helves, not loosening ones correct?
    One of the questions I'd love answered is; How long did an axe helve last the average wood cutter back in 1900 say?
    A month? 2,4,6 months?
    I personally don't think they lasted much longer than a few months. I mean being smashed into a tree a thousand times every damn day? Maybe I'm wrong about that by that could be your problem David. Have you ever tried a very thin haft? One that flexes a lot?
    I recently became acquainted with a gentleman that's been a forester for the majority of his career (about 45 years).
    By unfortunately he doesn't know the answer. I was hoping he would.
     
  18. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Here is my Wards Master Quality ax. DM
    Masterax.jpg
     
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  19. thunderstick

    thunderstick

    513
    Jan 15, 2007
    Multiple windings of hockey tape does help to absorb and spread the shock to help mitigate handle breakage and grain split out
     
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  20. crbnSteeladdict

    crbnSteeladdict

    924
    Jul 31, 2017
    Looking at the damages to your handles I do not think adding hockey tape or aluminum collar would make any difference. You are dealing with pesky kind of wood with very strong interconnecting fibers that causes your axe being stuck often. Your Hult haft's damage looks like you applied side way force (might be wrong, it is just one pic) trying to free your axe. When it comes to Wards Master axe I strongly believe you will benefit from watching SkillCult's old video.

    Edit
    Just took second look at WMQ haft and I can see that you will benefit from hockey tape in the long run. However, any wrap by itself would not prevent that kind of breakage.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
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