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West handles

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by jblyttle, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. 300Six

    300Six

    Aug 29, 2013
    It's quite an event (for the most of us) to discover a hardware store handle with straight grain and vertical orientation! Rings per inch is a secondary issue at that point and I'll be the first to cheerfully spirit any of those away. After quinton's demonstration of properties of tough-as-nails air - dry vs brittle kiln - dry I've become quite cynical about the published properties of hickories.
     
    garry3 and quinton like this.
  2. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    It's hard to imagine why an enterprising person doesn't get them self set up to provide that good handle stock meeting the criteria including winter harvest, with a premium - as a deep concession to demands of production and supply - for black moon harvested wood, riven, and open air seasoned, to the handle makers and manufacturers far and wide, all makes and sizes, offering a selection of, of course, hickory and ash and beech as standard choices. It would look something like these staves for the coopering industry.[​IMG]
     
    Square_peg and 300Six like this.
  3. quinton

    quinton

    Nov 4, 2006
    I could sell at very reasonable cost, a premium, riven, air-dried stave and make tidy profits. The biggest problem is how much the USPS demands for shipping a hickory stave.
     
  4. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Yup. I can buy AA hickory boards for about $4 apiece but it costs about $8 apiece to get a dozen shipped to me. More than that per unit if I ordered fewer. They're HEAVY.
     
    Miller '72 and quinton like this.
  5. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    Took me a minute figuring out the acronym, (I've been away so long you see). And, are the other handle makers knocking on your door quinton? It sounds like you are the island of integrity in an ocean of posers.
    I'm starting to see the logic and sense in locally sourced.
     
  6. quinton

    quinton

    Nov 4, 2006
    No, Ernest not very many knocks.
     
    300Six and Miller '72 like this.
  7. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    That's surely the issue.
     
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.
  8. ty_higg

    ty_higg KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 16, 2011
    IMG_2275.JPG IMG_2295.JPG

    Purchased a 19" West handle for this little vintage boys axe I got off eBay after seeing this thread, and I was very impressed definitely a top notch handle! Thank you for the thread I had no idea about these until I read this.
     
  9. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    And personally I don't have a thing against the elongation at the shoulder. Very Bavarian.
     
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.
  10. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Also allows you to shape it however you please. Can't easily put wood back on. :p
     
  11. quinton

    quinton

    Nov 4, 2006
    I like the handles you are turning out..
    Are you sourcing the blanks as dimensional lumber or riven staves? Also, are you buying green wood and seasoning it yourself, or is it already seasoned?
     
  12. Batmanacw

    Batmanacw

    16
    Mar 28, 2018
    My handles are made by a true Amish craftsman. He buys lumber dimensioned to his specifications and also standing trees.

    He air drives it all himself. Next years handles are in stacks separated on sticks to allow them to dry and keep them straight.

    He uses a copy lathe to cut them out and then slack belt sands to remove cut marks.

    I hand carved the blanks for all the handles we offer. The pack axe handles and boys axe handles are light and flexible.
     
  13. quinton

    quinton

    Nov 4, 2006
    Thanks!
     
  14. junkenstien

    junkenstien

    783
    Feb 15, 2017
    Any plans for more sizes?
     
  15. Hacked

    Hacked

    947
    Jun 1, 2010
    I'd posted these photos Mr. West Mr. sent me in another thread a while back. These were from the template creation process for some of the handles. You can see the NOS boys axe handle that one template was based on and a 28" full sized Elwell that another was based off of. I ha EA a nothing to do with the business, but discuss axes and handles with @batmancwa quite a bit.

    [​IMG]West Woods Template by MJGEGB, on Flickr

    [​IMG]West Woods Template by MJGEGB, on Flickr

    [​IMG]West Woods Template by MJGEGB, on Flickr

    [​IMG]West Woods Template by MJGEGB, on Flickr

    [​IMG]West Woods Template by MJGEGB, on Flickr

    [​IMG]West Woods Handles by MJGEGB, on Flickr

    [​IMG]West Woods Handles by MJGEGB, on Flickr
     
    Agent_H likes this.
  16. Batmanacw

    Batmanacw

    16
    Mar 28, 2018
    Yes, but it's very slow going since the tornado on November 5th. I don't have a shop in my basement with tools at arms reach and vices to hold the part. Once I get back into my house it will be much easier for me to whip up a few more templates in my spare time. I'm just a working stiff like everyone else only I travel for a living so my time at home was limited anyway. My biggest regret is that lots of folks are dissapointed that I haven't made more full size handles yet.
     
  17. muleman77

    muleman77

    412
    Jan 24, 2015
    Yeah, not to bug you but I'm one of those too. Beautiful work, just not in a size I want...YET.
     
    Batmanacw likes this.
  18. junkenstien

    junkenstien

    783
    Feb 15, 2017
    Hope you get home soon.Bet there is some on here would get with you on templates.Excited to see what's next.
     
  19. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Very nice.
     
  20. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    I just ordered another.
     

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