Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bad Grain Put to the Test

Just a quick post today. You've seen this axe before but the handle it was on just kept warping and warping until I started thinking maybe I should put a string on it and get some arrows. I decided to rehang it but with a little experimenting in mind. Another axe that I had purchased at a junk shop had this handle on it but it had what is typically thought of as "bad grain" so I set it aside and mostly forgot about it. Needing a project and figuring that more practice sculpting handles couldn't hurt, I went to work. The shape actually ended up being great, which is kind of a shame given the grain characteristics. What you'll notice on a curved handle with grain running perpendicular to the tool head is that the grain runs through (across) the handle, rather than continuously up and down the entire length. We call this run-out. I have no doubt that this handle is less likely to enjoy the longevity of one with grain oriented parallel to the tool head, but so far it's holding up fine to daily splitting chores.

fitting an axe handle
Here you can see the individual rings running off the the shoulder.

And here you see the grain running more or less perpendicular, or across the head.

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