Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hand Carved Hatchet Handle

Didn't take many pictures along the way but it was a pretty straight forward project and the purpose was to get some real testing done with the Zbirovia hatchet that I received awhile back (seen in the pics). I will do a real review once I spend some more time with it, but for now this is the first Ash handle I have made using wood that I dragged out of a section of woods I spend a lot of time in. Whichever type of Ash this is, it's very common around here but I'm not sure it's the finest wood on Earth. They tend to grow nice and straight and they are abundant, but they are frequently eaten up by our local Ash bores (the banded variety) which bore into the wood itself. Additionally, over a year this part of the country can experience heavy rainfall and flooding, followed by total drought, or years of drought in a row accompanied by winters varying from bitter cold to mild, wet to dry. As trees are concerned, Kansas is not kind. This particular tree hand a good handful of ultra tight rings on the outside of the tree that I would describe as pretty poor wood and so that all had to be stripped off. It wasn't a large tree to begin with but after taking that slab of lousy wood off the outside, I ended up getting into the heartwood. The heartwood seemed to be excellent - tough and hard to carve with much healthier looking growth rings. All in all, I think it's great for a short handle where the likelihood of a break is low and I plan to use it for most short handle projects in the future. The trade off there is, a Hickory sledge hammer handle is about $7.00 or so at the hardware store and I make two handles out of it which consumes far less time than this handle did. An actual hatchet handle is probably less than $5.00. On the flip side, this handle is considerably more interesting and unique. Anyway, this hatchet is probably going to be looking for a new home so if you're interested, get in touch with me. I doubt it'll take long.

carpenters hantchet, custom handle
Heartwood on this side.

Sap wood on this side.

14-1/2 inches overall and 2lbs total weight with the handle.

This is the Zbirovia hatchet. More on it in a later post.

custom handmade axe handle
The finished product, sharpened and ready for duty.

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