Every weekday until the February 1st opening of Issue Four pre-orders, we will be announcing one article from the table of contents here on the blog. If you have yet to sign up for a yearly subscription, you can do so here.
Axes are often thought of as tools for firewood but I can assure you that they're not just for rough splitting. In my shop, I have three axes that get used often for shaping and material prep. The key to understanding these tools is to have a grasp on how to sharpen and maintain them. Couple this with some simple techniques and a chunk of tree to work on and you will be surprised with the level of work that can be done.
It only takes a few swipes of a jack plane to straighten out the axe work and bring the board to final size. Choosing to use this tool boils down to efficiency. Whether you are carving spoons or making furniture, I think every shop should have an axe or two. Axes may seem mysterious if you have little experience with them, but they’re nothing to be afraid of. Once you have your axes good and sharp I promise you will look at them differently.
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