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The Official Axe Cordwood Challenge

Multifaceted

Multifaceted

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Nice work, Clarence. Looks good.

Hadn't kept up with this, nice to see the progress.

My stack has weeds around it, the sides are starting to fall, and the wood looks dark grey, it's perfect basically. :)

Are you doing it again this coming year?

Thanks, man! It was fun and am ready to get back out to do some serious chopping again soon now that the weather has cooled off. I would like to add some more to the pile, the challenge goes until the end of the year.

My stack is looking a little tired too, been trying to trim the weeds and debris, but yeah, it's wood seasoning outside, so it's going to look ratty. Yes, I will do it again next year - in fact, I may even add to this pile again soon. I've got lots more tree that need felled, the EAB has devastated all of my Ash.

Do you plan on doing it next year?
 
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farmer steve

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Nice work, Clarence. Looks good.

Hadn't kept up with this, nice to see the progress.

My stack has weeds around it, the sides are starting to fall, and the wood looks dark grey, it's perfect basically. :)

Are you doing it again this coming year?
I was fortunate enough to see Clarence in axetion Saturday at our GTG. The man is a machine. Makes great beer too.:)


20191026_135136.jpg
 
Multifaceted

Multifaceted

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I was fortunate enough to see Clarence in axetion Saturday at our GTG. The man is a machine. Makes great beer too.:)


View attachment 769053
That was the first chops with my restored Finnish Billnäs axe - surprisingly good chopper for a narrow bit, but performed better in that dry tulip poplar than my thinly ground Kelly Jersey.
 

DSW

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Yes, I will do it again next year - in fact, I may even add to this pile again soon. I've got lots more tree that need felled, the EAB has devastated all of my Ash.

Do you plan on doing it next year?
Awesome. Yeah, there's hardly any healthy Ash left around here. Sad really.

Probably not, but I'm not sure. I've got firewood to put up but of course that won't take all year. I'm trying to work on some wood carvings this winter.

I do miss swinging the axe though, how do you get the invite to these axe swinging, beverage drinking get togethers? :)
 
Multifaceted

Multifaceted

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Awesome. Yeah, there's hardly any healthy Ash left around here. Sad really.

Probably not, but I'm not sure. I've got firewood to put up but of course that won't take all year. I'm trying to work on some wood carvings this winter.

I do miss swinging the axe though, how do you get the invite to these axe swinging, beverage drinking get togethers? :)
I'm only going to do it again casually, and if the challenge continues with an organizer. It is interesting to see a unit of work done over time with an axe, a cord being the default.

Ha ha, the invite to my place is open, you just need to be in the area. The above picture was at a local GTG hosted by @farmer steve not but 25 miles north of me. Not sure where you are, but if you're ever in southern PA and want to swing axes, drink homebrew, and talk shop - you're welcome here!
 

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Just watched your video. That Kelly perfect is a beauty. If I ran into one I'd swoop it up.

The axe I had years ago, my buddy picked me up a head from an auction he liked going to. I put a rough carved handle on it. Can't remember the maker, it wasn't a Collins, Kelly, or Plumb but it was a known, older company from the midwest. Jersey pattern, heavy as hell, absolute bruiser.

I wouldn't mind something similar, maybe not the most sensible work axe but something on the verge of too heavy, handle almost too long, wears you out, little hard to control but a ripper when everything comes together. :)
 
Multifaceted

Multifaceted

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Just watched your video. That Kelly perfect is a beauty. If I ran into one I'd swoop it up.

The axe I had years ago, my buddy picked me up a head from an auction he liked going to. I put a rough carved handle on it. Can't remember the maker, it wasn't a Collins, Kelly, or Plumb but it was a known, older company from the midwest. Jersey pattern, heavy as hell, absolute bruiser.

I wouldn't mind something similar, maybe not the most sensible work axe but something on the verge of too heavy, handle almost too long, wears you out, little hard to control but a ripper when everything comes together. :)
Thanks for watching! Yeah, that was from back in June when I was going really hard at it. After finishing up and being released from PT, I started going hard, split about 4.5 cords of wood, stacked it, then decided that I needed to get some actual chopping time back in now that I was closer than ever too full recovery. I'm still learning the art of video making, and have been long overdue in making one. That will soon change, though.... :)

The Kelly Perfect Jersey is a great axe, but I need it on a better handle. I've modified the current one on so many times that it's just barely usable. I find that 3.5 lbs is about as heavy as most would need, and conversely get plenty of cutting power even from a lighter axe that allows increased head speed. Not to say that a heavy axe doesn't have its place; it does, but for most tasks they're really not going to give you an advantage - just tire you out quicker.

The midwest axe you mention, was it by chance called Shapleigh Hardware Co.?
 

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The Kelly Perfect Jersey is a great axe, but I need it on a better handle. I've modified the current one on so many times that it's just barely usable. I find that 3.5 lbs is about as heavy as most would need, and conversely get plenty of cutting power even from a lighter axe that allows increased head speed. Not to say that a heavy axe doesn't have its place; it does, but for most tasks they're really not going to give you an advantage - just tire you out quicker.

The midwest axe you mention, was it by chance called Shapleigh Hardware Co.?

Yeah, it'd be more of novelty than a work horse. I can really drive my 36 inch splitter but it doesn't require as much accuracy as bucking.

No, it wasn't Shapleigh. I say known name but it wasn't a household name.

There's an antique shop I went to years ago that had a good selection of hatchets. I passed recently and there's quite a few axes in the windows, no hours, no phone number, never open. I've been checking it every time I drive by, today, the open sign was blinking. Maybe not as much of a honey hole as I hoped, there were a couple of nice Plumbs, two True Tempers but they weren't nearly as vintage as it first seemed, then a couple no names. Keen Cutter hatchet that I was pretty......keen on. Prices weren't bad, given pretty good condition, all have useable handles, and there's no shipping charge but they weren't knock out prices either. Keen hatchet was a little high or it would have came home with me. Plumb double bit had a really thin profile but in not a big double bit fan... Yet. ;) The Plumb single bit may just follow me home next week, make a good work axe.

If I do that then I'll have to do another year of the cordwood challenge. Hmmmmm. :)
 
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Multifaceted

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Yeah, it'd be more of novelty than a work horse. I can really drive my 36 inch splitter but it doesn't require as much accuracy as bucking.

No, it wasn't Shapleigh. I say known name but it wasn't a household name.

There's an antique shop I went to years ago that had a good selection of hatchets. I passed recently and there's quite a few axes in the windows, no hours, no phone number, never open. I've been checking it every time I drive by, today, the open sign was blinking. Maybe not as much of a honey hole as I hoped, there were a couple of nice Plumbs, two True Tempers but they weren't nearly as vintage as it first seemed, then a couple no names. Keen Cutter hatchet that I was pretty......keen on. Prices weren't bad, given pretty good condition, all have useable handles, and there's no shipping charge but they weren't knock out prices either. Keen hatchet was a little high or it would have came home with me. Plumb double bit had a really thin profile but in not a big double bit fan... Yet. ;) The Plumb single bit may just follow me home next week, make a good work axe.

If I do that then I'll have to do another year of the cordwood challenge. Hmmmmm. :)

Hmm, that's the only maker I know from the midwest.

I find that antique store prices for axes are grossly exaggerated. I have seen old Kelly axes, that admittedly were in good condition and serviceable, but with $120 - $150 price tag... Um... no thanks, I rarely charge that much for performance tuned restorations that I do. I'd be excited to see what you can churn out with a nice tuned old school axe. What you did earlier this year was admirable, sir!
 

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Might have even been a known maker with a Midwest tooling company putting their name on it. Regardless, it's gone now, from misuse. On a day where I should have lost my life, the axe was a small consequence. :)


I've come across some ridiculousness like that but usually the prices I see aren't near that extreme just more in line with eBay. The Keen Kutter was $34, not a bad price, head was nice, handle solid, sharpen and ready to use, a guy could do worse it's just that I could jump on eBay and do about the same.

I went to the same antique store that I got my hatchet from nearly a year ago. With the intention of finding a Plumb hatchet for a good price and maybe a Plumb single bit if I find one.

Well, now I have two Plumbs sitting in my garage.

My Nicholson file skated across the steel and all was right in the world. :)
 

DSW

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d be excited to see what you can churn out with a nice tuned old school axe. What you did earlier this year was admirable, sir!
Didn't mean to skip this, thank ya. You as well. I was really hoping a few of the other guys might keep this thread moving with their progress, always nice to see.

I'm thinking of doing it again this coming year. I don't wanna say 100% yet. Only this year use a variety of axes instead of using one (or trying to use one as was the case).
 
Multifaceted

Multifaceted

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Didn't mean to skip this, thank ya. You as well. I was really hoping a few of the other guys might keep this thread moving with their progress, always nice to see.

I'm thinking of doing it again this coming year. I don't wanna say 100% yet. Only this year use a variety of axes instead of using one (or trying to use one as was the case).
Me as well, but honestly I was happy with the response this thread got even if only a few people participating. This whole idea of cutting firewood with only an axe is really unpractical in modern times and only interests those who desire to excel with minimalism. Personally, I think it is a very important aspect of self reliance, if not just interesting. Sure, you can shoot a deer with a bow, field dress it with a knife, and feed your family - but can you really heat your home without a chainsaw and hydro-splitter?

I had some company over last weekend, mostly my wife's co-workers (all cops) and there were a few guys who started commenting on my wood stacks. Saying things like "man, you gonna burn all of this, this year?". I was telling them: "No, most of this will be for next year, 2021, and 2022 burning seasons". They quickly got it, but then when my wife showed them my axe cut stack after seeing my chainsaw collection, their reactions were:

 

DSW

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Felt this made more sense here than the restoration thread as this will be my main rig.

I stripped the paint off the Plumb I just picked up. Fought the urge to hit it with the angle grinder and did it by hand. Course I sharpened it the other day. Heads a bit loose, need to get that sorted.

Otherwise that's it. Not gonna change the handle, re-profile, or anything.

Just gonna put a beatin' on some wood with it.

IMG_20191116_170441633.jpg
 
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