Stroud Bushman Axe Preview

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Sylvan, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Sylvan

    Sylvan Scout

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    Hi gang, How are ya!
    Ok so I got this in the other day and took it down to my friends ranch in Myakka. She has 8 acres and lets me play bushcraft there. A perfect place to test out gear.
    Pretty cold day in Florida it got down to 34 degrees and some frost on the ground...Slept under a tarp for the first time, well I went inside at 3 in the mornig, too cold with just a wool blanket and fire reflector..

    Slick Kitty, Husqy and da Stroud
    No contest really Plumb and Husqy outperformed da Stroud. Heavier and classic design wins, during chopping and splitting. Not surprised really.
    [​IMG] [/IMG]

    For some reason DaStroudaxe looks bigger in pictures than in person.
    Initial impressions were dissapointing. Typical Wetterlings crude finish on the head, but more so was the gap around the top of the eye. The Axe comes having only a wooden wedge with a smallish oval shaped eye which surprised me.. Also there was a very small bur or rolled edge right below the toe. More on that later.


    During the evening I used it to make some kindling to get the fire going and it was nice to use. Has a good hand feel to it no problems.
    However in the morning I decided to use it some and started to work harden the edge. This is a section of cedar fairly dense but not that tough.
    After a few minutes chopping I noticed the wedge popping up

    [​IMG] [/IMG]

    Long story short I put it back in and continued chopping ,same result kept popping up. I brought some blo with me to treat the handle and poured some on the eye.
    Fed up I pulled the wedge out with my fingers and could not believe my eyes. They call this a wedge? Laughable. The side view shows how thin it is.
    Chime in axe mob what say you on the crappy wedge...
    [​IMG] [/IMG]

    OK so now I'm outside without the benefit of any tools other than what I had with me, saw,knife and axes. I decided to make a wedge to get me thru the afternoon because even after the stumble out of the gate I still like this axe. Also what's the point of returning it to the seller just to have them rewedge it and lose all that axe time and shipping hassles.

    [​IMG] [/IMG]

    I started making a wedge at first I used some of that cedar but it broke up when I punched it in so I found a piece of eucalyptus laying around and used the Axe to make it. It carves nicely and feels good to hold for long periods of time due to what I call the underslung jaw.

    [​IMG] [/IMG]

    Well thats my five pics so I will wrap it up. There is more to the story. I had to resupply so I drove to town to get some things and stopped in Ace hardware and bought a wedge kit and polyeurethane glue.
    Even though my makeshift wedge was working alright, I went back to chop thru that cedar and it started popping up. I pulled it out and rewedged it with the store bought wedge,glue and a steel crosswedge.

    So there you have it, I hope it won't be an issue from here forward.
    Taking it out next weekend again to do a hike and camp and will see how it does after being properly sharpened and wedged. Will post a report then.

    NOTE: It is a good splitter for it's size but a sloppy chopper. Maybe I need more time with it but it seemed all over the place on that log...
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  2. RangerJoe

    RangerJoe Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    Thanks for your honest experience and thoughts, looks pretty dissapointing, a shame really, maybe you got a lemon, but you think they would try to have some CC, especially right off the hop.

    Thanks again man.
     
  3. Tomjones

    Tomjones Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing your experience with this tool. Sorry it didn't work out well for you out of the gate. It sure reminds me of a Finnish style head. I wonder it it should maybe hung in the Finnish traditional style?
     
  4. Sylvan

    Sylvan Scout

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    It sort of looks like the Roselli a little.
    What is the traditional Finnish style of hanging?
    thanks
     
  5. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

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    I think I will stick with my vintage axes wedged by myself!
    This little tool just seems way overpriced to me, thanks for the review!


    Larry
     
  6. IA Woodsman

    IA Woodsman Overwatch Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass Instructor

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    That kinda sucks. I cant believe that happened.
     
  7. Sylvan

    Sylvan Scout

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    Agreed Larry
    My Plumb super scout is laughing at me...
     
  8. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks! Certainly not impressive. I've got two Husdon Bay pattern axes, I don't think the bushman axe will be coming my way any time soon, have a wettelings small forest axe too so I'm covered in this size range for sure.....
     
  9. Operator1975

    Operator1975 Banned Member Banned

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    I'm glad I backed out of the review after seeing this. Damn Euro products anyway.
     
  10. Suspectdevice

    Suspectdevice Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I refurb old axes, rather than buying new ones. If I were in the market for a modern manufacture axe, though, I certainly wouldn't want this one.
     
  11. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    The eye doesn't look like it's big enough for the helve length - kinda, sorta.

    What is the shape of the inside walls of the eye itself? Is it dead straight or does it permit flaring and swelling of the wood when the wedge is employed?

    One of the things I am learning is that I actually wish there was a variable grind on my multi-use bush/putz/play/wannabe axe. I would want a thicker bevel up high up to about half way down and then thinner down the beard for finer work with shavings and fuzz sticks, etc. I would not want it so fine at the beard that it is weak. I would say I would want it like a GB Mini at the beard but more like the Roselli up at the top. Unlike the Roselli I would still want it to bite into wood a little bit. I dunno if a varibale grind would actually meet expectations of use but the trick would be to try it and not conjecture. How the two are merged together is the realm of the master craftsman who uses their tools.

    Are you listening up knife making/forging guys? :4:
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  12. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. That's really disappointing to see that happen. Especially with the fancy new price tag. Sounds like your wedge with glue and metal wedge should do the trick though. It's just a shame to do that much work to a new axe to get it in working order. I have a feeling Wetterlings is about to experience hard times. Their shortcuts are catching up with them lately.

    Looking forward to the rest of the axes, especially that husqy :)
     
  13. WestrnBushcrft

    WestrnBushcrft Guide

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    Well that's a shame, quite disappointing. You would expect to get tip notch quality with an axe with that price tag.
     
  14. Tomjones

    Tomjones Supporter Supporter

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    Instead of a single wedge slot they use two in an "x" pattern, then a wedge that somewhat resembles a railroad spike is used. Bilnas is one popular brand in this style.
     
  15. Sylvan

    Sylvan Scout

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    Thanks for the comments here's a couple more shots
    The rolled edge out of the box, you can see them with the naked eye and feel them with your finger. They looked a lot worse on the other side.
    They came right out though with just a few strokes of my new norton puck and have not come back thankfully. Just sloppy finishing.


    [​IMG] [/IMG]
    The inside of eye I didn't think about measuring for a taper at the time but it has a diamond shape depression inside.
    [​IMG] [/IMG]

    After my wedge and metal crosswedge. When I started the crosswedge it was at a 45 I must of got distracted and it ended up like this.
    My wedging is real solid it took some torque to get both those in there and you won't pull mine out with your fingers.

    [​IMG] [/IMG]

    I am still going to use this and get my moneys worth you bet. We shall see how it does on the trail soon. It is sort of a modified hudson bay imo. Oh and I drove some nails in with it and it was real good at it. Don't know if the poll is hardened or not and don't care either why would it matter for a woods tool?

    Also if you go back and look at the handle pic I posted the surface that fits inside the eye, looks scalloped instead of just rough and straight like all the ones you buy for replacements.
     
  16. L.V

    L.V Guide Bushclass I

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    I think you are describing so called "snakehead wedge" ("Käärmekiila"/"Käärmeenpääkiila").

    Two smaller ones made from fatwood.
    2012-12-07 00.49.04-K220.jpg
     
  17. Iz

    Iz MEMBER of a BANNED Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    That sucks, man. Sorry it's not been a great experience so far.
    I have a quick question. You said.
    What does " started to work harden the edge" mean?
    I'm not familiar with anything like that. The only work hardening I'm familiar with is one that deals with heat in excessive amounts and work hardening in plastics, soft metals and very low carbon steels (ie ones that have to little carbon content to harden in a quench).
    Just wondering if I'd missed something.
    Thanks, man.
     
  18. Sylvan

    Sylvan Scout

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    Iz it's just a term used loosely essentially meaning you go easy on a new edge. Just to test it out and make sure everything is ok. A couple smacks here a couple chops here examine repeat until you feel good about the piece.
    Then if it all checks out you go about your business and split chop etc..

    Also in this case more of the edge rolled which I used a puck to clear. None since..
     
  19. Iz

    Iz MEMBER of a BANNED Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Ahh, roger that. Thanks, man.
     
  20. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    That's a darn shame. I like Wetterlings and frankly surprised this happened. :(
     
  21. Leif

    Leif Staff Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    What is left to say...
     
  22. Sylvan

    Sylvan Scout

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    I like the new chick on the Av lol
    I'm good and can't wait to take it out again..
     
  23. rlh2

    rlh2 Guide Bushclass I

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    Well, this just goes to show that tools are well...tools. Man made. They are all prone to imperfections from time to time no matter the manufacturer. I like the fact that you took care of the problems yourself and can now trust your axe. Looks like you did a bang up job on the wedge. Good job.
     
  24. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    sorry it did not come perfect but you hit the problem head on,fixed it and made it your own with a good attitude -good job! hope it suits your needs it looks great
     
  25. Sylvan

    Sylvan Scout

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    Thanks guys
    I think the the gang is more upset than me...I'm pissed about the puny wedge but I'm rarin to go out and "use and abuse it"
     
  26. Sterling Woodsman

    Sterling Woodsman Scout

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    This just came up on rocky mountain bushcraft a few days ago and it references this thread and several others. apparently there have been many issues with this new axe and apparently quality control has gone downhill since wetterlings was purchased by GB. They are working to get this resolved and are now backing all of their axes with a lifetime warranty.

    http://rockymountainbushcraft.blogspot.com/2013/02/les-stroud-bushman-axe.html
     
  27. Bartnmax

    Bartnmax Scout

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    I know that it's often useless complaining to the manufacturer as they either fob you off, having already got your hard earned, or they simply fix it by repeating the problem, but I'd still get in contact with them & direct their attention to this thread.
    Maybe a little negative publicity on a world wide forum might prompt em to produce a better made product.
     
  28. pap11y

    pap11y Guide

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    Bummer. I already scored the wetterlings hunter axe so this wasn't on my radar but I can empathise with how you must of felt.

    It will be a good tool to you now..

    I would have had to battle the "red mist" if it was me :)
     
  29. Thaddius Bickerton

    Thaddius Bickerton Guide

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    I looked at this axe, and have a couple observations (from someone who claims no super ax wisdom, just grew up using what we had around the place, and over time what I have found works for me and what I do.)

    The eye hole looks small, makes me wonder if it would lend itself to a handle slipped on like a hawk, using the thickness at the top of the handle to hold the head in place?

    When I look at an ax, one thing that I have to see to make a decision on buying it is a view from the top. The "wedge" angle lets me see how it is going to work for me.

    The stroud ax has what looks like a thicker wedge that would split wood really well, but maybe not chop through wood cross grain as well as one a bit thinner if that makes sense.

    I like my axe to be able to take out anything from a shrub brush to take off limbs to take down 6 - 8 inch trees.

    I like it to be able to then section the 6 to 8 inch tree into lengths I like.

    I also want to be able to take a 2 - 4 inch sapling and then split / work it down to make a bow stave.

    I also want it to be able to split up kindling better than batoning a large knife like a froe through the same size piece.

    It ought to be able to make fuzz sticks, and be used to scrape / shave a rough shape in a bow

    It ought to be able to drive in a stake / pole for various things.

    It should be able to be made super sharp and hopefully hold the edge for long enough to finish the task I start on with minimal resharpening if any.

    Just because it is something fun i want to be able to use it to clean a fish or clean game.

    Probably a few other things I'm forgetting.

    Anyway, the wedge shape of the head tells me that I would be happier with a different axe, wetterlings or other.

    Not saying it is a bad axe, just that it looks like it is more for fire prep than general use. Being a wetterlings I would expect it to still do most jobs better than many others, just I tend to approach my axe uses different.

    fires are usually small, and if I need a large one I just stick the ends of found wood in the fire and keep shoving the logs into the fire as it burns.

    Anyway thank you for the input as It pushes me towards other options.

    I swear I still find myself looking at those "mini hatchets", can't really see what I'd do with them, but if I put them in a sheath on the belt with the handle running up the back (upside down from typical carry i have seen) I could see it making sitting down and such easier without having to remove it. Maybe it would replace my big knife, letting me get by with a small knife, pocket knife and the small hand axe as a big knife tool, esp if it could be super sharp.

    Well I drifted as usual.

    Thad > LOL
     
  30. Sterling Woodsman

    Sterling Woodsman Scout

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    this thread and several others have been brought to their attention in the write up I posted. luckily the guy found all these before shot show and even took his damaged bushman in to show them. They are working on the problems and now back all axes with a lifetime warranty. Still, I am a bit scared off by this. I don't want to have to buy something just to send it back. May go with a Gransfors Bruks
     
  31. Sterling Woodsman

    Sterling Woodsman Scout

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    well Julia Kalthoff addressed the issues directly on that link that I posted. She said it was one bad batch and they are investigating it. Great to see a ceo address an issue directly and tell it like it is but I still can't help but feel a little wary.
     
  32. Sterling Woodsman

    Sterling Woodsman Scout

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    Also this axe seems to be a difficult one to find. Anyone know of a good place to find them?
     
  33. coloradowildman

    coloradowildman Supporter Supporter

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    Sport Hansa (Wetterlings' US Distributor) has them http://www.sport-hansa.com/product_p/178.htm
     

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