The Mora of Axes

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Joash, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Joash

    Joash Guide Bushclass I

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    I apologize if I overlooked a thread somewhere, since I'm sure I'm not the first person to have this question:

    Is there a standard bushcraft axe that 'everyone' uses?

    I'll call it the Mora of axes because it would be something that is affordable, well made and gets the job done.
     
  2. Further

    Further Banned Member Banned

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    I would think that the Council Tool Boys Axe might be in the running, but I will let the experts chime in.
     
  3. L.V

    L.V Guide Bushclass I

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    In axes Fiskars/Gerber/wilkinson sword is pretty much the same what Mora is in knives. A rather high quality, usable, ugly and rather cheap mass produced tool. :)

    Your question is odd "what everyone else use". The tools you have doesn't make you a bushcrafter it only makes you tool owner. :15:
     
  4. Joash

    Joash Guide Bushclass I

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    The "what everyone else uses" is with respect to saving money and getting a good product, not looking the part.


     
  5. jereman

    jereman Scout

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    i use the fiskars x15 as my "mora axe" it is cheap and cuts great, and easy to use. i would recommend one.
     
  6. Raggedy Man

    Raggedy Man Scout

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    Agreed. The Fiskars x7 or x15 is the Mora of axes/hatchets. Plastic handle bonded directly to the blade, less than stellar sheath, cheap, effective, made in a Nordic country and a somewhat different blade grind. I guess the Mora #1, etc have wooden handles though, so it not a perfect comparison but you get the idea.
     
  7. almac

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    nice quote. i think im going to use that one... :)
     
  8. demonfurbie

    demonfurbie Scout

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  9. Angryunderpants

    Angryunderpants Tinder Gatherer

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    I would save up and buy a Gransfors Bruks or Wetterlings... there are other decent quality axes out there but for a little more you can buy something that will last a lifetime if you take care of it...

    with that said, If you have never owned an axe before... definitely get a cheaper axe to learn how to use and sharpen/oil/take care of.

    I have owned several axes, but my favorite cheap axe was my council tool hudson bay axe. has the feel of the Gransfors Bruks and I didn't mind beating it up a little. It does fall short to the quality of the gransfors though.

    I'm sure there are other axes are just as good but I prefered the wood handle and traditional head of my Council tools axe.
    also look into Condor Axes. I have never owned the condor axe but I LOVE the Condor Sapien knife over my Mora (I did have to modify the blade a little after I got it), but it was only $30. the Condor axes are relatively inexpensive as well.

    I bought a Gransfors Bruks after I had learned how to use and care for an axe properly and I have to say it is night and day to any other axe I have ever used. It is not only a fine tool but a work of art that hopefully my son will have one day.

    hope that helps.
     
  10. MarcoMontana

    MarcoMontana Scout

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    I too searched for a good Hatchet, I found the Husqvarna Hatchet awesome with a straight grain heft very sharp for cheap money...

    HVA_502_64_02_01_XL.jpg
     
  11. mtaylor

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    I have to go with the fiskers, I have several axes that are used a lot, we heat the house with firewood so I cut and split about 6 cords a year (do cut mostly with a chainsaw). The fiskers axes are the ones loaded into the Ranger every time. I'm sure I will leave my splitting axe and cutting axe to someone because they will last forever. In my opinion art is for the wall!
     
  12. woodsghost

    woodsghost Guide

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    I guess I would have said the Council Tool axe was the Mora, but maybe I am wrong.

    I think the CT axes run a little less, and I see them frequently talked about on this forum. I love mine.

    Anyway, since the question is "what axe is a great value for the money," it seems the Fiskars have a lot of fans. I really like my CT, I feel it is a great value for the money. I suggest you buy a replacement handle. In my experience, if you have a replacement handle handy, you will never break a handle. If you don't have one available, you are sure to break your handle.

    I also want to say, I love my Wetterlings Small Forest Axe, since Wetterlings was mentioned above. They might be more of the Helle of axes though. :)
     
  13. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Banned Member Banned

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    I would also vote Fiskars for the reasons mentioned prior but also because the use of polymers is similar to Mora's.
     
  14. Morlog

    Morlog Scout

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    I love my tomahawks, they are great, but I don't feel that they were designed for doing the chores an Axe is built to handle. I picked up an Eastwing camp axe at Home Depot after a hurricane came through, I have loved that axe ever since. The biggest tree that I have used it on was about ten inches in diameter. On 1-3 inch diameter branches it slices through with a single swing. Additionally I used it for taking the bark off of the first walking stick that I made.

    It does not have a wood handle. So if you are looking specifically for that then this is not what you want.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Estwing-Camper-s-Axe-with-16-in-Nylon-Vinyl-Shock-Reduction-Grip-Handle-E44A/202183838?N=iu#.UXAftLURBpM
     
  15. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    Lots of folks are active on the forum with that many and more posts a day and still get out a ton and have a lot of skill to offer. Its not the number, its the quality. To think that cause someone has a high post count means they dont get out enough to have any skill, is ignorant. Alot of guys work full time and dont watch tv, golf, shop, etc. instead they spend their down time on here when they cant make it to the woods. Show me the guy who can get out every day all day, or even 5x a week, and Either they have no job, or no family. Fact is vast majority of folks have obligations that keep them tied up and the forum is the next best thing.
     
  16. MarcoMontana

    MarcoMontana Scout

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    To further add to what J has said, some posters are Veterans, Civilians, Enthusiasts,Campers, Bushcrafters, Knife / Axe lovers, this was created to give an outlet for everyone in the "Love the Outdoors" lifestyle and to talk about and share adventures with one another...

    Some teach, some learn, all are welcome!

    Post count is irrelevant! It is not the post count that matters, its the context of your post.
     
  17. RangerJoe

    RangerJoe Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    so, who is this "poster" you are talking about?, might as well be up front about it, now that you have made this claim.

    When have you contributed anything of substance to this forum?
     
  18. CH13F

    CH13F Tracker

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    Lessons learned-

    Wow- there's no need to call someone ignorant because of their opinion. We can all learn a lesson here. Don't judge a book by its cover. The original poster simply asked what cheap alternatives there were for someone that cannot justify spending the dough for a high end axe. I don't think his comment "everyone else uses" means he is playing the part- he is wondering what all the po folk use. Just like I wouldn't judge someone for a high post count. I come to learn as I thought that's what this website was for.

    I use a estwing hatchet for everything. I don't plan on doing anything in the woods that would necessitate an axe, unless I'm splitting wood. There are cheap alternatives out there. My favorite axe, I picked up at a yard sale for 10 bucks and has no legible name whatsoever.
     
  19. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    I didnt call anyone ignorant guy. I said to believe that is ignorant. As a mod, I was addressing his post, and offering an explanation. Remain calm.
     
  20. L.V

    L.V Guide Bushclass I

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    Fair enough, sry I was in bad mood last eve it seems, but atleast the message did travel trough. :34:

    Peace,
    LV
     
  21. darodalaf

    darodalaf Guide

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    There seem to be two popular interretations of your question:

    Which axe is nearly ubiquitous among bushcrafters on BCUSA?

    To this, I would say there is nothing that comes close to how the Mora is represented in the knife category, but the Council Tools Boy's axe, and the mid-sized Wetterlings and GBs are in the running. If you create the category, 'premium Swedish axes', said category would be a strong candidate for most common axe type on BCUSA from my reading of this forum.

    Which axe delivers the greatest utility for the price?

    Here, I would argue that the Fiskars is the closest comparison to the Mora knife, though the Husqvarna and Council Tools can easily compete for that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  22. Sgt. Mac

    Sgt. Mac Elder Staff Member Administrator Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II Bushclass Instructor

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    You are no longer welcome here
     
  23. Capt. Redbush

    Capt. Redbush Guide Bushclass I

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    I have both a Gerber axe (well, hatchet) and a Council Tool 2 1/2 lb axe. The Gerber was I think $30 and came with a saw in the handle (Gator II, I think is the model). The CT I got from Menard's and it was in the $15-20 range. They both needed work, but have both been great workhorses. I would lean more toward the 2 1/2 lb CT if you're looking for an axe to split and chop vs. the much smaller and less wedgey Gerber, but the Gerber is much more packable and the added saw is a boon in itself.
     
  24. 1Olddog

    1Olddog Scout

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  25. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Banned Member Banned

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    That's an awful cute li'l rig! And creative--nice job with that!
     
  26. Angryunderpants

    Angryunderpants Tinder Gatherer

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    Art is for the wall? LOL tell that to the knife makers and bow makers out there. Lets face it... Fiskars is a fine axe. I feel they are not well balanced and they are just plain awkward in my hands. But a fine axe. You cannot (easily) replace the handle of a fiskars axe. I know they are strong axe handles but they do break/ crack. But if someone wants to become proficient in using axes I feel they must first learn all about the tool they are using. that includes putting a new handle on. Because lets face it you may not always be able to go out and buy a new axe... but hickory/hardwood will always be available in the field for a quick fix.

    I will say that if it works for you, that is great! I'm sure that many people on here use them (fiskars) and love them. But to belittle the Gransfors Bruks with the "art is for the wall" statement is nonsense. If Gransfors Bruks or Council tool isnt your tool of choice.... great. find what works for you... Am I going to be splitting 6 cords of wood with it? No... I am going to use my splitting Maul and wedge for that job. But for bushcraft, I'm taking my GB or Council tool axe. I can use either of these to make feather sticks, field dress an animal, or any task I need a knife for as well.... on top of processing firewood. (more so with the G.B. than the council tool) And I am sure my son will be far more proud to show off his father's G.B than a Fiskars. LOL
     
  27. Thorbyfour

    Thorbyfour Guide Bushclass I

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    +1 on the CT boys axe. It gets the job done.
     
  28. Quill

    Quill Scout

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    When I bought my Fiskars, I paid $15 for it. So it was close to the $10, I paid for a Mora. That said, the price is higher now. I would buy the Council if the weight was no concern. I have a Cold Steel Trail Boss that works well, but it to has raised in price from the original $26 that I paid for it. Condor is not bad at the $30 range.
     
  29. woodsghost

    woodsghost Guide

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    I am not sure mtaylor was implying GB, Wetterlings, or CT are "art" axes. I think what was being said is that tools should be used, not hung up on a wall. I agree completely with your statement that fiberglass handles do break from time to time, and wood is more easily replaced when it breaks. I love wood handles because they are easily replaced and I can shape them to how I want them. Having said that, I will still go camping with someone who uses a fiberglass handle!
     
  30. VtBlackDog

    VtBlackDog Guide

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    my take on it,
    Mora=Fiskars
    Old Hick/Green River=Plumb, Collins, hawks
    Woodlore clone=Swedish


    the Fiskars keeps up just fine with the others; but some days you just want something traditional; some days light and dishwasher safe.
     
  31. mtaylor

    mtaylor Tracker

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    Yes exactly, thank you for the reply and clarification. I have several nice axes and do use them but after going through several axe handles I like ones that does not break. Its funny, a Mora knife is cheap and ugly but it gets the respect it deserves, but a fiskers axe is cheap and ugly and gets very little respect.
     
  32. L.V

    L.V Guide Bushclass I

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    The handle/haft is pretty poor (in ergonomic sense) in Fiskars. Which is pretty weird as there were "extensive" field studies relating to axes in 40's and 50's at here (then someone invented the portable motorsaw) and that current one is as far from them as it can.

    I have two of them one pig and one small and I do have weird hate love relationship to them (more hate :9:).
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  33. Trailwalker

    Trailwalker Scout

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    I have never thought of my Fiskars Axe as dishwasher safe. :33: it is an interesting thought though! :9:
     
  34. Angryunderpants

    Angryunderpants Tinder Gatherer

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    The only one giving little respect to Fiskars is you.... I said they weren't right for me. You are the one saying you have other nicer axes. Silly to argue about this but I have to defend what I did not say.

    I just answered the post with my opinion and you wanted to pick an argument with me. you didnt have to say anything about the "art" comment or the fact that I thought a G.B. is an heirloom tool. I dont know what your beef is or why you have axe envy, but its ridiculous. If Fiskars.... (and its FiskArs not fiskErs) is your axe then Hot Damn! I dont care if you chew your firewood like a Beaver.

    again I like council tool axe but I'm sure fiskars is fine too... I just feel the wood handle axes are better and feel more comfortable and traditional for the $$. But I'm not one for tacti"cool" either. I like traditional and minimal gear in the field
     
  35. Mr.Black

    Mr.Black WILDEROXEN Tracker Pack #1 Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Get a hatchet any hatchet learn how to use it dont worry about a bunch of specs and whats popular its not a religion its a hunk of steel use to accomplish a task our hands are not made to do. Ive seen some world class Woodsmen do some incredible things with Axes Hatchets Knives and Ive asked a few hey what ya swingin there and have got oh hell I dont know this old thing has been around here forever... not a bunch of specs weights and measures and swing arks and angles

    Theres a old saying "this is a Great Ax its had 4 heads and 6 handles"

    Get the best you can afford if thats a China coleman or just a head at a flea market get sticked up and get to work.If you get a job where you need one they should get you what you need they will own it but you can say you make a living with it you have the bread to get your own and you will relize it aint a light saber and you make it do what needs to be done easy way or hard way you will figure it out or get over the whole romance and buy those little bundles of crapy wood at the sack'n pack

    The one thing I found there is no short cuts to Ax Swingin as far as form and safety and I swung some pretty messed up warped chiped and dinged nightmares, thats what I had and made em safe(Soaked the head in water and wedged em with pennys to keep em tight... there I said it! lol) and made em work and there is no name stamped on it that will make it better than the next thats what you do

    I have broke fiskar,Gerber and have seen them fail ( During Survival Training) That dont mean they suck it just means I cant afford the risk.

    I have aquired some nice ones over the years but I cut my teeth with Less than desirable tools....many days as a Kid I walked to the woods with the Scout manual in the San Bernardinos made memories lots of chips and chunks in what ever I wanted (Responsably if you are concerned of my Woods ethics) made a little dough dumping snags and chopping wood save up and bought a Estwing Hatchet and My Bros Estwing Hudson Bay... every one up there had one(Ax or Hatchet) by the wood pile or masked in a log I cant remember ever looking at one Maker mark.I Do remeber Hess sayn dont ever touch that Ax though.
    Thats all I got I hope it helps I have not seen alot of thanks from you but alot of questions and dont expect one here But I really hope that helps you get out swinging and Learning what that tool can do...

    Again the quote so well used many time here "it aint the Arrow...well you know.

    I now use a improvised double bit hawk made from a edger blade 550 and a Ash Juniper handle I made in The SERE Fire circle around the House for kindling and limbing.Its is a abomonation but I Make it work

    Look at some of the Axe Mob Guys, Bush Class the videos of folks useing Ax And Hatchets and make dub piece of steel sing
     
  36. dirk21

    dirk21 Tracker

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    does this thread have a really nasty vibe to it? seems like folks are really on edge or maybe this is just my take.

    lets please be nice to one another, everyone is entitled to have an opinion...........right or wrong, but fellas be nice.

    and to answer the question............fiskers would be my choice.

    dirk
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  37. 1Olddog

    1Olddog Scout

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    Seemed to be swinging that way Dirk. What I have is a Fiskar, not that I haven't longed for some of the high dollar tools out there. But retired and fixed income some of us have to use what's avaliable. The Fiskar has served well for over 10 yrs and will probably last past my days. Hopefully this thread will get back to the OP's initial question.
     
  38. ljcsov

    ljcsov Scout

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    I will first say that I lack the vast knowledge that many people have here and defer to the opinions of those with more woods experience. Being only 25 years old, I feel like I have not lived long enough to make any serious claim, but I do feel that your questions may be a bit too broad. Moras stand out as a quality blade for a superb price, whereas axes seem to differ more depending on the use. Many people can find some use for a 4" blade in their setup. Conversely, an axe tends to be a tool that you only carry one of due to its inherit weight and volume restrictions. As such, axes tend to be more specialized for each person based on their expectations for an axe and their given application. Plainly meaning, that it is more difficult to come to a reasonable consensus on axe like many would with a knife such as the Mora.

    Nevertheless, there are a few makes and designs that seem to prevail on this forum. For length, many prefer an axe that is a boys axe or shorter, ranging from a 26" handle all the way to a 12" hatchet. When considering brands, Gransfors Bruks, Wetterlings, Husqvarna, Fiskars, and a common restoration axe will all have their respective supporters. As a result, your best bet would be to specify your application for your axe along with your desired price range. At that point, people will most likely be in a position to direct you to some suitable options.
     
  39. bushrunner

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    Id have to say Council Tool would be my mora of a axe I have there Hudson bay 2 pounder model and love it I have a tractor supply brand (truper I think??) Boys axe that is not to bad after some work that was under the 20 dallor range both have handled all I have asked from them
     
  40. stronghorse

    stronghorse Guide

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    For rough use and such, I just use my Harbor Freight Fiberglass Handle hatchet. I'm not too worried about breaking or damaging it. No love really, but it seems to be holding up to some medium punishment such root chopping, etc.
     
  41. DarkXstar

    DarkXstar Guide

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    personally i like the older vintage tools pick up the heads cheap slap a handle in them and go. my mora would be a old vintage no name on a 20" haft it takes a wicked edge and holds it pretty well I think i picked it up here for about $15 shipped. I also have a no name boys axe on a 28" haft that comes along if I'm on a multi day outing got it in a box of heads at a yard sale I think there were 9 heads in the box $20 for the lot put a handle in here and she is a user. bonus for hafting a head is you will know how to do it if you need to in the future. If you are asking what us po boys do that's my route.
    JMHO
     
  42. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    my only hatchet is a no-name hecho-in-mexico i got at a hardware store for $15-$19. grain in handle is very good. i got it specifically to chop through two smallish pine roots in a little french drain i was building - before i discovered bushcraftusa. it took care of the roots - barely. then i sharpened it to bushcraftusa standards. it's a good little axe for the light use i make of it. i have used an estwing camp axe owned by one of my sons. that is a fine tool, especially considering price, and probably all i'd ever need. i'd call it a "mora."
     
  43. mtaylor

    mtaylor Tracker

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    That is really cool, and I love the way you attached the sheath to the file, simple and effective
     
  44. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    yeah, olddog, that is an excellent mod ...
     
  45. Lamewolf

    Lamewolf Guide

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    In my opinion, Mora means good quality and inexpensive combined. So basically any axe that has good quality without costing a bunch would fill the bill. I don't own one but one I see mentioned a lot (not really an axe) is the Cold Steel Trailhawk. Others are the Condor line of axes and hatchets. Shop around, read the reviews and decide whats best for you and your budget.
     
  46. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    Great post and insightfull advice bro.
     
  47. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    Whenever I get asked about axes, my advice is to buy an old head in the 2-2.5 range and sharpen it and haft it. This will give you important axemenship skills. With the head and haft, you will come in low cost and have a serviceable axe that will last ya forever if ya take care of it. Then make or improvise a mask for it to keep the edge protected and for safety.

    If the work isnt your cup o tea, id say you prolly arent meant to have an axe, or maybe you dont have the space to work on one. In that case, id watch the exchange on here. A ton of sweet axes pass through there.

    Anyways, the mora of axes? To me means a low cost option that works well. Id go vintage, but if it HAS to be new and mass produced, Council tool boys axe.

    The fiskars and Gerber ones are OK, but I prefer an axe that is serviceable, and not a throwaway.
     
  48. Joash

    Joash Guide Bushclass I

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    What I will do is try other people's axes until I get a feel for what I need.
     
  49. MWalker

    MWalker Scout

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    I'd have to go with what J. Said above. Find an old head, learn how to fix it up and rehandle it.
    The tools needed to do it by hand are minimal. Mostly time and elbow grease. Not only will you gain valuable skills, but have the satisfaction of knowing you took something old and abandoned and transformed it into something new and useful.
     
  50. Joash

    Joash Guide Bushclass I

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    On the to do list. Great project idea. I'm not in a rush since an axe is about the farthest thing from my everyday life at the moment.
     

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