An Ax to Grind: A Practical Ax Manual by Bernie Weisgerber

By Bernie Weisgerber

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20 (5). May. , ed. 1990. Directory of American tool makers: colonial times to 1899. Early American Industries Association. 394 p. , rev. by Philip Walker. 1990. 1700-1970. ISBN: 0-942391-51-9. Newtown, CT: Taunton Press. 546 p. Sellens, Alvin. 1990. Dictionary of American hand tools. ISBN: 0-9612068-4-5. Augusta, KS: Alvin Sellens. 546 p. Simmons, Fred C. 1951. Northeastern loggers’ handbook. Agriculture Handbook No. 6. S. Department of Agriculture. Sloane, Eric. 1974. A museum of early American tools.

Check the distance to stand from the cut before you start to swing. Start swinging with a very gentle easy motion in order to gauge your distance and your power stroke. The first cut will be the front notch or the undercut in the direction of the planned fall (Figure 84). This notch should be about one-third to one-half of the diameter of the tree when felling strictly with an ax. If a crosscut saw is iv Use your ax as a sight guide to determine if the notch is in the proper direction of the fall (Figure 85).

You also risk hitting your cutting iv SIDE VIEW Figure 92—Size the notch to close halfway through the log if you can chop both sides of the log. If you can only cut on one side, the notch will have to be much larger (drawings by Frederic H. Kock). 43 Using Axes On a large log you increase the size of the notch by chopping out one side. Always remember your high, low, and middle technique for placing ax blows. Make three forehand swings, high, low, and middle, followed by three backhand swings. If you are standing on the log, your first swing should strike high at the top of the log; the second at the bottom of log; and the third right in the middle.

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