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Old 07-11-2009, 09:09 AM   #11
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all i can say is...dont use a bench grinder...i did..and sense my chainsaw took a crap on me...i broke out the old go devil axe...hadnt used it in 500years...so it looked that way...when i got done with it,on the bench grinder of course...well,all i can say is...when i was done sharping this axe...a paraplegic with a butter knife could have cut wood easier.now only if i could just get my bench grinder to work with sharping my chainsaw chain...i might get somewhere

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Old 07-12-2009, 04:30 PM   #12
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Don't use power tools? Man I didn't know that.

I used a belt sander to clean it up then a rough file then a med file then a fine file then the wet stone.

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Old 07-12-2009, 06:37 PM   #13
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You can sharpen with a belt grinder, that's how most knifemakers do it. You just need to make sure that you don't overheat the edge and ruin the heat treat.

You can use the slack portion of the belt to get a nice convex edge. The way God and Moran intended.

I prefer not to use power tools, because I have a tendency to screw up and they make it easier to screw up faster. I'd rather work slowly by hand, besides good cutting tools don't need heavy sharpening that often.

Here's a method similar to mine courtesy of the folks at the Bark River collector's association (Barkies are fantastic knives, by the way). Bark River Collectors Association Convex Guide

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Old 07-12-2009, 09:01 PM   #14
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Re: Chainsaw chain- there is an attachment for Dremels that allows you to sharpen your chain. DO NOT try it with a Dremel that does not have the attachment- your chain will melt away like the snows of winter on a warm Spring Day! Used a round file for touchup of chain for ages- now use the 5/32nd stone and the guide- takes about 2 minutes.

Re: Axe- a belt sander WILL work- as the man said, avoid overheating the edge. I have a bench grinder that I use for everything from mower blades to chisels- BUT- I have a work rest that is adjusted, and a well used water cup to quench the item every few seconds. By the time you see steel turn blue, it is too late. Truth be told, think Grandad may have had the ideal tool- the grindstone that you turned by hand (could control better, impossible to overheat, water drip kept stone surface flushed.

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Old 07-25-2009, 10:25 PM   #15
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An axe and a knife have two separate and distinct purposes, and their sharpening should reflect that. A knife is used to slice, so a wide (From edge to spine) long bevel is the easiest to both produce and maintain. A chopping axe (Across the wood grain) is a little trickier.

This explains it better than I can, but it doesn't address things like wood harness, head weight, and other "in-use" variables. axes

Splitting mauls are entirely different animals. Having grown up in an uninsulated, ancient farmhouse at the top of a hill on the Canadian border heated solely by wood until my mid-teens, I have a background in practical axemanship!

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Old 07-26-2009, 12:34 AM   #16
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Gork- I feel your pain! we have a wood burning furnace- use about 4 cords a year. Have a Zotz Monster Maul that I bought in 1989. 12 lb, head is a solid steel triangle with a steel handle. Have used it to split 60" red oak. When I was doing it a lot, the teenagers learned never to arm wrestle the old man! Nowdays I buy about 3/4 of our wood from a neighbor, and limit myself to managing the trees at our place.

However, when it is January, 20 degrees, and an ice storm takes down the powerlines, you will learn to like that wood furnace! Wonder how the Feds will class that furnace when they start doing their "energy audits"- since my carbon footprint is zero (burning wood produces exactly same CO2 as rotting wood)

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Old 07-27-2009, 02:36 AM   #17
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You have to read the grain when you're splitting, regardless of the maul you're using. The stupidest thing I've ever seen is a "wedge" called a Wood Grenade. It's round, and basically acts like a porcupine quill. You can drive it in, but you can't get it out.
Wedges are for getting a stuck maul out of a block, but some people use them for splitting. We'd go -20 quite frequently, and burn several full cords (As opposed to face cords) over a winter. Bedroom temps in the winter were normally below freezing, so there was a good bit of motivation to get to the cellar every morning and stoke that thing!

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