The Carpenter’s Ave
Ok, hold on there. It’s not what you think. This story is for my friends (virtual and real life) who enjoy the study of bushcraft skills. Or anybody that likes the idea of finding something old and broken, and then refurbishing it into a workable item again.
For many years I’d been using an old Vaughan shingle hatchet for small work like splitting kindling. But lately I’ve been having some fun carving green wood, mostly spoons and spatulas, and I needed something with a little more heft to hack out the spoon blanks. The carpenter’s axe, as the name implies, was the perfect tool for the job.
Low and behold, craigslist provided the perfect specimen only a few miles down the road from my house. I negotiated the asking price for the unnamed axe down to $10.00. The handle was cracked, but that didn’t matter because I was gonna replace it with a much thicker handle anyway (that is it in the center of the picture above).
New handle shaped and fitted
Boiled linseed oil
The new handle had a nice wide shoulder area, which made it perfect for choking up on the handle for carving and shaping work.
Shaping a spoon blank
Layout for an axe mask
Next up was to fashion an axe mask, or sheath. With NO experience in leather working it was time to hit the UYT… University of YouTube.
The stitching pony
I learned that many people used a device called a “stitching pony” to help hold the leather pieces together for stitching. Well, I decided to make one of those. I’m sure a lot of the decision was based on the fact that it was after all, a PONY! Who doesn’t love a pony. It was made from the same salvaged oak that I used for the wannigan. The red cam locking lever is from a Yakima bicycle rack.
I ordered a little snap fastening kit, and a speedy stitcher with some waxed nylon thread, and got to work.
The axe mask
Well I think my first effort with leather working turned out to be more cub scout – less eagle scout, but certainly very functional and built to last a century.
That’s about it for now. That’s for following along. Kat