Swedish side axe


I found this single bevel axe head in a “cash converter” store in George while visiting the Garden Route in June 2015. I had to fork out the astonishing amount of R125 for it. (bottom of the first picture)


Some idiot put a bevel on the non-bevel side, but otherwise it was in top shape.


The only mark on it reads “Made in Sweden”.



First I had to get rid of the unwanted bevel and then proceeded to grind a fresh bevel on the correct side of the head. This took quite a while as I was careful not to overhead the steel, which would result in a loss of temper. You can see how I clamped the axe head to a piece of timber which is shoved against a suitably place object (read foot) to ensure a constant grinding angle.


The handle was made from a piece of Assegaai (Curtisia dentata) using the bandsaw, draw knives, rasps and a card scraper.



I am proud to report that I did my first bit of blacksmithing to create this cold steel wedge. It was a scrap bit of steel that received an almighty pounding. I do not have a blowtorch (yet), but can report that aggression can sometimes yield products of beauty. The steel is soft enough  to be shaped without heating.


As you can see here, I used a wooden wedge and the metal wedge to secure the handle.


Of course I drove the metal wedge one blow of the hammer too far, which resulted in the timber below the axe head splitting.


As I was not in the mood to make a new handle, I simply installed a wood screw to inhibit a potential extension of the split.



To complete the rehab I made a nice game leather sheath for the side axe. Now the only thing left to do is to find suitable green wood in Namibia to hew into chair stock.