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The philosophy of axes with a minor component on welding mild to mild


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PS. I just saw that "JetCarrier" has rates for sea shipping also, I wasn't aware of that. They are a totally different animal, quite agreeable, actually.

 

(btw Michael, how do you pronounce "ghoti"?) ;)

 

It's pronounced "fish"! :)

 

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that any steel milled from recycled material is bad (quite the contrary as most steel nowadays begins as scrap), but just that certain alloys the mills just don't watch the chemistry on. So long as the grade of steel is of a chemistry with reasonable ranges for alloying elements, and the mill is holding tolerances, all is well.

 

-d

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Steffen,thanks for the links.

 

I like that laftebile of Jon Dahlmo,a simple,even austere design.

It's amazing how those differ from maker to maker...An incredible tool.

 

The video is neat,and the axes used there before that one guy switches to the laftebile are very interesting,i don't know what they're called in Norwegian.

 

Narrow(-er)- bladed axes such as those are often classed as the "felling",but here,at least in their application,we see somewhat different story.

 

I wonder if those were built as a task-specific tool,or if they're fairly universal...?

 

Don't mind my questions on the subject too much,Steffen,as they're pretty much endless...

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Jake, I was thinking the same thing but once I checked usps online I realized sadly I cannot do it. A priority mail international flat rate medium box is 61.75 and is limited to 20lbs. I'd ship some myself if I could afford it but too many other things need that money, sorry Steffen.

Can you clear up how your name is pronounced? Is it Steffen as in Steffon or is it somethin else? Sorry had to ask cause I'm ocd about names and a few other little things. Lol

 

Michael,thank you for checking up on this.

It actually doesn't sound too bad,$60 for 20 lbs,at 2-3 lbs an axe,that's quite a bit of material,or looking at it another way,1"cu.=0.28 lbs.

Especially if the stock is of the correct dimentions.

I've recently inherited from a transient contractor 20' of 1/2" x 6",pretty useful stock for some folded work,but it's likely A36.

I've used it only once,recently,welded in a bit of 1075,and then the whole to a couple of chunks of mystery mild steel,and had no problem that i noticed...

 

But,again,i'd like to emphasize the fact that Deker has answered this particular question best,1018 of a known pedigree is the ticket.

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Jake, from what I've seen they are just small felling axes, and I've never heard them being called anything special, but a small pinch of salt may be in order.
How they were ground I really don't know, but I don't see any reason for going blunt since you can avoid the worst knots.

Another video that was suggested by Youtube after the one above was one which is kind of relevant to this discussion.
They forge an axe with S235 steel for the body, which to me indicates that this is what is used in Norway. But it is slit and drifted so there's no welding mild back on itself.
(By the way, the man that posted that video, Renmælmo, is no small authority on axes and their use)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRhkA1bpcRg
Of course one might find some S235 that is low on copper, but there's no way of knowing. A friend of mine apprenticed in a steel mill while I apprenticed in the adjacent mill (FeSi, FeCr, FeMn). He said it was no rare occurence that some electromotor found it's way into a batch, and they had to dilute that into 10 other ladles.

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Thank you,Steffen.I've actually stumbled across this video a few days ago.I like the methodical way in which he goes about it.

 

Interestingly,Jim Austen has reverse-engineered a similar eye/poll combination as an assymmetrical weld....(just goes to show how flexible things like this can be,on occasion).

 

It's very possible that the two-axe siding technique uses simply felling,or some other general type of axe.The Japanese carpenters used this very method a lot,and there i'm at a loss as well.

Both cultures were not lazy about creating finely-specialized tools,and i can see how for this an axe with a straighter,less-curved,edge than for felling can be convenient...

 

I wish more knowlegeble people would chime in,and maybe someone will say with certainty:That clean,grainy surface that you see on a freshly failed weld-may it,perchance,mean that a weld WAS beginning to take shape?

And would that,in turn,indicate a likelyhood of failure due specifically to a chemical contaminant?

 

There are plenty of imponderables in this business to be sure,but Cu,i've got a gut feeling,is not one of them...Sorry to beat a dead horse here,i'm definitely out of my depth on the nuts and bolts of Fe/Cu interactions.

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P.S.

 

I've checked out your woodworking projects,Steffen,and i can't say what impresses me more-the bent-work,the crimped,or that wooden clock-work!!

It's ALLl fantastically well done,and in some of the rarest techniques-wow.

My hat's off to you,what great stuff.

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One more brief questin,Steffen-any idea whose work this is?

 

 

THE moment that i posted this i've made out John Neeman on the touchmark...I'm a bright one...Sorry!:)

1234.jpg

Edited by jake pogrebinsky
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Thanks Jake, I hope to make a more ferrous portfolio some day, iron and steel is where my head is at now, spurred on by the want of better tools. I'll probably have a more functional than visual approach to it tho.
Sorry to hear about your friend. Whichever way it may go I hope it won't be too much of a struggle for any of you.
(I'm very unsure about the proper use of language and your customs on this issue, I mean well)

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Thank you,Steffen.

 

Your "customs" are more than correct,and your English is better than mine will ever be(after 35 years in this country i suppose it's time to admit to certain limitations:).

Honestly,i thought that you're surely an ex-pat American,your language is excellent.

 

I think that structural approach is what becomes,upon reaching a certain level,visual.

 

The most artful,sculptural impression i believe is made upon our minds through the filter of the percieved,imagined function.The brain momentarily imagines the perfect ergonomics of a,say,well-made axe,and translates it into an aesthetic impression.

I believe this as somehow self-evident,but there are ways to rationalise it as well.

Most tools old,and well-made,create a very strong aesthetic impression on (almost)anyone.Yet,it's extremely doubtful that such was the intent of their maker.

For one thing,even the very aesthetic of the day was entirely,completely different...

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It's very possible that the two-axe siding technique uses simply felling,or some other general type of axe.The Japanese carpenters used this very method a lot,and there i'm at a loss as well.

Both cultures were not lazy about creating finely-specialized tools,and i can see how for this an axe with a straighter,less-curved,edge than for felling can be convenient...

 

They do look like normal axes yes, used for all sorts of tasks. I am quite sure they'd have a bit of different edge angles depending on what they were doing of course. I've heard also that some axemen would change edge angles depending on if they were working in frozen wood or thawed and it is likely as well they'd change depending on if it's fresh or dry.

 

And indeed, sometimes not lazy about creating specialized tools for different tasks. However. A lot of timber houses were made by poor men, getting an extra axe or two made is not a small expense when you have very little money, especially if the one you use for felling, splitting and beheading chickens works almost just as well :-). Better to spend the money on a tjäckla, skarvyxa or salt :-).

 

//DQ

Edited by DanielQ
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Thanks,Daniel,it's great to hear from the "locals",you and Seffen,therre's just too little discussion on the matter,if you ask me...

 

Here's the Japanese variant:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyJjZDLVeBA

 

From about 6:31 or so.The edge profile looks straight-ish,i can see how a more radiused edge will tend to slip out of the cut before completing it.

But i'm sure that you're right,people often have used what was available,vs specialty made tooling.

 

What makes me paranoid on the subject is a few years of my friendship with an axe-collector.He commonly digs up entire Types of axes that i've never even heard of...(French were particularly tireless in multiplying the differrent kinds of axes,some of fantastical shapes,and separated into a very distinct group by the intended task,but also regionally...).

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P.S.

 

By the way,as usual,i'm spacing out and making things too general,too sweeping.

 

It helps to keep in mind that some specific Type of a tool,specialised by task or the region, may've existed in a given culture inspite of the ability of a given individual to afford it:)

 

Also,there's an immense difference in discussing the before,and the after,the Industrial Revolution.There's some tricky proportion there,as After,when the factory- size manufacturies made production easier and cheaper,they may've specialised their tool-line More...

But in the same time,as the I.R. was changing all trades and crafts,some specific,uniquely-purposed tools may've also fallen by the wayside...

 

A very long way to say "the jury's still out..."(but will it ever come back in?! :)

 

Just thinking outloud,please don't mind my grumbling...

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Thanks,Daniel,it's great to hear from the "locals",you and Seffen,therre's just too little discussion on the matter,if you ask me...

 

Here's the Japanese variant:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyJjZDLVeBA

 

From about 6:31 or so.The edge profile looks straight-ish,i can see how a more radiused edge will tend to slip out of the cut before completing it.

But i'm sure that you're right,people often have used what was available,vs specialty made tooling.

 

What makes me paranoid on the subject is a few years of my friendship with an axe-collector.He commonly digs up entire Types of axes that i've never even heard of...(French were particularly tireless in multiplying the differrent kinds of axes,some of fantastical shapes,and separated into a very distinct group by the intended task,but also regionally...).

Thank YOU Jake, you have given som great information and discussion! Would love to read more discussions on this. But unfortunatly, I am a child wallowing among giants, I wish I knew so much more...

 

Interesting video for sure, even though my tinnitus wanted to slap the guy that hit the little bell-anvil in the beginning :-). I would very much like to try that style of axe they show around the time you point out. Would be great fun!

 

It would warrant some tests for sure. Chopping out the V before the.... What is it called in english? Hewing? Is probably one of those things where you could have a specialized tool, but you can use a lot of different axes or methods to get a good-enough result. I'd say, up here people who were looking into more specialized tools, actually got a hewing axe. Not to long ago I read a book, where an old lady talked about they starting their own farm (her and her husband) with only two axes and a cow.

 

But of course, in different places people had different situations and probably had a bunch of tools up their sleeves in order to speed up the grunt work. Much like us, the bare minimum first and then the workshop grows more and more :D

 

Actually, when starting to think on it, I got a bit curious about the issue with cold. Remember a former neighbor told me that his father used to build log houses during the winter until spring winter. On the frozen lake. Thus getting a flat surface you didn't need to clean much when you were done. As you know splitting wood is dead easy when it's -20celcius or lower. But hewing? And felling? Must be quite a difference in comparison to unfrozen timber. Unfortunatly, I've moved a bit south and closer to the coast, not as easy to do tests on that anymore :((

 

So where was I going with this? Ah yes, axes. Does shape, material, grind angles and construction differ a lot also because of climate and the types of woods they are mostly used on?

 

Does the shape and size of the eye differ depending on what type of wood you have most accessible to make handles? Or isn't there too much of a difference between the hickory in the south and the birch in the north?

 

//DQ

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No,no,thank YOU,Daniel-san(a deep bow) :).

 

Not too many people are willing to entertain the idea that there's all that much to axes...There's even a number of assorted folk sayings along the lines of "simple as an axe",or "made with an axe",=crude,simple.

 

Hewing is a general terrm of cutting WITH the grain,on a whatever bias further from 90 deg.;Chopping is the opposite,cutting across the grain.

Cleaving,or splitting,is to separate the wood without severing grain.

 

All three,in whatever proportion,are used in about every operation using an axe,so that the division is subjective.

 

I'll second most if not all your thoughts(being too dumb to use the quote function...:).

 

In the forges smiths can use either of the two extremes:A set of tongs for every different forging,or just one set that you re-forge to hold any new shape;and the entire range in between,of course.

 

Another way of putting it i could illustrate with this silly story:An older gent stopped by the site where i was building a cabin,and asked me why i radiused the edge of this one slick that i was using for the lateral groove.I explained that ground that way,with a fairly radical radius,i performs it's job most effectively(and went on in my usual b.s. way) about the theory/rationality behind it.

The man then laughed,and told me that a friend of his grounds his slick in exactly the opposite way-perfectly straight,but justifies/rationalises it in exactly the same way as i just did...

 

Human physiology is like that,we can make any tool perform in any way we choose...It's pretty uncanny...

 

Temperatures of metals,AND of wood,are pretty complicated issues(i've recently found an article on steel alloy chemistry relating to cold-climate usage,haven't read it carefully yet,it's complex).

Frozen wood,moisture content,seasonal differences in harvesting...Man,it's a whole subject in and of itself...

 

Species of wood for handling axes definitely(in my opinion)influence the shape of an eye:In the narrow-profile US axe eye a birch handle will last less than it'll take to carve one,sad fact well known to all.It's strictly a hickory eye!:)

In Russia,where most folks hold birch as THE ultimate axe handle material,the eye has much more(x 2)volume...

 

Again,thanks for bringing this stuff up,it's not just interesting,it's essencial for understanding axes,and thus-woodworking in general,and through that architecture,and many an important cultural and economic aspect that we otherwise take for granted...

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Jake, that Japanese video reminded me of a VHS I saw a couple of years back from a Norwegian Axe seminar in the late '90s.
In that video were shown at least a dozen different ways of hewing a log. With and without notches, forwards and backwards, standing behind, in front of or on top of the log, plus at least a dozen different axes of regional patterns.
There are several ways of reaching the same goal, and even though it is interesting to read and understand tool marks I think those who restore and maintain our protected buildings today actually overvalue their importance. The reason for choosing one technique over the other can be based solely on what kind of axe one owns.

In Norwegian Medieval times "Sprettetelgjing" / "Glepphogging" was a widely used technique where the quite blunt edge angle leaves marks in a tight pattern.
Jon Bojer Godal -regarded somewhat of an oracle on traditional buildings and boats- raised the question "If the compression brought about by this technique was benefitial against rot" in his usual humble manner.
But this seems to have become an established fact without ever being proved.

I have several questions that needs answering before I'm willing to accept that, because quite frankly it's easy to raise fibers with water no matter how hard they are compressed.
-Are the Medieval axes small because axes are expensive, or because they wanted them that way? Would such an axe also work for hewing perpendicularly like we do today?
-Sometimes it is clearly done in a very exact pattern and can be meant as decoration, but most often it is inside a roof or under a floor.
If they really regarded it as beautiful and tough against rot, why did they not do more of it? It looks to me like most often the most important parts are planed with a "skavl" or "pjål".
-As Daniel mentions and I have heard also, edges were made more blunt in winter since the steel is more brittle. -Could Sprettetelgjing be more common in buildings buildt during the winter?

10950418_710610342386723_1813777169_n.jp

The middle board under this floor is what I typically think of as Sprettetelgjing.
To me it is not decoration, it shifts direction simply because the fibre is twisted in a right-hand twist in the adult layer of wood, and to follow it you shift direction.
Why the other two are hewed diagonally I really don't know. Could be very shifting directions of fibre. (I'm trying to do away with the word "grain")

Mild steel news, I had an answer from a metallurgist that I'm not fully satisfied with. Basically all the alloying elements in question might be detrimental to welding (which may well be true), but supposedly because it made the material hard and therefore difficult to bring together under the hammer.
I have to say I expect an answer involving some arguments about the mechanisms in the diffusion layer and grain growth or whichever bonding works across it, and why this is inhibited.

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From the Rolling/Forging section of this website:

 

The presence of more than 0.2% Cu in steel produces a characteristic checking on forging surfaces. The degree of this effect increases with copper and carbon content, and with increasing preheat time and temperature if heating is done in an oxidizing atmosphere. In this case, preferential oxidation of iron near the metal surface leaves a copper-enriched zone containing the low-melting e phase on grain boundaries. In severe cases, the steel will be hot short and unworkable. Three solutions to this well-known problem are: (1) preheat only in protective or nonoxidizing atmospheres; (2) hot work only below 1090C (2000 F), the melting point of the copper-rich phase; (3) add nickel or cobalt in amounts equal to about 1/3 to 1/2 the copper content as these metals raise the melting point of the copper phase. The third solution is most common, and high copper steels will usually contain some nickel. As nickel content rises, so does the allowable forging/rolling temperature, although a practical limit in nickel content is signaled by the formation of a protective glaze at temperatures above 1280 C (2150 F).

In this same context, it should be noted that copper steels should never be welded with an oxidizing oxyacetylene flame. This can also cause preferential oxidation of iron, copper enrichment, and hot tearing. If oxidizing conditions are avoided, copper steels give excellent results will all welding processes.

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Hi Jerrod, just the man I was hoping to see.

Yes I found that when I was googling copper. Do you think the copper could melt as in point (2) , thus coating and inhibiting the weld even when protected with flux?

I didn't think it to be of importance as I imagined it could just be hammered out with the flux. But this could be a simplified view perhaps since the copper phase can continue melting and degrading the weld after initial bonding?

Edited by Steffen Dahlberg
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This is the tricky part with alloys (as opposed to pure metals). Generally speaking the lower melting metal doesn't come out of the alloy leaving the higher melt point metal behind; they become one with properties different from either pure element. Add to this that there will always be at least some level of segregation and things get a little fuzzy. Honestly, I am not familiar with the "e-phase" mentioned above. It sounds to me that it is a phase not on the iron-carbon phase diagram, which makes sense since it isn't the iron-carbon-copper phase diagram. At any rate, what is being described on that web site is a phase with a lower melting point which has segregated/formed at grain boundaries. That is just asking for things to fall apart. I would guess (and I do mean guess) that the best solution is to add something between the pieces of mild that may improve the weldability; such as 1095 shims or powder. I would think the powder could be mixed into borax quite generously. This would hopefully adjust the chemistry of the e-phase (problematic) material into a more workable phase (i.e. hopefully stabilize austenite). From what I can glean from a little browsing the e-phase (assuming he means epsilon phase) would generally only form at high pressure. This indicates that a little nudge in chemistry should get rid of it. In fact that is what is being done with his step 3. Makes me think 15N20 shims/powder would be a fun thing to try...

 

When I get a chance to grab my phase transformation book I'll see if I can find anything more on this. This is assuming that the problem is excessive Cu levels. It may be something else entirely.

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So, for the record, it would be a bad idea to try forge-welding an axe body out of Cor-Ten... :P

 

There's so much excellent and wide-ranging information in this thread we need to rename it to reflect content and pin it, I think. Any ideas?

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No,no,thank YOU,Daniel-san(a deep bow) :).

 

Not too many people are willing to entertain the idea that there's all that much to axes...There's even a number of assorted folk sayings along the lines of "simple as an axe",or "made with an axe",=crude,simple.

 

Hewing is a general terrm of cutting WITH the grain,on a whatever bias further from 90 deg.;Chopping is the opposite,cutting across the grain.

Cleaving,or splitting,is to separate the wood without severing grain.

 

All three,in whatever proportion,are used in about every operation using an axe,so that the division is subjective.

 

I'll second most if not all your thoughts(being too dumb to use the quote function... :).

 

In the forges smiths can use either of the two extremes:A set of tongs for every different forging,or just one set that you re-forge to hold any new shape;and the entire range in between,of course.

 

Another way of putting it i could illustrate with this silly story:An older gent stopped by the site where i was building a cabin,and asked me why i radiused the edge of this one slick that i was using for the lateral groove.I explained that ground that way,with a fairly radical radius,i performs it's job most effectively(and went on in my usual b.s. way) about the theory/rationality behind it.

The man then laughed,and told me that a friend of his grounds his slick in exactly the opposite way-perfectly straight,but justifies/rationalises it in exactly the same way as i just did...

 

Human physiology is like that,we can make any tool perform in any way we choose...It's pretty uncanny...

 

Temperatures of metals,AND of wood,are pretty complicated issues(i've recently found an article on steel alloy chemistry relating to cold-climate usage,haven't read it carefully yet,it's complex).

Frozen wood,moisture content,seasonal differences in harvesting...Man,it's a whole subject in and of itself...

 

Species of wood for handling axes definitely(in my opinion)influence the shape of an eye:In the narrow-profile US axe eye a birch handle will last less than it'll take to carve one,sad fact well known to all.It's strictly a hickory eye! :)

In Russia,where most folks hold birch as THE ultimate axe handle material,the eye has much more(x 2)volume...

 

Again,thanks for bringing this stuff up,it's not just interesting,it's essencial for understanding axes,and thus-woodworking in general,and through that architecture,and many an important cultural and economic aspect that we otherwise take for granted...

 

Haha! With the risk of otherwise continueing this japanese bowing-match. I'll stop ;-). And thank you for the proper wording, I really appreciate it!

 

Uncanny indeed...

 

The difficult thing with axes, and old-school craftsmanship is that I have a feeling that there can be two sides to things.. Either stuff looks a particular reason for well.. Shit works. Whatever works, I'll use. Or. Very thought out design principles and features that'll sometimes in small, sometimes in big ways affect efficency or result in one way or another. And without sometimes extensive practical experience. It's hard to tell :-(. There are some incredible carpenters, craftsmen and such using a lot of traditional techniques and running "un-plugged" workshops all around the world. But still I see some kind of blank space where the axe should sit.

 

An example: A lot of the knifeblades we make here has a slight slight drop point. Causing it to follow the bone easier when you start skinning. And some other benefits. But, even for people that use the knives, this is not something they think about often. If one was trying to figure out the nuances of the knife and why it works why it does, it can be an important feature missed since it is barely visible when one doesn't think about it. However, for someone understanding the principles, it is easy to see! How many such things am I missing when I look at an old axe I find at the hunting cabin?

 

My old maths teacher used to do some timber-framing and carpenting. And once he got drafted in to help an old-school carpenter. This carpenter mostly used axes and iron spike. (How do I translate Järnspett to english? Please help me Steffen...) And apparently, his work was not only accurate, but very quick as well. It took him shorter time with an axe to do the same job my teacher did using a mitre saw. And no less accurate. Would've loved to meet that man...

 

Simplicity has flavours (and beauty, if one talks aestetics), and a simple tool, such as an axe. In accomplished hands, can have so many..

 

Would be very interesting to hear more reasons as to why the russians like birch as axe handle. And.. What type of birch? In the same species of birch, there is such a huge amount of variation of fibre..

 

 

Jake, that Japanese video reminded me of a VHS I saw a couple of years back from a Norwegian Axe seminar in the late '90s.

In that video were shown at least a dozen different ways of hewing a log. With and without notches, forwards and backwards, standing behind, in front of or on top of the log, plus at least a dozen different axes of regional patterns.

There are several ways of reaching the same goal, and even though it is interesting to read and understand tool marks I think those who restore and maintain our protected buildings today actually overvalue their importance. The reason for choosing one technique over the other can be based solely on what kind of axe one owns.

 

In Norwegian Medieval times "Sprettetelgjing" / "Glepphogging" was a widely used technique where the quite blunt edge angle leaves marks in a tight pattern.

Jon Bojer Godal -regarded somewhat of an oracle on traditional buildings and boats- raised the question "If the compression brought about by this technique was benefitial against rot" in his usual humble manner.

But this seems to have become an established fact without ever being proved.

 

I have several questions that needs answering before I'm willing to accept that, because quite frankly it's easy to raise fibers with water no matter how hard they are compressed.

-Are the Medieval axes small because axes are expensive, or because they wanted them that way? Would such an axe also work for hewing perpendicularly like we do today?

-Sometimes it is clearly done in a very exact pattern and can be meant as decoration, but most often it is inside a roof or under a floor.

If they really regarded it as beautiful and tough against rot, why did they not do more of it? It looks to me like most often the most important parts are planed with a "skavl" or "pjål".

-As Daniel mentions and I have heard also, edges were made more blunt in winter since the steel is more brittle. -Could Sprettetelgjing be more common in buildings buildt during the winter?

 

10950418_710610342386723_1813777169_n.jp

 

The middle board under this floor is what I typically think of as Sprettetelgjing.

To me it is not decoration, it shifts direction simply because the fibre is twisted in a right-hand twist in the adult layer of wood, and to follow it you shift direction.

Why the other two are hewed diagonally I really don't know. Could be very shifting directions of fibre. (I'm trying to do away with the word "grain")

 

Mild steel news, I had an answer from a metallurgist that I'm not fully satisfied with. Basically all the alloying elements in question might be detrimental to welding (which may well be true), but supposedly because it made the material hard and therefore difficult to bring together under the hammer.

I have to say I expect an answer involving some arguments about the mechanisms in the diffusion layer and grain growth or whichever bonding works across it, and why this is inhibited.

 

Axe seminar? What a fantastic way to pass time!

 

Sprettetelgjing, made me very interested.. I wonder if I can find any swedish references on different finishes on hewed surfaces. The question about cold weather, even though I don't know if that's the reason why they did it, it's worth thinking about. As you know, it is very easy to seperate and split fibres when the wood is frozen. So maybe the hewing was adapted to not tear out so much fibre if you were working during the winter months? Or did it simply lessen the workload?

 

And the fact that one board in the middle of the floor was done with sprettetelgjing made me quite perplexed?

 

Fibres being compressed does make a difference in some ways, not sure if it'd make a house more water proof though or protect against rot... And if that was the reason that they wanted a general compression of the fibre, is it better to use a blunt axe in a particular way to compress the fibres instead of using a hammer? Or the back of the axe?

 

 

Edited by DanielQ
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So, for the record, it would be a bad idea to try forge-welding an axe body out of Cor-Ten... :P

 

There's so much excellent and wide-ranging information in this thread we need to rename it to reflect content and pin it, I think. Any ideas?

And, um, Sorry sir Allan!

 

This thread spiraled so far out of from original question so we couldn't even see the highway!

 

But I just couldn't stop myself :o

 

//DQ

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Alan I agree, but I sort of wish I would have made a new thread on axes when the topic was brought up, to ease future reading.
It seems the mild on mild part of the discussion is very close to a dead end, unless Jerrod can dig up some reference.

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Just a brief note for now(so many complex issues have been mentioned in the thread that i'd take some careful thinking).

 

Russians favor birch for axe handles not only for it being the only material in the more northerly regions( the importance of axemanship grows,of course,northerly).

They generally believe thast the birch,being on the softer side of hardwoods,does a better job in ammortizing the forces,lessening vibration to your arm and joints.

It's also said to be "warmer",and being less dense is,of course,somewhat.Which is the reason for the median axe-eye there being roughly 55 mm x 25 mm,or 1"+ x 2"with a fat +.

Like other poplars,birch has an interesting helical convolutions to it's grain(lenghwise fibers),and is,really,a "natural" for this purpose.Interestingly enough,none of it's relatives (cottonwood,aspen,et c) are usable as handling material...

 

Jerrod,thank you for those complicated details,it's fascinating how endlessly challenging the metallurgy is...The chemistry on this level is totally beyond my comprehention,but i still enjoy reading it...

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