Page 1 of 1

Greenwood axe haft?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:36 pm
by SirRustbucket
Hopefully someone can give me some pointers. I'm a little bit at a loss here...

I've acquired a pretty little viking axe head. I'm not sure what make it is, I think it's a generic GDFB? It's shiny and rather small, with a thick edge and a thin blade. I'll try to find a pic on the internet...

Now, I'd like to use it in combat and make a suitable haft for it. It needs to be reverse-hafted as well.

I can't seem to find a suitable source for seasoned ash or hickory but I do live near a little woodland. Can I make a half-decent haft out of green wood? How would I go about it?

How do I stop it cracking once I've whittled it down? Do I store it for a while with the bark on first?

I have been told it can be done (and would have been done historically, too) but I've no experience in working with greenwood. Could someone enlighten me please?

Re: Greenwood axe haft?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:00 pm
by L Slawason
Try your local DIY store, they should stock Hickory pick axe handles that can be shaved down to fit, i got one reacently for a mace it was about 9 quid as i remember......good luck

Re: Greenwood axe haft?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:07 pm
by SirRustbucket
L Slawason wrote:Try your local DIY store, they should stock Hickory pick axe handles that can be shaved down to fit, i got one reacently for a mace it was about 9 quid as i remember......good luck
I toyed with the idea but it'd be very wasteful. The axe is tiny and pickaxe handles are huge. It'd be a bit like slaughtering a cow to arrive at a pair of leather boot laces. =)

Also, I fancy trying something new that I've never done before.

So again, has anyone here ever worked with green wood?

Re: Greenwood axe haft?

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:22 pm
by L Slawason
SirRustbucket wrote:It'd be a bit like slaughtering a cow to arrive at a pair of leather boot laces. =)
im sure they would be the finest bootlaces known to man tho lol

if you were to use green wood, you'd need to shave down quite a thick bit anyway to get the strongest part of the branch, as bits of the correct thickness would snap, it would also depend on the type of wood your going to use, different trees have different densities in different parts of the branch, yew for example is used for bows because its multi layered properties

Re: Greenwood axe haft?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:43 pm
by Cena
When you say reverse hafted do you mean thread the head on via the butt like a tomahawk ? If so green wood should be ok because you can leave plenty at the top end to stop the head flying off. If you are wedging it on like a modern axe head it will keep coming loose as the wood dries and shrinks.

Try it and use Ash if you can get it, good luck.

If it breaks, just make another, better still cut a couple of suitable pieces and by the time the first green one breaks the next will be seasoned or at least on the way.

Re: Greenwood axe haft?

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:10 am
by Sur of Dunholm
Try hazel; you can find fabby long straight bits that sometimes grow quite close to the main trunk. I have used the main length for a short spear shaft and the remainder for an axe shaft. I just stripped it of bark and left it for a few months before shafting :sweat: pardon the pun.

Re: Greenwood axe haft?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:47 pm
by SirRustbucket
Hi, sorry for delaying my reply for so long.

I got a bit lucky. After clearing out an ash tree in a friend's garden I now have plenty of wood slowly drying out in his shed. In the meantime I've found an actual tool handle that was very suitable for making it into an axe haft.

I've documented the process in my blog in case anyone finds it interesting:

http://thriftyknight.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... art-1.html