Fiskars hatchet RIP!!!

For the first time ever I have lost a piece of kit while out in the forest; my Fiskars hatchet.  I must have put it down while working and forgotten to pick it up again.  I have retraced my steps but have not found it.

I had made a leather sheath for it, which clipped to my belt and inside the handle I had a sharpening file

I carried it with my most of the time and used it for carving, shelter building and many other tasks.

I emailed Fiskars a couple of weeks ago to ask for my nearest supplier here in the North of Sweden but disappointingly they have not replied.

 

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Fiskars hatchet

Another item I recently purchased was a small hatchet to use for carving as I left my Elwell axe at my cabin

Kevin Warrington - new equipment (Small)

Ignore the Wilkinson Sword stamp on the handle because the hatchet is actually made by a Finnish company called Fiskars.  Other companies such as Gerber and Stihl have also put their stamp on Fiskars axes.

Its a very will balanced tool and good for splitting logs (the way the axe head is fitted into the carbon fibre handle means you can use a baton on the back of the head), carving such things as cups and spoons (with a little re-profiling of the cutting edge) and chopping

kevin warrington using fiskars hatchet (Small)

The axe head produces a really nice shower of sparks when used with a firesteel.

The sheath is rather disappointing and so I set about designing and making a leather belt sheath

kevin warrington leather belt sheath (Small)

Unfortunately I didn’t take a series of pictures during its construction to enable me to produce a tutorial.

The handle of the hatchet is hollow and while initially I considered fitting a survival kit inside, I decided to put a chainsaw file inside instead to remove burs or nicks when sharpening the blade.

I split down a piece of Ash and carved it to the shape of the handle and so that it would fit inside the handle.

I then carved out a groove into which I glued a cut down file.

hatchet handle file (Medium)

When I used the hatchet, the file hit against the inside of the handle so I had to carve this piece of Ash to glue halfway up inside the handle to prevent the file moving around.

I paid £17 for this hatchet and think it is worth every penny!!

Lapland autumn 2009 – 17th September

Teres’s children had been given time off school to join us at the cabin, to learn more about nature and improve their English.  Before driving back to the cabin I visited the Dollar Store to buy a variety of items with which the boys had to build boats to sail across the lake.

boat materials (Small)

In addition to the items I purchased they could also use any natural resources.

Seb and Emma where keen to try out my hammock

in the hammock (Small)

Emma spent more time trying to fall out of the hammock with much success I might add!!!

Emma in hammock (Small)

Ingvar had purchased a new axe shaft to replace one I had split

Ash shaft (Small)

so we went to Anki and Ingvar’s cabin to fit it and to have some lunch

P1020967 (816 x 612) (Small)

While splitting logs my chopping block had split in half and so Ingvar cut me a new one…..the easy way!!

Ingvar cutting new chopping block (Small)

Having spent some time teaching Seb how to use a firesteel he spent a lot of time trying to make fire and I was impressed at his determination to achieve fire…..and he did.

Seb with his first fire (Small)

In the evening the boys put their boats on the lake

Seb putting boat on lake (Medium)

and once the wind caught the sails we watched them race across the lake.

boats on lake

We had the perfect end to the evening with a nice display of the Northern Lights at about 10pm (unfortunately my picture isn’t as good as those of Tricia)

Northern lights

Lapland Spring 2009 – 31st May

3 Waxwings around the cabin all day.  A pair of Fieldfares have also appeared.  They always next in areas inhabited by people yet they seem to really dislike people; flying towards them giving their harsh rattling call and then crapping on them if their aim is good!!

Ingvar came to help finish repairs to my chimney.

repaired chimney (Medium)

We spent some time splitting logs and talking about different splitting techniques and the safe use of an axe

Ingvar splitting logs (Small)

I finished sanding the two kåsa’s I have been making, and decided to glue on the Reindeer antler handle to opposite way up to what I had originally intended to act as a stand for the cup.

Reindeer antler kasa

Here is a view from another angle

Reindeer antler kasa-2

I used Cascol PVA glue to stick the horn to the wood.  Both surfaces have to be wetted before applying this glue.  Cascol is traditionally used locally for glueing knife handles and other craft items.

Cascol glue

This is Teres’ kåsa for her birthday

Teres kasa

It took a lot of work to reduce the wood in the handle so that the cup sits flat and does not tip back

Teres kasa-2

I walked to the marsh later where there were 16 Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 12 Wood Sandpiper and a small Dunlin sized wader with a distinctive call that I could not identify.

I spent the evening splitting and stacking more logs.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

New axe for carving

It can be difficult doing fine carving with a large axe.  My small forest axe isn’t too bad (though the long handle can get in the way), but the axe I have in Lapland is considerably larger.

axe-10-medium

so I was keen to have a small carving axe to take with me on my next trip.

My friends Will and Sue gave me an old Elwell axe head which with some work would be fit for purpose.  My first task was to carve a handle from green Ash.

axe-1-small

It took me four attempts before I achieved a size and shape I was happy with.

axe-2-small

Before fitting the head to the shaft, I re profiled the axe head with a file to make it more comfortable for carving.  This included a finger recess on the underside

axe-6-medium

I also re profiled and sharpened the cutting edge.  On the right side of the blade I put a hollow grind and on the left a flat grind.

When making fine adjustments to the shaft to fit into the eye of the axe I used a flint scraper (a piece of broken glass also works well).

axe-31

Once the shaft was a good fit in the axe head I cut a slot across the top of the shaft, fitted the shaft into the eye of the axe and then drove an Oak wedge in to the slot to make a tight fit.

axe-4-medium

Then I cut off the protruding part of the shaft and wedge.

axe-7-medium

With a couple of coats of linseed on the shaft the axe was finished

axe-5-medium

Using an old piece of leather and some brass rivets I made a sheath

axe-9-medium

I used the spare popper from my Fjallraven trousers for securing the sheath in place.

axe-8-medium2