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.
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.
It took me four attempts before I achieved a size and shape I was happy with.
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
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).
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.
Then I cut off the protruding part of the shaft and wedge.
With a couple of coats of linseed on the shaft the axe was finished
Using an old piece of leather and some brass rivets I made a sheath
I used the spare popper from my Fjallraven trousers for securing the sheath in place.