Video: “An Axe to Grind” and “Handtools for Trail Work”

An Axe to Grind

This is a great video the US Forest Service put out in the late 90’s.  It’s a bit dry, as it watches more like an instructional video than a documentary.  It starts off with a good demo of re-handling a double bit axe, including selecting a handle, it then moves into sharpening.  Different hand tools are used at each stage, and different techniques are described and demonstrated.

The latter parts of the video include something of a show-and-tell of different axe patterns, including some splitting axes.  Around the 38 minute mark is a brief segment on proper chopping technique, and later a demo of broad axe and adze use.  A great resource!

Hand Tools for Trail Work

Here’s another from the same folks but with a larger selection of tools and techniques covered.  Included are tools for sawing, tools for brushing, and tools for grubbing.  Part 2 begins with a more extensive look at axe cutting techniques, moves into tools for hammering, tools for digging and tamping, and tools for lifting and moving.  Around 13 minutes there is another good demo on handling and sharpening an axe.  In some ways this demo is clearer than the one in the above video.  These folks know their tools!

Part 1

Part 2


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