Axe Primer – An Excerpt from ‘Country Woodcraft’

Drew Langsner’s favorite broad axe.

I’ve taken a few green woodworking classes, and I’ve lurked in the background for several others. What stands out to me from those experiences is that the axe is the tool most unfamiliar to green green woodworkers. Sure, we all know what an axe is, and we might have used one to split firewood.

But most woodworkers haven’t used an axe for carving until their first green woodworking class. I know I hadn’t. And my grandfather’s axe from his short stint as a carpenter on the L&N Railroad cut neither the mustard nor the wood (at least not as I needed it to).

So even though the pdf excerpt below is one of the appendices from Drew Langsner’s “Country Woodcraft: Then and Now,” I think it’s an excellent introduction to green woodworking.

Reminder: Until the physical book ships to the warehouse, all orders include a free pdf download of “Country Woodcraft: Then and Now” in its entirety.

Axe Primer – Appendix 4

Here’s a look at the rest of what you’ll find in this revised edition of the 1978 original:

Part I: THE FOUNDATION OF COUNTRY WOODCRAFT
1. The Basic Tools, 2
2. Materials, 32
3. Felling, 40
4. The Woodshed, 48
5. Sawbucks, 60

Part II: THE WORKSHOP
6. Shaving Horses, 64
7. Clubs, Mauls and Mallets, 84
8. Frame Saws, 92
9. Tool Handles, 98
10. Wedges, 110
11. Workbenches, 116
12. A Spring-Pole Lathe, 130

Part III: AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENTS
13. Hay Rakes, 142
14. Hay Forks, 152
15. Wheelbarrows, 170
16. Swiss Milking Stool, 176
17. A Shoulder Yoke, 180
18. Land Sleds, 184
19. Bull-Tongue Plow, 190
20. Spike-Tooth A-Harrow, 194
21. Field Drags, 196
22. Pokes, 198

Part IV: HOUSEHOLD CRAFTS AND FURNISHINGS
23. Brooms, 204
24. Bark Boxes – Louise Langsner, 208
25. White Oak Basketry – Louise Langsner, 214
26. Spreaders, Spoons and Ladles, 228
27. Half-Log Bowls, 272
28. Trestle Tables, 312
29. A Handy Bench, 318
30. Pine Whisks, 322

APPENDICES
Appendix 1: Mortise-and-Tenon Joinery, 330
Appendix 2: Oil Finishes, 338
Appendix 3: Riving Thirds, 342
Appendix 4: Axe Primer, 348
Appendix 5: Stumps with Legs, 352
Appendix 6: Uses of Usually Useless Wood, 356
Appendix 7: Annotated Bibliography, 362
Appendix 8: What I’m Doing Now, 366

I’ve taken a few green woodworking classes, and I’ve lurked in the background for several others. What stands out to me from those experiences is that the axe is the tool most unfamiliar to green green woodworkers. Sure, we all know what an axe is, and we might have used one to split firewood. But…Read MoreUncategorizedLost Art PressRead More

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