And now for Something COMPLETELY different...

NoSmoke
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Post Fri. Oct. 27, 2017 5:56 pm

It sounds like a bad joke; two pieces of flat bar, a hinge, and spring all walk into a workshop and...

But in all seriousness, I wanted a new splitting axe to split my wood up for my pot bellied stove. I wanted to build my own axe because I hate spending money, and honestly there was nothing good out there. The lever type of axe has a unique design, but it has some fatal flaws and I could see how I could avoid those flaws, make a simple axe with what I had kicking around the house, and have one of the best splitting axes made to date. It is a tall order, the axe has been around since...well...Caveman days.

This is an axe ANYONE with a mere amount of welding skills can build, with materials they have kicking around the house, and for no money. Mine cost $0 dollars! It also took around 3 hours to build.

The axe works differently then most axes, the handle is off-set from the head of the axe so that as it strikes the block of wood, it immediately flips sideways. This uses kinetic energy, along with leverage to drive the wood apart. This is pretty basic for a lever axe, but my new axe differs from leverage axes in that mine is welded to a hinge. This means that as the wood is struck, the twisting force acts upon the hinge and leaves the handle firm in your hands...NO BLISTERS and no need for gloves either!! But my axe also has a spring, so that as the wood is struck the Spring automatically returns the axe head back to near vertical for another strike. It does all this in a fraction of a second. Trust me when I say this, NO ONE is surprised it works more than me!

This is my first prototype so it could be refined to look better, and I might down the road. Here are some pictures, but in the first picture showing my gathered up materials, I never needed the railroad spike to build it..
DSCN5375.JPG
New Axe.jpg
New Axe Up Close.jpg


franco b
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Post Fri. Oct. 27, 2017 8:34 pm

Good for you. Clever innovation. The proof of the pudding is of course in the eating, and presumably you have compared it to more conventional designs. I would have preferred a less blunt cutting edge for easier penetration. More like a traditional axe.

cabinover
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Post Fri. Oct. 27, 2017 9:21 pm

Cool, you wouldn't happen to have a video of that working would ya?

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warminmn
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Post Fri. Oct. 27, 2017 11:28 pm

The spring, hinge, the side mount, especially the side mount how you did it, are quite unique to anything Ive seen before and the reasoning behind it made sense. With a little better head its possible you may be able to market it, or something similar, somehow, seriously. My favorite splitting axe was about $100, cheaper than some but more than many, but I like axes. So you save about $99, with $1 in supplies and electricity :D

What length handle did you use as it looks short? I know 30 inch or close are popular but I like longer handles as Im tall. Not many things scare me worse than missing a piece of firewood on a stump, or bouncing off of it, and splitting my leg bone in two and long handles prevent that, as does common sense :lol:

NoSmoke
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Post Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 5:26 am

I really don't have much interest in marketing this as I just wanted a better axe. I got a few more ideas for other radical axes that might work as good, or even better than this, but I got some refinements to make on this one first.

The handle is one of them! It is incredibly short because I was not sure how it would work out and did not want to invest time in a handle on something that did not work, so I just cut off an axe handle and used that, so it was already 8 inches shorter than a normal one! I might grab a piece of Ash at some point and chop out my own beefier, longer handle, but am not sure when I will get to that.

Another improvement could be the spring. It would be best if it was a compression spring, and one located above the axe head and not below it. Rounding the main cutting edge and creating a less steep angle on the secondary bevel would also help a lot.

NoSmoke
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Post Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 5:33 am

franco b wrote:
Fri. Oct. 27, 2017 8:34 pm
Good for you. Clever innovation. The proof of the pudding is of course in the eating, and presumably you have compared it to more conventional designs. I would have preferred a less blunt cutting edge for easier penetration. More like a traditional axe.
I did sharpen this one a bit better after the photo was taken, and it was greatly improved. However, a lever axe is non-traditional in that they do not penetrate; they split more from levering out the wood than actually driving the point through the wood.

I wish I could take credit for the Lever axe style, but I really cannot, that was a Finish innovation, but had one fatal flaw. Because the lever axe was rigidly mounted to the axe head, as it hit the wood and was wrenched sideways, the handle had to rotate in your hands. This caused blisters or required gloves, but I thought of an improvement. Rather than have the axe head rigidly mounted, if it was moveable and could be allowed to make that twisting action WITHOUT imparting that to the handle, it would be a much more comfortable axe to use.

It is...

But having the axe swing out on a hinge, I had one negative affect though; once swung out it is possible that it would have stayed there for succeeding blows. To stop that, I used a spring to return the axe head back to near vertical. When striking the wood, the kinetic energy is able to easily overcome the reaction of the spring, but when finished splitting, the axe head has no more force on it and returns via the spring. When you use it in real life in repeated blows, it sounds like, "Click, Click, Click, Click, Click" as the action works.

The other fatal flaw that I could not get past on the other lever axes was their $220 price tag. I wanted a splitting axe for my pot bellied stove, but did not want to pay that, especially for an axe that was hard on your hands. I built this one for $0 dollars in 3 hours. Others can as well, and is why I share...

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Hambden Bob
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Post Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 6:46 am

Well,NS,You axed for it !

Looks like You came up with something shmart. I have to admit that stopping the handle rotation upon the strike and split can provide a nice hedge for the Operator. Keep refining,and Who knows where You'll end up with this !

top top
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Post Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 8:41 am

Nice idea. I have never used a lever axe so I can't comment on that. The only suggestion I have for someone interested in copying your idea is maybe start with an existing maul or single bit axe in lieu of flat bar, assuming you have one laying around.


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freetown fred
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Post Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 8:44 am

Just looks like balance would be WAY off????

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davidmcbeth3
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Post Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 8:48 am

See you on SHARK TANK bro.

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Logs
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Post Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 2:10 pm

You got too much time on your hands! Won’t that pot belly burn coal ?

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Logs
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Post Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 8:37 pm

I use one like this for kindling, I think it would work really well for those short blocks your splitting. It cost about 40 bucks

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Logs
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Post Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 8:38 pm

Oh , must of had a brain fart, here’s the link

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Estwing-Fireside-F ... gJ8U_D_BwE

NoSmoke
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Post Sun. Oct. 29, 2017 7:22 am

freetown fred wrote:
Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 8:44 am
Just looks like balance would be WAY off????
It is, but then it has to be. It is the unbalanced nature of the axe that splits the wood via leverage.

NoSmoke
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Post Sun. Oct. 29, 2017 7:26 am

top top wrote:
Sat. Oct. 28, 2017 8:41 am
Nice idea. I have never used a lever axe so I can't comment on that. The only suggestion I have for someone interested in copying your idea is maybe start with an existing maul or single bit axe in lieu of flat bar, assuming you have one laying around.
It could be purposely cast instead of welded together (which is my profession before I retired), but it HAS to be single beveled. That is because with the off-set head, and the single bevel edge, it splits the wood to the left, by leverage.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqsQ28Se9to[/youtube]


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