Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Trying to handle a viking axe

My name is Julian and I have an axe problem. That statement is true in at least two ways. I am a big fan of axes and have at least my fair share, but my viking axe made by Stefan Ronnqvist (mentioned in my previous posts) is causing me a bit of a problem. The handle that i made for this failed the other night (a bad wedging job) so i've decided to make one that is more in keeping with the curved handles that are typical of this type of axe.

So to get the kind of shape i'm after i went out today to look for a natural crook that might be suitable. I ended up with this.

  I now have a few questions about how to turn this into an axe handle. It's quite big, so it's possible that i'd be able to split it and have two halves to have a go with, but if i mess it up and it splits badly i'd be really annoyed about cutting this down for nothing. I've also read that somebody said (axe gossip) that the handle on Jogge Sundqvist's axe included the pith, so should i carve the whole crook down? If i do decide to go with the second option, how do i stop it from splitting with the pith included? Actually, the pith is so far from the centre that i'm not sure that i'd be able to include it anyway.

 I really don't want to mess it up as i had to cut down a decent size tree to obtain it. I don't like cutting trees down, but felt that i could justify it as it would be turned into something special. I know it sounds a bit daft, but i do feel a bit sentimental about trees. This one came from a local wood that i have been going to since i was about 10, and if i'm successful then i will see the stump i created and won't feel bad, but if it doesn't work out then i'll have to apologise to that stump every time i return (i'm more like my Mom than i thought). So watch this space for progress and check out this link for someone else with a similar problem. 


  1. Hey! I was looking around for spoonfest pics since I missed out and stumbled upon this page. I started chuckling because I noticed you had a similar problem. Then I noticed we took similar pictures of that crook you saved for a helve... Then I clicked the link in the last sentence of your post...

    and I get excited to see more Ronnqvist axe photos... and realize they're mine! That is too funny. Small world.

    My helve is still as strong as the day I made it. The pith didn't give me any problems.. I guess that no pith thing is more truthful when talking about 30" + helves. That's a lot of force to throw around. But on these hatchets, I rarely put a ton of muscle into them. Anyways, glad I saw this. Let's keep in touch. How did yours turn out??

  2. Hi Alexander, thanks for reading the blog. I'll put a new post up soon about the Ronnqvist axe and how I'm getting on with it. Hope you don't mind me linking to your article.

  3. I'd love to see what you came up with. I use mine everyday, but the handle isn't pitched as high as I like. I made a ton of videos with it.

    And I think you for linking my article. Share on!