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268867 scott grandstaff <scottg@s...> 2019‑07‑08 Re: carvers axe/hatchet
Thinking of the one in the middle of this mess
> > https://kirkhmb.smugmug.com/Woodworking/Woodworking-Tools/i-FdCrDZ4
I am not sure I am qualified to answer this, Partner
But then I am not sure anyone is.
It seems to be a bit different for all of us.
Here are some random thoughts to go with everyone else's. Add them all 
up at the end and average them out. lol

  Swinging an ax is primarily about hitting what you want to hit and how 
you want to hit it.
  Not so different from frame nailing, baseball or golf, really.
It takes practice with whatever tool you are using.
  You need to know where you are going to hit in advance, often without 
really looking.
You will be watching the work and not your hand or tool in other words.

I had a hard time when I started because I am naturally left handed. I 
couldn't hit the ground with my hat in 3 tries!
   This is just about the time I realized that my right eye is dominant, 
so using my right hand is a natural for me. I use it exclusively for 
hatchet (or pistol) work now.

Single bevel, double bevel either will work when you get used to it.
   I never tried carving with a lath hatchet. These have very long thin 
blades.
  I would not be surprised if you could get used to it though.
Ax carving is more about the carver than the tool.

Using an ax does not preclude you from reading the grain of the wood. 
You read as you work same as any other woodworking, at your peril.
  An ax can split out a horrifying chunk in a heartbeat, if you aren't 
careful.

   The bottom 1/3 of the blade is where the most power is. You can dig 
in deeper and easier with the bottom of the edge.
   Its not just hitting the work where you want to hit it. Its also 
about what part of the ax's edge is going to make the contact. They 
respond very differently.

  The middle of the edge is slightly less power with a bit more control. 
The center of the ax is the easiest to aim properly. This is where you 
start.

     The top of the edge is where you make your delicate smoothing cuts.
Its like tap dancing on a tightrope using the top of the edge. Not that 
easy but wicked fun when you get it down.

yours scott


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