“He was a left-handed man.  Other workmen might be annoyed by apprentices or ignorant boys using their sharp axes; but you didn’t do that twice with George Cook’s axe–it was too dangerous a trick.”  George Sturt, The Wheelwright’s Shop

Is there any practical reason for having a usable broadax in the 21st century?  Probably not.


This one belonged to my grandfather.  He used it to hack out cross ties for a nickel apiece during the Great Depression.


This one is double-beveled, made by Underhill in Nashua, NH, probably for a shipwright.


And this one, a cooper’s side axe for listing the edges of barrel staves.  The attitude of the eye makes it right-handed, similar to the socket of a goose-wing axe.  It is a bit heavy for one-handed use, but makes a great light hewing axe.

About michaellangford2012

Timber framer, boatbuilder, dreamer, writer, musician; collector of books, tools, aphorisms. "There is nothing, absolutely nothing…half so much worth doing…as simply messing about in boats."
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