Workshop Tour

Each axe starts out as a billet of high grade tool steel which is cut against a template to an approximate shape.

It is then fitted to a computer controlled milling machine which mills the eye and the shape of the blade, leaving the edge thick and unfinished.

The axe is then re-tempered, giving the steel the balance of strength and flexibility it needs to withstand the impacts inherent in its use.

After tempering, the chisel is ground under coolant using a surface grinder.

The faces are then polished and the edge sharpened, leaving the axe head ready for testing.

Milling Axe
The other important part to a good axe is its handle. I've copied some of the best handles I've come across and use the same milling process used to make the heads to duplicate the handles. The handles are left slightly over-sized, allowing the axeman to set the final shape to suit their preference. Made from the best quality American Hickory, these handles are the perfect complement to a fine blade.

The handle is fitted to the head and pinned using a roll pin for safety.

The axe is then ready to be honed to a finished racing edge and the edge worked in using a series of light blows into soft timber.

A final polish and hone with a hard polishing stone and the axe is ready for competition.






Mike Underhand
© 2008 Mike Osborne