treesner

Plywood for axe handle

Recommended Posts

Was wondering if you thought Baltic birch would make for a good or bad axe/hoe/shovel handle? Here in California it’s a bit of a challenge to find hickory and was just wondering if the lamination of plywood would make the handle stronger 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never seen hickory here either but I have seen axe handles made from birch. Not plywood though, solid timber. I have no idea whether ply would be better or worse than solid timber, but as a species birch seems to be OK for this type of application.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the plywood laminations would help. In this case the forces are primarily axial and bending and you want grain running the length. You might try hard maple. People also use ash, or even cherry. Ideally you want straight grain that runs the entire handle length. An additional concern with plywood is delamination, as axes are often used in wet conditions. If you do go for plywood, I would make sure more of the plys run the length of the handle than not. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use ash. It should be readily available in CA as there are lots of factories making guitar bodies in CA (think Fender and Taylor).

I echo others that using plywood is not a good idea otherwise axe manufacturers will have been using plywood for years. Were baseball bats made from ash onetime too?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can probably find one on ebay with free shipping.   I even bought a new broad axe handle there that was correctly made with the offset.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, wdwerker said:

Seems like a lot of time and $$$ spent on materials for something I would be ashamed to even put on display or admit to the world that I had any part of. Maybe it's a millennial thing ?

Its a YouTube thing. I don't see anybody making one of these and not filming it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Mr. Madison Brown , what you’ve just said done is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response video were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. "

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love that guy's channel.  He does a lot of stuff just for the sake of doing it.   And if the YT ad revenue he gets a cut of pays for his time and materials, then all the better for him.  I have a decent list of projects ideas spurred by some of his videos. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, TerryMcK said:

Use ash. It should be readily available in CA as there are lots of factories making guitar bodies in CA (think Fender and Taylor).

I echo others that using plywood is not a good idea otherwise axe manufacturers will have been using plywood for years. Were baseball bats made from ash onetime too?

Yeah. What he said.

 

Baseball bats are STILL made from ash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pro bats are made from ash. Lots of school leagues play with aluminum bats I belive. I've seen the "How it's Made " on both but I find baseball boring beyond belief so I gladly have no knowledge of the usage of wooden bats in college play. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MLB bats are made from ash and maple.  Barry Bonds used maple bats during his steroid-fueled 73 home run season and that resulted in many players switching to maple.  The maple bats however break a lot more than the ash bats.  College bats are carbon-fiber.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if I made one out of plywood I’d finish it with a coat of epoxy resin to avoid delamination but it’s siunding like the flipped grain orientation would be against the axe strength. Is it common to do laminations of different woods for handles when using different woods to add some strength to the more brittle woods?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some left over European beech from my bench build. Thinking maybe that would be stringy enough to be safe for a handle? I think beech, ash, hard maple all don’t have the springy flexibility factor that hickory has though 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost any straight-grained hardwood could be used for an axe handle. Hickory is most often used here in the US because its properties are better for this application than most other NA hardwoods, and it is readily available. I bet other parts of the world use whichever local, cheap hardwood works best for them. I would not be surprised to find tools in Indonesia with rubberwood handles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use OSL and shape it with a CNC , then vacuum saturate it in epoxy. Clean that up and wrap it in carbon fiber. Voila high tech and almost bulletproof axe handle. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a carbon handle Fiskars. I love it as an ax, but it gets negative reviews because the head cannot be removed without destroying the handle. Steve’s idea seems to address that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now