Transform an all-purpose ax into a carving ax

Transform an all-purpose ax into a carving ax

As a professor of spoon carving, it wasn’t straightforward to search out an reasonably priced however good carving axe, at the very least right here in Spain.

After I was beginning out, I used to be fortunate sufficient to get one Gransförs Great Sculpting Ax(which I later regretted, and I am going to get to why in a second), however most of my college students need to carve spoons as a passion and do not actually wish to make investments rather a lot.

The excellent news is that you do not want an costly carving axe; you possibly can tune an all-purpose ax into a superbly good carving ax to begin with.

It actually boils down to a few staple items: dimension, weight, and edge geometry.


A carving ax must be gentle sufficient that we will carve for some time and never get drained, additionally heavy sufficient that the chopping motion is environment friendly because of the burden of the top, however nonetheless permits us to have good intention.

For me, the candy spot is round 650 grams (1.5 lbs). That is why I regretted shopping for the Gransförs, which was too heavy and ended up hurting my wrist. I do know many sculptors, greater than me, for whom Gransförs is ideal. In any case, Gransförs is from Sweden and I’m a small Colombian who might be the identical top as the common 12 yr previous Swede.


By way of dimension, most all-purpose axes you will discover in {hardware} or residence enchancment shops are appropriate for carving, with deal with lengths round 30-40 cm and heads between 400-800 grams.

After we discover one that’s comfy and the proper weight for us, we simply must hone the proper edge geometry to carve.

edge geometry

Most axes include a bullet-shaped edge designed for splitting firewood and chopping that does not require a whole lot of precision. For carving, we’d like vast bevels, ideally flat, so we will slide into the wooden and truly match the sting.

The very first thing we have to do is straighten out the convexity and outline two symmetric chamfers.

Grinding the convexity of an ax with a fast grinding wheel

enlarging the chamfers

The broader the chamfers, the simpler it’s to interact the sting in a really managed method, which is nice for motion alongside the grain, however not a lot for slicing as a result of the sting can be too fragile. Subsequently, we have to discover a steadiness that will even rely upon the thickness of the ax head.

For the kind of ax I am working with, 9-10 mm (about ⅜ inch) chamfers work finest.

I take advantage of a everlasting marker to attract the chamfer width, which is able to assist set up the proper angle on the wheel pointing in the direction of the center.

A marker line on an ax used to indicate the width of its chamfers

I take advantage of a quick grinding wheel first to take away the metal as rapidly as attainable, then transfer on to a slower, water-cooled sharpening system, which additionally permits for extra angle management to realize completely even hole chamfers.

It is vital to really feel a burr alongside the sting as we end grinding both sides.

submitting down

Now we will transfer on to making a flat chamfer utilizing diamond information or common sandpaper on a scrap wooden block. You will need to use a grain development that enables us to erase the traces of the earlier one till we get hold of a sophisticated floor.

Grain progression for filing chamfers

Very rigorously place the file on the chamfer, ensuring you might be registering the perimeters of the concavity, and slide the file alongside the sting till you see a scratch of the identical width and a light-weight burr on the opposite facet. Repeat on both sides utilizing the entire beans.

sanding the bevel of a carving ax

The hole edge can look very sharp, however as we use the ax and proceed to sharpen it, the bevels will flatten out and this can change the best way the sting suits into the wooden. You’ll be able to modify this to your liking by edging utterly hole with a nice micro bevel or going full flat bevel.

sanding the bevel of a carving ax

Now we now have a superbly good carving ax to begin with. As an additional step, we will reshape the deal with to make it look nicer. I prefer to take off the shiny end utilizing a card scraper and create little aspects for higher grip. Apply some pure oil for cover and luxuriate in!

#Remodel #allpurpose #carving

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