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Cory T

Location: Ohio
Joined: 14 Jan 2020

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 29 Sep, 2020 12:23 pm    Post subject: Should I reprofile my nordland axe?         Reply with quote

I have been using my Arms-n-Armor nordland axe for three days now. I could go into detail about what I've used it for, and how it handles if anyone wants, but this isn't a forestry or a woodworking forum so Ill spare the tedium unless specifically asked. In short, I like this axe but it has an extremely quirky personality and I have had to modify my technique quite a bit to accommodate. The quirkieness stems largely from the obtusely profiled blade.

Is this obtuse bevel historically accurate? If so then the technique I am learning may well be historical as well, which I find fascinating. In this case I am happy to leave the bevel as is and practice my historical axmanship!

Is this bevel historical, but only in the case of axes that were a compromise to be used on the farm and in battle? I have a good bit of experience with axes as tools, but none with axes as weapons. Everything I can find on fighting axes just talks about thinner cheeks, but nothing about edge geometry. If this is the case I will probably reprofile it, but will also have a lot more questions.

Or is it just made this way to survive the abuse of being thrown by inexperienced axe throwers? In this case I will reprofile it without hesitation.
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Michael Beeching

Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Tue 29 Sep, 2020 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote


If you don't get much action on this particular forum with regards to your question, I would recommend contacting Craig directly. Otherwise, that's all I've got!
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Glen A Cleeton

Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,973

PostPosted: Tue 29 Sep, 2020 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The standard Norlund is not hardened. I used mine vigorously on a downed tree across the sidewalk. It went through a four inch diameter branch lickety spllt. As with working felling axes I have owned, I have slimmed the bodies a little but for general work (sub zero f) I had always left a lot behind the edge. I let my Norlund go and if anything, I might have blended the edge a little but not a great deal. Long ago, in that sub zero setting, I watched a classmate spend hours on making a beautiful double bit to super sharp and extra thin. The first day he went out with his baby, he came back with a quarter sized chunk out of one edge. OOPS Moral of the story, mind factory axe edges and if slimming the body of the bit, leave meat behind the edge. Convexing what is already there should be fine.

A friend ordered a hardened option. The second owner of that one proceeded much as I had fifty years ago and loves it for camping. I have a mint Collins Hudson Bay cruising axe to replace one I had in the 60s and that is similar to the Norlund in some ways but this minty old Collins has never been sharpened. My 60s example was razor and convex with no secondary bevel. The Norlands can be filed/ground to that state, I just never bothered. They throw very well. Mine went from my event table directly to the hawk tossing pit Wink

Let the axe do the work. It may take more blows but let the weight do the work. Practice using it to its best benefits, The haft does need to get accustomed to you Wink

I adopted my dad's little Swedish limbing axe when I was seven.


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