The Broad Axe
The broad axe is a favorite to have around. Of all the tools used in
building a cabin this is the father. When you’re finished with the
cabin, hang it on the wall with honor.
This tool was made to be left or right handed depending on which side
the handle was put in. Some people work best using a right handed axe
while others like me seem to be able to use both. Either way you will
want to get a handle that curves away from the blade.
I'll try to make this simple. Lay the head flat side down and the
handle should have a gradual curve up away from the ground. This is
necessary because you will hit your knuckles on the log if it is not
curved away from the log face.
Do not buy an old rusty pitted axe head! The heavy pitting will never
let the cutting edge be properly sharpened. My experience has led me to
prefer the broad head axe with the raised ridge in the center. The
cutting edge is usually bigger also (12-14 inches) on these. They do
not get stuck in the wood like the older more flat heads. It is a good
idea to have an extra handle available since you might break one. It is
no fun to have work stop because of something like this.
Remember when chopping to let this tool do the work for you.
If you use it like a hatchet it will wear you out in less than an hour.
Instead raise it up and let its own weight bring it down. This will
give you the fastest results for the least amount of energy.