Re: Sharpening axe
Gary Sherwin (sherwin@SUNSHINE.PGH.WEC.COM)
Tue, 17 Oct 1995 08:00:24 EDT
Mike Murray et al:
I strongly disagree with your recomendations for sharpening and use of
> A vice will hold one very well while you are sharpening it.
This is not a good idea unless you are very carefull to protect the
axe from damage with wooden jaw chocks AND you are very very carefull
not to exert excessive force on the eye area of the axe. This is important,
because the squeezing action of the vice will be transmitted to the eye of
the axe and will loosen the head from the shaft.
> The best place for an ax on a campout is locked up. If you can't break
> the stick saw it with a bow saw.
My experience has been that in 5 years, during which Troop 461 has used
scout knives, hand axes, 3/4 axes, wedges/sledges, pruning shears, sizzors,
unaided breaking by hand and bow saws, the injury breakdown has been:
Hand breaking of wood. 1 head injury with hospital trip.
3 badly bruised heels
2 sprained ankles
Many splinters and stoved fingers
Bow Saw 1 cut thumb 9-stitches hospital trip
10 cut fingers or hands or thumbs local firstaid
Many skinned knuckles local firstaid
Scout Knife 1 (Scoutmaster) cut knee 4-stitches hospital trip
1 cut thumb local firstaid
Many small cuts to fingers local firstaid
Hand Axe ZERO INJURIES IN USE
3 skinned knuckles while sharpening
3/4 Axe (Limited to Older Scouts 13+)
ONE RESCUE FROM UNDER A TREE FALLEN BY TORNADO
Wedge/sledge (Adult Use)
Pruning Shears ZERO INJURIES
Sizzors 1 punctured thumb local firstaid
1 punctured palm local firstaid
In EVERY case, with the exception of a couple of the bow-saw incidents, the
injuries have been the result the using THE WRONG TOOL FOR THE JOB.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS TO USE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB AT HAND AND TO
USE AND PROPERLY CARE FOR YOUR TOOLS (KEEP THEM VERRRRRRY SHARP)
This translates into (OH NO NOT AGAIN)
TRAINING AND SUPERVISION
If you and your scouts are trained to keep your tools properly maintained
(sharp, set, clean, stored, removed from storage) properly selected for
the job, and properly used, You will have few injuries.
In our troop, tool sharpness is a bragging right. We numericaly measure
sharpness by counting the number of sheets of paper an edge will cut with a
single draw of a knife or a hand pressure rock of an axe head.
A knife that cuts fewer than 4 sheets is unsafe for use for anything but
A first year scouts knife should cut between 4 and 6 sheets
An older scout or leaders knife should cut more than 6 sheets
(KNIFE RECORD 28 sheets an ASM)
(BOY RECORD 24 sheets retired SPL)
An axe that cuts fewer than 3 sheets should not be used as it will not
efficiently transfer its energy into cutting but instead bounce of the wood.
A very sharp axe will cut 8 to 12 sheets
If the axe is exceptional (Good metal and good sharpening technique)
more than 15 sheets will be cut.
(AXE RECORD 53 sheets Me ;-> [My ancient BSA/Plumb with screw wedge, that was
my grandfathers when he served as Scoutmaster])
(BOY RECORD 18 sheets Troop Guide)
Sorry for the length. Its another one of my buttons.
Yours in Scouting. Yours in Service. - Home - (412) 722-3476 -
I used to be an Eagle--Wood Badge NE-V-19-20 - Work - 256-2563 -
Eagle Scout Class of 1967 Westmoreland Fayette Cncl - FAX - 1412 -
(Mr.) Gary W. Sherwin SM - Wagion Lodge #6 Vigil -
BSA Troop 461, Box 342, Yukon, Pa. 15698 email@example.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City