> -----Original Message-----
> From: British archaeology discussion list
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Gerard Alan Latham
> Sent: 20 September 2007 14:47
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Axe bindings
> In message <[log in to unmask]>, Michael
> Haseler <[log in to unmask]> writes
> >The handle is a right angled fork of a tree, the handle being
> one fork and
> >the socket being produced by splitting the other fork.
> Apart from the bindings already discussed, perhaps an angle slightly
> less than a right angle might help?
I'm not sure how the angle of the fork really affects the tool.
To be honest there wasn't much choice and I was lucky to find the bit I did.
Perhaps I should spend a morning going through the woods next time! If I was
planning to make a few axes, I don't think I could leave it to chance I
would probably have to prune some trees to the right shape rather than
hoping to find a decent specimen.
But back to the angle. The standard axe if the blade is flat to the table
has the haft around 4" from the table. The copper axe is around 6" - argh -
I think I'm beginning to see! Any small twist of the wrist, means that the
force of the blow does not go through the centre of weight of the axe
causing it to tend to twist further. Clearly this is worse with the copper
axe as all the weight it forward and the extra length means the twisting
moment is amplified making it more likely to hit off centre and bend.
Reducing the angle of the fork would bring the handle down in line with the
blade and put the force of the blow in line with the centre of weight of the
Perhaps the ideal handle would have a bit of an Z bend or swan-neck so that
the axis of the holding part of the haft was nearly in line with the centre
of gravity of the axe head - a bit like a modern ice-axe?