New Cross Bladed Axe Not For Cosplay or Larping

Firewood aficionado and general axing enthusiast [KH4] likes to cut and split his own fire wood. To burn a tree trunk sized piece of wood efficiently, it has to be split into 4 smaller pieces. [KH4] does this with 3 axe swings, the first splitting the main log in 2, then splitting each half in half again. Although he likes swinging the mighty axe, he still would like to increase the efficiency of each swing.

Well he’s done it! This is accomplished by making a Cross Bladed Axe that has an X-shaped head. Each axe swing should split a log into 4 pieces. That results in 66% less swings for the same amount of wood split!

This projected started with two spare axe heads. One was cut in half with an angle grinder. The two axe head halves were then ground down so that they match the contour of the original axe head. Once the fit was good, the welder was broken out and all 3 axe head pieces were combined into one beastly mass.

After the new head was polished and sharpened, it was re-assembled a new hickory handle. We have to say, the end product looks pretty awesome. There’s a video after the break of this axe in action. Check it out!

Have you ever seen how these axe heads used to be manufactured?

51 thoughts on “New Cross Bladed Axe Not For Cosplay or Larping

  1. We need to see more than 30 seconds of footage!
    At first flush this might work for Goldilox rounds. But if you watch how someone uses a splitting maul, you will see that it very frequently doesn’t split the round cleanly in twain. You have to pull the handle up to get an effective angle for _levering_ the round apart.
    Further, if you’re only splitting in one plane you only need the cutting edge to strike perpendicular to the wood in one plane.
    Perpendicular strike in two planes?

    1. Wood does not *have* to be cut in fourths. That’s just a convenience thing. Some seasons yield small trees so halves make sense. Sometimes I get lucky and get a couple of nice giants that yields 6, 8 or even 10 logs out of one round.

      Granted, this is a nice tool but it really should treated as an addition, not a replacement, for a traditional axe. For instance, I own a transverse wedge where the blade is perpendicular to the handle and it’s slightly curved inwards. Very nice tool but I rarely have need for it. Nowadays I use it to lay waste to retired arcade cabs.

    1. Straight grained red oak would pop even easier than fir. In fact, my first thought before even seeing the video was, “he’s splitting red oak, that’s how he can chop it 4 ways in one whack.” I split about 90% of a semi-truck load of red oak, by hand, with a normal splitting maul. Then I got my hydraulic log splitter. ;)

    2. Souther Coastal Live Oaks cannot be split with an axe and I’ve seen chain saws throw sparks when cutting them into logs. Apparently as they grow sand gets trapped in the grains. I went through three chains limbing and cutting up a branch that fell in a storm. An older fellow told me it had a “braided grain”, a term I had never heard before. Wound up selling the stuff that was too big for the fire place because I couldn’t slpit it with a 1 ton hydraulic press.

    1. I think they should start posting in all lowercase. It would not only match the general background vibe of their whole project, but then people like you would suffer spontaneous head explosion before being able to hit the ‘Post Comment’ button!!

      1. This would be cool if the spontaneous head explosion prone people created a helmet prior to explosion that contains the mess, and converts the energy of the explosion into electricity which then can be used to charge a cell phone. :-)

  2. The fact that the new US regulations on indoor and outdoor wood burners actually is putting in place burners that can take whole chunks of logs. I know quite a few people who are using oudoor furnaces and they basically put in during the cold months 2 pieces of unsplit wood under 36″ in length in the morning and night.

    as for the axe design itself, try it on a piece of wood that has not been seasoned for several years that stuff looked dry enough to catch fire when he brought the head down on it.

    1. Unsplit wood takes a *really* long time to dry. Bark is designed to hold in moisture. Splitting isn’t to make the wood small enough for a stove to take a “whole chunk” — it might help, but the main reason for splitting is drying. Yes, there might be a fantastic stove that can technically get rid of whole chunks of green wood AND at the same time meet EPA rules, but dry wood *always* burns more efficiently.

      1. It’s called a gasifying stove.

        All the rage in Germany. It’s basically pyrolyzing the wood and then burning the resulting gasses with air from a secondary intake, so a bit of moisture in the wood is no problem at all. It just turns into hydrogen and methane before getting burned.

        The resulting exhaust does of course contain more water and carry off more heat in the form of steam.

        There’s various versions of it, some more and some less elaborate. It’s basically the same principle as a wood gas generator used in cars during WW2 so it can be built in a way that the firewood sits in one place and the resulting gas is burned in a separate burner or boiler, and the whole thing can be throttled by adjusting the amount of air drawn through the gasification unit.

        1. In Germany, the actually have huge versions of the same for district heating plants, where they roll in a whole 15ft roll of hay and switchgrass and whatever agricultural waste baled up, and then simply close the lid and it turns into town gas.

  3. Of course it’s coincidence, but Hackaday is posting stuff that I had already seen on my own lately. An interesting time killer is browsing trough log splitters on YouTube. My personal favorites are those with a fly wedge on a flywheel. To be fair to that concept there are example that are better thought out.

    1. No, because then you’d require more force to split the wood. Theoretically, the round will have mostly split by the time the second set of blades engages, and it won’t take much force to continue the first split. This leaves the axe’s remaining momentum available to start and finish the second splits. If you were trying to make all 3 at once, you’d require all that force at once, instead of more spread out.

      That being said, I have no idea how much of a difference that really makes, given the relatively short distance between the blades.

  4. So, is all the wood in america that soft?
    All I have here is eucalipt that can be either a bitch to split in half when moist due to it fibrous nature, or its very hard when dry, the other option is 100 years old olive, can make those hydraulic “home edition” splitters cry and shoot oil all over the place.

    1. Must be some type of softwood. On thing Dad taught me when splitting wood is to never aim right down the middle unless there is a big crack in it. Just bite it off the edges and work your way around. On trees like Spotted Gum, Blackbutt and Ironbark you’ll just waste your energy going down the guts. Also it looks like he is standing too far back. He could very easily swing short and miss.

    1. Sorry for my second reply in one post but come on, wood is carbon neutral, it absorbs carbon from the air, turns it into wood, you burn the wood and the carbon is released into the air where another tree sucks it up to put into the wood (and tasty sap if it’s maple) so wtf is the problem with people burning wood?

  5. Seems most of the wood I split as a teenager had a lot of knots or were from the crotch of trunk split into two stems. You’ll never get them to split with this axe. Most of the time those required a saw of some kind – or a whole bunch of wedges to get the halves apart. The only good thing I can say is it was good exercise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.