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The Axe

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I have always had a passion for axes. I got my first axe when I was only eight years old.  I had my first real axe at the age of fifteen. Since then I have collected several kinds of axes and adzes. I grew up knowing how to use an axe, however, not everybody knows how to use this tool bearing in mind its cost; the dangers involved, and in many cases the price. Most people do not even need to know how to use it.

The axe or ax is a no electronic implement that has been used for quite a long time to split, shape, and cut wood. It has also been used as a weapon, and as a ceremonial or heraldic symbol.  The device has various forms and specialized uses, but generally it consists of an axe head and a handle, or also known as a helve. The tool had earlier examples that had heads made of stone with the handles made of wood. Later, the technology developed with the head made of bronze, steel, iron or copper.

The axe is, however, a simple tool since it is a kind of wedge, or a dual inclined plane. This ensures a reduced effort needed by the person who uses it to cut wood. The pressure concentration at the blade ensures that the wood is split into two. Its handle acts as alever, which allows the chopper to increase the pressure at the cutting edge. Majority of this kind of technology are double beveled; meaning they are symmetrical about the axis of the blade. Otherwise, some specialist broadaxes have single bevel blade with an offset handle. This ensures that they finish the work without putting the chopper’s knuckles at risks of injury. Previously, they were once used as an integral part of a joiner and a carpenter’stool kit, not only as a tool used in the forestry as it is used today.

I have witnessed the device used as a religious significance. I have also seen the tool used by women priests in religious ceremonies. During my visit to Minoa Crete, I learnt that the axe was used in superstition. They believed that the axe was used to keep off hailstorms. They at times placed the axe in crops, with the cutting edge facing the skies so as to protect their harvest against bad weather. They also told me that, the axe put in an upright position, and buried under the sill of a house; would probably keep off witches while an axe placed under the bed would probably assure a male offspring.

At one time, I owned a sharp axe so as to cut things better. This was not the only reason I kept my axe sharp. I came to realize that, keeping my axe sharp also helped in the geometry of efficient chopping. My axe was a little different from my grandparent’s version. Initially the axe I saw my grandparents, which was made from copper. It was flat and hafted. The axe I possessed was made of bronze and flat. They also showed me an axe that they used a long time ago that was made of stone and is not hafted.

My axe was one of the things I used to carry when going for camps. Nicely shaped, it served me well when chopping wood and splitting kindling.  The axe would help me in carving and shaping of wood as well as in chopping useful things such as fire stands and screens. My other experience with an axe is when I worked as a firefighter. I used a fire axe which had a pick shaped pointed poll. The axe helped me get into locked buildings so as to perform rescue operations as well as to put out fires.  It was less reliable than using irons when getting entry to search victims who were on fire. We could also use the flat axe to chop and smash through areas when performing overhaul. Overhaul is when we are checking for fire extensions into walls, and into ceilings so as to prevent a fire that we might believe to have been extinguished from rekindling.

All edged tools are said to be dangerous, especially when in the hands of ‘chumps,’ they might be dangerous to them or to anybody near them. When I was using my axe, I at onetime used it when its head was loose, and there was the danger of the head flying off the handle. Although it did not hit me, the head went flying hitting a glass window nearby.

There was a time I used my axe to cut roots and sticks, not keen on the stones, and other objects that could take off the edge of the blade. At times, I forgot the axe was lying on the ground after using it. Accidentally, it caused people causing injuries when they stumbled on it. There are also times I started chopping down trees before ensuring there is enough spaceabove and around me. I ended up striking bushes or overhanging branches which deflected my blade, and also caused accidents more or less serious.

Sometimes, I failed to inform people around me of a falling tree, thus, damaging property that I was then supposed to pay for. The axe has, however, gone through transformations and replacing various tools that used to perform the task of wood cutting. The axe investment might be a good idea because; it has helped us through the ages in various ways. However, it can be improved by creation of metallic handles, which best fit the blade to avoid further injuries caused by flying heads which might be loose. This can also be further improved, by making a permanent head that involves welding. It is believed that it replaced the saw in wood cutting. The use of the saw was found to be tiresome as it required two individuals to fell a tree.

I suffer severe cuts when I come into contact with my axe. Some members of my family have also suffered this too. I have advised them not to use the tool when under the influence of alcohol. Those who fail to do so have suffered injuries. A dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one. A dull blade will definitely bounce on the wood instead of cutting clearly. This will lead to injuries. When using the axe, one is supposed to ensure he places the wood to be split on top of a stump to keep the head of the ax from contacting the ground, or hitting rocks. These may lead to dulling the blade.

The axe is cheap and cost effective. This explains why it is used by a majority in wood cutting and in camping sites. However, the adverts on this particular product do not clearly explain how to use it. It is, therefore, advisable for one to learn how to use the axe. This helps to avoid the dangers associated with the work. It is also important to mask the axe when not using it. 

The tool has been of great importance to the society. It creates an easier work of splitting firewood and cutting down trees. I could not imagine of how to cut down a tree with a large trunk with a machete. It is a tool of choice for most general uses. Apart from chopping trees and splitting firewood, the axe has also been used as a weapon by some communities. The battle axe in its most common form has been compared to a sword swing. It is believed to deliver more cleaver power in a small targeted area. These makes it a more effective weapon against armor because, it concentrates more of its weight in the axe head.

I have no intentions of stopping using my axe since it has been of great importance to me. It has helped both members of my family and my neighbors. Despite causing minor injuries when used in a bad way, it has eased the work for a majority. Ido not see a quick replacement for this work, and with that I intend to keep it. For those who invented this tool, I suppose they had a hard time trying to chop down trees; or maybe splitting wood trunks that were large and needed to be reduced.

The tool has been of great help; though, at times, I feel scared of swinging it up and down due to the cuts that I have previously sustained from using it. The weight and sharp blade scares me at times, but when I think of the need to spilt my wood when camping or when in need to cook gets me working with it. However, there are instances when complains have arisen due to deforestation and the large cutting down of trees.

The axe has been a blessing in woodcraft since childhood. If one desires to become a good woodsman, it is important to learn to use the axe. If I were a country boy, I would be more proud to have skillful axemanship than to be a pitcher on the village nine. I believe that with a good riffle, a good knife and, a good axe I can take care of myself in the woods for days. The axe is more important than the riffle. The best way to be a good axeman is to make acquaintance of a woodchopper like me. But I should warn you. Never request my neighbor to lend you his axe. You will not be friends for long. It is advisable to have your own. Remember a cheap axe is poor economy. Just like the brightest paint and the gaudiest labels, will not always mean you have got the best steel. Be prepared to make your own handle for your safety.

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