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Hazelwood and Churchill (Victoria, Australia) local Girl Guide information noticeboard.


Great care must be used with this skill – learn to respect your axe and never ill treat it.

  • Chopping wood ‘should be a priviledge and the right should be earned.
  • Safety rules and care of an axe must be learnt first.
  • Never buy an axe with a painted handle because you can not check if the wood grain is straight.
  • Cut the toe off the end of the handle then the handle will not be damaged when knocking on the head.
  • To knock a loose head on strike the cut off toe with a hammer or on a rock etc, and rewedge the loose head.
  • After purchase mint the handle a bright colour so it is easily seen in x’.ic bush.
  • Never carry an axe on the shoulder. Hold the head in the hand,with back facing the way you want to walk, the side with the handle up in front of the shoulder and on the opposite side to a companion.  If you  happen to trip the axe can be thrown clear.
  • When handing an axe to someone let her grip it at the handle near the head before you let go.
  • The weight of axe heads vary – get an axe to suit your strength, (a “half axe” would be suitable for Guides).
  • Between camps protect the head with a leather or vinyl cover.
  • A blunt axe is a dangerous axe. A known sharp tool commands respect.
  • Only Leaders or very responsible Guides should sharpen an axe.
  • To sharpen – rest the head against a log and file toward back of blade with pressure on both ends of the file by using both hands.
  • When using a wet stone use circular movement from head to blade in clockwise direction.
  • When releasing an axe from a log, work the handle up and down.
  • When chopping, one hand has firm grip of handle, the other hand slides up and down the handle. Let the weight of the axe handle do the cutting, but always under your control. Like every other skill PRACTICE is essential – try hitting a chalk mark.
  • Clear the ground around you and get a firm footing. Cut large branches by striking at a 30% angle and forming a ‘kerf’ or ‘V’ shapecut. Stand to the opposite side when trimming branches, with back to the butt.
  • Do not cut living trees unless it is absolutely essential.

Safety rules;

  • Aim to chop where the stick you- are chopping is directly supporting by the chopping block – beware of tip cat danger.
  • Never chop on to or into the ground.
  • Keep spectators in front of you and at least 6 feet away. . never throw an axe.
  • Never leave an axe lying on the ground or propped against a log or tree.
  • Mask the axe when not in use.
  • If the head becomes loose stop at once.
  • If you become tired stop at once.
  • Learn to aim at a particular point on the stick or log you are cutting and do not be content merely to hit the log.
  • Keep your eye on the place you are trying to hit. . Keep calm.
  • Do not become over-confident or careless.
  • Do remember to wear shoes of a walking variety when you are going to use an axe.
  • Better yet wear boots with cap.
  • If you are wearing a lanyard or similar, take it off before you use an axe.
  • Finally, whenever you stop using the axe, mask it properly either by putting it back into its carrying case or by masking it into a wood block.

May 24, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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