another piece of the story about my axe

best fuchs hatchet


I know I’m lucky to have the hewing hatchets I do…I got mine from Alexander, and the legend is that Drew Langsner and Jennie (then-John) Alexander got them as partial payment for demos/lectures at Woodcraft back in 1979/80. I found this while down at Bob Van Dyke’s place this week: 


1971 Woodcraft catalog axe


 – a 1971 Woodcraft Catalog, that listed the limited quantity axe heads they were then offering. Says the first 100 orders will be filled, but 9 years later, they still had leftovers? $12 must have been too steep a price…

I have written about this/these hatchets many times – here’s one post about them

Now, if there was 100 of them 40 years ago, where are they now? I had 3, gave one away….

7 thoughts on “another piece of the story about my axe

  1. I used an inflation calculator to see how much that 1971 price would be in todays dollars. I thought maybe you might find it to be interesting too.

    What cost $12.90 in 1971 would cost $73.22 in 2013.

    Also, if you were to buy exactly the same products in 2013 and 1971, they would cost you $12.90 and $2.21 respectively.


  2. Jennie here


    Slight correction. In 1980 you (not Drew Langsner) and I went to Woodcraft Supply in Woburn, Massachusetts. I talked about chair making and you brought your shaveing horse and demonstrated.. That was when I met your wonderful Mother. Five axes were my honorarium. I gave 4 away, 2 to you and am down to one. Had a leather sheath made and it is my tool of choice. Thanks for reminding me. You had just begun chairmaking. Your shop was on the second floor of a chicken house. I was a pointy headed lawyer. My basement shop was almost 6 feet high. (I was 5 foot3). I cooked my rungs over the hot water pipes. Joinery was still in the future. If you find any hatchets for $12.50 I know a few fellow hewers that would take them off your hands. Oh I forgot. I was told that after WW2 the hatchets were found in an abandoned factory.


  3. Speaking of hard to find tools for green woodworking, care to give some idea of where to find some good, thin and gradual tapered splitting wedges.The ones I’ve seen available all have fairly abrupt bevels out at the tip and tend to bounce out when whacking. The ones you mention in Build a Joint Stool are nothing like the commercially available ones.

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