30924Axe Making.

Prior the the industrial revolution, axes were made at the locations of small forgers and black smiths. The structure of the tool and the overall design were based on it’s intend use and required functions. Designs would also be influenced by the craftsman, and the specific customer. Up until the 1800s most axes made were used by farmers, and other types of craftsmen. The advent of industrial scale logging brought about new needs for axes, and gave the axe makers a whole new customer base. The enormous demand for the tools created an increase in interest as it related to big business, and axe factories began to pop up near logging communities. Axes then were made in standard molds, and the ability to mass produce was greatly increased. Axes that were made of a specified make and model, were intended to perform the same and have the same appearance.
Image result for forestry axe
It was during the decade of the 1960s that the ever efficient chain saw came into play. These power saws basically replaced the axe as the tool of choice in forestry work, and in axe began to suffer enormous reductions in sales. Many companies closed down for good, and those that did stay in business, suffered enormous financial pressures. They were forced to cut back on expenses dramatically, put people out of work, and started to offer inferior, low priced items in an effort to stay in business. Axes were made very fast, and very much on the cheap, resulting in a serious reduction in functionality, as well as a terrible reduction in over all quality.
These days there are literally billions of feet of timber and pulpwood that have never ever tasted the kiss of an axe. Harvesters as well as chain saws reign supreme. The farmers still have applications for the axe, and some people use an axe around the homestead, however the logging and forestry business does not rely on the axe any longer. So many axe forgers had to shut down. In the United States, at one time we had more than 600 axe makers producing axes on a grand scale. Now only a few are known to still remain. I was recently told that the country of Canada no longer has even one industrial axe forger still in business today. I know, very hard to believe when you consider the wealth of forests up at Canada.
Over seas, at Sweden, it is known to have only three major axe makers that remain in operation. Yes even the home of the Vikings finds little need or use for the awesome tool. Norway and Denmark are believed to no longer manufacture axes. There probably could be a few old school black smiths found, but that is about it.



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