"Slabbin' at Wood" #4: "More Safety, Chainsaw....Broadax" --by RusticWoodArt

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Blog entry by frank posted 09-26-2007 03:17 PM 1471 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: "Slab Wood Tales" --by RusticWoodArt Part 4 of "Slabbin' at Wood" series Part 5: "Homelite 26 LCS" --by RusticWoodArt »

More Safety, Chainsaw….Broadax

Well that’s it….LOL

....I’m not able to blog my story I had thought to put in here this morning, since I was looking through the forums and I saw a question asked about; “If you where a hand plane?”! This got my mind to turning and so where I was going to go with “Slabbin’ at Wood” is out the door for today.

Also let me say that I need to go and set up some photo jigs, so that I can also take some pictures of how the saw is in position for the rip cuts. This is not easy for me to do as I also once explained in an-other blog story, that I’ve not yet quite evolved into a creature yet with four hands….maybe three, but not four. I had planed on doing this last evening, but by that time, my day was done and the sun was going down…. and my mind had all-ready started to shut down in the physical realm.

Ah yes, very good place to add some safety tips, since we are talking about being tired in body and mind….more safety tips to think upon….

I never use a chainsaw when my body or mind are past their prime of sharpness for the day….

I will not go near a chainsaw after I have eaten a meal and I am now stomach full.” Now I know that this one may seem as a hard safety tip to follow, but let me also refine and tune down even a little closer to home. ”I never use a power tool or hand tool after a hard days work, when I have come home and have also eaten supper.

Some say accidents happen, but I say; ”accidents are brought about by planning to be not safe!

When your body or mind is past it’s prime for the day and you now engage in activity after a meal on a full stomach, your sense of ‘sharpness’ has been dulled down and you are now ’dumbed down’. If you will be honest with yourself and think back to the near misses and hits you have accumulated over the course of your life, how many came after the evening meal, out in your work shop? Food will slow your reaction times down and lulls one into an area of dangerous false security. I have found that by staying away from food, till my day is done….keeps me on a ‘live edge’ and in oneness with the wood I work. Again just my two cents worth…. now one may ask; “if I were a hand plane?”, and what does this have to do with “Slabbin’ at Wood”? Well, if I were a hand plane I would be very sad….since I would have realized that I had missed my goal in life of being a BROADAX!!! To me and my way of thinking a broadax is so much more of an instrument for finishing wood then a hand plane could ever amount to….and the possibilities are endless here. Maybe when I get done with my story blog here on ’’slabbin’ at wood’’, I will get around to doing one on the broadax. Broadax, froe, adzes, slicks….now there’s a good one to use in place of a hand plane….slick, just ‘slick’ that wood away. Contrary to what a lot of folks think, I even use ‘power’ hand planers for getting a finished piece of wood.

So in getting back to the broadax, which timber framers where using before chainsaws, there is the beauty of working the wood with your hands, by an art form of tooling the wood, that not even many today have yet come to realize. Many sizes and shapes are these broadax’s and then there is also….the added responsibility of having to write a new set of safety tips for the broadax….hmmm.

Here’s one picture of a broadax I use for finishing wood and also for distressing the wood….

Now lets look at some more rip cuts in some pine and the slabs created, that are by chainsaw….

....and an-other view from topside….

....two logs here, one was large enough to also rip out an inside slab….

....what one rips is according to what you are creating for, some slabs make very good bench tops, while some are used for rustic furniture….

....and in all of this their is much freedom to let the wood express it’s-self. Pine makes for some nice bench tops and flower benches as this one was ripped with a chainsaw and then finished with a ‘power’ hand planner….legs are lilac….

....and then I also happend to notice what one of cats was thinking about all this….’half-lap’ seemed to just take it all in stride….

And yes I will get those pictures soon of the ‘how-when-where-why’ of my rip cutting jigs, which are in essence very simple and yet very usefull.

Now I want to mention that I’m not ‘be-littling’ any who use ‘hand planes’ or are asking questions….but then at times my own ‘two cents’ of humor quicks in and what can I say….”if I were and if I could, I would be a BROADAX”!!!

Thank you.

[email protected]

” smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood….”

-- --frank, NH,

5 comments so far

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593 posts in 4943 days

#1 posted 09-26-2007 06:34 PM

Wise advice coming from an experienced man.

Remember folks: risk factors doesn’t add but multiply the probability of an accident to happen. (again another one I should be grateful my flying trainning for). Indeed meals, specially high-carbs ones produce a certain amount of drowsiness. Add the tiredness cuulated along the day, a chainsaw or an ax and you have an accident waiting to happen.

Frank, I see you use regular good ole exterior paint por sealing endgrain, isn’t it?

By the way I do love cats (and their name!) and I must say that all those slabs are lustful.

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 5277 days

#2 posted 09-26-2007 07:12 PM

ha! the cat and the bench proving that, for some situations, three legs are better than four..

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 5057 days

#3 posted 09-27-2007 04:57 AM

Great blog Frank. There have been a number of times that I wish I done just that. Most of my accidents have happened after I should have stopped working for the day.

Great name for the cat. Nice looking cat too! My new kitten is Arthur Guinness. I’ve always loved cats, my girls noted one time that at least 1/2 the pictures there is of me as a kid I had a cat in my arms.

-- Bob

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 5177 days

#4 posted 09-28-2007 01:33 PM

Wonder-full comments from all and hello;
—-hi Jojo; yes….I use what I find around the place here….’use it up, wear it out, do with out’ is an old New England saying that has much wisdom even for today. Any-ways, I don’t mind disappointing all those big name companies for chemicals to protect the wood, that want to disappoint my wallet with all their prices….ugh! Latex acrylic exterior house paint, (best if there is a sheen, since it’s the sheen that adds the protection) seals the wood just fine. I will cut it, slab it and paint it….with two coats, by going around the stickered wood with one coat and then I do it again.

And what makes this so ‘very good’ is that I will visit my local paint stores and collect all their mis-tints and re-turns for free or sometimes I’ll have to give fifty cents to a dollar on the can. Ha!....I’ve actually came away with ten – twenty gallons this way for free….and then some of those places started selling for a dollar or so. Home Depot and Lowes are also great places to get mis-tints along with yard sales.

The latex acrylic exterior house paints work just great….and also, who said woodworking had to be expensive? Remove the middle man from working with wood and connect straight back to our roots with wood….

—-hi Rob; I’m glad you saw that link be-tween the ‘cat and the bench’, which goes to prove how much you really are seeing. I may have to get much harder here with the pictures, since your starting to expose my riddles of how all connects….LOL….

—-hi Bob; I like that name Arthur Guinness, so how-when-what-why did this name come forth? I thought we had just lost one of our cats, Bladed Scarf, (yes, that name is after a famous timber framing scarf joint) when he did not come home for four days. I keep trying to tell them, that there are bigger ones out there in those woods then they, but still cats will be cats….

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

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593 posts in 4943 days

#5 posted 09-28-2007 04:53 PM

Very clever use of available resources, too bad the resellers are starting to see the business in it!

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