Shepherd’s Axe

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Project by Sycamoray posted 08-06-2021 08:54 PM 903 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Shepherd’s Axe
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Shepherd’s Axe

Originally thought to be from the Carpathian Mtns and variously called ciupaga in Poland, valaska in Slovakia, baltag in Romania, among other names. Sometimes called fokos in Hungary, but that was probably a cavalry axe, not a peasant’s tool. This axe served three purposes that shepherd’s and I have in common:

1) a walking stick.
2) a light duty axe for cutting small diameter wood. The shepherds used it for making windbreaks and brush corrals.
3) a weapon to poke aggressive animals.

Made from a piece of ash, cane tip from Lee Valley, and hatchet head from McGowan(fire stone?).

I learned more of my current limits with the drawknife, as the handle is a little lopsided due to tear out. Also made a boneheaded mistake, but have learned how to repair and hide repairs.

I laid back the bevel because it was blunt and trimmed the beard to better fit my hand overtop, but now the sheath falls off. So I’ll need to make a new sheath. Finish is 1:3 minwax dark walnut and red mahogany stain with three layers of poly topcoat. I expect to get rained on when hiking, so I wanted a little more protection than my usual finishes.

13 comments so far

View 987Ron's profile


2172 posts in 556 days

#1 posted 08-06-2021 09:08 PM

Interesting story of a nice axe. Thanks for the post.

-- Ron

View Redoak49's profile


5387 posts in 3229 days

#2 posted 08-06-2021 09:08 PM

Very nice and interesting.

View BurlyBob's profile


9322 posts in 3505 days

#3 posted 08-06-2021 09:26 PM

Now I know what a Shepherd’s axe is. I’ve never heard of one before your post. Thank You.

View Thedustydutchman's profile


80 posts in 147 days

#4 posted 08-06-2021 10:07 PM

Never knew these existed. Sure is neat though! Great job.

-- Jerry H - Holland Michigan

View JCamp's profile


1427 posts in 1791 days

#5 posted 08-07-2021 12:34 AM

Very cool. Im one of those folks that love axes an hatchets and have more than I’ll ever use but I’ve never heard of a shepherds axe

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View recycle1943's profile


5845 posts in 2862 days

#6 posted 08-07-2021 11:19 AM

very interesting – pretty cool walking stick tho

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Albert's profile


549 posts in 4829 days

#7 posted 08-07-2021 01:54 PM

I need one for my infrequent trips into Portland / Seattle

View sirthinkalot's profile


60 posts in 1678 days

#8 posted 08-07-2021 05:15 PM

a well placed blow to a bear might do the trick….. never knew there was such an animal ... nice job

View bobfromsanluis's profile


63 posts in 1912 days

#9 posted 08-07-2021 07:15 PM

Just curious, what is the overall length?

View Peteybadboy's profile


4000 posts in 3189 days

#10 posted 08-07-2021 07:32 PM

Very cool

-- Petey

View Sycamoray's profile


97 posts in 480 days

#11 posted 08-07-2021 10:38 PM

Thanks all, for the feedback.

Bob, it measures 45+5/8 inches from tip to top of axe. A cane for me should measure 35, but this is for all-terrain so I’d rather have the extra when on a compound slope. Or dealing with something that has long arms.

View PaulDoug's profile


2623 posts in 2944 days

#12 posted 08-08-2021 06:56 PM

Great job and very interesting..

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View JCinVA's profile


245 posts in 2070 days

#13 posted 08-09-2021 06:32 AM

Really cool and I appreciate the history lesson too.

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