New / Old Viking Axe from Svante Djarv Hantverk AB
My interest in carving axes goes back my apprenticeship with Swiss cooper Ruedi Kohler in 1972. Since then I’ve used many ranging from Svante Djarv’s wonderful Baby Axe, to my favorite American log cabin broadaxe with its massive 12-inch blade. Along this journey I’ve found many other favorites. But many others that weren’t suitable for serious use in the woodworking shop.
Earlier this year one of our customers placed a special order for two axes that I hadn’t previously seen Svante Djarv’s “Viking Axe” and Svante’s “Little Viking Axe.” Because Svante is so busy, we had to wait several months for delivery, along with the regular Svante tools in our seasonal order.
Both Viking axes are beautiful. And of course well made, with elegant hammer impressions. And a handsome blackened finish. In trials I found the Little Viking to be all I had hoped for with great balance, proper flat bevels, and a nice slightly rippled handle. The Little Viking weighs 28 ounces (about 4 ounces more than the Karlsson Sloyd Axe.) The blade length is 5-3/8-inches; overall length is 15-inches. We now have added these into our current order with Svante. We can start taking orders while waiting for an approximate delivery date.
The standard Viking axe from Svante is elegant, but quite heavy, coming in at 53 ounces. The blade length is 6-1/4-inches and the overall length is 16-1/2 inches. We won't be stocking these, but they will be available as a special order item.
Important Notice: Axes are among the most dangerous hand tools. Instruction is recommended and safety precautions must be followed.
All of these axes are well balanced and have a satisfying, “lively” feel during use. All come with symmetrical bevels. S-31, H-166 and GB-01 have slightly ripple surfaced handles to help with getting a good grip.
KARLSSON SLOYD AXE. When Hans Karlsson developed this model in 1990 he asked Wille Sundqvist to design the handle. In the current version Drew asked Hans to lengthen the blade by about 3/4” without changing the weight. Excellent for bowl carvers and other shop work. The bevels are flat. This is the mid-weight shop axe that we have been looking for; our most popular tool at the Country Workshops Store. An optional leather guard is available.
Forged from SS1672 alloy steel and tempered at Rockwell 55. This material is both softer and tougher than the ball bearing steel used in the Karlsson gouges.
GRANSFORS BRUKS AXES
Gransfors Bruks axes are produced in a small Swedish axe factory, originally set up in 1910 in the Nordanstig rural district of Halsingland. Each axe is individually forged (and initialed with a hot stamp) by a master smith, then hardened and tempered to hold a keen edge. All Gransfors axes have a hickory handle, and are supplied with a leather guard. A complimentary copy of The Axe Book comes with each axe.
CARVING AXE. Wille Sundqvist master craftsman, teacher and author of Swedish Carving Techniques, designed this contemporary version of a traditional Swedish carving axe. The Carving axe fills a need for a well-balanced tool that weighs considerably more than the Karlsson Sloyd axe. An excellent tool for hewing bowls and other larger projects, including architectural work. A leather guard and The Axe Book are included.
SMALL FOREST AXE. This is the perfect single bit polled axe for light limbing in the woods, camping, splitting smallish firewood, and for cutting through cross fibers in large logs while splitting chair parts. With a touched up inner bevel (see the Shop Tip) it’s surprisingly good for hewing. The Small Forest Axe can be used single or double handed. With a hickory handle, leather guard and The Axe Book.
How To Order