Handling an axe

09/24/2008 at 4:33 pm (work)

Learning to handle an axe, I find, is not something that I do with my mind.

My axe handling has improved a great deal in the past couple weeks of cutting wood. But I am at a loss to explain exactly how or why.

It is just something that my body is learning. I can feel when I’m doing it right, and boy do I feel when I’m not.

Even before the blow strikes, I can tell whether it will be a good hit or not.

It is really nearly impossible to describe. The ax swings overhead with all the parts of your body working in the groove they have learned, then a little release of euphoria when the steel makes a good hit and sinks itself deep into the wood sending a large chip flying.

Another thing I’ve learned about wood cutting with the axe is that it is not so much the raw force that matters, rather it is the proper application of that force.

When I really put the power behind the axe, it only makes me more tired more quickly. I really doubt that it cuts wood any faster.

But when I slow down and let my body and the axe work together the chips fly and I can go on doing it for much longer.

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