Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
DIY Walking Axe
Display Avatars Sort By:
Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: DIY axe on 11/24/2007 00:20:26 MST Print View

Fascinating!

> Even using the titanium gives me a total axe weight of under 4.5 oz. for 50cm length.
Just remember in all of this: the lighter the axe, the less 'strike power' you get. So being fussy about the adze may not win too much.

Cheers
Roger

chris Mcfarland
(pecos)

Locale: baba yaga's porch
diy walking axe on 11/25/2007 02:35:14 MST Print View

i just found this thread and wow! i cant wait for the next "installment". what is the total cost of this whole production going to top out at?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re diy walking axe on 11/27/2007 07:14:24 MST Print View

Chris,
Good question...having the shop available for use, machining the parts myself, and Kevin E sending me a free carbon shaft (he shipped it yesterday!) - total cost will be quite low.
I really only have to pay for the titanium itself, about $20 or so per axe - oh, and I'll have to purchase some epoxy to bond the shaft to the parts.
However, I have spent many hours working on it, design/re-design, manufacture, including a small accident Sunday requiring me to remake the head stem and spike (my skills have dwindled over the years). If you have access to the facilities required, then it is definitely a project to take on...if you are going to farm out ALL the work and material, I imagine a "one off" would be quite expensive.
Steve

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re diy walking axe on 11/27/2007 14:25:34 MST Print View

> However, I have spent many hours working on it, design/re-design, manufacture,
These things often become 'many DAYS', not hours :-)

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Walking Axe Delays on 12/10/2007 08:09:29 MST Print View

For those wondering if I forgot about this project.
Had a few delays over the past couple of weeks....

I received the carbon shaft from Kevin - Thanks! The unpolished (ribbed for pleasure) texture is great for grip. Build quality is top notch - strong and uber light!

I machined the head stem and spike and modified for proper fit to the shaft. Not to toot my own horn, but they look sharp!

But...after fixing the compressor on the plasma cutter last week, my friend cut the titanium over the weekend and I just got it back this morning. It is basically scrap. Apparently too much moisture in the system. So, I have to order more Ti this week and hopefully get the plasma set up and the Ti cut next week.

Winter is in full force up here, so testing will begin as soon as the axe is compete.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Walking Axe Delays on 12/11/2007 14:16:27 MST Print View

Steven,
Make sure and include some pictures SOON as I'm really looking forward to see how it is all coming together!

Kevin

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 12/21/2007 13:48:48 MST Print View

Ok, so here is the situation. I had to order more titanium twice as the plasma cutter destroyed the pieces again. Due to extreme rage, I scrapped the plasma idea and ended up using the water-jet cutter to cut my pieces out and they turned out great. I took it to get it welded today and there were no problems, except the smallest wire they had was 1/16 so the beads are a little big. I'll leave more room next time. All I have left to do is bond the head and spike to the shaft via Kevin's instructions.
I'll post some pics this weekend when I unpack my camera (I'm in the middle of moving). It's coming together...
Steve

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
myog on 12/24/2007 10:49:57 MST Print View

m.y.o.Gift.. Merry chirstmas!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
New Ice Axe Pics on 12/25/2007 08:24:16 MST Print View

New pics as promised.
I still need to clean up the head and anodize it along with the spike. Then I just have to bond it to the shaft and it wil be ready for service. I'm going on a trip in the first few weeks of the new year, so I will be able to test it out. Best part of all, it comes in at 3.9 oz.

Here's a pic of the whole axe. It's not bonded yet, just fit together.
Axe

Three piece welded head. The Adze still needs to be chamfered.
head


And of course, the scale shot. The epoxy will be the only extra weight on top of the 3.9 oz. I can't imagine much of an increase.
scale

Merry Christmas!

Edited by Steve_Evans on 12/25/2007 08:25:13 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: New Ice Axe Pics on 12/26/2007 02:40:59 MST Print View

Looks to me as thought the 1/16" Ti welding wire was about right.
Now we need to know how it goes in the field. We await ... :-)

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: New Ice Axe Pics on 12/26/2007 10:01:40 MST Print View

Wow... Very Very NICE!

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: New Ice Axe Pics on 12/26/2007 10:39:40 MST Print View

Looks awesome :) This has been such a cool project to watch! Can't wait until you get to try it out and report back.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
I'll bite on 12/29/2007 11:34:06 MST Print View

In for 3, but the shipping kills it - ;)
seriously tho, this is one of the coolest projects ever. Happy New Year and where you going?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 12/29/2007 14:27:28 MST Print View

Thanks for comments guys, this project has been good fun for me aswell.

Paul - I'm just going on a 3 day snowshoe trip up to Ishpatina Ridge. It's not a mountaineering trip by any means, but I'll find some nice slopes to see how the axe stands up to a little abuse and general use. Afterwards, I "may" test it to failure just to get an idea of it's capabilities. A bunch of my buddies all want one so I'll probably end up making a few more mods (Rev 3 if req'd) before spitting out a small run. I just hope Kevin can get me a good price on those carbon shafts ;)

Happy New Year!

Edited by Steve_Evans on 12/29/2007 14:28:25 MST.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Making up the set on 12/29/2007 15:43:57 MST Print View

Hi all,
first post here, but wanted to say how impressed I am by the way this project has come together through the quality input and production skills.

I'd be interested in having one of these to go with my MYOG Ti snowshovel with carbon handle. Looks like shipping to the UK wouldn't be toooo heavy anyway. ;)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: DIY Walking Axe on 12/30/2007 01:57:04 MST Print View

Hi Steven

> so I'll probably end up making a few more mods (Rev 3 if req'd)
Can I suggest that you look carefully at the length of the ferrule or sleeve on both the head and the point. By my rough engineering rule of thumb, both could do with another 5 mm or so of length. But stress test one first to see. The Ti is unlikely to break, but the CF tube might.

One other thing. Get professional advice about what glue to use. There are many superglues which will NOT work. Ti Goat was using the wrong one at one stage, and ALL the aluminium rings fell off my CF trekking poles. Epoxy on the other hand is good. You could ask Loctite about this.

Cheers
Roger

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Fixing on 12/30/2007 07:48:36 MST Print View

Would a tensioned piece connecting the adze head ferrule and the base spike be worth considering? Maybe a solid 1/8" or 3/16" Ti rod threaded at the ends?

It would provide a failsafe fixing in the event of glue failure, reduce the chance of the glue failing in the first place, and would add to the shear stiffness of the axe shaft too. I realise it would add not inconsiderable weight, but you might be able to reduce the carbon wall thickness on the next revision and save a bit there.

If you did go for this idea, it would be worth getting the threads rolled rather than die cut, if that's feasible on Ti. Maybe ask at a specialist cycle shop how they thread titanium wheel spokes. I have a quantity of 31" long 1/8" centreless ground medical quality Ti-6AL-4V rods if you need some.

On a seperate issue, thinking about what Roger Caffin said about weight and step cutting: How about strapping a suitably reshaped alloy drink bottle full of water (or something tastier that won't freeze) to the the pick side of the shaft when more oomph is needed for ice chipping with the adze?

My Cassin 60cm axe weighs 17oz plus wrist strap so well done on a stunning job!

Edited by tallbloke on 12/30/2007 09:26:08 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: DIY Walking Axe on 12/31/2007 05:56:55 MST Print View

You've got a good eye Roger. The ferrule is too short. Recomended length is about twice the diameter... so I'm about 1/2 inch short for the head and about 3/4 inch for the spike. Definitely a fix for the next one.
As for the glue, Kevin (the gentlemen who provided the shaft) sent me a document specifying the procedure to bond CF with Ti. I am currently trying to source a local supplier of the epoxy.
It needs a few tweaks and I'll get a better feel when I go and use it a bit. I'm trying to keep it as light as possible, but it has to work aswell!
Thanks for the input!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Fixing on 12/31/2007 06:02:50 MST Print View

Rog,
Good thoughts about the shaft. I had considered putting either a rod/cable down the center and fastening it to the head and spike - and maybe I will go that route if this doesn't work out. That would fix the problem of snow filling the shaft aswell - this version isn't capped off.
Now what's this talk about a carbon/ti shovel? ;)

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Ti Shovel on 12/31/2007 08:20:06 MST Print View

The Ruskies made a load of Ti shovel blades to get around export restrictions. They flogged 'em to the Germans as agricultural implements, and the Germans melted them down for aerospace parts. Some survived though. There is one on a well known auction site as I write. Maybe the Ruskies made different grades of them, because mine is nowhere near the 2lb quoted on that auction, more like 9oz, but I suspectthe auction owner just got it wrong or is bulling it up to be a bigger chunk of Ti than it really is. item 360008518545

It's not an ideal shape for a snow shovel, but has turned over top edges for stomping on and makes a secure king peg for camping on deep snow in the wind too.

I made the shaft out of a section of carbon fishing pole and used a cheap plastic handle off a garden fork glued onto one end. To join the shaft to the shovel, I made a temporary turned piece of ash wood drilled through it's length (for lightness ho ho) to fit the taper in the shovel head, and plan to use it to make a mould for an alloy piece when I get a round tuit. :o)