the unofficially official axes of Camp Ton

the unofficially official axes of Camp Ton are……………

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Yes I have a chainsaw, and yes I know how to use one but there is something primal and satisfying about using an axe. visceral and joyful.

I am fair certain I have talked about axes before, but recently I had the chance to drop three trees on my property. Good size trees, about as wide around as I am. I won’t get into the how. There are a shit ton of videos on the youtube on how to do it, some of them done by guys who know how to do it better then me. If I was in a rush I would have used a chainsaw or pulled them out of the ground with my F250, but I like to do man shit, the boss life wasn’t taking up to much of my time that day( my payroll firm messed up and I had to wait around for FedEx to drop off my guy’s payroll checks) and using an axe is near on the pinnacle of man shit

I should have timed it but it couldn’t have been more then 45 mins to drop the 3 trees. Could have been done sooner I reckon but I am old, not at my peak psychical condition and took a lot of water breaks. It’s a less then pleasant summer with temps that closed in on 100 with nasty high humidity. Thankfully I was out of direct sunlight and the lake does help to keep things cool… and it was damn near orgasmic to jump in the lake after the axe work was done

My Gransfors are relatively new. Don’t recall when I bought them, or who recommended them but I haven’t used mine much. Really I don’t do much stuff like this anymore. Partly dude to age and what not but mostly because I don’t have the time. Think being a Platoon Daddy to 30-35 young men consumes your time? Trying running a couple of bidness.

Any rate, a neighbor wandered over while I was sectioning the trees( cutting one into rounds to use as seating once I get my big ass fire-pit is dug in) to offer the use of one of his stump grinders. He noticed the axe and brought me his later on that evening. His is a token from his youth, which is decades ago. The thing as seen some use, I know he use to cut fire wood and what not to help pay for college. The damn thing is still in good shape and ready for work. Original handle as far as I can tell. Pretty sure he used a file to keep it sharp too. Nothing fancy for that good ol boy

Mostly what impressed me is how well the axes bit. Yeah I am pretty strong, and remembered how to use the damn thing with a quickness but even my shitty strokes bit hard. I was taking 4-6 inch chunks of wood every 3-4 strokes once I got my grove back

I have their Scandinavian Forest axe and their splitting maul. Which is also a beast. Their hunting axe is on the way.

Anyrate it was a good time, which it almost always is when you are working with good tools. The trees came down, I limbed them with the chain saw, then cut one into sections with the chain saw. That was tricky. Not so much using a  chain saw but figuring our what was a good sitting height and making good smooth cuts. I have the other two trees resting on good size tree limbs, waiting for them to cure. One is a pine tree, which are kind of useless to me, but might make a good obstacle once it cures some. The other is some sort of hard wood. I’ll split it for the fire-pit or fireplace. I generally dislike cutting down hard wood trees, but these three bastards where killing my lake view. Now I can look out my bedroom window when I am banging out of my Girls from behind.

The Ton life yo!

It was a good day. If I was smart I would have set out my fishing yo-yo’s and had a fish fry afterward too. But alas I am not that smart these days. To focused on other shit. Maybe this weekend

Also, I have a total man crush on the old guy living next door. He is a tough old bastard, fought in Korea, brought himself up from nothing, has worked on all kinds of shit, including oil rigs and now has a construction company. Build large scale farm stuff and is banging some 51 year old bitch that he knows is mostly a gold digger. Solid Game and Frame from a 74 year old. Hell he might be older.

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45 thoughts on “the unofficially official axes of Camp Ton

  1. BuenaVista

    He’s older than 74 if he was in Korea. If 74 he was born in 1942 or so.

    Sounds like he’s living right.

    ***

    I use a file on my hardware store axe. I run it out toward the edge at a slight angle. At the campfire I used to smooth it all out with a stone, but that was long ago. I suppose it’s faster to use a bench grinder.

    Reply
    1. SFC Ton Post author

      LOL I am the world’s worst bench grinder operator
      The fucking worse. About the only thing I suck more at in the manly arts is backing up a trailer. Though I’ll be going to CDL school this fall. Maybe I’ll learn how to back one up there

      Reply
      1. BuenaVista

        On backing up: try putting your hand at the bottom of the wheel instead of top. Reverses everything.

        Farmers are insanely good at backing. I was talking to a buddy who farms 2000 ($20,000,000) and he got most animated talking about he can two point a 60′ wide planter.

        Backing a reefer into the dock is simpler stuff obviously, but everyone will be watching. I’m not there yet.

      2. SFC Ton Post author

        LOL I own some reefers, though I am trying to sell and replace a goodly number of them. I want 25, so I have all my other trailers for sale as well. Won’t get much for them but you know how it is

        been thinking about a post on how simple leadership in the commercial world is

        The stump grinder is a stand alone machine. Sort of like this.

        his was a good deal larger and not operated by hand

        my neighbor said he’d clear my second lot for me at the cost of diesel. I want to put a 5 car garage with an RV bay on it, but havn’t given it much thought beyond that. Or even if the day HOA will go for it

        It’s a nice lake community but few of us live there year round and everything is set up for summer rental season

      3. BuenaVista

        I had a guy who would bench grind my lawnmower blades — and then balance them like an airplane prop. Got cancer, died in 60 seconds, that’s now a lost art.

      4. BuenaVista

        The stump grinder they used at my place was a big wheel — maybe 5 or 6 feet tall. It obliterated four foot wide stumps in a few minutes.

        Farmers all seem to have an equipment porn problem. They love buying stuff even if they only use it twice per year. It’s one of the things they do instead of taking vacations. I’m drifting in that direction, after a lifetime if being on the silver bird all week, every week.

        I would be interested in your comparison of leadership styles in military vs. civilian. It’s a rich subject. Back in DC my next-door neighbor was a retired admiral who was president of a major defense contractor. He didn’t enjoy that job so well.

      5. SFC Ton Post author

        LOL at equipment porn! country boys with money spend their money on good ol boy shit.

        In this case he is in the construction business, doing large scale agricultural construction jobs. Not sure how often he uses what bit of equipment but time is money and the stump grinder is amazing fast.

        I have next to nothing good to say about officers in general; even less to say about high ranking officers and I have not yet meet a decent naval officer. Only meet one decent USMC officer. I reckon the admiral hated it because he wasn’t getting his ass kissed to the same degree as before and couldn’t interfere in the civilians personal lives as much as he would want

      6. BuenaVista

        Nope, he’s a good guy. Never wanted to go to Annapolis but his navy captain dad told him he had to for financial reasons. Plays blues guitar and left early because he was in love with a fellow aviators wife. They’re married now.

        He found flying sub surveillance more interesting than his current life as a corporate donkey.

      7. Liz

        BV: “I would be interested in your comparison of leadership styles in military vs. civilian. It’s a rich subject. Back in DC my next-door neighbor was a retired admiral who was president of a major defense contractor. He didn’t enjoy that job so well.”

        I hope Ton doesn’t mind me weighing in on this, but everyone I know who has gone into civilian leadership in the last few years prefers it. I think your friend was in the right era, but times have changed. Even when they get just a little taste of it (civilian life…actually when Mike worked for DARPA, it was close enough to civilian life to offer him a picture), they often wish to leave the military for the greener pastures.

        I’m sure before social media (everything recorded, taken out of context) and sensitivity training and the ubiquity of sexual assault investigations and the Grand RIF (reduction in forces) which forced leadership to summarily cut jobs from a lot of very talented and dedicated people whom the government had promised employment, things were probably different. But when an environment is super competitive as it is now….
        For background, they started a “stratification” process for promotion that forces the commander to rank folks. It used to be they had their strong players and their weak ones, but most were in the middle together. Now it has to be 1,2,3 on down the line and no job description…so you can’t say one person is the number one driver, he/she has to be the number one person at his/her rank.
        People don’t work together so well when they’re constantly in this intense of competition, with so much riding on it. To put this in a civilian perspective (say, the healthcare environment) if I knew I was actively competing with all the other nurses on the floor in my team and was continually ranked, and my ranking would determine if I had a job or not next year (even if I didn’t screw up, even if I performed admireably), it would make me paranoid and probably pretty predatorial.
        It’s hard to form close working relationships for long in this environment. Teams don’t work together well this way in general (though there are exceptions, pilot training for one…but as a way of life it is inherently divisive).

        This type of environment that doesn’t cultivate trust is bad for leadership too. People are (understandably) angry when they are ranked badly in the stratification and they look for grievances. In the age of social media where everything is recorded and can be taken out of context and used against you, there’s some paranoia.
        The meme is essentially: “Here is a list of a million ways to get fired due in no way to your job performance or leadership and your life is on Candid Camera. Now, lead fearlessly!”

        In the civilian world, private lives and the work environment are usually separate. And if an employee commits a crime or several get DUIs the fault isn’t blamed on leadership as long as the company is running well. In the military it’s far different. If the servicemembers have a few DUIs off base, it’s the commander’s fault. He “created the environment” for DUIs (same for sexual assault, and so forth).
        That’s one reason why you see unbelievable (and seemingly inexplicable) levels of prickery from commanders (like mandatory breathalyzer tests for everyone to go on base at night, or blood alcohol limits of .04).
        Stuff that wouldn’t get you fired only five years ago, will get you fired now.
        For example, there was an Lt who got drunk in Vegas at a casino years back, got fresh with the cocktail waitress and slapped her bottom. It was caught on tape and he spent the night in the pokey but she decided not to press charges. In yesterday’s Airforce that’s as far as it went (probably 9 out of 10 fighter pilots in yesterday’s Airforce did the same act).
        He was reprimanded and told if he screwed up again, ever, he’d lose his job. He went on a few years later to be a really good squadron commander. Today, the Airforce would have pressed charges against him even if the waitress didn’t want them to, he would be fired, most likely spend time in prison for sexual assault and he’d be on a sexual predator list the rest of his life for that offense.

      8. SFC Ton Post author

        LOL also when your hands are tied 8 different ways to Sunday when you are in the military. I have much more authority, control over decision based outcomes etc as a business owner

        I have a lot of ladies working for me at the bar, none in the garage, used car lot or thesis trucking bidness. Almost exclusively good ol boys who I enjoy having around too. I run a very dude friendly operation as well. None would be allowed if we were a bigger out fit or military

      9. Liz

        Just another example that comes to mind, a few years back a guy brought his girlfriend to a squadron bar. She was the only girl in the place, and she became very flirty and danced around (huge implants, tiny top). He left for a few minutes and when he came back she was topless. He was angry. She claimed one of the pilots ripped her top off. He reported the incident. The woman didn’t want to press charges and kind of admitted to taking her own top off (but wouldn’t say so officially because she didn’t want her boyfriend to be angry with her).
        Then, much fuss was made but since she didnt’ want to press charges it was dropped. Today, that squadron commander (who was not present, and away on a TDY) would have most definitely been fired for “creating the atmosphere that enabled sexual assault”.
        Consider what this environment does to people over time, after they invested a great great deal (they’ve moved 15+ times, uprooted their families, taken year long remote assignments and worked the long hours). So you see leaders who are afraid to allow people to have any fun, but they will mandate forced fun. It’s truly an absurd environment.

      10. Liz

        “Almost exclusively good ol boys who I enjoy having around too. I run a very dude friendly operation as well. None would be allowed if we were a bigger out fit or military”

        So true. It’s an irony that the very heroes current military leaders use as examples to emulate (for their honor, their cockiness, their fearlessness and manliness) are exactly the types of individuals who would be anathema in today’s military.

        There’s a pilot named Joe Bob Phillips who died quite recently. Pretty much everyone (to include Chuck Yeager, allegedly) thinks he was the very best fighter pilot in history. I know a few people who went his funeral. They bought all the Jeremiah Weed (a discontinued beverage, so the procurement required some labor) they could get their hands on and threw it on top of his grave. It was what he would have wanted.

      1. BuenaVista

        Runs off a PTO?

        When I got my country redoubt, I took out 6 massive silver maples (because they were 120 years old and dropped tons of tree bombs every time there was a halfway decent storm) which meant: hire the dude with the stump grinder. Shows up with a Deere and something ISIS would use. Very good stuff, and my new trees are leaping, not, creaping, finally.

  2. Sumo

    The Mighty Sumo likes them double bit axes.

    A joint exists in my town where one can go and throw axes for recreational purposes. The double bit always makes for a good time.

    Screw the “three date” nonsense; take a girl there on the first date, and you’ll hit the bullseye in more ways than one.

    Reply
    1. SFC Ton Post author

      LOL
      I would learn how to use axes in a combat role if I had more time. I was watching on the youtube and it is a much more versatile weapon then I thought.

      I am pretty damn good at throwing tomahawks.

      This one time down range, we didn’t have the interwebz to determine bar arguments like who won Super Bowl 13 so we settled all non chain of command issues by throwing axes. I hate to lose and practiced my ass off

      Reply
      1. Sumo

        I would learn how to use axes in a combat role if I had more time. I was watching on the youtube and it is a much more versatile weapon then I thought.

        Took me forever to find it – we’ve had a similar conversation about this topic in the past.

      2. SFC Ton Post author

        I remember. Ran into some HEMA guys a while back while on my bike. Watch a couple of “duels” of axe vs whatever. Much more useful individual weapon then I ever thought

      3. Sumo

        Well, shit – there seems to be one of those HEMA clubs just down the street from my restaurant. Might have to look in to that.

      4. SFC Ton Post author

        Nerd alert though. Lestwise the one’s I talked to. Good enough guys and well I learned a lot in a short bit of time talking to them.

        For a long time I suspected medieval combat was not portrayed correctly and they confirmed my suspicions. In this case, much more skill and training went into it then people would have us believe

        another aspect of the anti White agenda shattered by reality

      5. theshadowedknight

        I am not that great at throwing, but I have a super duper high speed low drag tomahawk with which I almost crippled one of my junior Marines. I told him to give it over, and he shook it at me, so I snatched it away. I had sharpened it during night shift for weeks out there, and he tried to hold on. He has a weird scar, but a centimeter over, and he would have lost the use of the hand.

        They can do some damage, and this is a little baby hatchet, not a war axe or worse, a battle axe. It has a spike on the other end so that you can stick it through a helmet or in a soft spot. Nasty, beautiful little thing.

        The Shadowed Knight

      6. Sumo

        My tactical hawk is pretty sweet. I’ve never thrown it, as it’s a $300 piece of gear, and I’m terrified of damaging it. I use it on butchery day at the resto; chops through a pig leg in three or four hits.

      7. SFC Ton Post author

        lol is that real money or Canadian Monopoly money?

        I would say if you worry about damaging a $300 piece of gear it isn’t a very good piece of gear

      8. Sumo

        Technically it would be “Canadian Monopoly money”. $275 in “real” money.

        It’s a very good piece of gear; my cheapass Scots nature means that I pinch pennies wherever I can. 😉

      9. SFC Ton Post author

        lol I need to figure out how to up load images so you can see what well loved tomahawk looks like

        man does the dollar suck ass these days

  3. BuenaVista

    As a boy we had a double bit axe: sharp side for cutting, dull side for splitting.

    I think one of the worst aspects of divorce is not having the chance to teach my boys this stuff.

    Reply
    1. SFC Ton Post author

      That does suck man. In my old hood, it was this 80 something year old Black guy tying to teach his grandkids all those things. Real labor of love sort of thing

      Reply
      1. redpillgirlnotes

        Yes, I did not want to go overly into detail but there were likely two axes used for the hewing (I have examples of both, on display, donated by benevolent strangers who appreciate what it is), a two man saw for falling the timbers, a hand powered drill plus a plane, a whittling knife, and likely a few more tools used for the mortice and tenons… and peg and dowels… but all hand powered nonetheless! 😉 Ok and maybe an ox to haul the logs about. Still, not sissy work! I admire it and what it represents, greatly.

      2. BuenaVista

        Uh huh. So more than an axe, I guess.

        Also, wedges, chisels, and a sawmill for the siding.

        I doubt they made the windows with ‘just an axe.’

  4. R.

    Regarding that axe-as-weapon convo in the other post, it seems to me that back when axes
    were used as weapons, for the most part there was no “martial art” (as we would think of it) associated with it’s use. Or for most weapons, come to think of it.

    Reading accounts of duels/trial by combat and warfare back when blunt force weapons were commonly used in warfare, it seems very primal as opposed to a system of techniques, and usually involves hitting your opponent as hard as possible while hoping you yourself aren’t struck a deadly blow.

    At least from what I’ve read.

    Reply
    1. SFC Ton Post author

      You tube the historical European martial arts guys.

      Lot more skill required then people are lead to belive

      I chalk up the misinformation to the persistent anti White bias of academics

      Reply
  5. R.

    I definitely agree that there is anti-white bias there. To be frank though, I imagine that back then they trained “skills” more than “martial arts”, if that make any sense.

    I imagine training back then looked more like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm2p60w2-sY

    I think they got a lot of their training simply through trial and error in the lists, as well as through “tricks” taught to them by veterans.

    I could be totally wrong. Just something I’ve thought about before as I’m interested in the period.

    Reply
    1. SFC Ton Post author

      Thanks for the link. I will watch it when I get the chance

      I reckon it would all comelse down to time and place and how much money your old man had. Wealthy families probably had established training programs, lower end families not so much

      But I recently found out there are several books on the topic written way back when that have survived

      I’don’t folow it all much more closely if I had the free timd.

      Reply
  6. Sumo

    I think they got a lot of their training simply through trial and error in the lists, as well as through “tricks” taught to them by veterans.

    That, my friend, is where all “martial arts” start.

    Just sayin’. 😉

    Reply

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