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How to Properly Sharpen Your Axe

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Growing up in the city in Southern California, if we wanted to buy firewood for a bonfire on the beach or to burn in my aunt’s fireplace, we’d go to the store and buy. None of this “chop my own wood” business.

The first time I hefted an axe and tried my hand at cityslicker lumberjacking was in Lake Arrowhead, at Boy Scout camp. I nearly embedded that axe head into my shin.

Fast forward about a decade later and I found myself living in Utah and at an older gentleman’s house in North Ogden. A handful of us young guys are at the Chambers family house and we’ve got quite the project on our hands, a project we were confident wouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. The project?

Cut out a dead tree trunk…by hand.

We ended up learning to sharpen axes that day. We also learned to NEVER underestimate what’s under the surface, or how deep the roots go (especially metaphorically).

Oh, and we learned that there’s no trophy or prize for chopping wood without gloves.

I searched a couple of dozen axe sharpening tutorials online and found this one that breaks down the basics of axe sharpening.

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