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Old 03-02-2009, 04:30 PM   #11
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Originally Posted by glennpendlay View Post
Arden,

Not that your ordeal wasn't crappy, but can you imagine showing up to the world championships and finding that your bag with your shoes and belt were lost in transit? Kakhi Kakhiasvili had this happen to him one year, I think it was 1997, not sure though. But I have a vid of him training in flip flops, evidently he was forced to do his last couple of days training in the only shoes he had, sandals. That would be stressful. On the vid I believe he cleans and powerjerks 220 in the sandals. They did find his bag and get his shoes to him in time for the competition, which he won.

Glenn
Glenn,
That would completely suck. I can relate as I've flown to comps in the past where my axes and saws didn't arrive until right before the event. I was sweating bullets. It's one of the reasons I normally try to drive to the events I compete in or ship things via Fedex to a predestined place in advance of the event................

Kahi was simply awesome. Unreal actually. The more footage I watch of him, the more inspired and the more in awe I become.

All the best,
Arden
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:40 PM   #12
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Originally Posted by Patrick Donnelly View Post
I'm not exactly sure what axe handles look like, but simply going off the name and the swinging activity you described, I assume they resemble an axe in some way... and this guy got them through airport security? What the hell? We're getting lazy again.

Patrick,
My gym bag axe handles are actually pieces of american hickory that are approximately 30" long, 1" in diameter, by 1 and 3/4" wide. It weighs about a pound or a pound and a half.

A competiion axe with that handle weighs between 6 and 7 pounds.

Once I have a handle in an axe, I don't remove it unless the handle goes crooked or if it's broken or cracked. It's a bugger getting them in and out. My gym bag axe handles are ones i've broken in the past and have altered them (shortened one, and taped foam around the end of the other one) to use them at the gyms I train at.

I wouldn't dare try to bring a handle, let alone an axe, as a carry on. However, during a different time, my father travelled routinely with his axes in his carryon. He would simply place the axes in a duffel bag with the handes sticking out the top. He would carry them on the plane and place them in front of "seat in front" of him. No kidding. He carried his axes on the plane and put his clothes in the belly. He didn't trust the baggage handlers.

When I travel with my axes on planes, which isn't often, I have a aluminum box made specifically to encase the axes, that goes in the checked baggage.

Best lumberjack contestant story I've ever heard in the carryon luggage variety is when a good friend managed to get his hot saw tuner pipe in his carryon. Freakin thing looked like an enormous black bong that smelled of fumes/exhaust.

Note the two stories above were pre - 9/11/01.

All the best, Arden
Arden
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:41 PM   #13
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Personally, I would feel much safer on a plane if I knew Arden was sitting in the back with his Axe handles. In fact this might be the answer to the airport security question... why even worry about screening other passengers for things like knives, scissors, etc if youve got a guy like Arden with a couple of axe handles aboard? In a contest between a terrorist with a knife and Arden with a big long piece of wood, my money is on Arden!

glenn
As strange as it may sound is I think I'd take that bet.

Pretty funny though.

All the best,
Arden
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:45 PM   #14
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Originally Posted by Derek Simonds View Post
Sorry to hear the ordeal. But I am confident that you and the family had a great cruise!

Seriously that is some funny crap! I could have smelled that bag from 50 feet away if those rehbands are anything as funky as mine!

Derek,
The funk was in high order before I sat it out Wednesday night. My wife even had me put my nasty sweaty gym clothes in it to compliment to stank.

I was more than just awesome.

It's to show up at my office tomorrow. I'm in depositions all day, but I guarantee you my secretary will email me and say "you just got a bag from UPS. We are all a bit curious here. I'm betting on you went fishing and brought something home."

All the best,
Arden
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:27 PM   #15
glennpendlay
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Arden,

A big guy with a long stick of wood is a scary thing. When I was pretty little, my dad owned a gun store that was right next door to where we lived. We came home one night rather late and found that 4 guys were robbing the store. Dad got out of the truck and grabbed a long stick of wood that was lying on the ground, think it was some sort of a cross member from a wooden cart that we hooked to the horse (or to a 3 wheeler im sure) to carry feed to the animals... it was partially disasembled and in the process of being fixed... anyway it was a substantial piece of wood, probably close to 3 feet long and id guess roughly 2 inches in diameter. Anyway he walked in behind them and held that thing like a baseball bat and told them to freeze or he would take their heads off. I can still remember those guys faces getting absolutely white and them just standing there without moving while my mom called the cops and the cops eventually getting there and arresting them... now my dad was about the size i probably would have been had i never lifted weights, a bit over 6 feet and around 250 pounds and in good shape. pretty big guy just naturally... i kind of chuckle when i think of the thoughts that must have gone through those guys head when he was suddenly right behind them with what amounted to a giant baseball bat!!! Ive often thought that that would be the ABSOLUTE LAST person I would ever want to get into a fight with, a big guy with a big stick!!! Way more scary to me than a guy with a knife!

And by the way, I know you'll appreciate this given your lumberjack interests... my VERY FIRST PAYING JOB was splitting wood with a sledge and a wedge. My family used to cut firewood and sell it by the rick and cord for income. Basically, my dad and sometimes my grandpa cut, and me, my brother, and my mom picked it up and stacked it in the trailer. At one point, my dad, thinking that I needed a bit of spending money (i was about 12) would give me some of the bigger stumps in return for loading all the wood. I was then free to split them myself and sell the wood. I split it and tied it in little bundles, and my grandpa took me around to convienience stores to sell it to them, where i lived most convienience stores had little bundles of split wood for sale outside... the type of things people who have fireplaces they light 2-3 times a year buy when they get the urge to burn some wood.

So anyway, being a "lumberjack" was my first job! I quickly graduated from sledge and wedge to a light maul that my grandpa made me... he made mauls in his machine shop and sold them all over, lots of farm and ranch stores in Kansas used to carry grandpa's mauls. He filled the head with differing amounts of lead to get the weight right, sold them from 6lbs up to 16 or 18lbs I think. Made me a special smaller one when I was 12 or 13. We always split all out wood by hand, dad used a really heavy maul and could swing the crap out of it, could split anything.

Ive also always been a bit interested in competition axes, because I used to make custom knives... always thought it would be fun to make a really good carbon steel axe head. where do you buy such a thing? are they custom made? are there designs somewhere available? what steel are they usually made from? do you have any knowledge of the rockwell hardness of a good competition axe head?

well, thats enough for now...

glenn
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:25 PM   #16
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Originally Posted by glennpendlay View Post
Arden,

A big guy with a long stick of wood is a scary thing. When I was pretty little, my dad owned a gun store that was right next door to where we lived. We came home one night rather late and found that 4 guys were robbing the store. Dad got out of the truck and grabbed a long stick of wood that was lying on the ground, think it was some sort of a cross member from a wooden cart that we hooked to the horse (or to a 3 wheeler im sure) to carry feed to the animals... it was partially disasembled and in the process of being fixed... anyway it was a substantial piece of wood, probably close to 3 feet long and id guess roughly 2 inches in diameter. Anyway he walked in behind them and held that thing like a baseball bat and told them to freeze or he would take their heads off. I can still remember those guys faces getting absolutely white and them just standing there without moving while my mom called the cops and the cops eventually getting there and arresting them... now my dad was about the size i probably would have been had i never lifted weights, a bit over 6 feet and around 250 pounds and in good shape. pretty big guy just naturally... i kind of chuckle when i think of the thoughts that must have gone through those guys head when he was suddenly right behind them with what amounted to a giant baseball bat!!! Ive often thought that that would be the ABSOLUTE LAST person I would ever want to get into a fight with, a big guy with a big stick!!! Way more scary to me than a guy with a knife!

And by the way, I know you'll appreciate this given your lumberjack interests... my VERY FIRST PAYING JOB was splitting wood with a sledge and a wedge. My family used to cut firewood and sell it by the rick and cord for income. Basically, my dad and sometimes my grandpa cut, and me, my brother, and my mom picked it up and stacked it in the trailer. At one point, my dad, thinking that I needed a bit of spending money (i was about 12) would give me some of the bigger stumps in return for loading all the wood. I was then free to split them myself and sell the wood. I split it and tied it in little bundles, and my grandpa took me around to convienience stores to sell it to them, where i lived most convienience stores had little bundles of split wood for sale outside... the type of things people who have fireplaces they light 2-3 times a year buy when they get the urge to burn some wood.

So anyway, being a "lumberjack" was my first job! I quickly graduated from sledge and wedge to a light maul that my grandpa made me... he made mauls in his machine shop and sold them all over, lots of farm and ranch stores in Kansas used to carry grandpa's mauls. He filled the head with differing amounts of lead to get the weight right, sold them from 6lbs up to 16 or 18lbs I think. Made me a special smaller one when I was 12 or 13. We always split all out wood by hand, dad used a really heavy maul and could swing the crap out of it, could split anything.

Ive also always been a bit interested in competition axes, because I used to make custom knives... always thought it would be fun to make a really good carbon steel axe head. where do you buy such a thing? are they custom made? are there designs somewhere available? what steel are they usually made from? do you have any knowledge of the rockwell hardness of a good competition axe head?

well, thats enough for now...

glenn

Glenn,
Awesome story and awesome similarites. Seeing your large father with big stick would have been very "walking tall" and quite the site. I love it.

Your firewood gathering experience is Very similar to my own. Except my father, a legend in lumberjack sports, would have disowned me if I had ever used a sledge or wedge. No offense meant at all, but my family is very well known in my crazy sport/hobby. I and about 17 relatives compete in the sport and four of us are ranked in the top 25 or so in the world. My father and three generations of Cogar's prior were/are loggers. My father had me working in his firewood business by the time I was six. Basically, I was charged with the duty of lugging all the butts and unmillable pieces of timber to an area where my father could split them between dozer runs. It's one of the reasons (other than heredity) I've always been a natural puller/simian of rounded thick back and long arms. I took my own little axe and widdled on what I could. As I got older and stronger, he gave me progressively heavier axes. Eventually I started working as a choker setter/gin hand. And finally started falling timber around the age of 12. But I always split wood during the lunch hour and during the winter months throughout high school.

Wow, I could write a book about my competition axes. They're a high carbon steel that are very strong yet soft enough to manipulate with files, diamond stones, barber hones, and other whet stones. There are a few mass producers. The best and most respected is a company in New Zealand called tuatahi. I hope Greg doesn't mind me posting a link to their site as it's very informative:

http://www.tuatahiaxes.com/

These axes are actually rolled tool steel that has been shaped into an axe, heat treated, then ground out my machine to percision. It can be edged at this stage and used in compeititon, but it would be far from what it could be.

A few individuals do the exact same process by hand (rolled tool steel, machine shaped, heat treated). They are located in Australia and their axes, which are top of the line, are very expensive. Others have cast molds made and pour metal in to the molds, grind the rough stuff off, then have the front ends of the blades heat treated.

The axes from Tuatahi are very consistent. They're rockwell hardness, prior to being ground for competition normally ranges between 55 and 59. Some of the individuals harden their axes to 60 rockwell. Most of the cast axes are "suppossed" to be hardened to 60 rockwell. But it's not an exact science and the cast axes are like a box of chocolates in regards to sand bubbles and pits.

I should note, which you probably know, once a person applies a grinder to the metal/axe, the first step in getting it ready for competition, the heat applied to the axe can alter the hardness.

I know way too much about this subject. Thanks for asking.

All the best,
Arden
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:15 AM   #17
glennpendlay
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Arden,

I make most of my knives out of some old saw blades from a mill that shut down long ago, they are the old ones that were high carbon steel through and through and not just in a ring around the edge like the newer ones are. I have a bunch of these old blades saved up.

I can get a hardness of 57-58 on them pretty easily, and I usually anneal the spine of the knife for increased durability.

If I want to make something thicker (like a Kukri, or machette) I will start with a leaf spring, they make a pretty good blade.

I think I am going to look into these axe heads, and see if I might be interested in trying my hand at making one.

glenn
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:30 PM   #18
Duke McCall
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Arden,

Thanks for the story and the laugh. I needed it today. I have a few stories of my own about carrying woodsman tools on airplanes. I once carried a small chain saw on board and stowed it in the overhead compartment above my seat. No one said a word.

This was, of course, in the pre-9/11 days, but not that long before (probably 1999). It is amazing how the world has changed.

Duke
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:14 AM   #19
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Glenn,
Very interesting.

The crosscut saw blanks are made from band saw metal. It's pounded flat, then cut out. Then the gullets are either cut out by laser or water jet. Then the maker takes grinders and shapes the teeth and rakers - swedge it (get everything the same height). At that point, they'll heat it. After it's heated, they'll file it and ready it for competition.

The folk that hand make their axes normally take 8" by 8" by 1" blocks of rolled tool steel and machine off the excess. The back of the competition racing axe is 4" in diameter. The back is also 1" thick. Most competition axes end up about 8" wide (measured from tip to tip - not the radius of the cutting face) by 8" long (at the center of the arc'ed blade). So the block would would need "half wings" machined off initially. Then the eye of the axe (where the handle goes) is machined out. At the point the excess steel would need machined off the front of the axe from what would be the edge. The edge is thin and will end up being razor sharp. Ideally, the machined head will end up with a 15 degree angle - 7 and half degrees on both sides - not flat, but arc'ed following the face of the axe itself.

My guess is if you got your hands on one of these axes you could make one pretty easily given your experience. If you're interested, I'll ship you out one of my older heads for you to take a look so you can get an idea of what it's suppossed to look like. You can send it back to me at your leisure.

All the best,
Arden

Quote:
Originally Posted by glennpendlay View Post
Arden,

I make most of my knives out of some old saw blades from a mill that shut down long ago, they are the old ones that were high carbon steel through and through and not just in a ring around the edge like the newer ones are. I have a bunch of these old blades saved up.

I can get a hardness of 57-58 on them pretty easily, and I usually anneal the spine of the knife for increased durability.

If I want to make something thicker (like a Kukri, or machette) I will start with a leaf spring, they make a pretty good blade.

I think I am going to look into these axe heads, and see if I might be interested in trying my hand at making one.

glenn
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