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Axe

The earliest examples of axes have heads of stone with some form of wooden handle attached (hafted) in a method to suit the available materials and use. Axes made of copper, bronze, iron, steelappeared as these technologies developed. Rock redirects here. ... Hafting is a process by which an artifact, often bone, metal, or stone, is attached to a handle or strap. ... For other uses, see Copper (disambiguation). ... This article is about the metal alloy. ... For other uses, see Iron (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Steel (disambiguation). ...

The axe is an example of a simple machine, as it is a type of wedge, or dual inclined plane. This reduces the effort needed by the wood chopper. It splits the wood into two parts by the pression. The handle of the axe also acts as a lever allowing the user to increase the force at the cutting edge (try using an axe head without a handle and you will see what is meant) - not using the full length of the handle is known as choking the axe. For fine chopping using a side axe this sometimes a positive effect, for felling with a double bitted axe it reduces efficiency. This article is about the concept in physics. ... For other uses, see Wedge (disambiguation). ... The inclined plane is one of the classical simple machines; as the name suggests, it is a flat surface whose endpoints are at different heights. ... For the Portuguese town and parish, see Lever, Portugal. ...

Generally cutting axes have a shallow wedge angle, whereas splitting axes have a deeper angle. Most axes are double beveled, i.e. symmetrical about the axis of the blade, but some specialist axes have a single bevel blade, and (usually) an offset handle that allows them to be used for finishing work without putting the user's knuckles at risk of injury. Less common today they were once an integral part of a joiner and carpenter's tool kit - not just a tool for use in forestry. A tool of similar origin is the billhook with short handle and long blade it can be used for tasks where an axe is unsuitable. However in France and Holland the billhook often replaced the axe as a joiner's bench tool. An example of a Newtown pattern billhook. ...

Most modern axes have steel heads and wooden handles (typically hickory) in the USA and ash in the UK and the rest of Europe - although plastic or fiberglass handles are common. Modern axes are specialized by use, size and form. Hafted axes with short handles designed for use with one hand are often called hand axes but the term hand axe refers to axes without handles as well. Hatchets tend to be small hafted axes often with a hammer on the back side ( the poll). Species See text Comparison of Carya nuts Ripe hickory nuts ready to fall, Andrews, SC Hickory is a tree of the genus Carya, including 17-19 species of deciduous trees with pinnately compound leaves and large nuts. ... Species See text European Ash in flower Narrow-leafed Ash (Fraxinus angustifolia) shoot with leaves Closeup of European Ash seeds 19th century illustration of Manna Ash (Fraxinus ornus) An ash can be any of four different tree genera from four very distinct families (see end of page for disambiguation), but... For other uses, see Plastic (disambiguation). ... Bundle of fiberglass Fiberglass (also called fibreglass and glass fibre) is material made from extremely fine fibers of glass. ... A carpenters hatchet See Hatchet (novel) for the young adult novel. ... A claw hammer For other uses, see Hammer (disambiguation). ...

Axes were frequently used in combat as they were easy to make, and the village edge tool makers were frequently the armourers to the lord of the manor in times of war.

Early stone tools like the hand axe were probably not hafted. The first true hafted axes are known from the Mesolithic period (ca. 6000 BC). Axes made from ground stone are known since the Neolithic. Few wooden hafts have been found from this period, but it seems that the axe was normally hafted by wedging. Birch-tar and raw-hide lashings were used to fix the blade. Sometimes antler sleeves were used. This prevented both the splitting of the haft and softened the impact on the stone blade itself.

The distribution of stone axes is an important indication of prehistoric trade. thin sectioning is used to determine the provenance of the stone blades. In Europe, Neolithic 'axe factories', where thousands of ground stone axes were roughed out are known from many places, such as:

Great Langdale, Great Britain (tuff) Rathlin Island, Ireland (porcellanite) Krzemionki, Poland (flint) Plancher-les-Mines, France (pelite) Val de'Aoste, Italy (omphacite). Stone axes are still produced and in use today in parts of Irian Jaya, New Guinea. The Mount Hagen area was an important production centre.

From the late Neolithic/Chalcolithic onwards, axes were made of copper or copper mixed with arsenic. These axes were flat and hafted much like their stone predecessors. Axes continued to be made in this manner with the introduction of Bronze metallurgy. Eventually the hafting method changed and the flat axe developed into the ‘flanged axe,’ then palstaves, and later winged and socketed axes.

The Proto-Indo-European word for "axe" may have been pelek'u- (Greek pelekus πέλεκυς, Sanskrit parashu, see also Parashurama), but the word was probably a loan, or a Neolithic wanderwort, ultimately related to Sumerian balag, Akkadian pilaku- (see also Labrys)[citation needed].

## Symbolism, ritual and folklore

A collection of old Australian axes

In the Roman fasces, the axe symbolized the authority to execute and were often used as symbols for Fascist Italy under Mussolini. Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Roman fasces. ... This article is about authority as a concept. ...

In folklore, stone axes were sometimes believed to be thunderbolts and were used to guard buildings against lightning, as it was believed (mythically) that lightning never struck the same place twice. This has caused some skewing of axe distributions. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Typical cartoon representations of thunderbolts A thunderbolt is a traditional expression for a discharge of lightning or a symbolic representation thereof. ... Not to be confused with lighting. ... Look up rumour in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Not to be confused with lighting. ...

Basques, Australians and New Zealanders have developed variants of rural sports that perpetuate the traditions of log cutting with axe. The Basque variants, splitting horizontally or vertically disposed logs, are generically called aizkolaritza (from aizkora: axe). Language(s) Basque - few monoglots Spanish - 1,525,000 monoglots French - 150,000 monoglots Basque-Spanish - 600,000 speakers Basque-French - 76,000 speakers [4] other native languages Religion(s) Traditionally Roman Catholic The Basques (Basque: ) are an indigenous people[5] who inhabit parts of north-central Spain and southwestern...

In Yorùbá mythology, the oshe (double-headed axe) symbolizes Shango, Orisha (god) of thunder and lightning. It is said to represent swift and balanced justice. Shango altars often contain a carved figure of a woman holding a gift to the god with a double-bladed axe sticking up from her head. The mythology of the YorÃ¹bÃ¡ is sometimes claimed by its supporters to be one of the worlds oldest widely practised religions. ... In YorÃ¹bÃ¡ mythology, Shango (Xango, Shango), or ChangÃ³ in Latin America, is perhaps the most popular Orisha; he is a Sky Father, god of thunder and lightning. ... This article is about a type of spirit. ... In YorÃ¹bÃ¡ mythology, Shango (Xango, Shango), or ChangÃ³ in Latin America, is perhaps the most popular Orisha; he is a Sky Father, god of thunder and lightning. ...

## Parts of the Axe

A diagram showing the main points on an axe.

The axe is comprised of two primary components, the axe head, and the haft. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...

The Axe Head is typically bounded by the bit (or blade) at one end, and the poll (or butt) at the other, though some designs feature two bits opposite each other. The top corner of the bit where the cutting edge begins is called the toe, and the bottom corner is known as the heel. Either side of the head is called the cheek, which is sometimes supplemented by lugs where the head meets the haft, and the hole where the haft is mounted is called the eye. The part of the bit that descends below the rest of the axe-head is called the beard, and a bearded axe is an antiquated axe head with an exaggerated beard that can sometimes extend the cutting edge twice the height of the rest of the head.

The Axe Haft is sometimes called the handle. Traditionally, it was made of a resilient hardwood like hickory or ash, but modern axes often have hafts made of durable synthetic materials. Antique axes and their modern reproductions, like the tomahawk, often had a simple, straight haft with a circular cross-section that wedged onto the axe-head without the aid of wedges or pins. Modern hafts are curved for better grip and to aid in the swinging motion, and are mounted securely to the head. The shoulder is where the head mounts onto the haft, and this is either a long oval or rectangular cross-section of the haft that's secured to the axe head with small metal or wooden wedges. The belly of the haft is the longest part, where it bows in gently, and the throat is where it curves sharply down into to the short grip, just before end of the haft, which is known as the knob. Native American Afraid of Hawk, holding a tomahawk A tomahawk is a type of axe native to North America, traditionally resembling a hatchet with a straight shaft. ...

## Forms of Axes

### Axes designed to cut or shape wood

Splitting axe
• Felling axe — Cuts across the grain of wood, as in the felling of trees. In single or double bit (the bit is the cutting edge of the head) forms and many different weights, shapes, handle types and cutting geometries to match the characteristics of the material being cut.
• Splitting Axe — Used to split with the grain of the wood. Splitting axe bits are more wedge shaped. This shape causes the axe to rend the fibres of the wood apart, without having to cut through them, especially if the blow is delivered with a twisting action at impact.
• Broad axe — Used with the grain of the wood in precision splitting. Broad axe bits are chisel-shaped (one flat and one bevelled edge) facilitating more controlled work.
• Adze — A variation featuring a head perpendicular to that of an axe. Rather than splitting wood side-by-side, it is used to rip a level surface into a horizontal piece of wood.

### Axes as weapons

#### Mêlée

for a more complete list, see List of Mêlée weapons Codex Manesse: a picture of mÃªlÃ©e at a tournament This is a list of mÃªlÃ©e weapons. ...

Replicas of battle axes
• Battle axe — In its most common form, an arm-length weapon borne in one or both hands. Compared to a sword swing, it delivers more cleaving power against a smaller target area, making it more effective against armor, due to concentrating more of its weight in the axehead. However, it allows much less precision than a sword does.
• Tomahawk — practically synonymous with the Native American, its blade was originally crafted of stone. Along with the familiar war version, which could be fashioned as a throwing weapon, the pipe tomahawk was a ceremonial and diplomatic tool. A similar type of axe is the African nzappa zap.
• Spontoon Tomahawk - A French trapper and Iriquois collaboration, this was an axe with a knife-like stabbing blade instead of the familiar wedged shape.
• Valaška — used by Slovak shepherds, it could double as a walking stick.
• Ono — a Japanese weapon wielded by sōhei warrior monks.

#### Pole Arm

• Halberd — a spearlike weapon with a hooked poll, effective against mounted cavalry.
• Pole axe — designed to defeat plate armor. Its axe (or hammer) head is much narrower than other axes, which accounts for its penetrating power.
• Danish axe — A long-handled weapon with a large flat blade, often attributed to the Vikings.

This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... For other uses, see Spear (disambiguation) and Spears (disambiguation). ... Not to be confused with Golgotha, which was called Calvary. ... The pollaxe is a type of European polearm which was very popular for foot combat during medieval times. ... This article needs cleanup. ... The Danish long axe went by many names, including Dane-axe, English long axe, Viking axe, and hafted axe. ... For other uses, see Viking (disambiguation). ...

#### Ranged

• Throwing axe — Any of a number of ranged weapons designed to strike with a similar splitting action as their Mêlée counterparts. These are often small in profile and usable with one hand.
• Hurlbat — An entirely metal throwing axe sharpened on every auxiliary end to a point or blade, practically guaranteeing some form of damage against its target.
• Francisca or Frankish axe — a shaftless throwing weapon, the name of which became that of its people and its nation, France.

The Franks took their name from the axe that was their preferred weapon in ancient times. ... A period illustration of the Battle of CrÃ©cy. ... A mÃªlÃ©e weapon is any weapon that does not involve a projectile â€” that is, both the user and target of the weapon are in contact with it simultaneously in normal use. ... A hurlbat or whirlbat is a ranged weapon consisting of an entirely metal throwing axe sharpened on every auxiliary end to a point or blade, practically guaranteeing some form of damage against its target. ... Different types of the Francisca The francisca or francesca is a throwing axe that was used as a weapon by early Franks before the 6th century. ... This article is about the Frankish people and society. ...

### Axes for other uses

Firefighter with a fire axe
• Firefighter's axe or fire axe — It has a pick-shaped pointed poll (area of the head opposite the cutting edge). It is often decorated in vivid colors to make it easily visible during an emergency.
• Pulaski — An axe with a mattock blade built into the rear of the main axe blade, used for digging ('grubbing out') through and around roots as well as chopping. In addition to the McCloud (a tool similar to a hoe/rake combination), the pulaski is an indispensable tool used in fighting forest fires, as well as trail-building, brush clearance and similar functions.
• Maul — A splitting implement that has evolved from the simple 'wedge' design to more complex designs. Some mauls have a conical 'axehead'; compound mauls have swivelling 'sub-wedges', among other types; others have a heavy wedge-shaped head, with a sledgehammer face opposite.
• Zax or slater's axe — An axe for cutting roofing slate, with a long point on the poll for punching nail holes, and with the blade offset laterally from the handle to protect the worker's hand from flying slate chips.
Climbing axes from circa 1872
• Climbing axe or ice axe — A number of different styles of ice axe are designed for ice climbing, and, though less used today than in previous times, for rock work, especially in enlarging steps used by climbers.

## Hammer Axe

Hammer axes are an often overlooked tool in the axe field. They were first developed in Switzerland but soon migrated west to North America and Aylesford in particular. They are used in every day life in many different fields of work, completing all jobs from splitting wood to removal engines from vans. Tungsten is often added for weight as an upgrade, as well as six foot handles for the heavier jobs that require added force and "massive blows" such as cutting automobile frames, slicing brake rotors, rough body work, home construction, home de-construction, etc. They are typically available at hardware stores nationwide but are often mislabeled as "splitting mauls." Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ...

Swedish halberds from 16th century A halberd is a two-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use during the 14th and 15th centuries. ... Minoan symbolic labrys of gold, 2nd millennium BC: many have been found in the sacred cave of Arkalochori on Crete) Labrys is the term for a doubleheaded axe, known to the Classical Greeks as pelekus Ï€Î­Î»ÎµÎºÏ…Ï‚ or sagaris (the term for a single-bladed axe being hÄ“mipelekus half-pelekus, e. ... Sagaris was the Greek name for a weapon used by Scythian tribes (Hdt. ... Roman fasces. ... A carpenters hatchet See Hatchet (novel) for the young adult novel. ... The name Battle-axe people (corded ware culture) identifies widely-scattered late Neolithic sites in Europe (3rd millennium BC). ... The Franks took their name from the axe that was their preferred weapon in ancient times. ... Different types of the Francisca The francisca or francesca is a throwing axe that was used as a weapon by early Franks before the 6th century. ... A hurlbat or whirlbat is a ranged weapon consisting of an entirely metal throwing axe sharpened on every auxiliary end to a point or blade, practically guaranteeing some form of damage against its target. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Native American Afraid of Hawk, holding a tomahawk A tomahawk is a type of axe native to North America, traditionally resembling a hatchet with a straight shaft. ...

## Literature

### Neolithic axes

• W. Borkowski, Krzemionki mining complex (Warszawa 1995)
• P. Pétrequin, La hache de pierre: carrières vosgiennes et échanges de lames polies pendant le néolithique (5400 - 2100 av. J.-C.) (exposition musées d'Auxerre Musée d'Art et d'Histoire) (Paris, Ed. Errance, 1995).
• R. Bradley/M. Edmonds, Interpreting the axe trade: production and exchange in Neolithic Britain (1993).
• P. Pétrequin/A.M. Pétrequin, Écologie d'un outil: la hache de pierre en Irian Jaya (Indonésie). CNRS Éditions, Mongr. du Centre Rech. Arch. 12 (Paris 1993).

Map showing Papua province in Indonesia Papua is a province of Indonesia comprising part of the western half of the island of New Guinea and nearby islands. ...

### Medieval axes

• Schulze, André(Hrsg.): Mittelalterliche Kampfesweisen. Band 2: Kriegshammer, Schild und Kolben. - Mainz am Rhein. : Zabern, 2007. - ISBN 3-8053-3736-1

### Superstition

H. Bächtold-Stäubli, Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens (Berlin, De Gruyter 1987).

## Sources

• Section about types of axes is based on a Quicksilver Wiki article at [1] under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Results from FactBites:

 Axe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1327 words) The axe (Commonwealth spelling) or ax (American spelling) is an ancient and ubiquitous tool that has been used for millennia to shape, split and cut wood, harvest timber, as a weapon and a ceremonial or heraldic symbol. In folklore, stone axes were sometimes believed to be thunderbolts and were used to guard buildings against lightning, as it is said (mythically) that lightning never hits the same place twice (now known to not be true). A thrown axe could keep off a hailstorm, sometimes an axe was placed in the crops, with the cutting edge to the skies to protect the harvest against bad weather.
 Axe - definition of Axe in Encyclopedia (159 words) An axe is a tool with a metal blade fastened to a handle at 90 degrees, commonly used to split wood, which have also been used as weapons. Axe is the name of two rivers in the South of England. Colloquially, axe is a general name for an electric guitar or a wind instrument in popular music.
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