I've had a good assortment of valley oak limbs I collected after last years wind storm. I have one piece in particular that I knew right off was going to be an adze handle. I've seen some good stuff about Northwest coast style adzes on some of the websites like Paleo Planet. Both stone and metal is used in them for blades. Tom Mills even made a blade from copper! Its very nice looking. I will use a piece of old plane iron. I managed to grab a few of those old, old carpenters planes made completely of wood. The planes themselves are a mess and all cracked and marred. I may be able to scavenge some of this 150 year old wood for some special projects I have in mind. Something like ancient beech is just too good to pass up! I'll post more when I start working on the iron.
The ax in these pictures is an old handmade ax just a little over a foot long. It was made by a steel mill worker back in my hometown in Pennsylvania. The steel mill was in Pittsburgh and before the big bust, almost everyone worked at "the mills". It was a 45 mile commute one way but gas was cheap and the money really good. This ax had some kind of red composite handles on them but the material was starting to come apart so I replaced them with some black walnut. I've owned this little ax for about 12 years now and I use it for most of my carving. Usually just to rough out a project. Its the only tool I used in this project as far as shaping the handle. Its good practice and so far I haven't been bitten by the ax. Its good high carbon steel and holds a razor edge for a long time. The sheath is from an old long gone "Plumb" company ax, but it fits perfectly.