The Making of A Gransfors Axe
At Gränsfors Bruk all axes are made this way
- The axe is forged from a block of specialist steel heated to 1200 degrees centigrade.
The HammerThe press operates at a rate of around 80 strikes per minute, with a force of about 180 tonnes each time.
The SmithThe smith finishes their work by stamping the Gränsfors Bruk logo and their own initials into the axe head, as a declaration that the axe has been well made and approved by the smith. The axe head is then hung up to cool.
GrindingAfter forging, the focus turns to grinding and sharpening the edge. The rest of the axe head is left just as it is.
HardeningAfter coarse grinding, the edge is hardened by heating it to 820°C and then rapidly cooling it in cold water. The hardening makes the steel much harder, but also rather brittle.
To remove the stresses in the steel caused by the forging and hardening, the steel needs to be annealed, which involves keeping the axe heads in an oven at 195°C for 60 minutes. The hardness of the steel depends chiefly on its carbon content, but also on the annealing temperature.
Tumbling and SharpeningAfter the grinding, tempering and annealing, the axe head is tumbled with small ceramic balls to remove forging burrs on the surface of the axe and to make the axe more resistant to rust. After tumbling, the steel is tested to check that it is neither too hard or too soft.
Every single head is tested by striking on the edges corners with a hammer and checking that no cracking has occurred. All this makes absolutely sure that the forging, tempering and annealing has been done properly and that the axe is truly up to scratch. Finally, the edge of the axe is sharpened and polished to make it really sharp.
Shaft FittingOnce the axe has been sharpened, the axe head is dipped in a water-repellent and rustproofing oil. After the oil has dried a little, it is time to fit the handle. With the help of a hydraulic press the handle is squeezed into the axe head.
Gränsfors Bruks handles are all made of hickory, an excellent wood for this purpose as it is strong and flexible, with long fibres.
Quality ControlAll Gränsfors Bruks axes carry a 20 Year Guarantee*. Every axe is quality controlled before it leaves the forge to make absolutely sure that there are no defects. Once the quality control has been completed, the axes are given a sheath of vegetable-tanned leather and packaged with a copy of The Axe Book.
(*The guarantee applies as long as the axe is used and cared for properly).
To order a Gransfors Bruks axe visit our axe section here