Visiting the Gränsfors Bruk Axe Foundry in Sweden

In September 2016 we took a trip to the Gransfors Bruk axe foundry in Sweden to meet the people and see the axes being made.

We flew into Stockholm and stayed in the excellent Jumbo Hostel for a night before picking up the hire care and heading north to Gränsfors.

We were made most welcome and spent a couple of days exploring the area and enjoying the Sauna.

Gransfors bruk standard axe head samples which the smiths check their production against for quality and conformity.

Gränsfors standard axe head samples which the smiths check their production against for quality and conformity.

American hickory axe handles waiting to be joined to their heads to make Gransfors Bruks axes

Gränsfors Axe Handles — American Hickory — shaped in the south of Sweden.

An image of many newly made axes arranged artistically in a wooden box

A box of Gränsfors Wildlife hatchets ready for packing.

The Gränsfors Axe Handle Press — two tons of hydraulic pressure in a horizontal press force the handle onto your axe.

The Gränsfors Axe Handle Press — two tons of pressure to handle your axe.

Gransfors Bruk Small Forest Axe heads cooling on a rack with the hammer forge in the background

Gransfors Bruk Small Forest Axe heads hot from the press.

The youngest smith at Gransfors Bruk forging small forest axes.

Christian at his axe press. The steel stock is heated by electromagnetic induction then forged in a hammer forge with a massive flywheel. The youngest machines date from the 1950’s, when a part brakes it needs to be manufactured from scratch, which can take months. Changing and adjusting the tooling for a different axe can take a week or more.

Inspecting the raw steel stock. The axes are made with a high quality recycled steel that will take and hold a shaving sharp edge.

Stone axes at the Gransfors Bruk axe museum
Stone axes at the Gransfors Bruk axe museum

Some of the older axes in the Gränsfors Axe Museum Collection. This is housed on site, a two storey three bedroom house full of axes from all around the world.

The Jumbo Hostel at Stockholm airport; a different kind of budget hotel.

The Gransfors forge is worth a visit if you are in the area, and a special visit to go on one of their courses, either an axe forging course or a log house building course.

The visit gave us more knowledge on how Gransfors Bruk axes are forged, along with their quality and training processes. We stayed in the old nail forge by the stream that provides much of the power to heat the steel and power the hammers in the forge.

If you want to visit, you will almost certainly need your own transport as the forge is out of the way in rural Sweden about five hours drive north of Stockholm.

Pete & Lesley

 
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