I have been an occasional reader of the blog “The Art of Manliness” but hadn’t checked it in a while. A lot of their stuff is geared towards a younger, millennial crowd who care way more about facial grooming than I do, but their “Manly Skills” posts are sometimes worth a read. A buddy sent me a link last week and it falls in that latter category. “How to carve an axe handle from a log” is an extremely well done step-by-step piece with great photography. It takes you through selecting your log, splitting it into staves, rough and fine shaping, fitting, and finishing. I am thinking that my splitting maul handle is starting to show its age (yes, the one that I almost accidentally killed myself with), and if I decide to replace it I will certainly document it here.
“Long, straight-grained woods such as hickory or ash are traditionally chosen for axe handles because they are strong and produce long, straight staves. That said, there are other woods that work fine for axe handles, and because it’s my choice, I decided to make one out of cherry. I often work with cherry because I believe it makes the best canoe paddles, and when I started this project I had a good chunk of wood from a diseased tree we felled last year. The grain is reasonably straight and I can work around where it isn’t. I plan to use this project as a camp axe carried on canoe trips. I won’t be felling redwoods with it, so it doesn’t have to be indestructible.” (from TAoM)
The site is worth a look if you are time-wasting, There are some interesting and informative posts. However, some things boggle my mind that they are “lost arts” to millennials (How to Jump a Car – Really? My daughter won’t get her license until she can change a tire and jump a car. And probably learn to drive stick if they haven’t gone extinct ) . It reminds me of two of the greatest pieces of hipster-bashing I have ever read.
from The Liberated Mind: “Lumberjack Hipsters and Ironic Masculinity”:
“See, the ironic thing is, these guys sport the old-timey look and shun old notions about what it means to be a man. They don’t sport full beard because it’s manly, they do it for the irony. They’re not rugged manly men, they’re privileged, college-educated hipsters. They promote feminism, emotional availability in men, and a general sense of “it’s okay to redefine masculinity,” all while rocking super-manly beards and (stylishly) rugged clothing. Oh, the irony.
Most of these guys have never done any manual labor in their life. You can tell because men who do manual labor don’t try to draw attention to themselves by trying to look like they do manual labor. Make sense? A real lumberjack doesn’t wear expensive plaid shirts and groom his beard with essential oils. He doesn’t wear stuff like Dickies or Carharrt clothes to be ironic, he wears them because he actually works in them. Men are actually out there logging, building houses, fixing pipes, and working with their hands. The lumberjack hipster just wants to look like he does those things, and it is obvious he doesn’t really do them.”
And there is this “Open letter to bearded hipsters: Stop ruining my beard fetish“:
“Dear Bearded Hipsters,
YOU GUYS ARE RUINING MY BEARD FETISH. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved a man with a beard. To me, they meant strength, power, MANLINESS. Someone who could protect me. Unfortunately, you guys have turned it into a fashion statement. The beard has turned into the padded bra of masculinity. Sure it looks sexy, but whatcha got under there? There’s a whole generation running around looking like lumberjacks, and most of you can’t change a fucking tire.
Look, I get it. I really do. I understand the motivation behind your beardedness. In fact, I even pity you. Thousands of years of evolution priming you guys to kill stuff, and chase stuff, and fuck stuff….and now what? You’re stuck at a desk all day. No battles to fight. No wars to wage. So you assert your masculinity the only way you know how. You brew beer. You grow some hair on your face. I’ve seen you, hipsters, sitting in downtown eateries, with your rock chick girlfriends, dipping your truffle fries, trying not to get the aioli in your mustache. I’ve seen the quiet desperation in your eyes. I know you’re screaming into the void.”
It is a sad state of affairs that the hipster class has to rediscover things that I have always taken for granted. To their credit, TAoM is trying to remedy this problem. I have found a few of their posts that I will probably reblog in the future.
The hipster-bashing was unplanned when I sat down to write. My muse just sort of led me that way this evening. I hope it brought you all a chuckle.
(Update 11/19/14: Welcome Instapundit readers. Our mission here at TTAK is to explore both the news/politics/culture of knives, as well as provide the most thorough and comprehensive knife reviews on the internet. Thank you to the Blogfather for sending you our way, and thank you all for visiting. If you would like to receive our latest updates, please “like” our Facebook Page, or follow us at @knifetruth on Twitter.)