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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should I buy from Council Tool?
  • I need a general purpose axe, which one should I buy?
  • What makes a forged tool better?
  • Do I have to pay sales tax if I live outside of North Carolina?
  • What is your shipping policy?
  • Where are your tools made?
  • How do I care for my tools?
  • How do I replace a wooden handle?
  • How do I sharpen my axe?
  • Where is Lake Waccamaw?
  • Should I choose a curved or straight handle for my axe?

     
    Why should I buy from Council Tool?
    Council Tool's philosophy is to make top quality products, to offer outstanding value and to be innovative in the manufacture of products.  As a result, our tools are recognized as benchmark products in the industry, and most other reputable tool makers are still trying to catch up.  Additionally we feel strongly about purchasing products made in the USA and hope you do as well.
     
    I need a general purpose axe, which one should I buy?
    Product #35JC36C is a great general purpose axe.  The 3.5# head is a good weight for any jobs you may have.  Forged bevels in the head create air pockets, so the axe is less likely to get stuck in the wood.   The head is polished and laquered instead of painted, making it a real showpiece, too. We offer this classic finish in a double bit axe as well; it is product #35-2MC.  
     
     
    What makes a forged tool better?
    Forging is simply striking hot metal with a hammer into a desired shape.  Blacksmiths have been doing this for centuries. As blacksmiths experimented with new techniques, they found that more complex shapes could be made by hammering the metal into a die. (The die contains the shape of the finished product.)  Instead of hammering by hand, modern forgings use a falling hammer or a power hammer and top and bottom dies to form the desired shape.  This is drop forging. At Council Tool, we use a variety of forging methods.

    Drop forging- Hammering hot metal into dies.
    Press forging - Instead of forcing hot metal into a die with a hammer blow, it's pressed into the die using hydraulic pressure.
    Roll forging - The hot metal is pressed between two rollers.
    Cold forging- For smaller parts, the metal can be pressed into the die without being heated.

    Another way tools can be made is by casting from molten metal or by machining, which is cutting material away from a larger block of metal. The advantage of forging is that it improves the strength of the metal by aligning and stretching the grain structure.  A forged part will be stronger than a casting or a machined part.  Before you buy a tool, ask if it is forged.  Ours are.
     
     

    Do I have to pay sales tax if I live outside of North Carolina?
    No, sales tax is charged only if the product you purchase is delivered to a North Carolina address.

     

    What is your shipping policy?

    We ship Standard (UPS or FEDEX) unless asked to use another shipping company. Shipping and handling costs are calculated by the website and automatically added to your order. Overnight delivery is often available if you choose to pay for this option. Contact us for details.  See below for a list of shipping and handling charges:
     
    Order Total          Shipping & Handling Charges
    $20-$50                 $15.00
    $51-$80                 $18.00
    $81-$150               $22.50
    $151-$250             $25.00

     

    Where are your tools made?

    Council Tool buys its raw materials - namely steel, wood, and fiberglass - from domestic sources. We forge, finish, and assemble our tools in North Carolina. When you buy from Council, you're buying a true Made-In-USA product!

     

    How do I care for my tools?
    To keep Council Tool products in top-notch condition:

    • Our cutting tool products are shipped with sharp edges! The best way to maintain sharpness is to use a flat file, followed by a whetstone.
    • Maintain the convex face and chamfer as it originally appears.
    • Prevent rust by wiping or spraying metal parts with light oil during long periods of storage.

     

    How do I replace a wooden handle?

    To replace a wooden handle, first clean the eye thoroughly. Store the handle overnight in a warm, dry room to ensure dryness. Fit the new handle with a rasp or sandpaper. The handle should be driven tight into the head. Saw the handle flush with the head, then drive the aluminum wedge in flush with the head. 

    How do I sharpen my axe?

    We do not recommend an electric high speed grinder to sharpen your axe.  This will leave the steel too soft to hold an edge and will ruin your tool.  Most people today will not have access to an old style pedal grindstone, so your options are limited to a flat file and a whetstone.  It's best to use a file with a guard because you will be filing towards the cutting edge.  Be sure to wear a pair of heavy gloves. 

    Clamp the axe to a workbench at a comfortable height with the cutting edge facing out.  File towards the poll (back) of the axe in a fan shaped motion and maintain the same direction throughout the process.  File the edge approximately 2 to 3 inches at the middle point of the axe.  Work your way from the cheek down to the actual edge, keeping a rounded profile.  Stop filing once you have filed one side so that the burr of metal can be felt on the back side.  Turn the axe over and repeat the process on the other side.  The angle of the edge should be about 25 degrees, but should be slightly convex.

    Now it is time to hone the edge with a whetstone.  The honing process finishes and polishes the edge and removes the burr of metal left from the filing.  Honing should always be done immediately after the filing process has been completed. 

    The last step is to apply a protective coating to the axe head itself.  Wipe light machine oil over all the steel on both sides of the axe. With proper care your Council axe can be passed on to the next generation.   See this video for step by step instructions of sharpening your axe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYPzojZrza8&feature=g-upl

    Where is Lake Waccamaw?
    Lake Waccamaw is wedged into the southeastern corner of North Carolina. It's approximately 36 miles west of Wilmington, 65 miles north of Myrtle Beach (SC), and 45 miles east of Fayetteville. The Lake itself is a natural, spring-fed body of water measuring about 5-1/2 by 7 miles. Cypress trees laden with Spanish moss rim the entire lake, and it's a refuge for many types of flora and fauna.

    Picture of Lake Waccamaw
     
    Should I choose a curved or straight handle for my axe?
    This is a matter of personal preference. Whether straight or curved, handles serve the same purpose.  However axe enthusiasts often have strong feelings about which handle they prefer.  If someone's father and/or grandfather used a curved handle, then that's probably what they prefer.  We do find that users on the west coast tend to use straight handles, and folks on the east coast tend to prefer curved handles.
     

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