I’m always interested in free products and while doing some reviews of good axes I ran across this offer for a free copy of The Axe Book from Gransfors Bruks of Sweden. This really surprised me, because The Axe Book is offered through Amazon for $13.95. Somebody is not playing fair.
Gransfors Bruks offers The Axe Book for free, either as a PDF download or a paper version you can order for the cost of shipping. The Axe Book also gets shipped out with every axe they sell, free of charge, so steer away from the Amazon version. It’s exactly the same thing for $15 more. I’ve posted the download links at the bottom of this article.
The Axe Book is more than a sales brochure for Gransfors Bruks, where Swedish blacksmiths still make fine hand forged axes in the traditional way. The book describes the history and the processes of the company, giving details about the care and use of each type of axe made, and tossing in some sage advice about the things I just expect people to know. The Axe Book doesn’t take for granted that, for example, you know how to build a fire or stack firewood. These are basics you learn if you grew up in the country sixty years ago, like me, but if you were born to the city life you may not have those skills. It’s good basic knowledge and useful for either outdoor recreation or survival when the world goes to crap. If you don’t know how a fire works or how to adjust the damper on a wood stove, don’t be embarrassed to learn. It could save lives.
I worked for a resort in Missouri at the turn of the century when many people thought the world would die of computer failure, and quite a few of the residents in the condos there were preparing for the worst by doing crazy things — organizing armed vigilante posses of old people with guns and cowboy hats, storing leaky containers of gasoline in basement entrances, and even buying expensive wood stoves for the front room of their second story condos. Fortunately many asked our maintenance team for advice about installation, which was short and sweet: You can’t do that in a building without chimneys. People actually thought you could just set it up in the living room and build a fire, without any exit for the smoke. So if you don’t know about these things, download the book and read up.
If you’re interested in axes in general try their other free download, The Ancient Axe Book, and you’ll learn the history and purpose behind many of the artistic recreations available both online and in the virtual gaming worlds. Yep, they would take your head right off.