As you'll recall from a previous episode, I called Drew at Country Workshops and ordered a carving axe made by Gr?nsfors Bruks AB . Drew told me that it was out of stock worldwide and he wasnt sure when it would be coming in. I was patient and willing to wait until they came ?across on the boat. Only a few days later Drew called back to let me know that the folks at Gransfors had inventory and were going to ship him some axes, and was I still interested... Oh hell yes.
After about a week I got an email from Drew that my axe was in the mail.
Then it showed up in the mailbox a few days later.
In these days of service desks and salespeople who know less than nothing about what they are supporting or selling, its nice to know that there are places where quality is still the primary objective.
I love going to the weekend Farmers Market to get produce, smoked meats and baked goods direct from the people who produce them. There's something special about someone who stands behind their products, literally and figuratively.
That was one of the most amazing things I saw in visiting Japan: the daily market where all the growers brought their products straight from the farm to the market. One day at the market, my mother-in-law bought pickled veggies from one vendor, then found another vendor down the way who had better looking vegetables at better prices. He bought mom's pickles form her at full price and sold her some of his, with a reminder to come to his stand first next time.
So my new axe came in the mail, and as I opened it I expected to find a high quality tool.
Here's what I found in the box:
It was beautifully crafted, forged and finished with a razor sharp edge I could see myself in, a handle that looked and felt like it had been chip-carved to a fine finish with just enough texture for a good grip. Here's a little look at their forging process.
As I looked at my axe, I turned it over and saw the initials on the poll, KS. My axe had been forged by Kjell-?ke Sj?lund. The booklet that comes with each axe has not only care and feeding instructions, but a list with the initials and names of all eleven smiths in the shop and a group photo of all their employees.
It is a rare thing these days that anyone makes something that they are willing to sign and stand behind. So, Kjell-?ke, we salute you.
As I drive around these days I'm always on the lookout for anyone doing tree work so I can scam some limbs and trunk chunks from them to have green bowl and spoon blanks.
Next step in the quest is to finish shelves along one wall of the garage to make some floor space so I can start on some projects.