My Nessmuk Hunterís axes are made of gun-blued D2 steel,
@ Rockwell 60-61. They have flame-hardened hickory handles wrapped with
twisted artificial sinew. The sheaths are rawhide reinforced horse hide. The
entire axe and sheath weighs about 11 ounces. The last one sold for $395.
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Description of Kelley ďNessmukĒ
Hunterís Bag Axe
My ďNessmukĒ hunterís axe is about the same size
and design of the original Nessmuk axe, writer George Washington Sears
commissioned for his own use. However, after extensive research, Iíve chosen
to modify his design to better meet my needs, and those of my hunting
customers. In the future I may offer a collectorís ďreplicaĒ Nessmuk axe
thatís as close to the original woodcuts as is possible. For now Iím
perfecting the hunterís bag axe. The head shape and size are near that of
the original Nessmuk, with small considerations to match the contours of my
grinders. My Kelley Nessmuk handle is a bit shorter, and has more of an
hourglass shape, a personal preference. Iíve never seen even a drawing of
the original sheath, so I made mine strong, and ďperiodĒ looking with
antique oiled saddle leather, hand saddle stitching, and an antiqued elk
antler button closure with brain-tanned elkhide thong. The top edge of the
sheath is covered on both corners with rawhide to keep the blade from
cutting the sheath when you insert it. My custom stamp is on
the back of the ample belt loop. I grind my blades as Sears requested his be
ground, with one bit coarse for chopping and the other thin and razor sharp
for skinning and light whittling of kindling. Iíve used 52100 for some
prototypes, D2, and also S5 shock-resistant steel. Iím favoring D2 and S5.
Iíll decide for sure after more field-testing and customer response.
Nessmuk ďtrilogyĒ from Searsí book Woodcraft and