Historical Axes

Since time immemorial has the axe served as tool, weapon, status symbol and sacred object. Gränsfors Bruk’s historical axes are replicas of axes that were common many hundreds of years ago.

In contrast to Gränsfors Bruk’s other axe models, the historical axes are produced not to serve a distinct function in today’s world, but rather to show how axes were in the past. The axes have their roots in the time between 600 – 1200 CE and are a continuation of the ancient tradition of axe forging in Sweden and Scandinavia, though models from Central Europe may also be offered.

These replicas are modelled after archaeological findings, and the originals can often be seen in museums in Scandinavia. Based on historical examples, the axes are not only traditional in form but also in the process of forging.

The focus of the historical axes lies in the forging process; to preserve, develop, and honour the forging traditions of old as well as to show the possibilities within axe forging. Each axe is hand forged using a coke forge, hammer and anvil, thus every individual axe is unique. Some models are forged of pure carbon steel while others are laminated from mild steel and carbon steel.

Forge welding mild steel and carbon steel into a single piece requires a deep understanding of the material and the heat, the essence of all forging. This process creates both possibilities and challenges for the blacksmith striving to achieve a good result.

Historically, the blacksmith forge welded axes – among other things – so that the precious steel would only be used in the very edge of the tool. The cheaper iron could then be used for the rest of the axe.

Forging a Gränsfors Bruk historical axe is a complex and time-consuming process which can include up to 100 heats and several thousand hammer blows for each model. The historical axes are therefore forged in small series by individual blacksmiths in partnership with Gränsfors Bruk.

The different axe models even differ from one series to another, and sometimes a model many be produced only once. Each individual axe is therefore completely unique, and, besides the smith’s touchmark, is stamped with a series number and year of production.

The historical axes are sold exclusively in the Gränsfors Bruk web store in Sweden, and are not available for pre-order. When a model is available it will be visible on the website.

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