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22 Woodcraft Manual for Boys

Most of the knife rules apply equally to the hatchet. Never try to break a stone with a hatchet or let the hatchet be driven into a log by striking its back with another hatchet or anything of metal; use a wooden maul if it is necessary to drive the hatchet, as in splitting a stick. If you are going to hew a piece of timber with a hatchet, always draw a line first to guide you. If you are going to point a stake, make it a four-sided point, cutting sides No. I and No. 3, No. 2 and No. 4; so that finally at any cross-section of the point it will be square. It is a sure sign of inexperience when a camper throws his hatchet at trees, etc., to see if he can make it stick. Broken blades, broken handles, and injured trees are the inevitable re- sult, with the large possibility of serious accident. Use of the Axe The hatchet has long been the emblem of George Washington, in allusion to the incident of the cherry tree. So also the axe has become an emblem of Abraham Lincoln, the backwoodsman, the railsplitter, the typical American, who used the axe to carve his home out of the wilderness. I think that the axe might well be the emblem of America, for it was composed originally of the finest metal that Europe could supply, combined with a handle of the finest, toughest stufl that America could grow; and thus became the best weapon ever wielded by man for subduing the wilderness. . Most of the instructions for use of the hatchet apply equally to the axe; but the axe chiefly is used for cutting down trees and cutting up logs. To cut down a large tree with an axe, first clear a space around so you have firm footing and no limbs are left to catch the axe as it swings. Now begin by cutting the notch A (see illustration) at a convenient height, on the side to which you would throw the tree. Then split out the big chips B A by strokes at B. Continue the operation until you reach C D. Then stop and cut in the notch E. Resume cutting at C D until the tree falls. The notch E is never made on the level with D or lower, be- cause then the butt of the tree might shoot backward as the tree falls and kill the woodsman; also, the~upright part left standing between E and D prevents the tree falling the wrong way. When it matters little which way the tree goes, the notch is made much lower. l.‘ 1' AR __)h_ L __ I; .x‘; A M:‘& _ ‘7‘: _MA4__.’L_