Rydbom Heritage S.A. Wetterlings 63
Rydbom Heritage S.A. Wetterlings - 63
Swedish Collared Axe
A traditional shape in Scandinavian axe design, the collared axe was orginally a function driven design element. Having forests of birch nearby to utilize as handle material, the countries of the North Men found a way to work around the relative weakness of that birch wood. The collar helps spread shock and impact forces during use, and greatly decreased the stress on the handles and subsequent breakage. Had they lived amongst forests of Hickory or Ash trees, you'd probably have never seen a collared axe design.
This particular axe was located and shipped in from Southern Sweden, where it was cleaned, inspected and refinished here in the KA shop. One of a few manufactured by S.A Wetterlings that Dave has come across. Originally founded in 1880 by Sven Axel Wetterling... and still running today! Located in Storvik Sweden, the forge began modernizing in 1914 with a spring power hammer that was still in use as late as 2014! This axe would have been hammered on that hammer... and I would approximate a manufacture time frame between 1930 to 1960 based upon personal experience and observations of similarity between other known pieces. What I can tell you however is that this is a well made piece, showing nice clean lamination of harder high carbon steel into the cutting edge and a great uniform shape. Those laminiation lines through the cheeks were highlighted during the refinishing process by high polishing the forward most half and satin wire stripping the rest for a nice two tone effect. At the heel of the edge near the collar there is a small void were you can see that harder high carbon insert that was pattern welded in under the force of that famous power hammer.
The edge was put on using a slack belt for added strength in the cutting edge geometry, and is currently hair popping sharp. A hand fabricated leather snap sheath protects that edge, and is a bit more unique than the usual in having made use of red thread for a little color pop.
The haft was hand fabricated in Quebec by Trinity Boletus out of a nice piece of white Ash and finished off with a hand rubbed oil finish. The pomel is a unique take on the traditional flare that Emile is so adept at hand carving. Fitting the hand perfectly, this new shape strikes an interesting visual balance between a sweeping flare and a more squared off tail. You'll be seeing more and more of this unique handle shape in the future. The blue and white paint detail was added here in the KA shop, and borders a burn detail that has been signed in gold ink.
The 21.5" long haft was chosen to hit the sweet spot of being short enough to pack and use as a camp axe, while retaining enough length for the head speed needed for effiecient felling. Being of a medium size and heft, this is truly a general purpose axe that could easily become your go to for wilderness and camp chores.
A wonderful clean example of Scandianvian axe design, this piece would be equally at home taking down trees or bucking up and splitting firewood. Truly a utlitarian masterpiece, collard axes translate their extra heft into cutting force and efficiency all the while looking amazing! A real joy to use.