I am very happy with the result of this move as the quality of the Wetterlings axes has improved greatly in my eyes. The handles are a better quality and are ready to be finished with a few coats of linseed oil by the owner. The forging looks cleaner and they have a more uniform head shape. The heads are forged a bit thinner and are easyer to sharpen for real use. The head alighnment is pretty much dead on. The price went up a bit, but I would gladly pay the price for the improvements and it is a joy to sell this quality of a tool.
Here is the Article...
Iron, forging and sharp tools have been a fundamental part of Swedish history the last 1500 years. The Swedish axe – in the Viking age a weapon and symbol of power – is today an admired and functional tool. Axe forging and working with axes isstill part of the Swedish culture.
S. A. Wetterlings Axe Forge was founded in 1880 and Gransfors Bruks in 1902. Both forges are still operating. Nobody can really own the knowledge, memories and artifacts built in to these antique forges – they belong to the Swedish heritage and the small-scale industrial history of Sweden. Someone, though, has to make the critical decisions, protect values built up by previous generations and pay the interests to the bank. These are the obligations that give me the right to write axe-man and owner on my business card.
In cooperation with the blacksmiths, I have been able to run Gransfors Bruks since 1985. Now, it is indeed interesting to learn from and work with the Jungefors family, the previous owners, and still active and in charge at Wetterlings. They harbor three generations of axe knowledge in the family. An intense and passionate interest in axe production and axe culture is what actually brought these two old companies to start cooperating; all the time focusing not to destroy the unique and distinctive character of each company. The people in two old Swedish Axe Companies have decided to “take the responsibility for the axe culture in the world”, to keep and to pass on to the future generations the knowledge of axe manufacturing and how to use axes.
Of course we are proud of the companies' old history – but age is in reality not very important. However, for us it is important to learn from the past and how we can use the understanding to make high quality axes. We all have a responsibility to take care of and preserve the inheritance given by hard working people in the past – and create - and act. The companies' power to attract and keep skilled and professional blacksmiths has always been and will always be a key factor for the companies' future. Knowledge, culture and respect for ethical values will be our guidelines.
Sweden in August 2008
Gabriel Branby, Axe-Man