Do you like the great outdoors; do you believe an axe is a necessary tool when venturing into them? Well my friend(s), if yes is your answer do I have an Instructable for you!
This Instructable is the answer to a problem I recurrently noticed when I started portaging with a group of friends some 10 years back. Namely, everything you bring is designed to be carried in combination with one or multiple other items. A full sized axe, however, typically doesn't fall in to that category very neatly. It's too big to be carried at the hip, especially when trying to avoid the risk of impaling yourself should you fall... Not to mention, what if you encounter bear? Or something even worst like bandits? You can't afford to be messing around trying to unsheathe the axe.
Ultimately, this project is a combination of my outdoor experience, both in real life and in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is an elegant solution for carrying an axe on your back in a cool way, with engineering foresight to accommodate for various sizes of axes, with the mechanical capability to provide quick release and quick holstering.
The following is the objective for this project; ultimately responsible for the design features of the Quick Release Axe Holster.
1. It must hold the axe on the back with the shaft sticking out beyond the shoulder in a cool way
2. It should have a quick release mechanism right into one's hand.
3. It should be straightforward to sheath an axe
4. It should be compatible with any axe design
5. It should be robust requiring minimal maintenance over time
6. It should not have a negative effect on dexterity (i.e., running, bending over, doing front rolls)
7. It should hold the axe firmly on the back at all times.
Base on the objective above, the following design features were achieved:
1. Robustness and water resistance due to Nylon fabric and strap materials and all plastic hardware.
2. Two point harness mechanism - over shoulder and around waste - to firmly hold axe to body
3. Axe gravity release - Velcro based axe head cover and Quick release clip.
4. Variable size and interchangeable axe head cover using snap buttons
5. Variable diameter shaft holster using straps
ABOUT THIS INSTRUCTABLE:
Please note that the fundamental construction method I use in this project is sewing. This said, the instructions themselves aren't to teach sewing, rather to walk you through the design described above. I hope that you will find this a practical, unique and interesting project.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
1. Sewing Machine
2. Snap button tools
3. Hammer (for snap buttons)
4. Spike-driver (for snap buttons)
5. Pins (for sewing)
6. Ruler and Measuring tape
7. Seam ripper (mistake are sometimes made)
9. Lighter (for singeing cut straps)
1. Heavy nylon fabric (Black)
2. Heavy duty tread (Black)
3. General purpose tread (Black)
4. Velcro straps (Black)
5. Nylon straps (width: ~4 cm)
6. Nylon straps (width: ~2.5 cm)
7. Plastic Clips (width: ~4 cm)
8. Snap buttons (Silver)
9. Rod (Plastic, Stainless Steel, fibreglass rod, or carbon fiber rod; diameter: ~0.75 cm)
10. Plastic Sheet
11. Tape (Black; e.g., electrical, hockey etc.)
Step 2: Axe Head Cover - Velcro, Pockets for Protective Plastic, Quick Release Clip
1. Making the Axe Head Cover is key in this project. How well it covers the axe blade, the amount of Velcro overlap, and the over quality of stitching is essential in a safe a secure Axe Holster.
2. In the video at the end of this Instructable, I refer to the 'Axe Head Cover' as the 'Axe Head Cozy' there one in the same... My bad.
3.CRITICAL, it is at this point where you must decide whether you want a left handed holster (i.e., attached to you left leg) or a right handed holster. Cut your head cover panels accordingly!
Step 3: Axe Head Cover - Snap Buttons, and Secondary Utility Clip
1. Insure the the snap buttons are place correctly before hammering. Once a button is hammered into its corresponding side, you must drill it out in order to detach the two sides. Having a couple extra buttons is always a good idea.
Step 4: Axe Head Cover - Finishing
1. Turning the assembly inside out is a tedious process. Take your time and don't force it. Keep in mind that the internal stitching is only so strong, the tread may break and lead to significant delays.
2. Do not over trim the seam tolerance. Although trimming helps to greatly reduce the bulkiness of the assembly, the edge of the fabric may fail to hold the stitching if there is not enough left over.
Step 5: Axe Holster: Spine and Variable Shaft Sleeve
1. The number of encompassing straps used is completely up to you. However, the idea is to provide a snag and evenly distributed hold on the axe shaft. Thus, take into consideration the rigidity of the material and install a number of straps accordingly.
Step 6: Axe Holster: Finishing
General Note(s): None.
Step 7: Axe Holster: Videos
You are done! Congratulations! Embedded you will find a couple of videos I put together to show you how the finish product looks and operates.
Video 1: Operating the Axe Holster with an Axe
Video 2: Interchangeability of Tools with The Axe Head Cover
Video 3: Only using the Axe Head Cover
Video 4: Axe Head Cover sacrificial plastic protective tab