If you ask a group of woodworkers which tool they’d have if they were limited to just one, you will often get the answer, “an axe”. A skilled axeman can do an amazing variety of tasks from felling to hewing to fine shaping with the right axe. The broad axe, frequently misrepresented today as a weapon of war in fiction, is a subcategory of axe styles used particularly in woodworking for hewing and shaping timbers. Representations of early period Nordic, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon forms of the broad axe often “T” shaped in structure, giving the axe a broad face but a relatively light heft. An example of this form can be seen in the shipbuilding sequence on the Bayeaux Tapestry.
In the following video, Darrell Markewitz of Wareham Forge (http://www.warehamforge.ca/) gives us some insights as to forging techniques needed to make the Nordic version of this beautiful tool including splitting and drifting the eye and drawing out to prepare to receive a separate cutting blade composed of a welded composite of a piece of tool steel sandwiched between two pieces of mild steel.