TKO recognizes that we are navigating health safety challenges we have never seen before.  With guidance from safety experts, medical ADVISORS and RECOMMENDATIONS from our land manager partners, we are engaging in limited in-person volunteer activities with a keen eye towards safe, healthy practices.  

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TKO Saw School – New USFS Axe Training Module

August 7 at 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

USFS Axe training module to be given concurrently with or subsequent to crosscut saw trainings. Axe Basics, Maintenance, & Use

USFS Axe training module to be given concurrently with or subsequent to crosscut saw trainings. Axe Basics, Maintenance, & Use

Crew Leaders: David Roe, Vito Perrone.

Work Description:  USFS Axe Training Module

3 hrs of classroom and 3 hrs of practical

Land Manager: USFS

District: ZigZag Ranger District

This training will be taking place at the Zigzag Stewardship Center in Zigzag , OR.

Click here to learn what you need to know before registering for this event.

Only current certified sawyers are eligible to enroll in this class.

As a tool, the axe is potentially more hazardous to both the user and crewmembers in the vicinity of the user than either crosscut saw or chainsaw.

First Aid/CPR is required to obtain a crosscut saw certification.

Log dynamics are the same when using an axe as they are for crosscut saw and chainsaws. Binds are addressed in the crosscut saw module but not the axe module. Unfamiliarity with springpoles, side binds, end binds, pivots points, etc could result in unexpected log movement leading to injury.

Safe use of axes on trail requires working knowledge of OHLEC which is covered in crosscut saw trainings and certifications.

Proposed syllabus:

Prework Review – Ax History, modern axes, ax anatomy, ax types, ax features

PPe and Ax Saftey – Risk assessment, PPE, proper stance

Choosing an Ax – Size, handles, weight, intended use

How an Ax works – Ax profile, the 45-degree angle

Chopping Plan – Removing wood by volume, constructing a free face, chopping from both sides, connecting notches

Chopping Techniques – Chopping styles, overhead chop, over-the-shoulder-chop, finishing cuts

Limbing – Technique

Ax Maintenance – Cleaning, honing, daily maintenance, annual maintenance

Knowledge Check

Additional Material – An Ax to Grind(; One Moving Part (; A Practical Ax Manual

What this course does not cover:

Felling procedures, advanced bucking procedures

Ax restoration, hanging hafts, profiling, sharpening (beyond daily honing)

Note: Please bring work gloves, safety glasses, hard hats, face coverings, and hand sanitizer- all your new normal trail work PPE. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, TKO cannot provide any of this equipment.

Potential cancellation: We will not work in the field if the weather is not safe for our team.

What to bring:

  • Lunch
  • Plenty of water
  • Snacks
  • Gloves, Safety Glasses, Hard Hat
  • Hand Sanitizer

What to wear:

  • Boots (Please wear something sturdy that will protect your toes from sharp tools. Boots must cover your ankles. No tennis shoes allowed.)
  • Work gloves
  • A long-sleeved shirt is a requirement
  • Long pants are required
  • Face Mask
  • Rain gear as appropriate for the weather


There are no overnight accommodations on-site available for this event.


Please contact Vito Perrone at

Directions: The Zigzag Stewardship Center is located across Highway 26 from the Zigzag Ranger Station, at the “North Compound”. Directions from Sandy, Oregon to the Zigzag Stewardship Center: Take Highway 26 East for 17 miles. Turn left on Lolo Pass Road. Take 2nd right(about 300 yards from HWY 26) and drive through open gates to access the Stewardship center.

COVID-19 Procedures **Please follow all civil authority restrictions for your community. **

In accordance with civil authority restrictions and land manager requirements for safety considerations, the following policies are currently in place:

• All volunteers will watch in the TKO COVID-19 Safety Lab, a broad safety orientation of TKO Safety Policy & Procedures for a COVID-19 Environment. Link will be provided in your registration confirmation.

• All volunteers must administer a health self-evaluation prior to attending in-person volunteer events (

• All volunteers will read and sign the TKO Volunteer Waiver updated for COVID-19 for release and indemnity of TKO and the land manager partner. Link will be provided in your registration confirmation.

• Volunteers must bring their own gloves, cloth masks, hand sanitizer, and hardhat.

• No carpools will be arranged by TKO for the time being.

For a complete list of Covid specific safety measures, see our safety manual, available here.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: TKO recognizes that the trails we work on travel through the traditional lands of many Indigenous tribes. In every corner of what we now call Oregon, these people were forced to cede their land, their home, to the US government at various times from 1853 – 1871. We are privileged to be here today & express gratitude to the descendants of these tribes for being the original stewards of this land.

EQUITY & INCLUSION: TKO seeks to make Oregon’s trails a place where people can go to connect with nature & one another. Not everyone feels safe & welcome in the outdoors due to racism, bias & hate. We commit to being part of the solution to change that. Conduct, speech, or expressions that target individuals or groups will not be tolerated by TKO, regardless of whether they are based on age, citizenship, disability, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, geographic origin, language, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.

PERSONAL SAFETY: Your physical & emotional safety is our number one priority. If a person’s actions or comments make you feel uncomfortable/unsafe – interrupt directly, tell a crew leader &/or complete the post-event survey.


Zigzag Stewardship Center
45.344977, -121.939831, 83V6+X3 Mt Hood Village, Oregon
Mt Hood Village, OR 97049 United States
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