You mean, “like a shield?”
Really, any solid block of wood should be able to take the
hit, and catch the blade. It doesn’t matter if it’s an actual shield, or a pine
It’s probably worth remembering, most modern “wood” furniture
is made from particle board, which is more like sawdust and glue. This stuff
won’t stop an axe. But, antiques? Stuff that’s actually made from real wood?
When it comes to shields, softwoods (like pine or yew) are
preferable to hardwoods (like oak or apple). As I recall, this has something to
do with the elasticity of softwoods (even very heavy softwoods like yew), in
contrast to hardwoods. Hardwoods will break when sufficient force is applied,
you can see this with toothpicks if you’re really inclined, while softwoods are
more likely to deform, or in your case, entrap the axe head.
Really, this is one of those cases where the range of options
isn’t short, and will depend heavily on where your character is fighting. If
they’re in a wooded area, they’re probably better off using the trees as
impromptu cover, to protect against axe strikes. In an industrial environment,
piping or heavy equipment would be the better option.
It’s also worth remembering: so long as the attacker can
keep a hold on their axe, they will be able to get it free. It may take a
moment, but it’s very difficult to create a situation where you could tie it up
indefinitely, simply by getting it stuck in something. Getting the weapon stuck
is a good distraction, and opens the option for your character to retaliate,
but it doesn’t eliminate the weapon. Your character will need something a lot
more complex in mind than an 18th century writing desk getting in the way to