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Axes Anyone?


MacAR

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7 hours ago, Sledgehammer said:

@Mudfly

That bevel is for hewing. It would be used to flatten a board or beam for various purposes. 

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Must be for finish work as I have seen hewing axes (broad axes) and this one is way smaller than any other that I have seen.  I haven't weighed it but I would guess its maybe a 2.5 to 3 lb head.  Most of the broad axes that I have seen are more like a 5 lb head.

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1 hour ago, Mudfly said:

Must be for finish work as I have seen hewing axes (broad axes) and this one is way smaller than any other that I have seen.  I haven't weighed it but I would guess its maybe a 2.5 to 3 lb head.  Most of the broad axes that I have seen are more like a 5 lb head.

Dad calls it a broad hatchet. No idea if that is a thing or just his words

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2 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

Dad calls it a broad hatchet. No idea if that is a thing or just his words

Could very well be.  My grandpa had it mounted on a boys axe handle, 22".  I like it for splitting kindling. 

I kind of kick myself a little.  When we moved my grandparents to town, my grandpa had a wood crate in the garage with probably 30ish axe heads in it without handles.  He was an auction-goer and nearly always came home with an axe or pickeroon.  At the time, we were busy and I didn't go thru it as well as I should have.  I think most were sold at their yard sale for $1 or $2 a head, which is probably about what he paid for them at auction.  He was the guy that the auctioneer held up a half dozen old axes trying to get a bid, and then he would turn to my grandpa and say, "George, $2 for the lot?".  And he would come home with more axe heads with junk handles.

This was before auctions became a big business. I remember going to auctions with him when I was 4-5-6 years old and there being less than 50 people there.  Fun times.

 

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24 minutes ago, Mudfly said:

Could very well be.  My grandpa had it mounted on a boys axe handle, 22".  I like it for splitting kindling. 

I kind of kick myself a little.  When we moved my grandparents to town, my grandpa had a wood crate in the garage with probably 30ish axe heads in it without handles.  He was an auction-goer and nearly always came home with an axe or pickeroon.  At the time, we were busy and I didn't go thru it as well as I should have.  I think most were sold at their yard sale for $1 or $2 a head, which is probably about what he paid for them at auction.  He was the guy that the auctioneer held up a half dozen old axes trying to get a bid, and then he would turn to my grandpa and say, "George, $2 for the lot?".  And he would come home with more axe heads with junk handles.

This was before auctions became a big business. I remember going to auctions with him when I was 4-5-6 years old and there being less than 50 people there.  Fun times.

 

Should have had a slightly curved handle to keep knuckles clear 

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On 6/4/2022 at 8:13 PM, searcyfarms said:

i would like to get a hewing hatchet, smaller axe like your unit 2 from the left the one i have i could never swing and feel like i wasnt going to chop my leg off. its a beast. 

yours looks like the mid sized version of mine im sure the make one one more size smaller than it like hatchet sized. 

Mine seems to be hand forged does yours ? 

@Sledgehammer is very fond of hammers and axes 

 

I still have a similar version of that little flat sided hewing axe and I still have the wrist damage from using it fifty years ago. I helped a neighbour building some rail fence/cattle shelter and used that little short handled one hand axe for way too long. My wrist was useless for a day or so after that and I still feel it at times. A good two handed axe is better. I have a really old and well preserved "adze" here that I think was used constructing some of the original log buildings on this farm. Also a really ancient axe head that my dad found in the field in his early farming days. 911126640_AdzeLogs.thumb.JPG.5d307cbeafcb98ce0e480c4e82455c24.JPG

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I also have an adze like that as well as my grandfather's "Lip Adze" which has a small (@ 3/16") lip turned up on the edges.  He was a boatbuilder and the lip adze was favored in that construction for some reason.  I guess you could hollow something out with it.  The lip adze also has a forged  tapered "pin" protruding out the back about 3".  I assume it had something to do with driving in wooden pegs?  They look exactly like these.  Mine has the squarer handle.  I will have to look for markings.

We last used the regular adze beveling the ends of fence posts for a split rail fence.

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11 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

Dad calls it a broad hatchet. No idea if that is a thing or just his words

That's absolutely correct. I have also heard them called hewing hatchet.

Mac

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10 hours ago, Mudfly said:

Checked another outbuilding and found the one I was looking for.  I’m not sure if this is anything special or not.  But I think it’s interesting.  Needs to be rehandled.

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It is special, it's a Kelly Hand Made. Not exactly a rare axe, but not common either. Looks like it's seen some use but not abuse in its time.

Mac

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10 hours ago, Loadstar said:

I still have a similar version of that little flat sided hewing axe and I still have the wrist damage from using it fifty years ago. I helped a neighbour building some rail fence/cattle shelter and used that little short handled one hand axe for way too long. My wrist was useless for a day or so after that and I still feel it at times. A good two handed axe is better. I have a really old and well preserved "adze" here that I think was used constructing some of the original log buildings on this farm. Also a really ancient axe head that my dad found in the field in his early farming days. 911126640_AdzeLogs.thumb.JPG.5d307cbeafcb98ce0e480c4e82455c24.JPG

I have a similar adze in my collection, it's a shipwright's adze but isn't lipped like @Rawleigh99 shows. The pin is for driving pegs according to those that know. I think it's in the way most of the time. Using an axe, broadax, or adze all day long is certainly a work out. I'm good for about 2 or 3 hours and I'm done nowadays. 

Mac

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5 minutes ago, MacAR said:

It is special, it's a Kelly Hand Made. Not exactly a rare axe, but not common either. Looks like it's seen some use but not abuse in its time.

Mac

I had about 10 minutes for lunch today and googled it.  M W stands for Marshall Wells tool company Duluth MN and yes it was made for them by Kelly per the inter webs at least.  The MW (or Zenith) makes sense as I’m not too far from Duluth (the Zenith City).

Nice to have some history of the company.  I suspect it was one that Grandpa picked up at an auction and wasn’t his personal axe.  

 

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I remember Marshall Wells as a hardware store chain as a kid, also MacLeods, bought my Gray wrenches there as my first set

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I mount the hewing heads to my swing...im right handed. I havnt found a maker of offset handles(im sure theres a few) so ive made my own. Drop in steam box, bend in jig...the logs ive hewn have all been done right handed meaning i go up one side and down the other. To my knowledge there are right and left handed heads and some u just flip over and mount left handed. Say if u had a right handed head that didnt lend itself to being flipped the bevel would only be right handed. If u mounted on a left hand offset the bevel would be on the wrong side.. 

In other words...start up one side, work to the end...turn urself and work from that end back to where u started.

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To each their own though...guess its how difficult one wants to make it and what style/technique they were taught and developed....and how dense their frontal lobe is.

I knew an old logger back in orygun...that was an fn master. I watched in amazement him hew a log with a mirror sharp double bit. Not only was he quick his work was spot on.

I urge those that are into timber framing to check out "mr chickadee" and "timber doodles" on utoob. This will open a rabbit hole of all the other skilled woodcrafters posting on the toob.

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11 minutes ago, Rawleigh99 said:

Do you "Juggle" them? i.e chop notches along the side and them hew between them with the offset axe?

That's what I do, others may have a different way of doing it though. 

Mac

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Havnt heard it called juggling but yes thats the jist of it. Some do more or less knotches....not sure if this is preference or more to do with the type and grain of wood.

I usually knotch about every 15" and keep the knotch about a ½" above where i want my finished surface, then go back and flatten it out..but that will very if the chop marks are wanted. I did a mantle where the client wanted the axe marks left and some ended up slightly below the "main" surface.

I admit its some back breaking work and avoid it unless theres a big paycheck involved. My cheat is milling down to that ⅜ ½ buffer and then chip away with the axe to get the hewn look..

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I posted a pic of a cleaver looking axe earlier in this post...its hard to tell but there is a shallow curve to the blade and it lends itself finely to a shollow scallop. Problem is its over 100yrs old and is hand forged and it developed a crack...i dont use it anymore hoping to find someone who can fix it.

This particular axe has a right hand offset eye and is used with a short handle. The blade is thin and razor sharp. The log will be just below waist high. Im at about a 45°? angle to the log and take full follow through swings from just above my waist...not "chipping". 

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1 hour ago, MacAR said:

Paging our resident blacksmith @Sledgehammer...

Mac

That is a tough call. Not saying it couldn’t be fixed but would be way easier said than done.  Something old like that is difficult because you don’t know what the original material was and anything you do with heat will remove the temper which has to be put back in later to make the axe correct again and most useful. Just my opinion though. 

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Well it still looks good on the wall....and i suppose it could still be used for chickens..lol

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On 7/6/2022 at 9:39 AM, Rawleigh99 said:

I also have an adze like that as well as my grandfather's "Lip Adze" which has a small (@ 3/16") lip turned up on the edges.  He was a boatbuilder and the lip adze was favored in that construction for some reason. 

I finally remembered to take a couple of photos of my ancient axes. That little "wrist wrecker is in a photo by itself. It has one side flat and the other bevelled. Made for a right handed person I'd guess. The other two have been here much longer than I have. The one on the right my dad found in the field, just the head. He made a handle to fit it and that was my first axe for splitting firewood. The little short handled "hatchet" on the right I do not know the history of. Probably belonged to my grandfather. 

IMG_3977[1].JPG

IMG_3976[1].JPG

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Ian what who makes the handle? Im always looking for a good stick maker.

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