THEORY: Axe people appreciate history

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by the-accumulator, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. jake pogg

    jake pogg Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 20, 2015
    I'm sorry,i must disappoint on both counts!:(

    I'm not a speaker,alas,of our local,the Koyukon, dialect of Athabaskan...Speakers are actually far and few between nowadays...(i'll find when i get a chance though!).

    And that axe i took too few photos of,i was in collections for other reasons that time,and came across it accidentally....(i'm surprised actually that i don't see just the plain view photo of it...i'll look again...).
    Curators didn't know much about that axe,other than it was collected in early 1900's in Barrow,AK...(maybe forged locally,or came off one of the whalers,not recorded)...
  2. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    Could be.
    I've been interested in history, ancient mythology and legends from around the world, edged tools, "obsolete" weaponry (archery, spears, swords, blowguns, slings, sling shots, muzzleloading arms, etc.) and firearms since I was a wee lad no more than knee high to a locust, from age two or three, or for about 62 or 63 years.
    I don't remember my first two or three years, or before I was born too good. I may have been interested in this stuff then, too. :)
    Trailsawyer and Square_peg like this.
  3. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    There are 2 good spots on here for the old knives Q&A. The Traditional and the Bernard Levine subs.

    The Kitchen slants towards modern culinary tools and it's kinda slow moving section at the best of times.
    Square_peg likes this.
  4. the-accumulator

    the-accumulator Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    One more old hatchet head and a couple of hoof-trimming tools:
    JPEG_20200324_111641_4317782898415163151.jpg JPEG_20200324_111944_4800662342608499124.jpg JPEG_20200324_111915_4730004414142868764.jpg JPEG_20200324_111818_6570882086159641178.jpg JPEG_20200324_111723_5227929554419944536.jpg JPEG_20200322_134452_7020601629134877790.jpg JPEG_20200322_134725_4146921016468907206.jpg JPEG_20200322_134834_5202517624388076293.jpg JPEG_20200322_134926_119232389447514105.jpg JPEG_20200322_135028_7083153168874181574.jpg
    This type of trimmer is called a "butteris" or "buttress" and comes in various styles. I have one that is shorter and has a knob for a handle. The other is longer and is designed to fit up against your shoulder.
    The hatchet certainly has seen better days, but it still tells a story. It has a very minimal poll with squared corners. I'm not smart enough to interpret that. Any thoughts? Thanks for staying with me this long. T-A
  5. jake pogg

    jake pogg Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 20, 2015
    T.-A.thanks for showing these,those butteris both look great,what a Lot of work went into those...

    I'll go out on a limb here and ramble on,i'll say right off that i've really no idea why or wherefore and wassup with that axe,other than at a glance it looks like it was purposed for hewing...

    But,it so happens that i originally hail from that unhappy place where people don't have much(in general:)),but in particular any decent wood to haft their tools with.
    Birch is the best it gets there.
    So they adapted by making their eyes larger,to admit more wood in volume,and at first glance that's the very look many of their tools have,just such poll-less,triangular eyes.

    However,i must say that i've never seen where the back piece was mitered and welded in separately...And i hesitate to say just Why it was done.
    In theory,every Bend results in diminished section,unless the mat'l at corner is carefully upset.
    Mitering and fitting in Would kinda fix that,but in such minor way that it hardly seems worth the trouble.
    Maybe someone was just short on stock,and used a chunk off the floor,as was done Very commonly in old rural shops,or maybe they just had a bright idea,after a late night with lesser than normal quality moonshine?...We may never know...
    But chances are this is influenced by a bad heredity,something like an Eastern European indentured worker left alone in the forge while the owner went to town...:)
    Or some combination of that bad heredity and expediency...Makes it quite a bit easier to handle,this would.

    That asymmetric weld forward is also quite typical of those types of axes,standard,really...
  6. the-accumulator

    the-accumulator Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    For all you history buffs, is this an antique logging chain as the seller on the bay guessed, or is it something from a colonial kitchen?
    Any guesses? FYI, I'm quite sure that I know the answer. T-A
  7. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    I think you are in the right neighborhood T-A.[​IMG] I am not colonial by any means and this is the front room not my kitchen, otherwise, you get the picture.
  8. the-accumulator

    the-accumulator Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    Now I remember seeing that picture once before in another thread. I own several trammels, but I don't have a saw-tooth. That's a beautiful piece of ironwork and wonderfully displayed in its proper setting. Thanks for sharing. T-A
    Square_peg likes this.
  9. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Nice cauldron! Those are hard to find here. Wiccans love them as ornamental iron.
  10. upnorth


    Nov 25, 2006
    . Man was that harsh. I have an original fur trade belt axe from the 1780's found while metal detecting. I have preserved it with museum grade conservators wax. There is nothing fashionable about it and it will never be sold. If it ever leaves my family it will go to a museum or university. It came from Peter ponds fur trade site. Folks in the U.S. Should take notice of him. His post was the cutting edge of wilderness trade for that area back in the days when north central North America was being
    Opened by Europeans.
    jake pogg likes this.
  11. garry3


    Sep 11, 2012
    Viruses, earthquakes, and now I hear the edged tools section of Bladeforms has been infiltrated by hipsters. My whole world is turned upside down.

    Trees are budding out, crocuses are up and the asparagus will be soon. Ticks and fishing to look forward to as soon as I get that sprinkler line repaired.
    Same its always been.
    Square_peg, jake pogg and Trailsawyer like this.
  12. jake pogg

    jake pogg Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 20, 2015
    "Snakes are eating the potatoes,must be doomsday for sure".

    ...And nary a photo to go with this...:(

    Gben is right,the hipster conspiracy is nigh...
    garry3 likes this.
  13. the-accumulator

    the-accumulator Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    While many who enjoy handling, owning, and/or discussing cutlery (and all sorts of edged tools) focus on the tool and how wonderfully it's constructed, how well it's held up, and, if it's not in mint condition, how to make it so, there are those of us who are more concerned with the history of the tool, how it was used, and the story it can tell in its as-found condition. As I have previously stated, I believe those who tend to fall into the latter category are likely to show up on this, the Axe Forum. Consider this tool (which I just featured in the Broad Axe Ramblings thread):
    So here's my dilemma: how much should I do to restore it to its former glory? Am I better to leave it as-is so we can learn from its damage and flaws the story it has to tell. A full restoration, while pleasing to some, would hide the fact that someone used it instead of a froe and pounded its spine with a hammer. They also twisted it back and forth, cracking it at the neck.
    So was the tool poorly designed? Poorly constructed? Or, more likely, blatantly misused/abused? What's your take? Restore it? I choose to appreciate it and its history just as it is, but that's just one opinion. T-A
  14. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    There's a fine line between used and abused. If a tool 'saved the day' was it used or misused? If using a tool for other than its intended purposed enabled a man to feed his family for several years was the tool used or misused? From the tool maker's point of view it may have been misused. But from the tool owner's view it was used.

    To restore ot not to restore? Does the tool need to be put back into service? Is there profit to be made by one's hours restoring it? If the answer to both of these is 'no' then leave it be. If only the first is 'no' then it's a judgment call. In some cases the story has as much or more value than the object.
    Trailsawyer and jake pogg like this.
  15. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    It wouldn't have been used exactly as a froe because the handle is in the wrong orientation to provide the kind of twisting that a froe provides. But it might have been used in conjunction with a froe, perhaps in make clapboards.
  16. jake pogg

    jake pogg Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 20, 2015
    T.-A.,it looks very much like somebody got unlucky with a batch of steel.

    For the weld to start failing like that it has had to've been bad to begin with(you can see how the weld is opening up,at top of blade?)
    Other cracks also were there to begin with,chances are.It's held up long enough to pass inspection,and then some time i'd imagine,but when subjected to whatever stresses(being used as intended or maybe not quite)that slaggy,poorly refined iron started coming apart.
    At least i don't see any mushrooming corresponding with the damage,that bunged-up back of one side of blade wouldn't have done that i don't think...

    What is that anyway-cooper's side-axe?
  17. the-accumulator

    the-accumulator Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    Cooper's broad axe. Very light and delicate compared to my others.
    Cooper's weighs in at 3 lb, the other at 7 lb. So what do you know about MCCOY? T-A
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  18. jake pogg

    jake pogg Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 20, 2015
    THIS McCoy? Not much!:)

    I want to take back what i said,too(don't want to cast aspersions on old McCoy there).
    I Does look like the damage was caused by the same beating that smashed that back of the blade..
    It wasn't McCoy's fault!:) The nature of such axe is relatively light work,it's not overbuilt,meant to be light,and somebody for some reason was driving it into something unyielding...
  19. the-accumulator

    the-accumulator Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    That's how I see it. Maybe a better-built axe would have held up under such abuse, but the cooper's axe was only built to withstand that for which it was intended, and that's not a fault.
    Well, I still haven't learned anything more about MCCOY, but here's a specimen with a well-known maker but a lesser known pattern:
    I found one like this one for sale on that big auction site labeled a "Cedar pattern". Is that accurate? What's the history of that pattern? Thanks, T-A (and Allhee)
    Square_peg likes this.
  20. crbnSteeladdict


    Jul 31, 2017
    I do not think you can call it a "Cedar pattern". I do not recall anybody else but Sears selling that kind of hatchet. I am curious whether it was produced by Vaughan or METco.
    Square_peg, Trailsawyer and jake pogg like this.

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