Zimmerer Beil

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Ernest DuBois, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    Since we have seen the documented sources calling it a "nail hole", it's sufficient and not a bit of trivia that stirs much contemplation beyond that for me. With that said and on the suggestion of Square_peg I tried it, as we can all see, and found it, let's say, deficient and choose to make use of the axes other features in an improvisation for stowing the axe in a handy way.[​IMG]
     
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  2. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    You are right when we go back to some earlier axes with such a piercing in the blade, the slot portion much more extended out one side of the hole, I guess there is something to it.
     
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  3. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    That nail slot would fit the old T headed nails pretty well. It would have to be indexed to remove. I have no idea if that was the thought behind it...
     
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  4. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    The closest thing I know of that might fit your description is this one[​IMG] which is a flooring brad, otherwise it would be a nice secure fit. But I found with the axe hanging from a pivot like that it of course will seek the balancing point with the handle swinging widely, not a very compact or efficient way of stowing it.
     
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  5. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    That's a good example.

    I was thinking more along the lines of the old home made square nails with the faceted (rose) heads. I make these to go with various hooks and hangers I forge. A square shank of the proper size would fit the slot very well.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    People love getting these old style nails with their hangers.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. rjdankert

    rjdankert

    Mar 10, 2011
    :thumbsup:

    Bob
     
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  7. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    I think some of the hand forged nails used for finish and furniture making had the T heads as well as some cut nails.
    During what time period did these holes appear in axe blades?
     
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  8. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    Not far off.
    [​IMG]
    https://www.realorrepro.com/article/Nails-as-clues-to-age
     
  9. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    Yes, I've heard that some restorers hammer round nail-heads flat in imitation. How far back, boy, I don't know, could be as far back as the middel ages.
    Great nails SP. I once asked the French smid about it and without a hesitation he said the nail heads have 5 facets. Anyway that was their way and proof that you'd been trained in the proper tradition, that is to say up through the guild, that is to say any self-respecting smid...
     
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  10. Agent_H

    Agent_H

    Aug 21, 2013
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  11. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    That's called a monkey tool. It's made from a piece of pneumatic drill rod. Has a 1/4" hole thru the center. I annealed a few pieces and bored them out for 5/6" and 3/8" monkey tools. Not sure what type of steel it is but I think it might be O1. Whatever it is it makes a very fine and tough cold chisel if you weld the hole closed.

    https://www.blacksmithsdepot.com/monkey-tools.html
     
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  12. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    [​IMG]
    Even with a nail ideally suited the result is unsatisfactory.[​IMG]
     
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  13. Agent_H

    Agent_H

    Aug 21, 2013
    I was looking through a war relics site where an axe such as this came up in conversation and someone brought up that the hole was for pulling a nail.

    Being curious I looked at the first catalog posted here and it listed a similar model as “ručna tesarska” - “Hand carpentry”, sekira being “axe” in Slovenian (no reference to the hole) and the second catalog listed it as “mit nagelloch” - “with nail hole”.

    A modern production here:
    http://www.mueller-hammerwerk.at/en/carpenters-hatchet-ch-2005.html
    Lists the tool as having an additional nail-puller in the blade.

    I will agree it would be ungainly at best for hanging it up for storage.
     
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  14. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    Yes, and this gets us back to the ambiguity of the description, "nail hole", far from self evident. There is one scene lodged in my memory of a carpentry action, I believe out of Germany showing the preparation work going on. The stem all laid out for squaring up. The initial work is to strike the guide lines over the length of the stem connecting the laid-out dimensions on either end-grain surface. A line is attached at one of the ends, anchored to a nail tapped in with the poll of the handhacke. So good so far, the line gets snapped and then the crux of the moment is when that carpenter hooks the nail head in such a hole as we have here in his axe's blade and pries it out like that. The crucial thing is no undo force used either in setting that anchor nail or removing it so as awkward as the hole seems when we might think of pulling a nail meant to fasten something, it is perfectly reasonable as a help in getting out the nail that is only slightly set and there are untold equivalent conditions in the work of the carpenter as long as we keep in mind the context of that carpenter's work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
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  15. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    If I were going to use it for pulling nails I’d want the slot at the top of the hole.
     
  16. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    My guess is having slots out either side is a matter of versatility. The point being it's for light duty, little to no stress to the construction of the blade as it is or its handle. Of course I know nothing about it just having been spurred on by a vague memory.
     
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  17. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    I was thinking of the physical motion of pulling the nail. I would lift up on the handle in similar fashion to pulling a nail sideways a straight claw hammer. A slot pointing up would lock the nail head in. A slot to either side couls easily slip off the nail.

    And what about all those axes made with heart-shaped holes? Were those holes for hanging or pulling or somthing else?
     
  18. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    You know, were the hole intended as a hanging mechanism the slot towards the back would be superfluous since the weight will always swing the bit up so unless the handle was supported with a counter balance that end of the slot never gets engaged. We probably can also rule out the possibility of a poor design because this hole is so common and poor design does not tend to persist.
    I'm aware of heart-shaped stampings but not holes. Doesn't mean they never occur and I'm sure you have seen them. I have no explanation.
     

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