Edge tools are among the first tool forms, with surviving primitive axes dated to 8000 B.C.. Early axes were made by “wrapping” the red hot iron around an application, yielding the attention of the axe. The steel bit, introduced in the 18th century, was laid in to the fold in front and hammered into an edge. The side opposite the bit was later extended right into a poll, for better balance and to provide a hammering surface.
The handles took on many different shapes, some indicative or origin, others relating to function. Along the handle had more regarding the arc of the swing that was required. Felling axes took a complete swing and therefore needed the longest handles. Early axes have their handles fitted through the attention from the utmost effective down and the handles stay static in place by locking in to the taper of the attention, for them to be removed for sharpening.
Later axes, however, have their handles fit through the attention from the bottom up, and have a wedge driven in from the top. This permanently locks the handle to the axe and was much preferred by American woodsmen. Many axes found today have been discarded since the handle was split or broken off. Generally they can be bought at a portion of these value and, with another handle, can be restored with their original condition. Most axe collectors have a stock of older flea-market handles they use with this restoration. Like plane blades, axe handles could have been replaced several times through the entire life of the tool. So long as the handle is “proper,” meaning, the right shape and length because of its function, it won’t detract that much from its value.
Pricing of antique axes runs the entire gamut from several dollars to several hundred. Types of well-made axes would include the Plumb, White, Kelly, Miller and numerous others. Beyond these were axes of sometimes lesser quality, but built to a price, and sold by the thousands. Exceptional examples might include handmade axes, possibly from the local blacksmith, or from a manufacturer that specialized in the handmade article, regardless of price.
There are several kinds of axes on the market such as:
SINGLE BIT FELLING AXE:
This axe is known as the workhorse of the axe family. It is really a simple design, varying from the 2 ½ lb. head used by campers to the 4 ½ to 7 lb. head useful for forest work. Viking axes for sale There are heads utilized in lumbermen’s competition which can be around 12lbs.. With the advent of the two-man crosscut saw, and later the energy chain saw, tree no longer are taken down by axes. The axe is more an electricity tool for clearing branches off the downed tree, and splitting firewood.
DOUBLE BIT FELLING AXE:
Double bit axes will have straight handles, unlike any other modern axe. Virtually all axe handles are hickory. Hickory has both strength and spring, and was found very early to be the most effective for axe handles. Starting in the late 1800’s numerous axe manufactures adopted intricate logos that were embossed or etched on the top of the axe. Almost 200 different styles have been identified to date and these have become an appealing collectible.
The broad axe is much less common whilst the felling axe, and will be a lot larger. It’s purpose was to square up logs into beams. It used a much shorter swing that the felling axe, therefore required a much shorter handle. The identifying feature of many of these axes may be the chisel edge, that allowed the trunk side of the axe to be dead flat. Because of the, it posed a challenge of clearance for the hands. To keep the hands from being scraped, the handle was canted or swayed away from the flat plane of the axe. Here is the feature that should always be looked for when buying a broad axe. If the edge is chisel-sharpened, then your handle should be swayed. As with the felling axe, the broad axe heads have many different patterns, mostly a consequence of geographical preference.
The goose wing axe is one of the very artistic looking tools on the market, and it takes it’s name from its resemblance to the wing of a goose in flight. It functions exactly whilst the chisel-edged broad axe, except that the American version has got the handle socket more heavily bent or canted up from the plane of the blade. These axes are large and difficult to forge. Many show cracks and repairs and an original handle is rare. Signed pieces, particularly by American makers, mostly Pennsylvania Dutch, are somewhat more valuable. Also worth focusing on may be the difference in value between American and European axes, the American ones being worth considerably more. Several well-known 19th century American makers whose names appear imprinted on axes are Stohler, Stahler, Sener, Rohrbach, Addams, and L.& I.J. White.