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Collecting Antique Axes

Edge tools are among the earliest forms of the tool, with primitive survival axes dated to 8000 BC. The early axes were made "wrapping" the red-hot iron around a shape, yielding the axe's eye. The piece of steel, introduced in the eighteenth century, was placed in the fold at the front and hammered on an edge. The opposite side of the bit was subsequently extended to a survey, for a better balance and to provide a hammering surface.

 

The handles took a variety of shapes, some indicative or original, others related to the function. The length of the handle had more to do with the arch of the swing that was required. The excavation shafts took a complete balance and therefore needed the longest handles. The early axes have their handles embedded through the eye from the top down and the handles remain in place by blocking in the taper of the eye, so they can be removed for sharpening.

The posterior axes, however, have their handles fit through the eye from the bottom up, and have a wedge driven from the top. This permanently blocks the handle to the axe and was very preferred by American loggers. Many axes found today had been scrapped because the handle was broken or split. In most cases they can be purchased for a fraction of their value and, with another handle, can be restored to their original condition. Most axe collectors have an action of the oldest flea market handles that they use for this restoration. Like flat trowels, the axe handles may have been replaced two or three times over the lifespan of the tool. As long as the handle is "correct", i.e. the correct shape and length for its function, it will not diminish its value.

The price of the old axes runs the entire range of a few dollars to several hundred. Examples of well-done axes include the Plumb, White, Kelly, Miller and many others. Beyond these were sometimes fewer quality axes, but built at a price, and sold by thousands. Exceptional examples could include hand-made axes, possibly from the local blacksmith, or from a factory specialized in the handmade item, regardless of the price.

Video Source: Wranglerstar

There are several types of axes out there like:

Single-BIT Fall AXE:

This axe is considered the battle horse of the axe family. It is a simple design, ranging from a 2 ½ pound head used by campers to the head from 4 ½ to 7 lbs used for forestry work. There are heads used in the competition of loggers that are up to 12 pounds. With the advent of the two-man cross-cutting saw, and later the chainsaw, the tree is no longer taken by the axes. The axe is more of a utility tool to clear branches of the tree down and break the firewood.

Double downwards:

The double-peak axes always have straight handles, unlike any other modern axe. Almost all the handles of the axe are walnut. The Hickory has strength and spring and was found very early to be the best for axe handles. From the end of 1800, a number of axe manufactures adopted intricate logos that were embossed or engraved on the head of the axe. Almost 200 different styles have been identified to date and these have also become an interesting collectible.

BROAD AX:

The wide axe is not as common as the cutting axe, and is much larger. Its purpose was to square logs into beams. A much shorter swing was used than the cutting axe, so it requires a much shorter handle. The identification feature of many of these axes is the edge of the chisel, which allowed the back of the axe to be completely flat. Because of that, he posted a hand-clearing problem. To prevent the hands from being scraped, the handle was tilted or tipped away from the plane of the axe. This is the feature you should always look for when buying a wide axe. If the edge is chiseled, then the handle should be balanced. As with the Tilling axe, the wide axe heads have a variety of patterns, mostly a result of geographical preference.

Water AXE:

The Goose-wing axe is one of the most artistic search tools out there, and it takes its name from its likeness with the wing of a goose in flight. It works exactly like the broad wide-sharpened axe, except that the American version has the most strongly bent or inclined handhold from the leaf plane. These axes are large and difficult to forge. Many show cracks and repairs and an original handle is rare. The parts signed, particularly by American manufacturers, mostly Dutch in Pennsylvania, are considerably more valuable. The difference in value between American and European axes is also important, Americans deserve much more. Some well-known American manufacturers of the nineteenth century whose names are printed on axes are Stohler, Stahler, Sener, Rohrbach, Addams and L. & I.J. Blanco.

Air vessel or mask:

This axe is used for the confirmation of masts of ships and timbers and is usually ground on both sides. Varies in length based on local use. Double-tipped ears or ears are common with this axe.

Cooper AX:

This axe has a lighter, well inclined handle Plug and carries a very short handle. Although the general differentiation between an axe and an axe is that an axe is used with two hands and an axe with one, the axe of the Cooper is one of the exceptions to the ruler. It was mainly used to form barrel staves, and was used almost always with one hand while the other held the cane.

COACHMAKER'S AX:

This is an asymmetric axe used to shape the parts of the coach in almost a manner of paring. The heads vary in size, some styles that take a "bearded" effect, hence the nickname "Bearded Axe". These axes are almost exclusively of European origin.

Ice axe:

Back in the day, the ice is harvested in the winter of the ponds and lakes and stored in ice-lodged for summer use. This was an important winter crop for many farmers. There was a whole family of tools developed to serve this industry, among them was the ice axe. Once again, local patterns create a variety of styles.

Fire Axe:

These are searchable collectibles because many of the older ones have the monogram of the fire company in their heads. They all have rear pikes used to clean the openings or create ventilation.

MORTISING AX:

The sheet on these axes is long and narrow to accommodate the size of the mortise hole that was designed to cut, most often for post and beam construction or for pole and rail. Some have double pieces, a bit sized for the length and the other for the width of the hole.

TRADE AX:

The commercial axes were originally brought by the French and Spanish and later by the English and were traded with the Indians who had them in very high regard. They were without polls and small enough to be worn in the belt and used with one hand. The largest variety was known as Squaw axes and was used by women to cut wood.

TURF or BOG AX:

Used to cut grass and peat, these axes are not heavy enough to cut wood.

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