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I Forge Iron

Agricultural Weapons


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No,I'm not a bladesmith, but here are some blades I am familiar with. These fall in the catagory of "other sharp things".

I suspect the farm tools of 100years ago might have been the battle weapons of 500 years ago.

The first picture is my uncle's old corn knife......It was used extensively in the 1930's I've been told.Wooden handle with 5 steel pins. Blade is about 22 inches long. It's factory made. Before mechanical corn pickers were common,these knives were used to cut the corn stalks at harvest time.

The other picture is of a tobacco 'tomahawk' and spear used in the harvest of burley tobacco. The tomahawk is used to cut the plant just above the ground ;The spear (a hollow steel cone with a needle-sharp point) is placed on a tobacco 'stick' (think...slender 4 ft.tomato stake). The spear is used to puncture the stalk from the side. 6 plants can be placed on one stick this way. The spear is moved to the next stick. (Someone who is really good at this can cut 1000 sticks or6000 plants per day.)

I made this tomahawk years ago from a piece of old cross-cut saw blade. The hawk is 24 nches long and very light. Less than a lb.

I just thought these might be interesting to share.



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Hello. The corn knives I'm familiar with were a tad wider blade and squared off on the end. They were used for chopping ear corn (and yes also for choppin fodder for shocking it after corn was harvested ). Shuckin pegs were used for pickin corn. A LOT of corn was still harvested in the ear in my youth (mechanical not hand ) but picker shellers ( corn heads on combines ) slowly took over (and need for power corn shellers slowly went away ). I have shocked a little fodder. Amish around here still do some (and still hand pick some corn ).

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There was a man who retired from here several years ago. He was a lineman and a farmer. He was known for his unusual inventions.

They said he once invented a tobacco boot. He attached a "V" shaped blade to the toe of his right boot. That way, he would just walk up to each plant and kick it at ground level to cut it.

Apparently, the idea never took off. Mighta' had something to do with the effects it had on the left foot.

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Fairly recently a friend of mine picked up several corn knives at a Columbus Ohio fleamarket that had been made from US Civil war swords, shortened and with a simple handle. As an ACW re-enactor is just about made him cry...

However it was usually that the agricultural tools became weapons and mot just in Europe---see the sai and kama as well as the billhook, threshing staff, axe, etc.

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my old corn knife/machete is a favorite tool. i have a lot of bamboo to deal with and it does the job just fine.
just re-fitted a hand made oak handle on a hand crank corn sheller today along with a new hand drawn ash handle on a fellas hoe . this hoe is the old solid socket type. why in the xxxx cant we make good tools like this anymore???

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