BlasterJoe

What kind of ax is this?

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This is an old ax head I found on a metal detecting trip I made to an old local ghost town. I found it at the mouth of an old working. I know they used them for trimming timbers but I don't know what it's actually called. Looks like it was forge welded but I don't see a defined bit in it. I haven't taken a grinder to it yet. I am currently working on reproducing it in my own way. I will post more pics when I get aways into the project.

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Looks like a broad axe.

Is the axe sharpened on one side only?

And the other side essentially flat?

SLAG.

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In pic #1 you can see it's single beveled. I'd call it a broad ax.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Could have been used for a carving axe also with that much radius on the bit , single bevel or near single gives you more control of your cuts , or it's just a hewing axe with many years of poor sharpening 

 

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It is sharpened on both sides but one side the bevel is a lot steeper than the other. One side the bevel is about 1/2 inch and the other a 1/4. 

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1 hour ago, BlasterJoe said:

It is sharpened on both sides but one side the bevel is a lot steeper than the other. One side the bevel is about 1/2 inch and the other a 1/4. 

A LOT of people who don't know any better do that to single bevel tools.

Frosty The Lucky.

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1 hour ago, BlasterJoe said:

It is sharpened on both sides but one side the bevel is a lot steeper than the other. One side the bevel is about 1/2 inch and the other a 1/4. 

Yup it was modified into a carving hatchet for sure, Asymmetric grind ,pretty common among green wood carvers.

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I was told once, that in Scandinavia, a single beveled broad axe such as this would have also been used to limb felled trees. The woodsman would stand on the fallen tree and work his way down one side, and then come back up the other side, apparently using only one swing per limb. I tried to fact check this, but came back with mixed results, seems very possible though.

Viking

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I'm going to go in a bit of a different direction and suggest that this may not have originally been a single-bevel tool. Note the symmetrical eye: broad axes (and hatchets) usually have an asymmetrical eye so that they can be completely flat on the side towards the workpiece.

Going out on a limb, I'll say that this could have been a felling axe modified on-site to facilitate hewing timbers for the working. The unequal bevels could have resulted either from an incomplete modification or from later mis-sharpening (not uncommon, as Frosty notes).

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I'm pretty sure that it is a dual bevel hewing axe, they aren't as common as the single bevel axes but they were produced. as JHCC pointed out the eye and blade are fairly symmetrical, not the typical flat side that you would expect, but the profile in the second picture has hewing axe written all over it.

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Here's a broad hatchet I picked up a couple of years ago. I've done some corrective grinding, but you can still see where the flat back had been (inappropriately) beveled.

(Michael the pitbull in the background)

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2 hours ago, POZ said:

the profile in the second picture has hewing axe written all over it.

 That's certainly true. 

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Once at the fleamarket I found a *beautiful* hand forged T adze, steeled wrought iron, some decorative? stamping, etc.

Fellow had it in a barrel with some other hoes and rakes and had extensive ground a bevel on the wrong side of the blade.  ARRRRRRGGGGHHHH; lose most of the steeled section to restore it.  I picked it up cheap and then twisted the knife---I commiserated with him that "the previous owner had messed it up grinding the bevel on the wrong side and dropping the price of it to a tenth of what it would have gone for".  I've learned that if you tell them that they had done something really stupid they get all huffy and try to justify themselves.  If you blame it on someone else and show that it cost them a good chunk of money they are more likely to take it to heart when the next one came along. 

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