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2 hours ago, Chad J. said:

 This looks to be an old felling ax and part of its beard has broken off but I can't find any pictures.  Any ideas? 

 

Chad,i don't think it's a felling axe at all,and it's probably not missing any parts.

I think this is a carpenter's/hewing axe,from Noway:https://www.miljolare.no/data/ut/album/?al_id=2085

 

(nice tool,i'd clean it Very carefully,preserving it's (venerable)age,and it's nature ofa tool most probably made in some small rural forge...)

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Chad,it's entirely up to you of course,but cleaning old metal with acid usually works very poorly,obliterating much of the original surface/shape of tool.

Gentle mechanical cleaning like a cup brush at very low RPM prevents these losses,and often suffices.

 

The tool appears to not be worm much at all,and it can easily be both-a working tool,in good shape, displayed as such.

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23 minutes ago, Chad J. said:

I've had an overnight soak in vinegar and a gentle brushing recommended.

 

I'm not in the Least surprised!:)....It seems to be Compulsive,in the Internet Culture,to dunk an old axe into vinegar(or stronger acid)....It's not really a nice thing to do...(and Very rarely strictly necessary).

 

Alan may appear here soon and maybe give us an Archaeologist's perspective on dunking iron artefacts into acid...:)

 

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First, that's a great axe!

 

Second, yeah, don't do the vinegar.  It'll get into the deeper pits and never stop rusting.  I also dislike power wire brushes, having seen way too many classic hand tools ruined by an overenthusiatic application thereof.  That said, that axe is crusty enough that hand brushing is advisable. The rust neutralizers like evaporust are good, they convert tight rust to black iron oxide.  But, they need the loose crusty stuff removed, so we're back to gentle brushing.

 

Other options are electrolysis, sandblasting with walnut hulls rather than sand, or, and I like this one the best, brushing off the loose rust and boiling in strong tea.  The tannins in the tea will convert the rust and remove a lot of it.  

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19 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

I like this one the best, brushing off the loose rust and boiling in strong tea. 

That is because you like to drink the tea afterwards, isn't it?  Be honest.  :P

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58 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

It'll get into the deeper pits and never stop rusting.

Even if you neutralize with baking soda?  I ask because my experience with doing a vinegar soak, followed by a wash with hot soapy water and baking soda, then apply a wax finish has given me good results.

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Thanks all you guys,good stuff(i ought to file it someplace for future reference,the old pea-brain ain't holding on to good info no mo'..).

 

Apologies for power cup-brush suggestion,i actually spaced out the word "brass",but still,no need for power nuffink...

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18 minutes ago, Gerald Boggs said:

Even if you neutralize with baking soda?  I ask because my experience with doing a vinegar soak, followed by a wash with hot soapy water and baking soda, then apply a wax finish has given me good results.

 

If neutralized properly, yeah, that's okay.  I just find a lot of people don't do it properly, just rinse with hot water and call it good.  The vinegar tends to form pockets of iron acetate, which is harder to get rid of than some things.  

 

1 hour ago, Jerrod Miller said:

That is because you like to drink the tea afterwards, isn't it?  Be honest.  :P

 

Nah, I have enough iron in my blood. :lol:  Seriously.  I have a bunch of scale embedded inside my right middle finger from the time I used a sledgehammer to drive a piece of hot steel through it (it's in the safety subforum).  Shows up as a constellation of bright spots on hand x-rays, much to the amusement of my rheumatologists.  ;)

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This got a bit interesting tonight as I cleaned the ax up.  You can see a seem where the forge weld is between the body and the bit, and I think that's a maker's mark on the back.  Anyway it cleaned up nicely but the bit is rusted up badly and is chipping away as I try to bring an edge back to it. 

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Wow, that's a big one!

 

Not maker's marks, though. Just decorative punch marks.  Norwegian axes are usually covered with them, as are many older continental axes.

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6 minutes ago, Doug Lester said:

Is that a chisel grind on that ax? If it is it would point to it being a hewing ax.  That one would square large longs into beams.

 

Doug,these were not "normally" single-bevel tools(the grind was strictly individualized,often varying bevels,somewhere in between the strictly single-,or symmetrical bevels,just as a builder found suited their own needs).

 

So i doubt this one is.

 

This is definitely a Hewing tool in that it's used for work WITH,vs across the grain(chopping).

It's not really related to tools entirely dedicated to squaring/flattening timbers,those were usually indeed Single-bevel,but also quite heavy in cross-section,and with Lots of extra mass.

 

This tool here is indeed for imparting the plane geometry to round logs,but in a much more controlled manner,and on a many a funky angle at times.Here's a fairly usual application of this tool:

 

 

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So,a more typical "broad axe" would be swung,using it's great mass to help accelerate it,to accomplish the job in more efficient manner(much like we use a forging hammer).

 

Whereas Chad's classy old Laftebila(one of the technical names for it) is more of a really big Paring chisel:It's mass is also considerable,but it's kinda secondary to it's great Area,that helps to guide the builder's cut in a Very precise manner.

(not that when called for those guys would scuple to swing it and administer a fairly smart Whack with it!:).

 

But this type tool has a unique blade proportions not really met with anywhere else-it's super-Wide,and Thin,and has that huge Area,and is sharpened literally razor-sharp.

15 hours ago, Chad J. said:

but the bit is rusted up badly and is chipping away as I try to bring an edge back to it. 

Chad,thanks for more photos,appreciate the closer views,what an excellent find!

 

And yes,unfortunately the higher-Carbon steel of the bit corrodes more than the iron in the body(protected by mineral slag inclusions and just plain having higher corrosion-resistance due to lower C content).

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P.S.

 

NOTHING is set in stone as far as Any exes go,it's all very fluid and mutable...

Here's LRS actually using a Laftebila for rough-hewing a log...I think that long ago they had better,more effective tools for that,and that Laftebila was a dedicated tool for, well,Lafting:)

But,here we have it:

 

 

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1 hour ago, Doug Lester said:

Thanks for the info, Jake.  I couldn't watch the whole thing but that video on how those axes were used was instructive.

 

Doug

 

Doug,it's ironic that i'm so free with links to videos,with my satellite-based internet here it's rare that i can watch one myself..:(

 

So i don't mean to be flip about it,but darn it,there's just So much good info in that format...

 

I want to do it just one more time,with apologies to all of us with poor/limited reception.It's a good video from Sweden that shows the Range of tools,from felling,to hewing.

The reason i think it's important here is that one may notice how None of the tools used in production,and all the way up to finishing of a timber leave a strictly Flat surface(early in the film there's a couple of good close-ups of original timbers).

 

So this very particular tool of Chad's,the Laftebile,is unique in that it's designed to create a very strict flat plane,a shape generally very rare in the history of architecture(untill recently where the power tools Only work in that geometry).

 

 

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