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Axe factory in Maine 1964

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  • Axe factory in Maine 1964

    A New Zealand friend living in Auckland sent me this link: https://aeon.co/videos/forged-by-cra...tion-took-over. It shows two men, the last craftsmen at the last axe factory in the town of Oakland, Maine, making axes without recourse to measurement.

    These might be the axes you swung as a kid. They may still be sitting around somewhere, waiting to be appreciated again.
    Allan Ostling

    Phoenix, Arizona

  • #2
    Will watch it when i can get a minute - just as interested in that site as there's lots of interesting topics so thanks Aostling.

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    • #3
      Thanks for posting. Great video

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      • #4
        I've seen that one before, but always enjoy it. In the absence of modern technology and the corner grocery store, a lot of people these days would perish.

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        • #5
          Nice video.--I enjoyed that. When I was a little kid, there were two brothers that lived in a nearby village, and people said they were giants. Pacey never got far from the house him and his brother lived in, but Bruce used to come around in the fall and split firewood for people. Bruce always made his own axe handles, because he was so tall no "store bought" axe handle was long enough for him. Bruce was about seven foot tall, and Pacey was probably about 3" shorter. In the winter, you could smell Bruce coming before you could see him. He always wore a wool stocking full of "camphor" balls around his neck to fight off the ague.
          Brian Rupnow
          Design engineer
          Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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          • #6
            Did get time to watch it - that was really good, that's when a smoke was a smoke - and groovin was groovin...

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            • #7
              Very interesting - the coordination between the two men is almost ballet-like.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by junkaddict View Post
                I've seen that one before, but always enjoy it. In the absence of modern technology and the corner grocery store, a lot of people these days would perish.
                Well said --- yet lots of today's youth who would have to be forced to watch it would only draw the conclusion of "look at how hard stupid people used to have to work for just a buck and a quarter an hour"

                appropriate reply from real men? Dude (and i use the term lightly) - that guys picked out nose buggers larger than you and worth more than your entire life - so do what you do best and sit the fuque down "boi"

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                • #9
                  Anyone know if hard tipping the cutting edge was widely used ?

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                  • #10
                    You can still buy hand forged axes, though not at Home Depot prices. http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...46&cat=1,41131 or even more spendy, http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/p...28,45794,20129

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                    • #11
                      Nice video! Two years after that I made $2.48/hr as the lowest of the low in a steel mill. Those skilled axe-makers did not make much. Even my steel mill -- which looked unchanged from when my grandfather worked there -- went out of business in the 1970s. Victorian-era factories were going under all around, I guess.

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                      • #12
                        So is that building still there to see in streetview? I guess that the lineshaft was originally water powered but I don't see an obvious building candidate on the map.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Baz View Post
                          So is that building still there to see in streetview? I guess that the lineshaft was originally water powered but I don't see an obvious building candidate on the map.
                          Here are some photos of the Emerson & Stevens factory: https://www.bnctools.com/blogs/news/...rom-the-1960-s. The article states that only the foundation of the foundry remains.

                          To put the $1.25/hr wage in perspective, that is what I was making in 1955 in Seattle, as a box boy in my neighbor's IGA supermarket. Something is screwy, here.
                          Allan Ostling

                          Phoenix, Arizona

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                          • #14
                            Smal, town cheap land, houses and wages.. not the city..
                            Plus them guys may have worked there for many years.

                            In 1972 I was making anchor bolts, cut on shear, bevel, thread and pack in boxes 3 cents each.
                            If I hustled I made min wage. 1.50.. per hour.
                            Last edited by 754; 03-10-2019, 11:39 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, 1972 I was making $1.15 an hour as a dishwasher. Because I was a teen the minimum wage was lower.

                              Dan
                              At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                              Location: SF East Bay.

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