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Axe factory in Maine 1964

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  • #16
    Collins ax went belly up in 1964 also and they made a better axe.1964 bad year to be in the axe business.... I guess...

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Robin R View Post
      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
      Husqvarna axes are less spendy and still hand-forged in Sweden (out of legendary Swedish Steel of course)

      Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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      • #18
        Originally posted by 754 View Post
        Anyone know if hard tipping the cutting edge was widely used ?
        Good steel has been rare in old times so I think it has been more or less standard method earlier. Good carbon steel wasn't expensive anymore in sixties so they did it that way probably only because that is how they have been used to do it.

        Also noticed that in the video they did it opposite to what I have ever seen.
        Better way would be to put the V-groove on the body and forge-weld the hard insert there. Gives you soft sides and hard center instead of soft center and hard sides...
        -->more hard material to wear/sharpen away where it is needed.


        Folded hole or "socket" was also new, seen only pierced sockets.
        Last edited by MattiJ; 03-11-2019, 06:13 AM.
        Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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        • #19
          I like a good old fashioned laminated axe myself. My favorites are BillnŲ†s axes. I noted too t hat they put the carbonsteel opposite of anything I've seen previously.

          Here is a similar video showing a swedish axe being made, early 20th century
          part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxNhBor3pr4
          part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bwVejbYnUo

          And a modern video of axe making
          Traditional axe making video and construction of wooden lodge, presenting the traditional technics. The video is provided by the Swedish Local Heritage Feder...

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          • #20
            I can't imagine how this process was even financially feasible back in 1960.

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            • #21
              Anyone have an idea what one of those axes would have sold for in 1964?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by DennisCA View Post
                ... And a modern video of axe making
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbCpDsxUHVc
                I never quite believe those old tales of woodsmen being able to shave with an axe. Now I am a believer -- see the demonstration at 03:07 minutes.
                Allan Ostling

                Phoenix, Arizona

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by aostling View Post
                  A New Zealand friend living in Auckland sent me this 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.
                  That was a good video, Thanks!. I collect hatchets and axes. JR

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                  • #24
                    Whoever built this factory,put a few dozen "REAL BLACKSMITHS "out of business. Very interesting to watch,but time marches on.The most interesting thing to me was the way that they forged welded the parts together.It is amasing that the joint would stay together.Edwin Dirnbeck
                    Last edited by Edwin Dirnbeck; 03-12-2019, 12:21 AM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by aostling View Post
                      I never quite believe those old tales of woodsmen being able to shave with an axe. Now I am a believer -- see the demonstration at 03:07 minutes.
                      I made one of my small axes that sharp, still got a scar on my thumb.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Moxiedad2001 View Post
                        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.
                        Like some others I grew up in that era. It's not hard to see why the business shut down. At the wages these guys were making every day they went to work they just went deeper in debt. Sorta like the song 16 tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford. In 1965 I had a part time job washing dishes in a restaurant. It paid $.90 per hour. A couple years later I went to work in the local GM Assembly plant. The starting pay for second shift was $5.10 per hour.

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                        • #27
                          Chain saws eliminated most of the ax business and the average modern Joe doesn't know how to use either one.

                          I like to find old felling heads at flea markets and rework them to be lighter and wider - works great for snicking off limbs from downed trees.

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                          • #28
                            A lot of saw users also carry a hatchet and wedges.
                            Why would you use an axe to fall a tree, when you could use a Swede or Bow saw ?
                            Last edited by 754; 03-12-2019, 09:51 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Excellent video, love the old ways.

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