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I bought an adze head on eBay, described as "Barton and Belden antique 1844-48 Rochester, NY Adze Head". When I got it, I noticed these weird lines/clefts about 1.5 inches back from the blade.

They're in the same spot on both sides. Was it broken at some point and fused back together somehow? Is it OK to use? Just want to know if I should return it or not.

Thanks!


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What is your intended use of the tool ?? (how much did you pay for it?).
Going out on a limb here, I would think that a higher quality metal was heat-forged onto the lesser quality metal for sharpness and durability.
 

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Those cracks appear to be in the handle collar, not a good thing. Return it. The sharp blows an adze receives will eventually crack the collar off. JMO.
Return "Not as described" and Ebay will honor that.
 

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The way I see the photo, it is on the "blade" part. Which, if it is a structural crack, that is the weakest part of the tool.
To be displayed as an antique only, and never actually used for chopping wood, it is part of the tool's "character".
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I agree that it is almost certainly an old weld with flaws.I also don't think the adze has seen much use for a very long time.I'd be very curious about the way the handle fits the socket as the very limited amount of the socket that is visible appears to show a large gap.

I can see a number of ways forward;one is to return it as flawed,another is to use it as decoration.Yet another is to use it and see if it functions and if it should break,you might find somebody to TIG weld it back together.I doubt the HAZ would reach the steel that does the cutting.You might also go this way if you are serious about using it.
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The handle is a vital part and traditionally a fellow would make one that suited his build and his preferences.I have seen one in a museum that had the handle inserted back to front.
 

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I have had this axe head for many, many years. It has a crack across the blade that appears to be delamination. An indication that it was hand forged using several layers of steel pounded into one. (damascus style). I have no intentions of using it other than a display and has lived in a drawer for the last 40+ years.
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I bought an adze head on eBay, described as "Barton and Belden antique 1844-48 Rochester, NY Adze Head". When I got it, I noticed these weird lines/clefts about 1.5 inches back from the blade.

They're in the same spot on both sides. Was it broken at some point and fused back together somehow? Is it OK to use? Just want to know if I should return it or not.

Thanks!


View attachment 442814 View attachment 442815
Looks like it was buried in the yard for a long time, judging by the amount of pitting. I would only use it for a display item.
 

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yep - put it on the shelf and admire it - it has character and history.
"why" did you buy it ?? were you planning on actually using it ?
 

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An aside...I purchased a VHS tape of an episode of "The Woodwrights Shop" years ago that had Roy using an adze to shape a human yoke for carrying buckets...if I remember correctly...using plans penned by a nun in the early 1800s (measured in cubits so the numbers could be converted to whomever was going to own the yoke). He used very green poplar which was easy to carve and very strong when dried. Never made it myself , but might still...as I still carry a lot of water buckets even though by dog count is wayyy down. I have looked online for that episode and come up empty. I think mine is probably still worth converting to a new media.
 
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