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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

On a recent camping trip I decided to bring this old beat up carpenter's hatchet that my dad had in the basement. It's in pretty rough shape but I'm going to try to work her back into shape (Steel looks pretty textured. Not sure if thats a sign of poor quality or not).

I can't find any stamping on the axe head itself but I was able to barely see some kind of branding on the handle.

Anyone know what brand of hatchet this may be?

Thanks,
Zack



 

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That logo feels familiar, but I can't think of why. I'll think about it, and see if I can come up with something.

From the photo, it almost looks like it's been re-handled. Is it possible the handle is a different brand than the head?
Thanks for your replay amckenzie. I think it is the original handle (I've recently put a hatchet handle on it to see how that would feel. It feels great for the axe portion but a bit awkward to hold as a hammer).

My dad mentioned he purchased this when he was in his 20's (I think), which would date this to probably aroundable early to late 70's. I myself thought it looked familiar but searching the web I haven't been able to find anything.

It's no big deal if I find out. It will still be fun and personally worth it to restore it if it isn't too far gone. There is a decent chip in the blade so it may need reprofiled.

GeorgeC said:
Whatever brand it is it has been sharpened a lot using a grinder.
Thanks, George. It very well could have been. Do you have any recommendations on how to restore the blade? Since it has a chip in it I figured I would need to take it to a grinder or belt-sander to really correct the it. Then finish off on water stones or by filing.
 

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Hi Zack, Your iron was made by the Philadelphia Tool Company.

Don't hold me to it but I think the model is the "Crusader".

The original handles say "Phila. Tool Company"
"????? Made"
I have one but I can't quite make it out, I need your photo trick!.....Hope this helps, Dave
 

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Philadelphia Tool Company

Zack, here is a picture of mine:



A close-up of the logo:



And here's the handle...can't quite make out what it says under the Phila. Tool Co.

 

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Looks like a shingle/shake hammer hatchet. They were used when installing cedar roofs, one who's good with it can chop shingles down to the correct width when necessary, then can hammer the roofing nail in with the other end.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
adot45: Thanks man, thats great! My hatchet head looks just like that but it has no branding, which is peculiar and the handle appears to say 'Tools'. I'll have to check our the Philadelphia Tool Co. and see what I can find. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and contributing your pictures and knowlege.
 

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So is a carpenter's hatchet useful for woodworking or is it primarily for timber framing?
There were quite a few uses for hatchets by carpenters. Electricity wasn't commonly available on house sites back in the day. All the work was done with hand tools. It wasn't until plywood became more common that having an electric saw was a must have. Lacking a circular saw, some things were done expediently. A hatchet was in every carpenter' s tool box.

Framing lumber was rough sawn, not planed on all 4 sides like today. There were variations in width. Notches were often quickly cut with a hatchet to make surfaces even. When nailing horizontal joists and collar ties to sloping rafters, a corner protrudes above the rafter edge, this would be chopped flush with a hatchet. If installing wood lathe for plaster, the lathe could be cut to length with a single chop. Temporary braces and form work use a lot of wood stakes driven into the ground, these were pointed with a hatchet. Wood shingles were often installed with a carpenter's hatchet, it was used to fit shingles to each other. Later shingling hammers have registration pins that are used to space the rows to each other. A hatchet is quick for removing the nubs that remain on the edge of a cut piece of drywall that didn't break completely clean. There are a number of other splitting, fitting, wedging and chinking tasks where a hatchet is used.
 

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adot45: Thanks man, thats great! My hatchet head looks just like that but it has no branding, which is peculiar and the handle appears to say 'Tools'. I'll have to check our the Philadelphia Tool Co. and see what I can find. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and contributing your pictures and knowlege.
You're welcome, hope it helped. When I saw your hatchet head I was pretty sure it was like mine. The difference might be something simple like the time frame the heads were produced. I've had that hatchet for nearly 40 years.
 

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I would also say that is probably a shingle or shake installer's hammer. The blade was used to trim the shake/shingles to width, and the hammer head was used to nail them in place.

Gerry
 

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Every country home had a hatchet when I was a kid. Wife brought her Mother's to the marriage. MIL used it for dispatching chickens.

I used my Grandfather's for making kindling. He heated with pine cutoffs from the lumber mills in Oregon.
 

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carpenter ax

My first thought was a shingle hammer for shake shingles, etc. the notch would be a quick eyeball measurement for the amount of reveal on the shingles. A modern equivalent of that would have 3 or 4 holes drilled in it where the notch is and have a small finger screw in it to change the amount of reveal. Then it becomes its own measuring device.
 

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Hey Zack, I 'm looking around ebay for tools and stuff and guess what I ran across? This hatchet, I don't know what it may sell for but this price range is what I have seen others listed for.
 

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What your looking at is a Riggers axe.I have two axe`s a 20 ounce and a smaller estwing used them a lot when I fist started out on brick construction chisel away the mortar between the bricks then chop a wedge shaped plug and then drive it between the bricks.

Its how bottom boards chair rails and door jambs where fastened to the walls.
I believe riggers axes originated from the oil fields used on the construction of wooden oil rigs.
 
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