Axe Shopping. Too Many? Lots 'o pics

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Camperspecial, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. Camperspecial


    Jul 10, 2017
    First Post.

    I am Primarily a carpenter and use a lot of hand tools.
    I enjoy making the handles for my hammers, chisels, carving and hewing hatchets and such.

    With all of the nice green wood coming down around the city I thought I'd pick up a couple of proper axes and try my hand at some long handles.

    Tons of Norway Maple and elm. Also quite a bit of black locust and walnut.

    I landed on this site and am getting some good info on the making of axe handles.
    I'd be interested in knowing what PNW'ers are using for axe handles since this isn't a big hickory State.

    But this post is about buying axes.

    I decided to search for a couple of axes to fit some handles to.

    Opened the craigslist App and two days and $150 later I had "accidentally" bought a load of axes.
    Seriously, I wanted a couple but it's hard for me to turn my back on vintage tools. It's a sickness that has no cure as many of you know.

    Here Goes....with the stamps I can read below each.






    TrueTemper Flint Edge Kelly




    Master Mechanic


    Plumb 4


    Sager Chemical 1922




    Has an "M" and possibly a light 3 1/2 stamped on it.


    Wards Master Quality



    The rest have no marks that have revealed themselves so far.
    I like the first one a lot and the rest will eventually be good carving tools for the shop.




    My favorites shaped of the bunch are the first Sager and with TrueTempers. I also like the Master Mechanic quite a bit. I actually like them all quite a bit.

    Any thoughts on the Sager Chemical? I don't like the grind on one side. It seems to be "bottom heavy". Could/should this be reprofiled?

    So. Whatdaya think?
    Too much?
    Agent_H likes this.
  2. Whiskey_Jim


    Feb 21, 2017
    Well there is a lot of classic manufactures there. And rust.
  3. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I really like the looks of that last plumb half hatchet, it should be a great tool. the sager chemical axes are very highly revered and should be excellent steel.

    Now did you soak those heads in vinegar or did they come that way ?
    Also do you have a wire wheel or wire cup brush for an angle grinder ? If you do it's definitely the way to go for removing the rust from the heads, underneath the rust will be a nice patina that is best left in tact which vinegar doesn't do.

    It was a common practice for one bit of a double bit axe to be kept much thicker for things that could damage or prematurely dull their good sharp bit, so it may not be too far off from where it needs to be.

    BTW the one with the M is probably not going to be the greatest and is likely a very late production Mann edge made for some hardware store...ect or there's a chance it could also be made in Mexico.
    There's not exactly any real set in stone definitive evidence that the no name M axes are made by Mann edge, but conversations with someone who worked there revealed that they used an M like this and still used it at a point when they were secretly outsourcing some tools to Mexico.
  4. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    all good buys there, especially the sagers
  5. Camperspecial


    Jul 10, 2017
    They are all as I found them.
    I would never soak a tool in vinegar.
    halfaxe likes this.
  6. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Great! Too many people do and it makes me cringe.
  7. halfaxe


    Nov 29, 2012
    I think the Sager Chemical could be reprofiled. It is worn on one side. I like the Collins Western and that Plumb 4 lb. reversible. They are both really nice finds.
  8. Agent_H


    Aug 21, 2013
    Never too many!

    You asked about handle wood- if you mean raw wood then the only two I've used here locally is maple and some sort of cherry. My father is pretty sure there is Ash (of some sort) on a friend of his' property.

    If you are in Oregon I can tell you where your best bets are for purchasing them - still hit or miss if course.

    Washington info would have to come from another member.

    Now that you've started, you should keep track of how many swamping patterns you come across. :)
  9. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Black locust is fairly common in the NW. It's considered invasive and can be found in medium sized groves. It's the next best thing to hickory that you'll find around here. Elm is common too, especially in eastern WA.
  10. Camperspecial


    Jul 10, 2017

    Thanks for the input especially about the handle wood.
    I threw that in there to kind of find out if anyone uses Norway Maple and Black Locust for handles.
    Plentiful here (NW Oregon) and can be cut into staves easily when green and tools well when dry.
    Makes great tool handles just wasn't so sure about long axe handles.
    Looks like I'm good to go.
    The Zieg likes this.
  11. 300Six


    Aug 29, 2013
    You don't get much for $150 these days except for a bad headache following 'a night on the town'. The 'no name' you show looks to me to be a classic Plumb "National". I always thought this pattern was proprietary (and therefore Plumb stamped) but then again perhaps not all of them were. In any case Nationals were introduced after the war (in about 1947) and were probably discontinued when Ames Industries took over the Plumb name and facilities in 1971.
  12. markv


    Sep 8, 2004
    the Wards Master Quality was possibly made by Collins. has rounded poll. good tools
  13. Moonw


    Nov 19, 2014
    Too many? TOO MANY?? (Laughs maniacally...)
  14. Gator39


    May 13, 2017
    I like that first no name design also.
    Glad to hear the possible history 300six.

    Any history on the Collins?
    I found 1 just like it and I like the design.
    Reminds me of a bowtie!
  15. garry3


    Sep 11, 2012
    I thought that was a common name for that pattern. Might be a regional thing in the PNW.
  16. Agent_H


    Aug 21, 2013
    The Collins under the Sager is what I think of a swamping pattern looking like. A friend of mine calls them a peeling pattern.

    They balance well, cut well, but don't have a following like other patterns. I've learned to like them.
    garry3 likes this.
  17. AxeJunkie


    Jul 15, 2017
    Nice pickups here. The Sagers are nice, the chemical 1922 is definitely a collectible. Collins double bit does have a nice pattern. I love Norlund's too, thats a good looking one.
    You may already know, but thought I would mention - when you make your hafts (handles) make sure you have your grain running parallel with the cutting direction, perpendicular will make the grain layers stack when hit and lead to a handle lasting much shorter than if done in the proper way. Think of a paperback book being hit along its binding edge vs smacking the cover down and all the pages flapping back into each other. Black Locust and walnut are both good for wood, they are both tough woods which mainly what you need. If you make your wedges out a different wood form the haft you can get a nice dual-tone look going on top of the eye, especially if you rub some BLO on it after.
    I'd bet you that 1st unmarked axe was soaked by someone in vinegar, the heat treated portion of the bit will darken like that when soaked in vinegar. I haven't soaked in vinegar in years, but not as bad as people make it out to be, just dump some baking soda and scrub it in afterwards, then rinse and wipe dry and they'll be fine.
    Have fun with these, this is a nice haul.
  18. Agent_H


    Aug 21, 2013
    It makes a great diuretic as well.
  19. garry3


    Sep 11, 2012
    I am with you on the swamping pattern. I think the 4lb Plumb is a peeling pattern.
    Those big swiping patterns where really popular out here. Like you said they are really a nice pattern.
    Agent_H likes this.
  20. Agent_H


    Aug 21, 2013
    @AxeJunkie - Welcome to the forum by the way!

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