Finnish/Earlier Scandi axes - Kirves

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https://imgur.com/cw99HuS

Thanks to you,Agent_H,this 7-year old's axe education has now advanced to being certified on Kirves...(this intense joy was literally radiating from him,this axe is so well balanced and just natural to use...).

I am further convinced that axe ended up right where it was supposed to!

Those axes are rumored to thrive in northern climates. :thumbsup:
 
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Aug 21, 2013
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Kevin, I found this picking through other places on the internet. An English gentleman named Bob Burgess supplied the photo from when it was still active on the Horstauction site in 2015 and he recognized it as a peat/bog axe:

"18th century European style sod/bog axe w/ full edged beard, round eye, heavy pitting (possibly cast from bog iron). This form is sometimes called a “Battle-axe)"
http://www.horstauction.com/15augtool/list.pdf

peat-bog-axe.jpg

Just saw some similarities to yours in overall build.
Finding an old peat/bog axe would be ok? Personally, I think they are highly interesting and quite a bit more esoteric than the average wood axe.
 
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I appreciate unmolested tools but I feel this one deserves the user abuse damage that would affect hanging and performance to be attended to. It looks like it was beaten off a handle at some point, smashing the collar mouth in on itself enough to make up to a .25” sharp lip on the top.

As it arrived:

Big.piilukirves


Material removed and relieved to not cut into a new handle:

Big.piilu



Big.piilu



The back edge looks like it was a casualty of the same maneuver:

Big.piilu



Big.piilu


Still needs some careful flat filing to finish that rear of the bit.
 
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I appreciate unmolested tools but I feel this one deserves the user abuse damage that would affect hanging and performance to be attended to. It looks like it was beaten off a handle at some point, smashing the collar mouth in on itself enough to make up to a .25” sharp lip on the top.

As it arrived:

Big.piilukirves


Material removed and relieved to not cut into a new handle:

Big.piilu



Big.piilu



The back edge looks like it was a casualty of the same maneuver:

Big.piilu



Big.piilu


Still needs some careful flat filing to finish that rear of the bit.
That thing is a beast!
 
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Honestly: How people treat there tools sometimes gets me mad! :mad: Or was this transport damage?

It wasn't transport damage, I think it was someone trying to beat it off a handle at some point. You know, holding it upside-down, hammering on the back of the blade then on the top of the collar to work it off. It was all the same color/corrosion pattern as the rest of axe so I figured it was done a while ago then left to sit. What was left of the tongue was fairly intact and a real pain to get out - especially since it was locked in there by the hammering damaged lips.

Oh, and do I agree an auctioneer's take on anything isn't considered historically accurate at all. It was the English axe collector who seems familiar with the tools that brought up what it was. I just thought it shared some similarities with yours - the eye and its protrusion on that one side, the overall sweeps of the bits, and how thin it looks.

Would it have had some sort of extension that protruded off the rear, making it beneficial to harden the protrusion and the poll - to keep it all intact?
 
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"...Would it have had some sort of extension that protruded off the rear, making it beneficial to harden the protrusion and the poll - to keep it all intact?..."

Probably.Along the lines of one on Ernest's wall,a narrow sharp blade for roots...
Cutting sod is a real nuisance with a regular axe,the heel and toe catch on the yet-uncut stuff and small roots,till your arms are killing you.
Thus the radiused blade,with no corners protruding,often sharpened along the top and sometimes even bottom sides.
A little undercutter-like attachment is very handy,so you don't have to change tools when getting into roots.
(I lived with a sod roof for years,it was nice,very practical and beautiful...Needs access to water though,or goes sadly dry later in summer...In Iceland they run the eaves right down to the ground,looks beautiful,stays green...).

It has to be hardened for a reason? Why else go to all the trouble of hardening the blade and the poll?

"Hardening",or lamination of tougher,hardenABLE(not necessarily equal to Hard),was used primarily for wear-resistance.
Most naturally any soil/peat/et c. work would be very abrasive on metal,so especially on such tools.
 
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So you are saying that they used to harden a poll to attach something on it that is not hardened? And if so, how????
Well,Kevin,this is Very speculative,what we so often have to do here,and it's very easy to be led astray by conjectural thinking,so keeping that in mind:
The poll could be a remnant(later dressed smooth)of something that broke off Because it was hardenable And actually hardened...

And lets not forget: Hardenable steel wasn't a commodity like it is now?

"Hardenable" steel is in and of itself a complex subject.Specific surface hardness(nails,btw,are not the greatest analog test:)...eve "file" is specious;it's best to get a set of special testing files for this;i myself don't have any,so it's not a judgement:).
But as to hardness on surface specifically:it can come from a poorly refined bloomery steel(with inclusions of hcs,up to and including cast).
Also from later puddled+carburised so-called "sheer steel"(also layered like above).
Hardness of a high degree can be achieved by high P content,and lastly-work-hardening.
(combination of the last two is particularly potent).

Just how common/cheap/available of a commodity hcs was is a touchy subject as well,and many commonly held conjectures of the past are now collapsing.
An example of this is the reversal of opinion on archaeology of metals in Novgorod finds(Zav'yalov et al).
The hundreds of knife fragments were eventually recognised as having been discarded,thrown out after a certain degree of wear(some-complexly pattern-welded).In some geographies/economies hcs Was common,and very affordable.

But again,this is strictly Academic,and brought forth to avoid conjecture,not promote it!:)
 
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Kevin,i'm sorry,but will be frank-i find contention depressing...

Metallurgy is an exact science,and an Extremely complicated one.
History even more complex,for it's human factor and the lack of exactness.
Archaeometallurgy,the deadly blend of the two,is at best like playing 3D chess of StarTrek fame,complicated by a factor of x...:(

I'm afraid that you bring up Way too many subjects,all heaped into a pile,many elements of the supposed "facts" Highly questionable...
(if not outright incorrect;bloomery(obtaining steel by Reduction,from oxide ores)steel was commonly produced in batches ranging between 3 and 20 kg,even in such difficult environments as Yakut of Central Siberia...Another entirely incorrect assumption:Distribution of C content within the bloom follows very complicated physical and chemical patterns,it is not "on the outside"...and i can go on,except,why?I've no stake in the matter...The information is all available to everyone...).
talking about metal to make sheers out of?
Shear steel was one of the early processes to obtain a more/less homogenious hcs.Iron strap segments were carburised,with C-content further re-distributed by means of repeated welding and faggoting.

Small knives are never made out of multiple steels. That wouldn't be economically feasable. Unless we are talking about bigger knives of course?

Knives,large and very small,were Very often Very complexly pattern-welded...They serve as a common factual basis for much related studies,their % in finds being so large...
(i IS all out there,brother...we obviously all have internet..:(...)

Circumstantial evidence,such as third-hand evidence of a find location,cannot and never is used as basis for attribution,let alone any further conjectural assumptions...
I'm sorry,it's nothing personal,but your arguments are often just that,"arguments",which
for me looses any elements of even potential of scientific value...(or interest).
Argumentativeness works poorly in context of archaeology,or any other science,the entire premise being Impartiality...

I respect you as an individual,as well as admire your interest in old tools,and all the effort you put into it,et c.

I just would beg for a modicum of informedness,and forethought,just out of respect for everyone's time and attention span...And i'm saying this most humbly and earnestly,no disrespect or contention...:(
 
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