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Maine Axes -post 'em up

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by cooperhill, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. G-pig

    G-pig

    Jul 5, 2011
    I know what you mean. When I am haggling, if I say that I will think about it, it almost always means, nah too expensive.
     
  2. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I know just what you mean! It's a polite "ehhhhhh no thanks." :D I come from a long family tradition of demanding quality at high value. Who am I to break the chain? :p

    At the end of the day I know that picking up another axe is a luxury purchase and if I have to think twice about it I don't need it badly enough to pay that price for it. I recently tossed in a low bid on a couple of scythe blades by North Wayne Tool Co. of Oakland, ME but got outbid. I wasn't going to spend more than $30 on the two combined, including shipping, and so even though I didn't lose by much I knew I didn't need 'em. Downloaded the photo of the box they came in, though, for historical purposes. :cool:
     
  3. G-pig

    G-pig

    Jul 5, 2011
    Otter, great axes. Is that boys axe handle oak? it looks like oak. I always that oak was no good until I got around to making a 34 inch handle for my maine pattern DB out of red oak. It is much more flexible than hickory at a given thickness it seems, and is plenty stringy enough, if you will, to hold up to heavy use.

    A little more on the later S&N, i think they stopped stamping in the 60s so that is quite a large window. they made good axes into the 2000s i think. A friend of my has a older newer one that is excellent.
     
  4. Crazyotter

    Crazyotter

    334
    Jun 26, 2010
    G-pig, I never thought of the "modern" Snow and Nealleys as a mid blade hollow Maine pattern. Makes sense. I believe the handle to be oak, but am unsure. The wedge is red oak though, and its grain is different. I wish I knew enough about different woods to chip in here, I just grab whatever has a good grain, from the local handmade pile in the hardware store. :)

    Thank you for the info on stamping, I always wondered just when the quality went down.

    Thanks Forty-two.


    Hey G-pig / Fortytwo, speaking of maine patterns, I need to find and quote one of my old posts here. A barn find turned sour.

     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  5. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Hey, Crazyotter--where are you getting "local handmade" axe handles? Might need to make a li'l field trip. :D
     
  6. Crazyotter

    Crazyotter

    334
    Jun 26, 2010
    Theres only one good place I know of so far. Some guy in Southern Maine makes them on a lathe, and I'm still trying to get his number. But.

    Audettes Hardware, head from Augusta towards Lewiston, using that road near Sears... Its past tristate (police store) on the right, not even 8 miles from Augusta. They also have a good amount of link handles.

    Half the handles are spotty, but you can find some good ones if you look. The most interesting thing about them is the thickness varies from one handle to the next, along with the wood species. The one on the boys axe has held up so far though.

    Btw, theres a place up in Farmington that sells council tool handles as well, and those are very good.
     
  7. cooperhill

    cooperhill

    Nov 14, 2011
    I get mine (ash handles) from Windy Ridge in Tamworth, NH. I was told they were made in Maine. I've also seen them at the Paris Farmer's union in Conway and Clark's Grain in Ossipee ,NH.
     
  8. G-pig

    G-pig

    Jul 5, 2011
    Crazyotter, where were those beat up ones at? I might be interested in em if they are still around. I think you can work with deformed eyes by heating, clamping and making sure the bit has a good heat sink/cold source. Id sure be up for trying anyway.
     
  9. G-pig

    G-pig

    Jul 5, 2011
    [​IMG]

    I suspect that one is a Oakland, probably a Emerson Stevens. It has the same markings on the underside as my other emerson stevens, a W or M (depending on perspective), a number on the poll and the weight is stamped on the upper cheek (3 3/4 pound originally, probably less now). it had the same patina as my other E & S and the steel files very similarly. Thanks for those tips otter, excited about that axe now. There was no stamp but someone ground off all the mushrooming and probably took the stamp off with it.
     
  10. G-pig

    G-pig

    Jul 5, 2011
    Yep, im pretty sure its a Emerson & Stevens. The letter in front of the eye was the maker I think, and the number on the back meant something else. Pretty cool. I think its the same axe as that one I posted in that gransfors thread, albeit in much poorer shape. Should make an excellent chopper.
     
  11. Crazyotter

    Crazyotter

    334
    Jun 26, 2010
    Nice Emersons! Though I notice a few different companys used those marks, so they only identify whether the axe is an Oakie, I'm afraid. Oh, and those deformed axes are long gone, with the barn sale.

    I did find though, in one of my favorite spots this morning, a Stiller and a Katco maine axe head. And two unknown maine doubles but. The Katco looked like something you could restore, the main thing was the poll and some pitting, but the price was ten non negiotable. If you were serious about tackling the old Maine heads, I could try and pick it up on Tuesday, and mail it to you, if you were willing to pay me back after.

    Oh, that same spot yielded another Snow and Nealley, great shape except for some idiot bench grinding the poll, for 9 this morning. Third most I've paid for a Maine axe, but oh well.

    Internet lag
     
  12. G-pig

    G-pig

    Jul 5, 2011
    unfortunately there is no way to know for sure now that the mark is gone. I think its an emerson stevens though, the shape of it and what not. I havent seen that many non maine patterns out of oakland, but I know that emerson stevens made a lot of axes in different patterns. The weight is stamped, in the same font, in the same spot on the cheek and on the same side as my emerson. both bits also have sort of a round profile that is hard to explain, sighting it up from the bottom.

    Thanks for the heads up and the offer. I appreciate it. sounds like you got some good stuff. is that a spiller or stiller? I would ask where you are scoring all these axes, but I think I know better than to march into another axemans territory! Just let me know if you get sick of maine patterns and want to trade for some more conventional american patterns. I like beaters too, unmarked- doesnt matter.
     
  13. Operator1975

    Operator1975

    Sep 24, 2010
    I'd rather have a Spiller than a S+N I think. Never had too much luck with them. Though I haven't seen too many of them though, probably only 10-12. Look like some nice pieces no doubt. Might have to check them out a little closer now.
     
  14. G-pig

    G-pig

    Jul 5, 2011
    Snow and nealleys were good axes. maybe not as legendary as the oakland companies but solid working axes none the less. I like the profiling of the older ones- short, wedgy bit and a hefty poll.
     
  15. Operator1975

    Operator1975

    Sep 24, 2010
    I'll have to perhaps "accidentally" run across some more then and check em
    Out. Nice thread with good info. Always good to check other axes out, after all I never met one I didn't like. Just like some more than others, that's all lol.
     
  16. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I love the Maine pattern, and not just because of it coming from my state! It just too bad folks often confuse it with wedge-pattern axes. A good Maine pattern may have a similar profile, but the top down view isn't so...uh...wedgie! :p
     
  17. G-pig

    G-pig

    Jul 5, 2011
    I always thought of the wedge as the quintessential Maine pattern. Of course lots of companies in Maine made axes that werent wedge patterns. The good wedge patterns that are profiled right are good choppers, they have to have a thin taper to the wedge though. You could probably hit the middle of it with calipers and it wouldnt be that much thicker than the high centerline on a typical american axe. As long as the shape isnt overly round they cut great in the timber around here.
     
  18. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Personally the true Wedge patterns I've seen literally look like a splitting wedge with an eye in it. In profile view they look like a Maine pattern but top down the poll is much broader and is pretty much of true taper from the poll to the edge.

    Edit: quick sketch

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  19. G-pig

    G-pig

    Jul 5, 2011
    There is a lot of variability from say, a newer and a later snow & nealley for example. the earlier ones were more like the one on the right, although if you straight edge it there is some hollowing in front of the eye/on the upper cheek to make a thin enough bit possible. sort of a hybrid between the two. The later ones, from what I can tell, looked more like the left sketch. I have a 2 pound snow & nealley that is probably from between 1965 and 1980 or something that has a more flowing rounded profile. More high centerline on it, but still short bit and heavy poll.
     
  20. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Many Maine makers DID also make Wedge patterns, too, so that confuses the issue.
     

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