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Russian (Topor) pattern

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Agent_H, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    640
    Dec 20, 2015
    Ugaldie,i was at a loss for where to start...A typology,in any real sense,does not exist for these.
    The regional types,late in the Industrial Age,were produced by the bigger manufacturies,their choice based on popularity of this or that model,the naming of them-strictly arbitrary,by preference for that specific shape in this or that region,as percieved by the company...

    So here's a very good and representative catalog of that,that of a Concern of L.,and P. Zav'yalov(a famous brand in the late 19th-early 20th c.c.)

    https://imgur.com/a/48exv

    (the bottom-most one on the right is labeled "splitting axe").

    And here's a similar scheme by the Finnish company Billnas,then a part of the Russian Empire,and producing these "Russian" models:

    https://imgur.com/a/dkW6k

    In this,i couldn't find a more detailed image....and so can't make out the first one...(but again,the naming of the types is arbitrary).

    #28 is called the "Archangelsk type"(in re: of a a city in a far North,almost against up Finland).

    #29 the Moscovy type.It has this peculiar,"broke-back" profile,no one knows why...

    #30 the Tallinn type.Tallinn,in Estonia,is a Gothic city in a Baltic state,long dominated by it's Germanic invaders/rulers...VERY little connection to "Russia".
     
    Agent_H and Ugaldie like this.
  2. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie

    340
    Feb 27, 2013
    Thank you for the information jake!
     
  3. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    640
    Dec 20, 2015
    Ugaldie,you're most welcome sir.
    (only a small token of appreciation for all the incredible info you've provided over the years about the Basque axes&culture....).

    Here's a typology by an archaeologist Vasiliy Korshun,of axes from 9th to 17th c.c.,http://arheolog.by/viewtopic.php?t=523

    What you'll see there are axes Entirely similar and consistent with many,(or all),Western European countries' archaeology.Across the board,only one attracts attention as a type not really met with anywhere else.

    It is designated by V.K. as Type 12 (Тип-is type in Russian,and the time-period,in centuries,is represented in Roman numerals ).

    Other people today,less formally,refer to it as a "Mangazei"-type,from the name of a trade-settlement in Western Siberia(lower Enisei R.) that the Russian(Moscovy:) traders have founded in 1600.

    I'll post some photos of that axe in a bit here,if i can.It is fairly unusual,in a number of ways,and (to me) a beautiful,and probably very functional tool.It's not exactly rare or uncommon to find examples of it for sale,in rural flea-market type places,but no one living today can say with certainty much about it,what it was for,or much else...
     
    Agent_H likes this.
  4. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    640
    Dec 20, 2015
    Some examples.First,a Type 12,and the views top and bottom.Oddly,but similarly in a way to the Finnish axe,the bottom of the eye is Much bigger...An inverted conical eye as compared to a compression-eye.

    https://imgur.com/a/8d8Ei

    https://imgur.com/a/2znE8

    Below is another one,refurbished and handled by a friend in StPetersburg,using as a guide the schematic of an 1930-ies find(one of three unearthed while digging Moscow subway;the only one with haft intact,drawing in the last image).

    https://imgur.com/a/rU972

    https://imgur.com/a/48Jx9
     
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  5. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    This came last night from Estonia. It's about 3lbs 4.5oz.
    It's bigger and cruder than the previous one. My guess is that it is newer production but the weight drew me in and I think I have suitable handle material here to put it to use.

    The bit seems to have more material above the eye in the toe than the heel compared to some other patterns. There is no spine or spike at the front of the eye/base of the bit. The poll doesn't look as squared off like ones I see held in higher regard. It looks a little rougher where the poll meets the bit as well...

    The black on it seems like paint. It's a little gummy or tacky to the touch - like almost dry Cosmoline or another thick oil. It could be anything used for storage I guess - it just reminds me of cleaning up some other Eastern Bloc "surplus".

    [​IMG]
    Estonia.With.Love
    by Agent Hierarchy, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Estonia.With.Love
    by Agent Hierarchy, on Flickr

    I feel like I've seen the stamped mark while looking up information on them but can't seem to find it again - Using Google translate sometimes sends me down a rabbit hole I am lucky to get out of let alone get back to... There may have been more than one maker that had similar marks or reiterations over manufacturing times. Maybe someone recognizes it? I'll try to find time today to clear off the mark and maybe get a couple of more photos to show the construction. It isn't a relic I'm sure but it's more the size of what I think of being a "Full-size" axe at 3+lbs.

    It might be bit of an ugly duckling but I think some of the recent posts here showing terrific work on them may have inspired me. The bar also got set kinda high though! (@Tras Krom, @aikonen :thumbsup:)

    *I notice that the Cyrillic content of the forums was changed to code for the characters instead of showing the characters themselves.
     
  6. aikonen

    aikonen

    244
    Feb 8, 2015
    Nice axe my friend, I like this one. I think the russian and eastern european patterns scream "no rest, just hard work".
    I have seen that stamp online somewhere too

    edit: do you have a picture of the profile of the bit? I have come across a few russian axes, mostly zik, that were really thick at the bit, I like the middle thing, not too fat, not too thin. The perfect medium
     
    Agent_H likes this.
  7. Tras Krom

    Tras Krom

    21
    Jan 10, 2018
    @Agent_H looks like you've got an axe made by prisoner workers on unknown metallurgical plant. Sometimes "prison manufacture plant" can be identified, but usually not. #127 in the picture.

    I suggest to remove this paint, you might see the stamp better. Blueing is much better solution.

    I can get you proper NOS ZiK from 50's or 60's, or Izevsk UPS topor from 80's just pm me. I will charge you actual cost and shipping. No commission:) and yes, they are not expensive at all

    [​IMG] from http://southklad.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?p=75615#p75615
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
    rjdankert, Square_peg, 300Six and 3 others like this.
  8. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    640
    Dec 20, 2015
    That's very much so,thanks,Tras Krom .Unless there're letters/numbers under all that good cosmoline,it was made in some Prison Colony,by (no doubt) some happy,contented,nearly-reformed comrades...

    Such shape,with that extra area around the toe,was referred to as the "Galician" type,in Russia.
    In actuality it's a widespread European shape,where for whatever reason the balance of the tool was thought to be in need of that mass.
    Here's a French version:https://imgur.com/a/mmasS
     
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  9. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    That would be great Tras Krom - I have had good luck with forum member international trades so far. I posted on your profile page.

    Jake, that French version of the pattern was what came to mind. I nearly acquired one from a Dutch tool trader but alas, a day late and a dollar short with my response back to him.

    I’m sure that the comrades were content and were fully rehabilitated according to government standards - I bet they would have whole-heartedly agreed if you asked them lol!

    I’ll clean this one up this afternoon and see if it reveals a bit more.
     
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  10. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    It’s definitely a cruder thing. Since prisoners were mentioned now I am thinking “Gulag”…

    I can’t make anything out in regards to the mark.

    [​IMG]
    Estonia.With.Love
    by Agent Hierarchy, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Estonia.With.Love
    by Agent Hierarchy, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Estonia.With.Love
    by Agent Hierarchy, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Estonia.With.Love
    by Agent Hierarchy, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Estonia.With.Love
    by Agent Hierarchy, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Estonia.With.Love
    by Agent Hierarchy, on Flickr

    What does this tell us? (The coloring that is)

    [​IMG]
    Estonia.With.Love
    by Agent Hierarchy, on Flickr
     
  11. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    I recall that somebody on another forum (bushcraft?) commented that the stamp on these "Russian" axes (from Epstein's) had a couple Chinese characters. So I'm wondering how many "Russian" axes are actually made in China?

    A quick look at alibaba shows the following axes as being available from Chinese manufacturers:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    640
    Dec 20, 2015
    Yes,Agent_H,you're thinking along the right lines...GULAG it is(GULAG is an abbr. for Gov't Managed (work-)Camps).

    The blank mark on the obverse is a Brinnell hardness test-mark.

    The "colors" are oxidation colors from,presumably,drawing back the temper,aka "temper colors".
    They're fragile and will rub off forthwith.
     
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  13. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    640
    Dec 20, 2015
    Probably impossible to quantify exactly,but Lots.
    (Some probably of a higher quality than the ones made in either USSR or RF).
     
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  14. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    You can't say for sure without knowing what the steel is but seeing the transition from bronze to blue so far up the bit makes me think this axe was tempered too hot and will be soft. Generally that blue indicates temperature above 550F which is too hot for most axe steel..

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    I have seen steel that showed pale blue at 475F and was still completely un-fileable. So without knowing the steel you can never be certain.
     
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  16. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Thank you. I’ll have to file at here but everything said so far makes sense.
    The indent on the other side of the blade is lined up with the mark on the front if that means anything.
     
  17. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    640
    Dec 20, 2015
    A bit in addition to the above:

    These colors differ because of the Thickness of the oxide film,the way it filters reflected light(of course).

    Although the oxidation colors are handier'n sliced bread for us primitives,in any real,legit process they're entirely besides the point(even though they correspond Very closely to the Temp.,in F about +/- 5 degrees).
    The reason for it is that the thickness of that oxide layer grows with Time...So,when a newly-shined surface is being first heated,the colors run in a beautiful,logical sequence,and are interpretable and very useful.
    However,any Real tempering must needs be done by using cycling a forging for some hours at a time(and multiple cycles normally as well).
    During this prolonged heating the oxide film grows in thickness and no longer represents the T to which the forging was exposed.

    What was used on that axe is probably a so-called "blacksmith's",or an "auto-" tempering process,a quick&dirty,half-a$$ version of the legit metallurgical procedure.
    The reason for that is that the idea is to "temper",or dissolve,some of the formed Martensite,the formation of which normally takes hours,or even days(effect known as "retained martensite";assorted "cryo-" treatments are designed to hasten that formation).
    So,that simple auto-tempering process and the judgement based on colors is sufficient only in the cruder sort of work,like pavement-breaker bits or the like.Otherwise,the risk of the forging continuing to form martensite(and so to become harder)is inexcusably great.

    An axe,which is difficult and expensive to forge is much better off to recieve a legit HT based on the AISI recommendation et c.....
    (sorry for longwindedness...)
     
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  18. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    640
    Dec 20, 2015
    Is the dia.of that indent about as big as this:"The typical test uses a 10 millimetres (0.39 in) diameter steel ball as an indenter with a 3,000 kgf (29.42 kN; 6,614 lbf) force". ?
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brinell_scale)

    If not,then i may be wrong,it may just be a backing device for the stamp or whatever else...
     
  19. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    I'll get a shot of the recess on the back. It looks to match the front in size but with no stamp.

    It isn't particularly soft but does need to be fixed. The grinds on either side are quite uneven.
    Laid it on a handle for size. I think the handle is Birch but I might be wrong - it has the same sort of quality as the head going.
    [​IMG]
    Estonia.With.Love
    by Agent Hierarchy, on Flickr

    I would prefer something a bit nicer to carve a handle for.
     
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  20. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Just tonight I noticed oxidation colors growing on a new 1095 Ontario knife while it dried in the dish rack. But these colors were blotchy all over the knife and not in a line like we're used to seeing as colors run during heat treat. The colors are by no means certain on a tool that isn't fresh from the forge and heat treat.
     
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