Photos Strange Ridge on Poll

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Oct 5, 2021
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I just got hold of this axe with a strange ridge running vertically in the middle of the poll. It also has imprints that I can't recognize. Any ideas? (The handle is 33 in. long, the width of the head is 8 in., and the bit is 4 15/16 long.
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mylmfle.jpg
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I am guessing that one of METCo's employees that day had severe hangover.
Stamp stands for United Shoe Machinery 3 1/2 lbs
Steve Tall wrote:
There was a period of time (1985-1990) when USM /Emhart Group owned True Temper, and perhaps they contracted with Mann (owner of Collins at the time) to make axes (some of which were relabeled by Mann and shipped as Collins)? This was not long after the Kelly Works axe factory closed.

from an earlier thread, TRUE TEMPER timeline:

1982 True Temper's Kelly Works (Charleston WV) factory closed May 28
1985 Emhart Group buys True Temper from Allegheny-Ludlum
1985 USM (which was part of Emhart since 1976) is assigned True Temper trademarks including some Kelly axe brands that were later assigned to Barco (in 1987)
1987 Ownership name for True Temper trademarks changed from USM to Emhart
1987 Kelly Axe trademarks assigned to Barco Industries from Emhart
1989 Black & Decker acquires Emhart (including True Temper)
1990 USM changes name to Emhart Enterprises
1990 Huffy buys True Temper (hardware) from Black & Decker
1999 Huffy sells True Temper (hardware) to U.S. Industries (owner of Ames)

Records about the Mann company during its later years are hard to find, and the details are murky. YesteryearsTools says that "The time frame and diversity has yet to be defined but reliable information reveals that sometime in the 1970s and/or 1980s some Plumb axes were being manufactured by the Mann Edge Tool Co. of Lewistown, PA." Perhaps Mann was also making axes for other companies such as USM/ True Temper during the 1980s and 1990s?

I just got hold of this axe with a strange ridge running vertically in the middle of the poll. It also has imprints that I can't recognize. Any ideas? (The handle is 33 in. long, the width of the head is 8 in., and the bit is 4 15/16 long.
vHsADv6.jpg
9e1oGoj.jpg
bA6dfhP.jpg
YXw7n7z.jpg
39l5t86.jpg
cOmnj2Z.jpg
ehnvAAB.jpg
mylmfle.jpg
gRebQAf.jpg
 
Last edited:

FortyTwoBlades

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Messages
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That's just the tooling mark left from the drop forging dies, including the visible draft angle on it for easing release. The ridge is from where the "flash" or extra metal squeezed out by the dies was cut off. Normally this is ground off in finish-grinding but they clearly just skipped that step, probably as a cost-cutting measure but possibly because someone overlooked it if they're normally finished better.
 
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Messages
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That's just the tooling mark left from the drop forging dies, including the visible draft angle on it for easing release. The ridge is from where the "flash" or extra metal squeezed out by the dies was cut off. Normally this is ground off in finish-grinding but they clearly just skipped that step, probably as a cost-cutting measure but possibly because someone overlooked it if they're normally finished better. The overall look of the head resembles Indian production.
Thanks for elaborating re the two previous replies. Nicely explained. Hmmm... it would be nice if it were worth something more because of the flaw. Oh well, at least I know it's not an obscure maker's design like I was hoping for.
 
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FortyTwoBlades

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It's very commonly seen on many forged goods and is not typically considered a "flaw" so much as a "finishing decision". It would only be considered a flaw if the flash seam was present due to accidentally not finish-grinding the poll versus deliberately choosing not to as a cost reduction decision. As noted, it has the look of an inexpensive hardware store axe.
 
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It's very commonly seen on many forged goods and is not typically considered a "flaw" so much as a "finishing decision". It would only be considered a flaw if the flash seam was present due to accidentally not finish-grinding the poll versus deliberately choosing not to as a cost reduction decision. As noted, it has the look of an inexpensive hardware store axe, in particular resembling those manufactured in India.
Thanks so much for further elaborating regarding the two possible causes. So it's either a flaw or a finishing decision.
 
Joined
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Messages
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I am guessing that one of METCo's employees that day had severe hangover.
Stamp stands for United Shoe Machinery 3 1/2 lbs
Steve Tall wrote:
There was a period of time (1985-1990) when USM /Emhart Group owned True Temper, and perhaps they contracted with Mann (owner of Collins at the time) to make axes (some of which were relabeled by Mann and shipped as Collins)? This was not long after the Kelly Works axe factory closed.

from an earlier thread, TRUE TEMPER timeline:

1982 True Temper's Kelly Works (Charleston WV) factory closed May 28
1985 Emhart Group buys True Temper from Allegheny-Ludlum
1985 USM (which was part of Emhart since 1976) is assigned True Temper trademarks including some Kelly axe brands that were later assigned to Barco (in 1987)
1987 Ownership name for True Temper trademarks changed from USM to Emhart
1987 Kelly Axe trademarks assigned to Barco Industries from Emhart
1989 Black & Decker acquires Emhart (including True Temper)
1990 USM changes name to Emhart Enterprises
1990 Huffy buys True Temper (hardware) from Black & Decker
1999 Huffy sells True Temper (hardware) to U.S. Industries (owner of Ames)

Records about the Mann company during its later years are hard to find, and the details are murky. YesteryearsTools says that "The time frame and diversity has yet to be defined but reliable information reveals that sometime in the 1970s and/or 1980s some Plumb axes were being manufactured by the Mann Edge Tool Co. of Lewistown, PA." Perhaps Mann was also making axes for other companies such as USM/ True Temper during the 1980s and 1990s?
There was a period of time (1985-1990) when USM /Emhart Group owned True Temper, and perhaps they contracted with Mann (owner of Collins at the time) to make axes (some of which were relabeled by Mann and shipped as Collins)? This was not long after the Kelly Works axe factory closed.
There must have been a delay in the posting of all that helpful and interesting information about my axe's maker, stamping details, and company history. Or I just hadn't noticed it for some reason. Fascinating and enlightening! Thank you for providing all that information including the details from an earlier thread. Tremendous response.
 

FortyTwoBlades

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Wowza looks like every Collins USM-stamped piece out there is equally rough. Those are some real homely tools.
 
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example of USM stamped on right side with Collins sticker on left:


Bob
Thanks for posting. That axe head looks exactly like the one I posted above--except yours is cleaned up, and mine has that poll ridge! I haven't done anything with the head or handle. If I clean up the head and handle, it should look pretty nice. I might just leave it for now.
 
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