What constitutes a house axe?

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Jan 31, 2015
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I saw handle listted on House of Handles website. I am guessing it is a hatchet on steroids. Anyone have an average weight and similar head shape? I looked through Google. Keywords brought up a lot about a murder sight somewhere and the fact that some ghost hunter stabbed himself in there. There was one hit from Square_peg. Not really enough to give me an idea of the style/category.

Any general guidelines and the rarity of them in the States would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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A house-hold implement a house-wife might chase after a house-mouse or house-cat with? House 'at for a frivolous comment?

Likely you are quite correct in figuring on an oversize hatchet. For 'olden day' making of kindling and further splitting of pieces for use in a cookstove or box stove. Kid's and camping hatchets wouldn't have been weighty enough and I do recall seeing (and using) short handled (or sawed off) pulp axes ('boy's' axes in USA vernacular) that sat alongside the summer kitchen wood boxes at farm houses around here.
 

Square_peg

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Boy's axe is typically 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 pounds. House axe is typically 2 pounds.

Boys axe is typically 26"-28" handle. House axe is typically close to 19" handle.

Eye size is the same.
 
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I saw handle listted on House of Handles website. I am guessing it is a hatchet on steroids. Anyone have an average weight and similar head shape? I looked through Google. Keywords brought up a lot about a murder sight somewhere and the fact that some ghost hunter stabbed himself in there. There was one hit from Square_peg. Not really enough to give me an idea of the style/category.

Any general guidelines and the rarity of them in the States would be appreciated.

Thanks.

I have one that matches their description. I have posted it here before but I don't remember what thread. Its a bruiser really. I have not put it through its paces yet.
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A hatchet on the left, a boys axe on a hatchet handle(it is a little small for most boys axes) and the house axe on the right.

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Head size looks close but that extra 1/4lb is hidden in thickness'. That's a boys axe next to it.



Boys on the left. They are close enough to work either way.

Its the first hatchet like this I have seen. That extra head weight is very real on a 19" haft. I will test it out with out altering it, re-wedge and sharpen.
 
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16551352530_6f9c8edbcd_h.jpg


Here is one I hung recently on a HH house axe handle. The head is about 1 lbs 12 oz.
I have a HH house axe handle that I have not used yet. Looks like you took half of the wood away. (a good thing)

It has a full sized eye and I've fit a head or two on it and just hate it for a full sized head. When the time comes I'm going to do what you did and just treat it like a blank for a smaller head.
 
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I have a HH house axe handle that I have not used yet. Looks like you took half of the wood away. (a good thing)

It has a full sized eye and I've fit a head or two on it and just hate it for a full sized head. When the time comes I'm going to do what you did and just treat it like a blank for a smaller head.

Only full sized axe I have hung so far was a DB but to me it looked to be about the same as their boys axe handles. They seem to leave extra material so that the user can fit the handle properly to the eye. I like this compared to a lot of what I find in the hardware stores where the handles seem to fit lose prior to wedging with nothing removed. I assume this is to keep the average Joe from complaining that the handles don't fit. The head I used also has a semi large eye at least in width. Its and odd ball which is what I like about it.

Here is the eye next to a PowrKraft boys Axe.

16768129831_e191792653_h.jpg


I didn't have to remove more material than usual to fit the eye IMO. As you pointed out however, I did thin it out a bit.

There is some good information in the older thread, I always thought of the house axe as basically a short boys axe preferably slightly lighter in weight. Used for kindling, butchering and anything else one might need an axe for around the house. Seems that was the consensus for the most part.
 

Joe L. Bachs

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Just because more axe pictures can't hurt. Here's my 2 1/4lb. house axe on an older la pierre haft.


And a 1lb.-ish TT Tomahawk head on a HH house axe haft. Not a house axe, more like a big hatchet i guess.
 
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I see in the old catalogs Plumb lists their Dreadnaught house axe as 19" handle 2 1/4 lb head.

Any way the old factory hafted house axes don't seem to show up very often. Could be that not many survived with the hafts in tact. I could see them being the axe of choice around wood stoves and getting a lot of use. The heat and dry air probably took its toll on the hafts also.

Just a hypothesis. Because we should be seeing more of them.
 
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I see in the old catalogs Plumb lists their Dreadnaught house axe as 19" handle 2 1/4 lb head.

Any way the old factory hafted house axes don't seem to show up very often. Could be that not many survived with the hafts in tact. I could see them being the axe of choice around wood stoves and getting a lot of use. The heat and dry air probably took its toll on the hafts also.

Just a hypothesis. Because we should be seeing more of them.

With those head spec's it would be hard to tell the head from a boy's axe. If there was in fact a difference, I would expect the house axe to be fatter and more wedge like since splitting is its only real task. This might explain what to me looks like a glut of older but quite chubby "boys axe heads"... Maybe they were house axes!
 
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With those head spec's it would be hard to tell the head from a boy's axe. If there was in fact a difference, I would expect the house axe to be fatter and more wedge like since splitting is its only real task. This might explain what to me looks like a glut of older but quite chubby "boys axe heads"... Maybe they were house axes!

Could very well be. Are you from the North East BG? I don't see much in the way of chubby here in the NW.
 
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Found this description from 1922 of what a House Axe is:

The Plumb House Axe is a "one-hand" axe -- light enough for a woman to use -- heavy enough to "stand the gaff" of real hard usage.
Because of its short handle it can be used freely in cellars or basements with low ceilings. Or, it can be used conveniently on hikes or in the woods...


books


The Saturday Evening Post, January 28, 1922, p. 74
 
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interesting info, I learned a thing or two.
some of the "chunky" boys axe heads I have are probably house axes.

buzz
 
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