Posted 7 years ago
I was fortunate enough to find this axe head at a garage sale in Englishtown, NJ. I have been studying Eric Sloane's book, "A Museum of Early American Tools," so I was able to recognize this immediately. When I picked it up the guy says, "that is very old you know, I dug that up years ago."
I recognize this as a hewing hatchet head, pre 1820. It is, I believe, too small to be a broad axe head. It is only 5 3/4 inches across. These were used to square off railroad ties or other rounds. As you can see, one side is flat the other is bulged, only ONE side is sharpened, unlike an axe, more like a chisel. I am looking for someone to verify my assumption. Thanks all! Not sure if the hewing hatchet had a straight handle, but I believe it did.
One final note, I haven't seen this with modern iron, but when you run your finger along the edge, and off the bevel it RINGS like a dinner bell. If you closed your eyes you would think it is glass by the sound. Also, note NO chips along the edge after decaying in the ground for a long time.