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Old 17th August 2022, 06:07 PM   #31
M ELEY
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I still believe Roger's Rangers would have carried 'spike tomahawk' types, as they were excellent weapons as well as tools. Who knows? Perhaps they carried both.

Here's an early spike ax, hand-forged with steel bit, oblong eye, eared pattern and single-bearded blade. Haft is perhaps original?
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Old 17th August 2022, 06:14 PM   #32
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This spike ax has the original full haft, a rarity these days. It is of the eared form, single bearded blade with steel bit edge chewed to pieces over time! The eye is long oval and this one very close to the period of Rogers. You will note the lug repair, as breakage near the eye for these types was common. Blacksmith repairs to these was not uncommon and in Neumann (Swords and Blades of the American Revolution), there is one in a group with a similar repair.

One will note the rather squarish slot on this one. I believe this to be a beaver trap chain pull, very common on fur trade axes (why else would a non-hammer ax have such a channel? Can't hammer a nail with a spike!). Beaver traps were set in icy waters and it probably got old reaching down into murky water to check the traps (not to mention the little bugger might bite 'cha if she wearn't dead!)
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Old 17th August 2022, 06:33 PM   #33
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That looks a lot like an American style naval boarding axe, with a typical ball ended haft. American boarding axes were unique in having notches in the blade to help snag ropes and cordage for towing when yards, sails, and masts were shot down. The spike was useful for piking, hooking into wood for dragging as well. Capable of being used as, but not preferred as a weapon.
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Old 17th August 2022, 07:11 PM   #34
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Hello Wayne.
Indeed it does resemble a boarding-type ax, probably why I was drawn to it and kept it (you know, the whole 'pirate thing!). In actuality, boarding axes descended from the earlier 'tomhahawk' axes as they were often listed in early shipping manifests. The spike axes were an excellent choice as a ship ax, as the cutting edge could slash through collapsed rigging, the spike could be used clear the deck by dragging it out of the way and of course as a deadly hand-to-hand weapon in times of battle on the deck.
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Old 17th August 2022, 09:31 PM   #35
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Some great axes Mark, especially the spike one.

I like the explanation for the square slot although I don't know what a beaver trap looks like!
I have always been sceptical about the nail pulling slots, except for roofing axes. I get it for these with the triangular slot where you would likely find the nail head exposed when replacing a shingle or broken tile.
But I can't imagine many embedded nails being pulled with an axe slot alone in other situations.

Which brings me to the US Civil War naval axe. I have always thought it unlikely that the slots were for nails and OK we can suggest that it retains a link with the earlier US boarding axes, as Wayne's nice pic of a Type III, but was the US navy really that sentimental!

So it would be really interesting to know what the two slots were for?

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Old 17th August 2022, 10:12 PM   #36
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Excellent point, CC. I really hadn't thought of the CW pattern with its slots as I've always tried to concentrate on earlier patterns, but you are right. As a naval sidearm (for which it still was during the waning days of fighting sail), the slots viewed as nail pullers do seem redundent. Perhaps as you hinted at, they had another purpose onboard the ship? Folks here might have seen another type of old ax with the rectangular cutout opening in the head. I'm told these were used as a sort of wrench to turn adjustable bolts in factories during the Industrial Revolution? I am no tool guy (I can't even change my own oil!), so my information might be totally bogus, but that ax with the triangular opening is for real-
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Old 18th August 2022, 10:19 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew View Post
You didn't mention 'provenance' in the original what if.


Fortuitous, you mentioned Scottish basket hilts (I don't have one). I've been looking for info on why the UK switches from the protective but heavy basket hilt to a simple crossbar guard as the 'service hilt'.The last UK Officer to actually carry one into battle (as far as I have heard) was 'Mad Jack' Churchill, and he had the basket hilted version. And a piper!
They had both, the tang finished with a tommy bar screw cap so the guards were interchangeable. Why the crossguard for field use, because in modern warfare (post 1890's) an officer had more than enough encumbrances and few to no opportunities for a sword fight.
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Old 18th August 2022, 10:26 AM   #38
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If we are going down the boarding axe route you might like this place. http://www.boardingaxe.com/index.html
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Old 12th September 2022, 12:26 AM   #39
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I found something out that I though was funny and wanted to share, for the chipping hammer I posted, I was able to discern some writing on the handle

Atlas
"Tomahawk"
Troy Mich Usa
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Old 18th September 2022, 04:31 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R View Post
They had both, the tang finished with a tommy bar screw cap so the guards were interchangeable. Why the cross guard for field use, because in modern warfare (post 1890's) an officer had more than enough encumbrances and few to no opportunities for a sword fight.

The last (?) person to deliberately carry a Scottish Basket Hilt sword into battle, was probably Col. 'Mad Jack' Churchill, in WW2, who carried his ashore on the raid he led in Norway, sword in hand as he hit the beach, followed by his Piper playing the bagpipes. He actually captured a whole passel of Germans with it. He also killed a German sergeant with an English longbow, but that's another story. He could, and did, fill a few books about his exploits.
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