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Old 28th May 2017, 08:28 PM   #1
drac2k
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Default A pair of crudely forged knives for identification

I recently acquired these 2 crudely forged knives; even though they aren't very pretty, they remind me of a like forged aboriginal Taiwanese spearhead I once owned.The simple handles, with their iron, ferrules are are similar to examples of Burmese Dha handles that I have and as such could be from that area or they could be Chinese trade tools, sold for export.
The longest blade is 10.5" long x 2.75" wide, with a very thin blade(machete thick), and the other blade measures 9.5" long x 2" at it's widest with a thick spine of 1/4" at the spine.
The cutting edges are facing down.
Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 29th May 2017, 01:10 AM   #2
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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I think these are Oriental woodcarving tools.
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Old 29th May 2017, 02:30 AM   #3
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Certainly possible; I thought that they could be some type of crop harvesting tool.
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Old 1st June 2017, 08:36 AM   #4
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My experience in woodworking tells me that these are of minimal utility in the trade. Also I don't find any equivalents in any Far Eastern or SE Asian carpentry/cabinetry tradition that I'm aware of. I lean more towards agricultural usage. The markings don't look particularly Chinese to me. The surface finishing of Chinese export blades used on Moro barongs is a lot better than what you see here. The handles and ferrules on these are of a style quite common on a lot of "working knives" from various regions of SE Asia. Perhaps an identification of the wood that they are made of might tell more about their point of origin.
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Old 3rd June 2017, 06:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
My experience in woodworking tells me that these are of minimal utility in the trade. Also I don't find any equivalents in any Far Eastern or SE Asian carpentry/cabinetry tradition that I'm aware of. I lean more towards agricultural usage. The markings don't look particularly Chinese to me. The surface finishing of Chinese export blades used on Moro barongs is a lot better than what you see here. The handles and ferrules on these are of a style quite common on a lot of "working knives" from various regions of SE Asia. Perhaps an identification of the wood that they are made of might tell more about their point of origin.
Salaams Philip, I agree, however, looking into the Chinese toolbox of Carpenters tools something similar is there...some with a single blade and heavy back edge others with two sharp edges. Not so worn as the subject items ...but similar.
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Old 4th June 2017, 05:54 AM   #6
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Sorry to advise you that your photo shows not knives, but SAWS, and they are all Japanese, not Chinese. Getting back to the knives in this thread, I am quite familiar with the carpentry traditions of East Asia, having observed traditional artisans at work in various countries and in fact using a good number of tools from the various cultures in my antiques restoration practice -- so I stand by my initial assessment.
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Old 4th June 2017, 11:48 AM   #7
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Correct... Eyes not working in co-ordinated manner. What I meant to show were Japanese axes from Carpentry and Woodcraft as seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ag7SXYBCeM

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Old 4th June 2017, 06:55 PM   #8
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What you see in that video is a collection of old Japanese KNIVES formerly used for divers household tasks like splitting kindling-wood, and now still popular among gardeners. Note the last one shown, it has a projecting stud at the end of the blade that keeps the edge from getting dented if you are splitting wood on a stone or brick surface. I am familiar with Japanese carpentry, from watching many of its traditional tools and methods still used by house carpenters during my boyhood in Hawaii. These knives were not part of their tool kit.

Some of these same type knives are imported into the US by specialty tool companies, as I noted, the target buyers nowadays are home gardeners. They are distinct by their construction and shape from the AXES that you refer to. And even in the realm of axes and hatchets, most cultures have a wide range of designs for various applications, and only a few specialized types are specifically made for use by carpenters. The study of tools is as complex (and fascinating) a subject as research into weapons.
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Old 5th June 2017, 12:08 PM   #9
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It certainly is fascinating ... Thank you for the details and the amazing insight into these items...
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Old 26th October 2021, 01:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
I recently acquired these 2 crudely forged knives; even though they aren't very pretty, they remind me of a like forged aboriginal Taiwanese spearhead I once owned.The simple handles, with their iron, ferrules are are similar to examples of Burmese Dha handles that I have and as such could be from that area or they could be Chinese trade tools, sold for export.
The longest blade is 10.5" long x 2.75" wide, with a very thin blade(machete thick), and the other blade measures 9.5" long x 2" at it's widest with a thick spine of 1/4" at the spine.
The cutting edges are facing down.
Any help would be appreciated.
the shapes are both typical cambodian knife shapes. i would say they are cambodian products. just household knives. not for woodworking.
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Old 26th October 2021, 01:58 AM   #11
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ausjulius,

Thanks for resurrecting this old thread. Yes, these are mainland SE Asian work knives, although the shapes of the blades are fairly generic to the region. The top one, for example, is very common in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos (and probably more widely). The bottom one is a standard chopper for brush, small saplings, etc. and again found widely in the region. The hilts are not of a traditional ethnographic form, but rather are of non-specific, utilitarian, 20th C manufacture seen frequently in Cambodia, Vietnam, Yunnan, and elsewhere.

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