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  #1  
Old 02-08-2011, 11:17 AM
Delta2187 Delta2187 is offline
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Default Axe Head...not a shape I'm familiar with

My ten year old son's friend was over and we headed out back to the old turpentine distillery site to dig for a half hour before the sun went down.

Found a bullet and a piece of .38 brass in the first couple of minutes - newer stuff about 3 inches down. Then at about 5 inches we found a 'wick assembly' from a lantern. It looks newer also (once it's done cleaning I'll post a pic).

A couple minutes later and about 4 feet away and at about 10 inches down we found the axe head. I've never seen one with this shape before. I don't see any markings but would love to know how old it is.

Anyone familiar with the shape or a special use for that shape of axe head?

It cleaned up pretty well (the inside of the hole for the handle didn't fair as well as the outer portion - 'line of site' limitation of ERR). I'm not sure what to use on it to keep it from rusting up again. I would like to display a number of the pieces that I'm finding so I don't want it to look greasy. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2011, 11:26 AM
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It is a Mortise Axe is for cutting mortise and tenon joints in log or timber frame houses.
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2011, 12:39 PM
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Nice ax head.

The first and most important thing to
do if you want to keep it from rusting
is to make sure it is totally dry.

I put my good iron finds in the oven
for an hour or so.

I do not know much about keeping it
from looking oily except, do not put
high gloss clear paint or lacquer on it.

Happy Huntin,

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Old 02-08-2011, 01:31 PM
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Cool axe head! There might be some older finds there...HH
NC

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  #5  
Old 02-08-2011, 01:35 PM
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Nice find there you have,keep on swinging there may be more to find.
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2011, 01:46 PM
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That's an awesome relic. I want to know how old it is too.

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  #7  
Old 02-08-2011, 02:45 PM
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Neat ax head! Want to keep it from rusting? Dry it out throughly, then urathane it. Nothing says sealed like a little liquid plastic.

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  #8  
Old 02-08-2011, 10:12 PM
Jhkramer Jhkramer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McVizsla View Post
It is a Mortise Axe is for cutting mortise and tenon joints in log or timber frame houses.
exactly right!
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2011, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McVizsla View Post
It is a Mortise Axe is for cutting mortise and tenon joints in log or timber frame houses.
It might be a Mortise Axe, but seeing as it was found near a turpentine distillery, I would say a turpentine axe. Take a look at the top left axe on the chart. Other than use and name, is there actually a difference between a mortise axe and a turpentine axe?



Doug

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Old 02-09-2011, 02:28 AM
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I think you may have nailed it Doug,

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  #11  
Old 02-09-2011, 08:05 AM
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I collected old tools as a kid with my dad. Never heard of Turpentine axe. The form is exactly the same so I would imagine the function is probably very similar.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2011, 08:55 AM
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Default I've heard.....

......while watching the history channel that relics are treated to some very low current electroli-sis (heck with that word, I give up) To remove salts anyway. They're primarily talking about stuff that's been in the ocean. Other than that, if it's not an option, keep it oiled up somehow.

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  #13  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:26 AM
Delta2187 Delta2187 is offline
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Turtlefoot - Awesome find on the axe graphic. Turpentine Axe it is!

McVizsla - I think you're right that form follows function and they must have been used (Turpentine and Mortise & Tenion) for similar jobs (or at least shared some similar functions).

I really appreciate the help with the ID'ing!

I found some old (square head) nails 3-6 inches in length, a length of chain (each
non-symmetric link hand twisted, ends not joined) and some other 'clumps' of metal near a layer of charred wood. Maybe a fire at the distillery? No old papers from the area to confirm the theory.

I've only, literally, scratched the surface of this site. I'll be interesting to see what else I discover!

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Old 02-09-2011, 10:30 AM
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spend the time to clean out the junk, and good finds will come

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  #15  
Old 02-09-2011, 11:52 AM
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Smile Nice relic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlefoot View Post
It might be a Mortise Axe, but seeing as it was found near a turpentine distillery, I would say a turpentine axe. Take a look at the top left axe on the chart. Other than use and name, is there actually a difference between a mortise axe and a turpentine axe?



Doug
Great research, Doug. I love the chart!

Nice find, Delta2187! As others have mentioned, the big key is letting the iron object dry out completely. I prefer to seal afterwards with a coat of Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Matte Clear. If you go easy on it you won't get much of a shine to the surface at all.

Nick

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Old 02-09-2011, 11:56 AM
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My father and I used to rub all of our old tools down with linseed oil. I still love the smell of it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tabdog View Post
Nice ax head.

The first and most important thing to
do if you want to keep it from rusting
is to make sure it is totally dry.

I put my good iron finds in the oven
for an hour or so.

I do not know much about keeping it
from looking oily except, do not put
high gloss clear paint or lacquer on it.

Happy Huntin,
I might have to give that a try, I've lost a lot of nice relics to that metal disease where the metal starts turning white & before you know it starts to deteriorate.. Lately I've been rubbing my relics with olive oil then wiping them dry with a paper towel, that seems to help some.. I'll try the oven thing..

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Old 02-09-2011, 01:00 PM
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The oven thing works wonders!

My usual path that I take for iron, is to clean it with electrolysis. Afther that, I usually toss the iron item into a bucket with clean water in it. I change the water every day for two or three days and then toss it into a full wading pool for about a week.

I then take the item out of the water and dry them to the best of my ability and then put them a toaster oven @ 225-250 degrees for about an hour, flip it over and let it bake for another hour or so.

I then spray it down with WD-40 and let it sit until dry and then coat it with a clear coat.

I know that this is not a museum quality way of preservation but since most everything that I find will not have much value anyway, it works for me. If I were to ever find anything really rare or valuable, I would contact a university about three hours from me and see if they would properly preserve it. Some universities are known for doing that as projects under the supervision of a professor.

Doug

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  #19  
Old 02-09-2011, 01:06 PM
Delta2187 Delta2187 is offline
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Turtlefoot - what do you use in your electrolysis (washing soda/powder, baking soda, salt?) and in what ratio? I'm using a 5 gallon bucket right now but can't seem to get consistent results.

What do you use to power your setup? I'm using a newer type battery charger but have to put a 'junk' battery inline with the system so that the 'smart' charger will work. Usually run it at 12 volts and (I think) 10 amps.

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  #20  
Old 02-09-2011, 09:05 PM
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My setup is about the scariest looking setup you will see. I have a plastic tub that was on sale after Christmas (you know, the type that is used to store ornaments in.).

I have never figured out a ratio. I add water until I have around 6-8 inches of water in it and then start pouring in the salt. I really haven't measured it but it is close to full saturation.

I go to the thrift store and buy the power cords that went with just about anything. I try to get as close to 1 amp as possible on the power rating. I cut the ends off and put on wires with gator clips on the end. I use a lot of electrical tape on this part.

My two main sources for the sacrificial metal are empty fruit/vegitable cans and electric motor frame blanks. I like the frame blanks because they are NOTstainless steel.

I hook everything up and plug it in. This is all outside by the way. Because I am using rigged power cords I watch closely as they almost always will over heat at some point and that can be dangerous. I check it about every hour. If it is hot, I usually stop for thirty minutes or so and let things cool down. It's low amperage and I can watch closely how things are going, which I like.

I don't recommend this setup for everyone but it works for me.

There is also a zinc method that I was looking into, which is supposed to be very effective but can be dangerous. Since I have a four year old, three dogs and a cat, I passed. If I didn't have to worry about the little one getting chemical burns, I would try it.

Have a good one,
Doug

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