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Thread: BMC American Felling Axe

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default BMC American Felling Axe

    This one came today.

    < snipped >
    Last edited by CLHC; 07-14-2012 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Deleted photos
    LUX'Ottica

  2. #2

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    Not big on cutting devices, but there's something about a well made axe. That looks to have a satisfying swing and build quality. Was that mail order or a local shop?

    And thanks for sharing!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: BMC American Felling Axe

    Quote Originally Posted by ElectronGuru View Post
    ... there's something about a well made axe.
    +1

    I have seen that you have done som axe shopping lately.
    Great axes you have there.
    How about a group photo?

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: BMC American Felling Axe

    < snipped >
    Last edited by CLHC; 07-14-2012 at 10:10 PM. Reason: Deleted photo
    LUX'Ottica

  5. #5
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    Default Re: BMC American Felling Axe

    Thanks for sharing.
    Nice collection you have.
    Let us know when you expand it.

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: BMC American Felling Axe

    Quote Originally Posted by GunnarGG
    Thanks for sharing.
    Nice collection you have.
    Let us know when you expand it.
    Will Do!
    LUX'Ottica

  7. #7

    Default Re: BMC American Felling Axe

    This dude looks to be a few minute's drive from here:

    http://www.reedscustoms.com/

    Might be due a visit!

  8. #8

    Default Re: BMC American Felling Axe

    Remember: "Just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD."

    All they need are some spinners...

    To each their own, I guess.

  9. #9

    Default Re: BMC American Felling Axe

    I can see it as being a tad garish. But flash sells and he’s been in business for several years, so he's doing something right. Another way to look at it are the skills that the above examples represent:


    • locating 30, 50, 70 year old ax heads
    • restoring them from a variety of conditions, to better than new
    • pairing them with handles, made from scratch with a variety of wood
    • with features not available anywhere else


    If you had the ability to do all of the above and the time to do it (or in this case, the means to implore those same skills), what kind of ax would you make (have him make)?

  10. #10

    Default Re: BMC American Felling Axe

    I know it's just an axe, but, I believe it's a little more complicated than "just an axe". Full disclosure: my frame of reference is as a user, not a collector, and as an unabashed old tool snob .

    Basically, I prefer old tools restored to as close to original condition as possible, then passed on to people who will continue to use them as intended. I believe that the folks who made them knew what they were doing, and very few of us are in a position to "improve" on these time-tested tools. I wish he'd restore them, re-handle as necessary with appropriate high quality hardwoods, tune them up, and sell them to users.

    Buffing a tool to a gloss like that ruins them functionally, and therefore aesthetically as well, IMO. I also wonder if some of those handle designs are even useable, with wierdly oriented "grain" direction and sharp points near the swell knob on the end, and so on. I'm not even gonna talk about that wavy hammer handle.

    These are display pieces, not meant for use. It seems the guys got some skills, and I do appreciate the entrepeneurship. But, the added-value here is in appearance, not function. While some may appreciate that, I cringe at the idea that a fine old axe or hammer just got neutered and is now just a wall hanger. Not pretty.

    Considering that there's a finite supply of old tools, every one taken out of circulation diminishes the pool, and reduces the opportunity for people to use and appreciate them. I thnk we lose a little bit of our heritage, our history, when that happens, and get even further disconnected in a world that could more connections of that sort, not less.

    The reality is there are lots and lots of really good woodworkers, artists who work in wood, and fine craftsmen of furniture and functional objects. But, the market for their products and services is highly competitive. Clearly this guy has created a niche for himself, and seems to have made it work. I'm just sorry it's at the expense of a non-renewable resource that I personally value quite a bit.


    Does that answer your question?

  11. #11

    Default Re: BMC American Felling Axe

    Quote Originally Posted by dss_777 View Post
    Considering that there's a finite supply of old tools, every one taken out of circulation diminishes the pool, and reduces the opportunity for people to use and appreciate them. I thnk we lose a little bit of our heritage, our history, when that happens, and get even further disconnected in a world that could more connections of that sort, not less.
    Your thoughtful post has prompted considerable thought and exploration. I too am a tool guy, with stories of taking things apart around the house, in between learning to walk and talk. I grew up with a family culture of hard working tools, including axes. Some of my favorite moments in life were accompanied by the use of tools, and some of my saddest, most stomach turning moments were when so many tools (hand tools especially) devolved into cheap starter set quality.

    I've spent some of the last few years (usually in the summer), swearing at the state of the modern fan industry. Laid to waste by air conditioning technology, a once vibrant industry has shrunk down to less than a handful of companies who still even bother to use metal. So to with axes, company after company decimated by the advent of the chain saw. Prior to this, companies competed for the hard working dollar of professionals and heavy duty homeowners, expecting a lifetime of use. Those same professionals can now cut 100x the wood in the same time, with less effort, leaving the market to casual home owners and recreators, with different goals and different budgets. Searching, the only company I find, still producing (in the US) axes of similar design and construction to the early 20th centery is Council Tool. An anomaly, made possible by the continued patronage of the US Forest Service.

    So what we're left with, is a supply, left overs from production between about 1850 and 1950. Produced by the companies and people and skills, largely lost to history. Sitting on benches, in tool boxes, on barn floors, and in the corners of backyards. Some people see them and know enough to put them on ebay. Others see the worst only as rusted squares, left to rot or worse - sent to trash or recycling during a room or yard cleanup. Which leaves the dilemma: if the goal is to preserve such tools, what will create the most value, the most incentive, such that the most number and variety of tools see the most rescue?

    I for one, have decided to support the remaining industry, helping ensure production methods continue to live on, adding to the overall pool of quality tools.
    Last edited by ElectronGuru; 03-26-2013 at 11:50 AM.

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