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Help Identifying Old Tools...hand forged?

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Forum topic by SouthernCat posted 01-09-2017 07:51 PM 633 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SouthernCat

6 posts in 337 days


01-09-2017 07:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: antique tools log splitting wedge hand forged log cabin building tool identification identifying tools blacksmith iron help identify

I got these old tools that supposedly came from a blacksmith in a settlement that had a lot of log cabins. I need help identifying the thinner tool. Also wondering if either is hand forged? Thicker tool appears to be a wedge for log splitting. It is 6 7/8” long and weighs 2 lbs. 11oz. Thinner tool has me stumped. The curved end is interesting…It is 8 8 7/8” long and weighs 11 oz. Any insight would be appreciated!


10 replies so far

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Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3547 days


#1 posted 01-09-2017 11:55 PM

Depending on their age, and where they were made they could be trip hammer forged. Could the curved one be for carving details into rock?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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SouthernCat

6 posts in 337 days


#2 posted 01-10-2017 12:51 AM

Thank you Mark. I am new to this and am not an expert but loved these . All that to say that I had to look up ” trip hammer” to see what that is! It stated that trip hammers were often powered by water wheels. These tools supposedly came from the Cades Cove area of the Smoky Mountains. The settlement had a lot of cabins. They had a water wheel there for grinding meal. But there were lots of other streams in the cove and the mountains and I have seen water wheels at other home sites. The cove was settled in the early 1800s and the last settlers were forced out when the National Park was formed in the 1930s. Supposedly these came from a relative of someone who lived in the cove. Beyond that info, I have no idea of age.
That is interesting, your theory, that maybe the curved tool was used to carve into rock. The cove area and the Smoky Mts. have lots of boulders and rocks. Stones were often used to make fireplaces and chimneys. I’ve written a tool collector and if I get more info from another source I will post it here.

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SouthernCat

6 posts in 337 days


#3 posted 01-10-2017 02:23 AM

Mark, your comment about the curved tool possibly being used to carve into a rock prompted me to research tools for carving into rocks and stones. Lo and behold I found a tool that looks like mine shown to be a tool for carving into rock. You can see it in the photo below from stonecarver.com. It says this is a collection of hand forged steel limestone chisels. One looks just like mine. As it turns out, Cades cove is full of limestone rock! So I do believe this tool of mine was used to carve into limestone in the cove. Many of the tombstones of the settlers appear to be limestone. Thanks Mark for taking the time to lead me to this insight! Here’s the photo that shows a piece like mine.
http://www.stonecarver.com/jpeg/chisels.jpg

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OSB

147 posts in 360 days


#4 posted 01-10-2017 02:54 AM

That octagon looks too regular to be hand forged, I would guess it is fairly modern, cut from octagon bar and lathe turned to make the bevel. The curved section looks like the only portion hand forged.

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SouthernCat

6 posts in 337 days


#5 posted 01-10-2017 05:11 AM

Thanks, yes I wondered about that. I noticed that the main part of the tool does look pretty uniform but the end does not. Didn’t think about it being partially hand forged. That does make sense.

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Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3547 days


#6 posted 01-10-2017 05:12 AM

Glad that I could help.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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bold1

283 posts in 1681 days


#7 posted 01-10-2017 01:36 PM

Looking at your pics I see that the curved one shows no sign of being hit. I believe it might have been made to be used to align peg holes in pre-drilled timber frame. Except that it’s octagon it looks like some I’ve seen used by the Amish.

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SouthernCat

6 posts in 337 days


#8 posted 01-11-2017 03:41 AM

I am really enjoying these comments as this is all new to me and seems I learn something every time I get a response. I see that the end of the curved doesn’t look like it has every been hit, which would rule it out as having been used to carve in stone, unless it was made and never used. How does that work, using it to align peg holes in predrilled lumber and how would the curved part play into that?

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bandit571

18609 posts in 2518 days


#9 posted 01-11-2017 03:51 AM

Curved part would be for “Draw Bored” connections.

Could have been cut from a bar stock that the Blacksmith then forged to a shaped that was ordered….

Steel against Limestome…..almost like carving Pine. Soft stone, steel wouldn’t get all that beat up.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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SouthernCat

6 posts in 337 days


#10 posted 01-11-2017 04:39 PM

So your reply prompted me to research “draw bored”. I can see that. In your second comment, are you also saying that if it was used to carve into limestone, as a stone carving tool, that it wouldn’t be very beat up because the limestone is soft? So it could have been used for that also? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to learn!

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