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Forum topic by chrisstef posted 174 days ago 812 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chrisstef

10268 posts in 1593 days


174 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: underhill hatchet edge tool

I recently acquired a couple of boxes of old tools from my uncle who presumably got them from his father, my grandfather. At the bottom of the box was a hatchet. Cool. It was one of the last in line to get cleaned up. As I started to scrub off the rust a logo appeared:

Underhill Co. Boston

A bit of internet research turned up the Underhill Edge Tool Co. dating from 1852-1890.
http://www.davistownmuseum.org/bioUnderhill.html

The thing that struck me kind of odd is that this is marked Boston. Reading the attached link all the manufacturing was done in New Hampshire and the office was located in Boston. Ebay searches turn up a small handful of tools that are all marked with New Hampshire in the logo. An oddity? A salesman sample? In any form, ill grind a new edge on the hatchet and get it back in working order. The handle, as shown in the pic, got a cleaning with some steel wool and Murphy’s oil soap followed by a coat of thinned BLO.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty


17 replies so far

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489tad

2181 posts in 1598 days


#1 posted 174 days ago

Its very cool you have so much of your familys history. They found the right care taker. We had a ax/hatchet with a square hole (maybe two inches) in the area of the stamp on yours. No idea where it is now and no idea what the hole was for. anyway good stuff, keep posting your progress.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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chrisstef

10268 posts in 1593 days


#2 posted 174 days ago

I was certainly lucky that my grandfather preserved a lot of his tools in the basement and that I have an uncle who doubles as a pack rat. Im reaping the benefits for sure. Lots of neat stuff buried in the relics. They will all have a good home with me until my little man gets old enough to handle weapons of destruction.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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terryR

2920 posts in 895 days


#3 posted 174 days ago

Gorgeous hatchet, Stef! And more so since you are related! Love it.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

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489tad

2181 posts in 1598 days


#4 posted 174 days ago

I did a quick search and I am talking about a “Bell Systems” axe. Used by linemen. Square hole may have been used to tighten nuts. Not a lot of value. No linemen in our family.

I have my dads leather Gerstner tool box. Some of the tools belonged to my grandfather. Pretty neat to use something with family history.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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JustJoe

1554 posts in 625 days


#5 posted 174 days ago

Does that hatchet have a dimpled head? It may be a lathing hatchet and Boston would be the pattern.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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chrisstef

10268 posts in 1593 days


#6 posted 174 days ago

Ahhh indeed it does have a waffle/dimpled head. Thanks for clearing that up Joe. Coincidence happened to be they had an office in Boston. Off to find out what lathing is.

Edit – for cutting lath. That was pretty simple. Nail the lath with one end, hack it of with the other. Still doesn’t make me like plaster.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Randy_ATX

662 posts in 1029 days


#7 posted 174 days ago

You are very fortunate – beautiful old hatchet.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

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Don W

14502 posts in 1154 days


#8 posted 174 days ago

Nice hatchet.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Don Broussard

1764 posts in 838 days


#9 posted 174 days ago

Congrats, Stef! Nice for you to volunteer as keeper of the family tools. You are doing your ancestors proud!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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DocBailey

363 posts in 947 days


#10 posted 174 days ago

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summerfi

861 posts in 274 days


#11 posted 174 days ago

Nice hatchet Stef. I have a couple of similar styled hatchets that I’ve always thought were roofing or shingling hatchets. Anyone know the difference between a lathing hatchet and a shingling hatchet, or are they one and the same?

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Of all the tools I own, my favorite is a good sharp pocket knife. - My Dad

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chrisstef

10268 posts in 1593 days


#12 posted 174 days ago

Thanks Doc! Looks like its ether a 20 or a 30. 64 points on the head. I dig that kinda information.

I havent got the slightest clue on your question lol but id be into hearing an answer on it.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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JustJoe

1554 posts in 625 days


#13 posted 174 days ago

My take on the subject –
A true shingle hatchet has a notch under the blade for removing nails, lathing hatchet doesn’t.
On a lathing hatchet the top line is straight and the top of the beveled edge doesn’t flare upward so it can be used as a hammer in tight spaces. But the shingling hatchet can be just about any shape imaginable. If it looks a lot like a lathing hatchet, then look for the notch to see what it is. The Stanley #1 shingling hatchet looks like a big fat broadaxe head flaring up and down, with a hammer head on the other side and the notch underneath. Many of the older shingling hatchets had broader cutting edges than anything sold today.

You can buy generic “roofing” hatchets today. They shouldn’t be confused with any of the above.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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woodworker59

559 posts in 788 days


#14 posted 174 days ago

what a nice find, Its great that you have the chance to carry on the fine use of that tool in your family line for yet another generation.. and with little man coming up behind, two more generations.. Can’t say they don’t get there moneys worth out of tools at your house.. it looks like the perfect size for a carpenters hatchet. Do you know the weight?.. very nice Sir very nice indeed.. Papa

-- Papa@papaswoodworking.com

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summerfi

861 posts in 274 days


#15 posted 174 days ago

I looked at my hatchets again. They are both identical, and newer than yours, but based on Joe’s comments they must be lathing hatchets also. What’s interesting is they are marked True Temper Genuine Underhill. In this case I think Underhill refers to the style or pattern rather than the manufacturer.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Of all the tools I own, my favorite is a good sharp pocket knife. - My Dad

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