I’ve had this thing for years, I mean, like 15 to 20. Bought it at a yardaale when i was a kid/teen. Found it in the shop cleaning a year or more ago, and its been hung up there since… Needed a hammer for driving tent stakes, and I remembeted it, figured it could make a pretty good camp hatchet/hammer.
It looks like a roofing/singling hatchet, but isn’t. Those have some holes for their use along the blade top, and a different edge grind. This is a lathing hatchet. You use it to make and install lathing; the horizontal wood furring strips that ate run across the face of the studs in wood frame walls. A wire mesh is then hung from the lathing strips, and plaster is applied to it, to finish the walls. That’s how walks were done before the invention of drywall/sheet rock boards.– So understandably, this is a rather old tool.
It has a company name, and model number on it; L. A. Sayre Co. and model 140. The company, was founded in 1884, but the newest reference I can find is from 1912, a sales ad for this, the 140 lathing hatchet, in a tool supply company catalog.
Granted the company could have been around a lot longer, just without any info now on the net… The internet, contrary to popular belief is Not all inclusive!
But giving how long it’s been since lathing and plaster has been a common construction method, I’m still betting it’s a extremely old tool!
Figured I’d clean it up, sharpen it, and make a mask for it.
Then the project progressed… as they tend to.. 😉
Before and after, or more of before and half way. Yes, that new handle is tremendously short… the old handle was cracked for 6″ under the head, and someone had seated the head down against a shoulder- a big chopping tool no-no.
The only two new hammer handles i gad were warped, so I cut one off where it was straight, to see how it handles/balances so short, just for fun… it’s actually not too bad!
Profile ideas drawn on the blade: regardless of handle length, the “bit” needs some curve to it, and the blade shortened and slightly bearded for looks/ballance… mostly looks ;);
Next days progress;
I decided on a length and shape… actually got a little narrower than I intended, but it’s still good. Also a little rough where the blade meets the head, but it will clean up OK at the grinder.
The ballance and handling is great, I think it will be a great little carver and kindling maker, but with the full weight hammer poll, still drive tent stakes OK, even short handled.
Blend grinding, bit curving, and applying bevels, then sharpening is next, when I can find a little time. ☺