Saturday, August 11, 2018


Thanks to Gorges Smythe for bringing the event to our attention a couple months ago.
We had the chance to drive down to Waterboro for the Axe Meet-up today .
It was a small event
Perhaps six or seven tents  . . .
displaying their collections . . .
some broad hewing axes
A pile of new Wetterlings
 the skinny ones are mortising axes
Some ornate spoke shaves
of course there was some horse trading taking place
One fellow was carving axe handles
Some new and some old
Trade items
Axe handles for sale
Overstock for sale in front , not for sale on the right side
More for sale in a rack made out of a shipping pallet
This fellow came eleven hundred miles all the way from Indiana just for the meet.
He specializes in restoring broken axe heads for customers
This one is one of his jobs that came to him with sixteen cracks in the head
More of his projects to be worked on
Some elaborate stamping
A pair of Shapleigh Hardware hatchets that are quite valuable
more projects
A few more in his display
From the other end
Some saws for trading
His "front door" display
some oldies
and some for trade
A British made six pounder for sale . Got to be a real hefty fellow to swing that one.
A double bit Keen Kuttter with scallops could be had for a price
More trade goods
A Black Raven double bit
A Kelly
Song and verse sales pitch stamped right on it
the trio
Another Black Raven a brand I was not familiar with from Charleston West Virginia
A three and a half pound restored Kelly and a two and three quarter pound Spiller
Another Black Raven
And a couple more
A Hubbard Spencer Bartlet
Speer Hardware
A rather commie looking emblem on a Dorpian double bit .
And another double bit Black Raven
Emerson and Stevens
A lumberman's marking axe
With the company logo to mark the cut logs before the river drive . .
. . .  so they could be identified and separated from others at the take out .
A pound and a half double bit used by the company agent to mark trees to be cut
The President's Axe
Houses a knife in the handle
Two of the rare axes actually
The story goes that president Roosevelt was gifted one of these upon his 1902 visit to Oakland Maine.
One fellow was wearing a neat T shirt . .
. . . and it just so happens that I brought one of my axes for identification and the general consensus was that it was an Emerson & Stevens made in 1944. I also bought a neat sheath for it
From the fellow in the T shirt I learned that we now have an axe manufacturer in nearby South Portland that is operating under the name Brant & Cochran .
 They are making a really nice axe that will set you back a couple dead Benjamins
From right to left the progression from raw steel to shaped head.
No one does neat labels like that anymore
Or like this one
A Spiller
And a really broad Spiller
One of each flavor
Another Hubbard
A couple of short shipwright's hewing axes
A couple more offset hewing axes
Another pound and a quarter company boss marking axe
And a mortising axe
Broad headed hewing axes
One from Douglas Massachusetts.
At the top an Estonian broad axe
a trio of double bits
Another carpenter's mortising tool
Another pound and a quarter Marsh and Sons marking axe
This one with an inscription
Once owned by Perry Green
An older Snow and Neally
Two and a quarter pound
Little brother to my own three and a half pound Snow and Neally on the right here
A mid 1950s pilot survival axe cast out of titanium with the steel edge and but cast in place and said to float when dropped in water. You filled the hollow handle with water for added weight. Apparently they can still be ordered from the manufacturer.
A Vulcan
Even though there were only about six or seven tents we spent close to five hours at the meet learning and chatting with the collectors and I finally was able to identify the two axes I inherited from my wife's grand mother ten years ago as a Snow & Neally and an Emerson & Stevens Forest King from 1944.


  1. Very neat stuff! Glad you were able to go.

    1. If you had not passed the detail on to us we'd have never known. I am sure glad you did. Around here it was never published. So outsiders to the circle never got the word. Apparently they all communicate via facebook and that's how the word got around. Now I'll have to find out what group page that is so I can keep tabs on future events.

  2. If you have a axe to grind that was the place to go LOL
    I never knew there were so many types of fancy axe.
    I remember spending a couple of hours making a new axe handle & was so proud showing my Dad how it turned out, Yes you guessed it, on the first swing my handle snapped.
    That was the end of my axe handle making career. Never tried to make another since.

    1. There's collectors of all sort of stuff. Since logging and lumber were a big part of the early history of the state of Maine there is a lot of that subject matter for history buffs to enjoy. Through out the country there are regional variations in patterns and styles depending on the trees they were felling and local tradition.

  3. I don't think we have anything similar to that here. In August the North Georgia Fair Grounds has a big fair, and there are booths dedicated to axes, etc but nothing so oriented towards collectors. There's a weekend flea market in Murphy, N.C. that sells lots of old tools, axes among them, but it's kind of hit and miss.

    1. This is a fairly new event only three years going so far. It used to be held up at the Common-ground Fair in Unity that is put on by the Maine Organic Farmers Group. But that event has turned in to one monstrously big patchouli fest and and beside the hassle and traffic it costs a fair chunk of money to get in, and I suspect even more to set up booths. This was a more casual low key event by a small group of folks with the common interest of axes that they organized themselves, which makes it rather special in itself. I will be making a point to mark it on next year's calendar.

    2. If we had something of that nature, I'd go. I like to buy old tools and store them, so if the power goes out and stays out, I'll have something decent to trade. I find all sorts of things at the flea market in Murphy, but good hand tools are rare.

    3. These folks were there specifically for their interest in axes and their history. I don't know enough to determine value or even be able to identify some of the old ones. That is one of the reasons I went to the meet as I needed to be educated on a couple specimens I had inherited a while back. Oakland, Maine was home to many axe manufacturers back in the day so it is rich in that history. It was fascinating to learn the details from those that know it.

  4. Okay, I must admit to getting pretty excited about all those axes. I've been unable to find decent handles for the ones I've got. Can't believe the cross grain crap for sale locally.

    1. Next year the event will be at the same place same date. Mark it on your calendar. Yes, all of the handles at the big box stores are utter crap. Can't expect much these days from chines slave labor. I recently got lucky and found a US made hickory haft at the local ACE hardware store that had reasonable grain orientation but had to paw through two dozen to find one marginally reasonable one.

  5. Amazing, I grew up with axes and hatchets and wood, all year round, but I've never seen anything like these! Fantastic! Thanks!

    1. Yes, for a small group of folks they had an impressive arsenal.

  6. HA! This is great. Never realized something like this was ever written on our little get together. It's now a big too do we hold in South Portland every year now. You have photos of quite a few of my axes from that meet-up as well as of me. Thanks for the good memories. Already looking forward to this year's at Brant & Cochran. Skol! - Zach Summers

    1. Hi Zach; That was the 2018 meet in Waterboro. Its been a few years. We did go to the first meet held in South Portland a few years ago, but missed the others since. If I am not mistaken you were the fellow at the draw horse making the axe handles. We did speak for a bit back then. When is this year's meet?