Hunting for axe heads

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Capsicum, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Capsicum

    Capsicum Tracker Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    257
    Location:
    VA
    I am hoping to go searching for an axe head for a restoration project, but I am not exactly sure where to find what I'm looking for. I know there are plenty on eBay, but I would prefer to spend a day or a weekend visiting places that would likely have such a thing. I have heard flea markets are a good place to start, but I am not even sure where I would find one of those. Could anyone give me some pointers on what to look for in a prospective place that would sell old tools or axe heads and how to find such a place? For example, what would you type into google if you wanted to find a list of locations that would likely have an old axe head for sale for reasonably cheap? I'm in SW VA if that helps at all.

    I hope this post doesn't come across as lazy, as I have done a fair amount of research on the subject, and even went out hunting a couple times before but came up empty handed, so I was just looking for more input on where to go searching next.

    Thanks!
     
    Jim L., Glock Holiday and MrFixIt like this.
  2. Geoffrey

    Geoffrey Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    713
    Location:
    Grande Prairie AB
    I just made a score of 6 nice old axe heads at an estate sale locally. Like you I'd been searching but was hesitant to pay eBay pricing plus shipping. I checked Kijiji for local garage sales and found a rural estate sale where there were dozens of old axes to pick from.

    I think if you can find garage sales in rural areas that's a great place to start.

    What are you after?
     
  3. Capsicum

    Capsicum Tracker Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    257
    Location:
    VA
    That's a great idea... thanks a bunch!

    I am looking to expand my collection mostly. I have Gransfors Small and Scandinavian Forest Axes, but I'd like to play with something between those, and just have a beater axe that didn't cost 150 dollars to practice my skills with.

    I have also never hafted an axe and would like to learn how, and eventually carve a handle of my own.
     
    Jim L., MrFixIt and Geoffrey like this.
  4. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    4,492
    Likes Received:
    12,732
    Location:
    Portsmouth Virginia
    If all else fails especially for a beater axe to learn your skills on you might consider swinging by your local Harbor Freight and picking up something to mess with. Many of the older axes are quality tools and should be treated with at least as much care as you would with your Gransfors regardless of the price paid. Of course they are all tools at the end of the day and ment to be used hard, but chopping roots with an old Kelly, TrueTemper, Plumb, Mann, or otherwise would be a shame.

    Anyway for under $10 you can get a very functional head and wind up with an axe that will outperform your Small Forest Axe (awaiting angry responses)

    [​IMG]Harbor Freight camp axe side view by MJGEGB, on Flickr

    And you don't have to feel bad at all about using it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  5. Zunga

    Zunga Bushmaster

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    6,682
    Likes Received:
    35,772
    Location:
    British Columbia
    I've had luck at yard sales. But I live in the country. If you have rural areas nearby. Check their local newspaper website and Craigslist for yard sale ads. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning imo! Good luck.
    Cheers Jim
     
  6. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    25,417
    Likes Received:
    110,707
    Location:
    Bogart, GA
    I was gonna ask where do you get a liscense for huntin’ ax heads...
    I’m being silly of course ;)
    Like the good folks above have said, check the local news paper. I’ve had good luck driving around and looking for yard sales signs also.
     
    Jim L., NevadaBlue, Capsicum and 2 others like this.
  7. Glock Holiday

    Glock Holiday Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    2,716
    Thursday, Friday and Saturday are your garage sale/estate sale days.
    This has some listed, not all
    https://gsalr.com/
     
  8. Geoffrey

    Geoffrey Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    713
    Location:
    Grande Prairie AB
    Good topic and good feedback it seems. After doing well with my first estate sale it's got me itching for more. I have certainly been bit by the axe restoration bug.
     
  9. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    8,628
    Likes Received:
    9,139
    Location:
    Arkansas
    knives 001.jpg knives 003.jpg knives 001 (5).jpg knives 001 (6).jpg knives 018 (2).jpg knives 027.jpg I got most of my 150 or so axes at garage sales, often they wont have em out because they don't use em they think no one else will so always make it a point to ask.
    You never know what will turn up.
     
    Medicine maker, cek, Kelly W and 7 others like this.
  10. dougx

    dougx Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    205
    Location:
    SW PA
    What are you looking for?
     
    Capsicum likes this.
  11. Kelly W

    Kelly W Love the Axe Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,817
    Likes Received:
    11,777
    In south west VA I hate to tell ya I've been scrounging the area for 15 or 20 years....
     
    Land, Mr. Tettnanger and Capsicum like this.
  12. J.M.

    J.M. Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    243
    Hit yard sales early and as noted above ask if they have old tools axes etc. A lot of times they are not out, but people will let you look in the shed, garage etc. Ive gotten some nice axes that way. Hit flea markets early, be there when they open. When you are walking around ask sellers if they have any old axes. Again Ive gotten some nice ones that were not put out yet. You can also put out a Craigslist ad that you are looking for old axes to buy.
     
    Capsicum and Geoffrey like this.
  13. Glock Holiday

    Glock Holiday Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    2,716
    Drool! Thats a fantastic collection! I have came scored on multiple axes and a cast iron by asking or just bringing it up. Are you wanting to get rid of those? Or, having a good morning-Did you have any cast iron. Not nessesarily asking for it but introducing the idea youre in the market.
     
  14. HP500

    HP500 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    4,227
    Try AuctionZip.com
    Type in your zip code, your keyword, and how far of a radius you want to travel and you'll find auctions near you that are selling what you are looking for. I recently found a very nice anvil that way.
     
    Glock Holiday likes this.
  15. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    8,628
    Likes Received:
    9,139
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Lots of cast iron skillits is all and all of them from garage sales too, I give away a few heads if ya need one I might find sumpin for ya.
    f
     
  16. Glock Holiday

    Glock Holiday Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    2,716
    Thanks. I'm not looking for anything, I am confident I will find my white whale Norlund. I regret passing an old marbles. I still cant let that go. Looking to make up for my loss. Same place I passed on the Marbles I picked up this Gambles. I dont know anything about "Gambles". IMG_7660.JPG IMG_7661.JPG I have a lot of projects, some re-handled and some just need a new wedge. IMG_7658.JPG IMG_7659.JPG Have to rehandle a kelly perfect, true temper flint edge and plumb-double bits
     
    TWill and Kelly W like this.
  17. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    8,628
    Likes Received:
    9,139
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I believe Gambles was a hardware store, you have some real nice stuff there!

    Larry
     
    Glock Holiday likes this.
  18. Glock Holiday

    Glock Holiday Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    2,716
    This weekend, found a hatchet at a garage sale and this pulaski warwood head at an antique store. Hatchet was bundled with a lot of tools for 20 and the head was 5
    IMG_7678.JPG
     
    SmilinJoe and TWill like this.
  19. TWill

    TWill Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2,101
    Likes Received:
    3,739
    Location:
    central MN west of Twin Cities
    I would recommend you look anywhere but up here in MN. We absolutely don't have any old axe heads left anywhere. Nope, all gone from garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets....just had the last one sold a few weeks ago. Sorry. Same for cast iron pans. Strange?
     
    Glock Holiday likes this.
  20. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    766
    Location:
    mn
    No sir not so strange,think they got used alot up here i find some good ones but the older ones are usually beat all to hell and the cool old handles are dried up and cracked.central mn north of tc
     
    TWill likes this.
  21. Daniel Klinglesmith

    Daniel Klinglesmith Ornory Old Dog Banned

    Blog Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    1,033
    Likes Received:
    5,946
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I have found 3 over the past 10 years by looking around old homesteads. Abandoned or burned down, I just look around any barns or sheds and look for their firewood location. I've found 2 stuck in a log where they split their firewood.
     
    Glock Holiday and TWill like this.
  22. Northwest Axe

    Northwest Axe Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2018
    Messages:
    1,019
    Likes Received:
    5,582
    Location:
    Tenino Washington
    OfferUp!!
    The OfferUp app now offers reminders so anytime anyone in my area lists something including the word axe,axes or hatchet it tells me.
     
    Glock Holiday likes this.
  23. fishiker

    fishiker Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    2,397
    Location:
    VA
    @Capsicum not sure where you are in SW Virginia but I've done okay at yardsales and flea markets over the past decade or two. If you have free time Labor Day Weekend there's a 4 day flea market in Hillsville where you can usually find almost anything if you're willing to put in the time. We normally spend two full days walking which allows us to see most of it. Add another day if you want to check out the yardsales nearby. There's another one in Dublin later in Sept. It's not as large but I usually come home with a few new sharp toys.
     
    Kelly W likes this.
  24. Girlwhotools

    Girlwhotools Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    234
    I'm trying to decide if you're trying thlo throw him off the scent or not... picked these up at an estate sale just south of the twin cities today. Got both for $11


     

    Attached Files:

  25. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2017
    Messages:
    2,212
    Likes Received:
    9,134
    Location:
    wet western washington
    My area is horrible, or I'm bad at hunting ....
     
  26. TWill

    TWill Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2,101
    Likes Received:
    3,739
    Location:
    central MN west of Twin Cities
    Yeah, well now there are definitely not any axe heads left up here in MN. The last two got sold so they are all gone. Maybe they have some left out in Kansas or somewhere without a lot of trees. Not much need for old axes in states without big forests right?
     
  27. Girlwhotools

    Girlwhotools Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    234
    Haha! Yeah my husband and I were just talking about that the other day actually. We were wondering if places like Arizona even have any vintage axes. Would they have used them to cut down cactus?

     
    TWill likes this.

Share This Page