Plumb Hatchet

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by NC_Drummer, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. NC_Drummer

    NC_Drummer Tracker

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    Hope this isn't heresy, but I plan on restoring an old Plumb half hatchet for use as a camp ax. This one is about 50 years old. Any info on the steel quality and type?


    FullSizeRender (1).jpg IMG_4642.JPG
     
  2. MT_Fin

    MT_Fin Axe'aholic Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    refurbing old tools and putting them back to work is not heresy, its awesome. Tools were made to be used, and if they look nice doing it, even better!

    Clean off the rust, put a new edge on it, blo the handle and put it back to work for another 50 years! Plumb tools are great quality, good steel, and make great users. Snap pics along the way and post them up!
     
  3. garry3

    garry3 Scout

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    Hard to go wrong with a vintage Plumb. They advertised using an alloy steel way back when. Just what that alloy is I don't know.
    Is that a rigging axe, 28oz head with a milled face and 18" haft?
     
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  4. RebelYell

    RebelYell Scout

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    That looks like a rigging hatchet. I've got a modern Vaughn rigging hatchet that looks similar. Boiled linseed oil and turpentine mixed 50:50 will penetrate into the handle. This used to be used by 19th century government arsenals to refurbish musket stocks. I would use a twisted wire wheel followed by a buffing wheel with reinforced pad made for polishing steel to refinish the head. An 8" Mill Bastard file and round whetstone will sharpen it up. Never was a fan of electric grinders...too easy to burn the steel.
     
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  5. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    Looks like the one I did for the same task.
    Here it is next to a SFA and I call it the Poor Man's SFA.
    20161120_231148.jpg
     
  6. garry3

    garry3 Scout

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    Is the GB a little heavier and have you actually weighed them?
    Just curious.
     
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  7. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    The plumb weighed 1 and change oz lighter. They were very close.

    The handle of was 1" shorter. Both bits are the same thickness though the GB is longer. The Plumb also has a flat or nearly flat cutting edge.

    The GB's handle is more comfy for longer cutting use. But the half hatchet straight handle is much more comfortable to turn around and hammer with the poll (as designed). I use this little Plum for busting out fatwood knots from fallen pines. Couple cuts on each side of the knot and smack with the hammer poll.

    If you tend to turn your hatchet around and use the poll to hit things, it is hard to go wrong with a half hatchet.
     
  8. garry3

    garry3 Scout

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    Thank you for that information.
    I used a rigging axe for many years, I started before nail guns were the norm.

    When them GB's first came out I handled the SFA and the Hunters hatchet. I ended up with the hunters because it just felt a little more natural to me. I know they are supposed to be the same weight but it's not true. At least the ones I handled. The Hunters was a little lighter. I think I liked them so well because they were so close to what I was used to. Truth be told about the only difference between them GB's and rigging axes is that straight bit.

    That octagon poll on yours is something I usually don't see on the rigging axe though it is common on the smaller half hatchets. Does it have the rectangular Plumb stamp?
     
  9. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    Yes.
     
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  10. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I like that style. This thread has gotten me thinking about making one of these my next resto project.
    I think I'd get a lot of utility out of a 1/2 hatchet.
    Now to find a beautiful vintage donor...
     
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  11. NC_Drummer

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    I'm assuming so but can't find a weight stamp anywhere. Any suggestions?
     
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  12. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    I have a 16" curved handle on a vaughn rigging axe that I like very well. It's easy enough to use the poll, and nicer to use as a hatchet.
    Just my preference.
     
  13. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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  14. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    Looks great! You'll have decades of fine use with that. That is a really nice size for woods bumming and camping.
     
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  15. garry3

    garry3 Scout

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    There was just nothing in the picture for a size reference. So I asked. Half hatchets are lighter and have shorter hafts as sold from the factory.
     
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  16. garry3

    garry3 Scout

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    The ergonomics are pretty good on most rigging axe handles, but the replacment ones that House Handle sells are terrible. Still most folks prefer a curved haft, its what led to California framing hammers becoming more common on construction sites and rigging axes becoming a rarity.
    Them Vaughns were my favorite. The head is a little different than other manufactures.
     
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  17. NC_Drummer

    NC_Drummer Tracker

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    Finished product...

    IMG_4665.JPG IMG_4668.JPG IMG_4671.JPG
     
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  18. Paulyseggs

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    20180615_194838.jpg look what I found!

    I didnt even know I needed it
     
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  19. clueless on the delaware

    clueless on the delaware Scout

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    That one's gonna need some file work.
     
  20. Paulyseggs

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    Just a little bit. New handle too

    Found it in my moms shed when I was opening her pool up yesterday. So the price was right .

    Hopefully I can have it done by Aug for my camping trip. I usually bring my GB Hunters Axe but I wont be able to replace it if something happens to it. This would fill my niche with not much money into it .
     
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  21. batmanacw

    batmanacw Guide

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    That will make a fine camp hatchet!
     
  22. Paulyseggs

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    What size handle should I get?

    Or what should I look for?
     
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  23. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'd hang it on an 18" riggers handle, although I have hung the occasional half hatchet on a longer axe handle...
    IMG_20171024_221749.jpg IMG_20171029_181621.jpg
     
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  24. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Here's a better pic comparing an 18" riggers handle and a 18.5" axe handle:
    IMG_20180616_113337.jpg
    (Plumb Victory on top, Keen Kutter on bottom)
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
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  25. SilverFox

    SilverFox Scout

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    I have had one of these for about 30yrs that I use as a camping hatchet. I cut an axe handle down to about 20 inches and rehung it. It works great for camp chores. I have also used it as a wedge to split logs . Amazing what can be done with these. I recently bought a Cold Steel Riflemans hawk to replace it. However this works better and the hawk had not seen much use. I guess old habits die hard.
     
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  26. Kyle363

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    Plumb has to be my favorite vintage axe brand currently. I have a similar head I hung to keep out in the shed for when I needed it. I've processed a lot of fire wood with it so far and love it.
     
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  27. Paulyseggs

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    20180621_134551.jpg
    Getting there!

    I have not much for power tools . Just a dremel .No vise . Sone files and some stones .

    Need to square it a bit more . Slight wave towards the bottom . Used the dremel with a sanding drum on low to bring the edge close to level then started with a file .

    Hardest part was getting the dang handle off .Someone hammered in a bunch of nails .Plus the handle wasn't inserted all the way so I couldn't pull them out from the top .
     
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  28. Paulyseggs

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    Feel like a kid at Christmas . Or the dad in Christmas Story when he gets "The Lamp" Should have my handle today!

    Soaked the head in wd40 rust remover . Getting some real nice work done. Stopped til I got the handle . Didnt feel comfortable hanging my first one with a real sharp blade .

    Found a vise at a yardsale!
     
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  29. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Huge fan of yard sale vices! Post a pic.
     
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  30. Paulyseggs

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    Will do. I actually scored two . The one I bought and found one that was my dads .

    Only thing is I need a dolly to get the 2nd its around 100lb +/-
     
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  31. Paulyseggs

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    20180713_133335.jpg Viola!
     
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