Thursday, 31 July 2008

Big Axe

Here's the biggest, heaviest axe I have.

It's a seven pound Elwell felling axe - here's their logo . .

I bought the head from a gipsy called Middy at Hatfield Farmers Market a few years ago now.
I met him at Ashridge Estate on Sunday and although he looks as if he's going blind he's still giving it large . .
He reminded me of the billhooks he'd sold me which had belonged to his dad and his uncles. He remembered the big Elwell axe-head and told us that he'd used it for cutting and laying small trees in hedges.

But I'm sure that when he sold it to me he told me that his predecessors had used it to chop down Oaks on the Hatfield House estate !

It's also got the number 4512554 stamped - perhaps you could work out the date and maker ?!

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Martin Crook came on a days course here today. He did really well and made a sycamore spinning top and carved a small spoon from cherry for his niece. We picked up the sycamore fresh first thing this morning from some tree surgeons working up the road. That's about as green as the Woodworking gets

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Tomorrow we're going to be preparing for a weekend at Blake Hall Game & Country Show near Epping/Ongar, Essex so I've been finishing some priest's, made of Ash and loaded with a lead plug and also some crow/pheasant scarers made from Gayne's Park Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa). This has an amazing smell a bit like sweet pickle and is a great wood to work.



miss rika said...

I love sellers like that. There are a lot of them here in Italy:) The best story wins!

Chris said...

Did anyone get back to you re dating this axe? I have a similar Elwell 7lb axe, serial no. 576517 - great tool.

Le Loup said...

Just found your blog, I guess there are still good blogs like yours to find. Just a matter of what you put in the search engine.
I too have a number 7 ELWELL, you can see it on the WOODLIFE forum. A UK forum you would like I think.
My ELWELL does not have the same logo stamp, just ELWELL and the No.7 below the name. On the reverse is the number 4910871.
I know this is an 18th century pattern, regardless of when it was made. But it would be good if I could date it.
Regards, Le Loup.
PS. Dug mine up near Armidale, New England NSW, Australia.

Le Loup said...

Hi Chris. No I have not been able to date it yet but apparently dispite the 18th century pattern, the ELWELL was in production in the 19th century.
Regards, Le Loup.