B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

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B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby Mond » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:17 pm

Howdy,
I was wondering if anyone is familiar with this make of hatchet. I've had my eye on it for the last couple years and finally bought it yesterday at a local tool show (Ontario, Canada) after the owner unexpectedly lowered his asking price. He claimed that the hatchet had been in his personal collection for many years.

To my eye the hatchet looks a great deal like the very attractive Fuchs hatchet that Peter Follansbee wields with seemingly such skill. However it is not marked with the Fuchs name or any name that I know to be affiliated with them, instead it is marked 12 B&M GARANTIE, also it is stamped with what appears to be a double headed eagle, flanked by the numbers 8 and 55. The handle is darkened ash and canted out. In it's current state the cutting edge measures about 6". Unfortunately the handle is not as sound as it ot to be and might need replacing. I think this one is going to be a permanent addition to my workshop! Thanks for your time, any information would be welcome.

P.S I took these photos yesterday before I finished cleaning up the bevel. It was pretty uneven and had a few chips on the edge. The backside also had a very small (1/16") bevel.
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Last edited by Mond on Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby Andrew » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:05 pm

Sorry, I'm not able to help. Have you tried the Axe Junkies Facebook page? The guys on there are super knowledgeable about all things axe related.
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby Mond » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:13 pm

I've never heard of the group before. Thanks Andrew, I'll give them a try.
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby anobium » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:23 pm

This looks very much like a French clogmaker's side axe. I would imagine some French sabotiers would have gone to the Francophone areas of Canada. If you look at Ebay.fr you will see several similar axes for sale. Check out 'haches ancien'.
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby Billman » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:17 am

Looks more German than French, my best guess it was made in France (possibly Alsace) for the German market - post on Axe Junkies or the Outils Anciens site - I do not recognise the maker's mark (I have listed over 4000 French makers) - a web-search for B&M in the UK usually leads back to Barnes & Mullins, musical instrument dealers....

On ebay.fr type in 'doloire' to find side axes of this type...
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby Mond » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:03 am

Fascinating. Thanks very much for the thoughts gentleman. I have posted on axe junkies as suggested, if anything comes up I will re-post it here for peoples general edification.
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby ToneWood » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:10 pm

Yes, it does look like Peter Follansbee's Fuch's axe - that was my first thought when I saw the picture too. I have seen some French axes that are somewhat similar and I believe the word "garantie" is French for guaranteed - although I'm no linguist and French is Latin-based, as are many other languages to a greater or lesser degree. I normally associate the double headed eagle with Russia or Germany (both have used it) - but apparently it has been used quite widely: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-headed_eagle

Billman wrote:Looks more German than French, my best guess it was made in France (possibly Alsace) for the German market ...

Sounds plausible. Have seen a few old axes and tools from Alsace -- is it the "French Sheffield"?
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby Billman » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:38 pm

The French Sheffield was further south: St Etienne and Thiers are the two towns associated with the light tool/cutlery industries. However, the Industrial Revolution in France was greatly affected by the French Revolution, and as a result many thousands of small regional edge tool makers continued in business right up to the WW2 period. Basically anywhere where there was running water for a power source there could be a water powered edge tool mill, and where there wasn't hand power sufficed...

Alsace was basically a self contained province, but was annexed by France (and later by Germany) - it became French again after WW1 - it was home to a good number of tool makers, including Goldenberg. The French National Manufacture of Arms (i.e. swords) was established there (in Klingenthal) about 1730 - a hundred years later it was sold off/privatised and Coulaux tool over the works, adapting sword smithing skills to edge tools, particularly long thin scythes They closed in the 1960's...

As in the UK, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of regional variations in patterns of tools (such as axes, billhooks. sickles, spades, hoes) existed.... The Philibert family, scythe and edge tool makers at Nans sous St Anne, in Doubs, sold tools all over France and into Switzerland and Italy - so it is likely many other edge tool makers also had a very wide market, and thus a wide range of different patterns of tool....

I agree the word Garantie on the axe probably means it was made in France (or Alsace) - the shape is maybe a little more angular than most patterns of French clog makers' (sabotiers) side axes (doloires) - but who knows.... Track down B&M and maybe we have an answer....
Last edited by Billman on Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby Billman » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:46 pm

Having said that (my last sentence above), I have just found a similar in the Bret catalogue, page 10 no 204 - hachette à un seul biseau de menuisier - small axe with a single bevel for carpenter/joiner....
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby witt » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:36 pm

Hi Billman,

The word garanti might concern the type of steel used for this axe, "acier fondu" garanti or "acier anglais" garanti. Cast steel, you see.
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby Billman » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:16 am

Garantie also translates to Warranted, implying the maker offered a warranty or guarantee of the quality of his product.
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby Mond » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:25 am

Bump
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Re: B&M Hewing hatchet? Similar to Fuchs

Postby Don Wagstaff » Sun May 31, 2015 6:18 pm

The "guys" on that axe junk site are nothing short of weirdoes, to say nothing of their knowledge and understanding of axes and Robin Fawcett, the very one from this website,has done a true disservice to any and all axe users in starting that site and then abandoning it to them.

Just an edit to take it further: And this is no bull shit, it is my true and deepest conviction which I will post up wherever I think it will get notice.
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