I love axes, I love to see them forged and I love the sort of ingenious technology that people came up with in the late nineteenth early twentieth century. It feels to me there was a sweet spot in technology that involved a lot of skill in the maker before full mechanisation removed most of the skill.


I have never seen film of axes forged under a tilt hammer before so this one is a real find. The tilt hammer is running off a belt drive and line shaft. I had a go on one of the last fully working tilt hammers in the UK at Patterson’s spade mill a few years ago, there is another at that works occasionally at Finch Foundry in Devon.

I feel very grateful to Peter Vogt for filming this at the Emerson Stevens shop in Oakland Maine in 1965.

This reminds me I have photos and a little film from my visit in Sweden to the Wetterlings axe forge. I must post those.