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What is this hammer axe wedge tool? Answered

It's real old, as you can see the head of it is mushroomed from use. On the bottom it says "Champion tool co. Meadville, Pa"
From googling I believe Champion tool company turned into Channellock. I thought it may have something to do with farrying, which is horshoeing, but it looks like its been used pretty hard as a wedge. It has a weird skinny handle. It's definitely a cast piece. I couldnt seem to find any other examples of this particular Champion tool co. 'wedge hammer'. Not on ebay nor google. Just wondering if someone would have any more info about it or possibly know the value of it.  



Best Answer 3 years ago

I'm not positive, but it looks like a "hot set" which is a blacksmithing tool and is used to cut hot metal.

If you scroll down a bit on this link you'll see a picture of a similar-ish one.

The mushrooming probably did come from someone using it as a wood wedge, I've seen plenty of old sets that weren't mushroomed, or only slightly mushroomed, hot metal is soft, almost like clay.

thanks sixsmith, that looks about right. I'd say you hit it right on the head. Good info, thanks a bunch.

My dad bought it for 6 dollars from an antique store. I dont think he'll use it. He was just curious about it.

For $6 that's a nice thing to mount on your wall; sweet find !

and by this link, I mean this: http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ah637e/ah637e03.htm

Nathan, here is the pics I promised !!! My daughter came in and showed me how to transfer the pics. Close inspection will provide the information you are seeking.

photo 2.JPGphoto 1.JPG

Once you see the original size and shape of the head of the tool, its easy to see how 'mushrooming' can happen over the course of a hundred years or so of normal to slightly abusive use. The small size of the head absorbs the full blow of the hammer strike and the mushrooming is the result of thousands upon thousands of such strikes. More than likely it is just a well worn tool that may have been used occasionally on metal that was cooled a bit too far or possibly even as a 'cold cut'.

...and now you understand the Forge Note Book. It is filled with many such details about blacksmithing and associated tools even with blank pages in the rear for notes during Blacksmithing 101 at the olde tyme "School Of Hard Knocks" !!!!

More than likely it is a blacksmithing tool. Held in one hand while struck with a hammer to produce a slot or cut in hot metal on an anvil. I have several similar though none exactly like this example. Also round tapers are quite common as are the seemingly short handles.

Yea thank tractor man. Defibitely I'm thinking blacksmithing tool. Why would a short handled tool more likely have a tapered handle?

Nathan, sorry I wasn't necessarily clear about the taper... I didn't mean the handle itself was tapered I meant that tools like this 'hot cutter' and other metal forming tools (like tools to form a tapered hole) were typically short handled because they were to be held close to the work securely and with two hands while someone else smacked the head with another hammer while holding the work piece. Of course a lot of times, they were held in one hand and smacked with the other if the work could be creatively secured on the anvil.

By the way, I dug into an old Forge Note Book and took a picture of the tool that is in question. Its on my I-phone and as soon as I can figure out how to post it, I will place the picture and the specific definition of the 'hot cutter' directly out of the manual. I even took a picture of the FORGE NOTE BOOK cover by the Bruce Publishing Co, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Oh ok I get you about the taper. I suppose 'hot cutter' is part of the 'hot set' then, along with other tools. Not sure what you mean about the forge note book but yea I would like to see that post.

yea. lol. Not a whole lot of legit interesting convesation on instructables. I dont think it's most people's go to social media/chatblog site. Kind of mostly just a generic tech support/how do i fix my computer etc. We'e milking this hammer thing for every last drop:)

It's Called a Maul.

Sadly I can't help you with a value though :P

When you cut down a tree you will usualy cut it into 1-2Ft Sections of trunk, called rounds. You swing it into a round and then use either a sledge hammer or the back of an axe to force the wedge of the Maul through the wood.

Dang that's been beaten though ! lmao Mine has mushroomed less then half of that !

Where did you find that?

Well it certainly does loook like its been used as a maul. Doesn't really look like a modern wood maul, they seem to be wider, more axe like. You say you have a tool like this? I cant imagine, at least myself doing this much damage (mushrooming) to the tool without at least missing once a while and putting some dings on the handle. Is the metal that soft and the swing that light? Or do people just have skills? What kind of shape is the handle of yours in? I guess there's some doubt then between vintage wood maul and hot set. There's not a whole lot of examples of either to be found on the internet. I am wondering if that mushrooming could be the result of cold or semi-cold hammering metal? It says 1 1/4 on the top of it. Is that typical of wood splitting tools to be marked like that? i'm assuming that's 1.25 pounds though it feels more like at least 2 or 3 to me. Maybe someone at one point had a whole set of these of different sizes.

I have always thought it was because the sledge is made of harder steel then the maul.

Check Google for some pictures... I saw two main styles. Something like what you have and a thicker style like mine. I can only Guess they were meant for hard vs soft wood.

Here's some Pics of mine :)

Axe on the left, 8lb Sledge in the mid and the Maul on the right


cool. You've got some beastly tools my friend. Thats what I like to see. Nice edge on the axe. Handle is a bit rough. could use a new one. Yea I would say the sledge is harder than the maul. I dont think Iven ever seen a mushroomed sledge. Yea the maul looks sweet. I never had one. Yea, the tool I have is way to small and light to do any serious firewood chopping beyond making kindling into smaller kindling.