KA Heritage English Hand-Forged Shingling Hatchet
KA Heritage English hand-forged Shingling Hatchet
Coming out of Dave's personal collection
This interesting and Unique piece was found in the UK early last year, and shipped over to the shop. As soon as it arrived, Dave pulled it for himself. Having been raised in the roofing material industry in LA, he grew up with shingling hatchets and acres of palletized cedar shingles. Best smell in the world!
This hand forged tool, based upon its high iron content and design shapes would date to the early 1800's, more than likely. It showed evidence on what was left of the original edge, as have been used as what Dave's father called a "slater's hammer". Essentially the same thing as a shingling hammer, it was used to split Slate on the fly while laying up and hammering in a slate roof. With copper nails! The hard learned lesson of history that is more than likely forgotten today, is that slate is an alkaline material and if hung with iron or even steel nails it will react with the metal... eventually rusting through. When that happens you have a 2 lb piece of sharp flat rock come flying off a roof like a guillotine. Now imagine all those 3 and 4 story buildings in old London that have slate roofs. Be glad that those old roofers figured that out...and copper is what is still securing that roof centuries later.
A tool made to be used hard, and easy to repair. The interesting thing in this design is the way the handle is fit to the head. Swung for generations and dropped off countless roofs, you'd expect the handle to break along the way. A fast moving roofer doesn't have the time to pop off to a shop and hand scrap a handle to custom fit up in a eye or collar. This design with its two long legs coming down allows you to punch out the two pins, sharpen a stick as a replacement and jam it in. Fire two fresh copper nails through it and you're swinging!
Of course, much more time was taken with fitting this handle, lol! Emile up at Trinity Boletus did in fact sit down and fabricate a nice piece of white ash into a nicely flared and hand filling straight profiled hammer handle. Dave upon it's return, added the burned decorative details and lettering.
Swing a piece of history and reconnect with the mindset of an English Slater!