The primitive celt, which was hardly more than a wedge, has been differentiated into three modern hand tools, the chisel, the ax, Fig. 139, and the adze, Fig. 141.
The ax has also been differentiated into the hatchet, with a short handle, for use with one hand, while the ax-handle is long, for use with two hands. Its shape is an adaption to its manner of use. It is oval in order to be strongest in the direction of the blow and also in order that the axman may feel and guide the direction of the blade. The curve at the end is to avoid the awkward raising of the left hand at the moment of striking the blow, and the knob keeps it from slipping thru the hand. In both ax and hatchet there is a two-beveled edge. This is for the sake of facility in cutting into the wood at any angle.
There are two principal forms, the common ax and the two bitted ax, the latter used chiefly in lumbering. There is also a wedge-shaped ax for splitting wood. As among all tools, there is among axes a great variety for special uses.
| Fig. 139. Ax. |
| Fig. 140. Shingling Hatchet. |
| Fig. 141. Carpenter's Adze.|
The hatchet has, beside the cutting edge, a head for driving nails, and a notch for drawing them, thus combining three tools in one. The shingling hatchet, Fig. 140, is a type of this.
The adze, the carpenter's house adze, Fig. 141, is flat on the lower side, since its use is for straightening surfaces.
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