Walk into any hardware store and check out their axes. I can tell you exactly what you will find – axes made with poor quality steel that is too soft to hold a proper edge, too thick through the cheeks to ever cut well, lacking a finished edge, on a handle that is either soul-less fiberglass or bottom of the barrel hickory with terrible grain structure. We have all heard the saying, “They don’t make them like they used to.” I suspect that whoever coined that term, was talking about axes.
Thankfully, there are still plenty of high quality vintage axe heads left from a time when America knew how to make them and there are still people who appreciate them. Most importantly, there are still people who know how to sharpen and hang them (to hang an axe is to fit a new handle), restoring them to usefulness.
One such person is Jeremy Dillon of J. Willard Heritage Tools. He restores vintage axes and resells them on Ebay. His restored axes come ready to work and they often sell at prices similar to what you might pay for a hardware store axe. These axes have already served as tools to a previous generation and with a little care they can serve the next generation.
He would like to expand his operation so he has started a crowd funding campaign with a pretty modest goal of just $1700. There are some VERY nice benefits available to backers including lifetime sharpening and hanging of any wood handled tool (very valuable), a restored axe along with lifetime sharpening and hanging, a day of forestry training from Jeremy, and more.