Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beware, the PANTHER!

Today in the News:  You like free stuff and I'm giving away stuff for free.  Seriously.  Put your name in the hat.  53 followers and 7 prizes.  I've gotten two responses.  This isn't the Megabucks lottery.  You have a shot at winning.  For details, click here.  I don't care where you live.  Don't hate me, bmatt, I swear your axe head and wedges are on their way! :{

Link of the Day:  I really can't say enough good things about Simon's blog.  He is a gifted wood worker.  Stop by his site - he also has videos on YouTube!
Beware, the PANTHER!

Over Christmas break Mrs. Hotel and I hit a few antique shops.  She was looking for.....well....whatever it is that women look for in antique stores.  Chick stuff.  Cute stuff.  Decorative stuff.  Stuff that has no function other than to look good.  Not me.  I was on the hunt for axes, packbaskets, traps, know the drill.  I found plenty of cheap hatchets from the '80's and a few axe heads that looked like they were used to chop kryptonite.  Most of the knives I saw had price tags of $50.00 or more and you couldn't chop warm butter with 'em.

We roamed the aisles until I stood, zoned out on some cast iron frying pans next to some bric-a-brac that will probably still be there in 100 years. 

There, tucked into a basket under some yarn was a shiny axe head.  I took it out and looked it over.  The only marking on it was "PANTHER".  It was shined up real pretty like and the edge looked like it could be worked, so I showed it to Mrs. Hotel and she approvingly put it in our basket.  It was $5.00.  I'm willing to take a $5.00 hit for an axe.  Because I'm a junkie.  Because I'm addicted.  Because.....just because.

This picture is interesting.  These two dark spots obviously wouldn't come out when Mr. Antique Shiner hit it with his magic bird poop or whatever.  I couldn't think of what would cause such marks.  I looked at it for awhile and thought maybe it was where to tool hung on something in a shed or barn.  I woke up in the middle of the night a week ago and thought about it some more.  Like I had anything better to do at 3:00 am.  My conclusion was that it probably had a sheath and possibly had snaps on the sheath and the inner part of the snaps probably made these two marks.  Just a guess.  So my theory is that someone took care of it.....for awhile.  Then some dork chopped pavement with it.

Eeeash.  Not horrible, but obviously not well loved.

This picture shows the nicks a little better.

Anyway, I went on the internet to search for Panther axes and didn't find much of anything.  I think it is around 3-3 1/2 lbs.  I'm going to sick the file on it soon and see what I can make of it.  I know I've mentioned it before, but my 3 1/4 Snow and Nealley from the 1950's is currently my favorite axe.  This head is in the same weight class, so I'm hoping I'll have a new love. 

Changing the subject, I've looked at my local hardware stores for axe handles.  I'm a little confused by their selection.  Most have hatchet handles, 19" handles, 28" "boys axe" handles and then it shoots right to 36".  Why no 30" or 32:" or 34"?  I know what you're thinking - make your own handle, Mike.  I'm not there yet.  I'm still just a hatchet.  When I grow up I'll be a Jersey.

Have a good weekend.  If you want to watch something fun and waste some time over the weekend, look up "The Last Trapper" on YouTube.  It is a docu-drama.  I wish they would have left out the drama part, but the cinematography is great and the basis of the story.....well, you don't find many folks like this anymore.

One more thing - the little camp stove that I made and put on here......they're easy to make, but if anyone wants to purchase one, contact me at  I will make you a deal on one or several.

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel.....out.


  1. I've got a bucket in the basement filled with hatchets and handaxes that I found or bought cheap and put helves in. It's like an addiction.

  2. Love it. Believe it or not, old axe heads are hard to come by in Colorado (or it seems). I'm going to hit Maine this summer or fall. The midcoast is full of flea markets. I might just take a whole day looking there. I seem to have a back log of heads at the moment. Time to get handles on them.

  3. I never really know what I am looking for in a second hand dealer's, I just like browsing with that expectation that there may be something there, and I will know it when I see it!
    Good post, thank you.

  4. Check the antique shops anytime you pass through Amish country, Mike; I've found some good tools there. When you know what you're looking for, it doesn't take long to "case a joint", since they either have them or they don't.

  5. Whenever I hit yard sales, I usually do the quick first pass, then slow down the second time through - I know what you mean. Casing a joint is really important! The cool thing aout where I'm from in Maine is that the Amish have moved in. So when I go home, I'm technically in Amish country now. It is almost strange to see their carriages tied up at some of the stores.

    LeLoup - Its pretty amazing what you can find when you're not looking! I've happened onto a lot of things that way.

  6. MOH,

    I'll be including you in this coming week's edition of our Saturday Blog Rodeo!

    Best regards,
    Albert “Afghanus” Rasch
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles™
    Scouting for Hog, Chronicles Style!

  7. Great find! I love the profile of that head. Great all-rounder.


  8. Rev Big John S. F. V.March 6, 2018 at 9:51 PM

    I was directed to your"blog? Site? Spot?" ( I apologize, I don't know what to call it, semi-technopbobe that I am) and enjoyed it very much. In the part I saw, the comments were from 2011. Is this still an active place? Hope so, I think I found some others suffering from the same addiction. Please feel free to email me at and thank you very much.