Since graduation May 9th, my schedule has freed up enough to finish a peavey handle I starting making in the Fall.
A peavey is an implement consisting of a wooden shaft with a metal point and a hinged hook near the end, used to handle logs. Wikipedia explains that “a peavey or peavey hook is a logging tool consisting of a handle, generally from 30 to 50 inches long (0.75 to 1.25 m), with a metal spike protruding from the end. The spike is rammed into a log, then a hook (at the end of an arm attached to a pivot a short distance up the handle) grabs the log at a second location. Once engaged, the handle gives the operator leverage to roll or slide or float the log to a new position. The peavey was named for blacksmith Joseph Peavey of Upper Stillwater, Maine, who invented the tool as a refinement to the cant hook (also known as a “cant dog”) in the 1850s. Many lumberjacks use the terms interchangeably, though a peavey will have a spike in the end of the handle, and a cant dog will have a blunt end or possibly small teeth for friction. The Peavey Manufacturing Co. is still located in Eddington, Maine and manufactures several variations.”
My finished tool is about 4 feet long and the handle is 2.5 inches in diameter at its thickest point. This gives good strength and leverage for rolling a log, getting at branches on the bottom side, rolling a saw-log up onto the sawmill deck, or wiggling down a tree that is hung-up. The extra triangular points on this one were made specifically for lumberjack log rolling competitions back in the 90’s.
The black ash log was harvested out of my swampy forest here in Craftsbury last winter. It was about 5 feet long and 5 inches in diameter. In the Fall I peeled off the bark and hewed it down to size using an ax. After a little more drying time I used a draw knife and plane for intermediate shaping and to taper the end to fit inside the thick steel head. In the Spring I rounded off a few rough spots with a rasp and rough grit sandpaper. Two coats of linseed oil were applied last week and now it’s ready for Tools class this coming Fall.