This dates back to August 2014. I scored a beat up but fascinating New Haven Edge Tool Co #3 Cleaver. It was quite large measuring approximately 21-1/8″ long and 3.187 pounds. The exact age was hard to say – it could be anywhere from 100-150 years old given the way it is made. After doing some digging, one person doing research said that “New Haven Edge Tool Company” was a Sargent Brand and the listed it discontinued in their 1911 catalog so that would mean this cleaver is likely older than that. Regardless, you would never know it now.
It would appear to be cast iron and is just a big no nonsense brute of a cleaver. It’s either ready to go to work or to be one heck of a conversation piece. Let me tell you a bit about what we did after we bought it:
The handle was cracked and we stabilized it internally with a special Cyanoacrylate glue that penetrates wood very deeply. We also used glass reinforced epoxy to seal the front of the handle where the blade is inserted. The blade is actually secured via rat tail tang that goes through the whole handle and is peened over at the pommel to firmly secure it. Once we had the handle all fixed up, we sanded it and then applied four coats of a penetrating combination of boiled linseed oil (BLO) and turpentine.
The blade was actually in very good shape and most of our work was cosmetic. We did some sanding to shape it, abrasive blasted it and then used an acid etching based on apple cider vinegar and phosphoric acid (click here to learn more). Once it was all set, we applied a thick coat of engine oil to stop the rusting. If you plan to use this to cut meat, and it definitely will do the job, be sure to was the blade and then apply a cooking oil to the blade. This will avoid making your food taste funny plus it will prevent rust.
So, here’s how it turned out before it found a new home:
Overall length: 21-1/8″
Blade length: 9-5/8″
Blade height by the handle: 3-7/8″
Blade height at its tallest point: 5-1/2″
Handle at its thickest point: 1-5/8″
Handle at its thinnest point in the middle: 1-1/4″
Weight: 3.187 pounds
By the way, the BSI Super Thin glue is fantastic for taking care of cracks.