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Cupping Pattern

As the naval stores industry evolved, the use of boxing axes and the resultant "boxes" in Pines led to high mortality rates for the trees. To improve longevity of their crops, industry managers slowly changed from the old "boxing" methods to the new method, also known as the "cupping", "tin", or "Herty" method. In this method, sheets of aluminum or tin were used to channel the flowing sap into a tray or cup. To insert these pieces of metal, their edges were driven into the trees using cupping axes such as the one represented here. Being that these were broad axes, and were used in the turpentine producing industry, they were one of many patterns grouped together as "Turpentine Broad Axes", however, the pattern would better be known individually as a cupping pattern. The typical cupping pattern exhibits a concave bit for wrapping around a tree trunk. The poll is much shorter than the bit as in all broad axes. In many cases, the poll is reinforced or widened for striking with a mallet or sledge.

The above representation was taken from a Council Tools Catalog.

(As always, please remember that there is significant variance in the patterns made by different manufacturers, and this description is merely a guide for assistance in identification.)

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