My youngest is now 5, and wanted a tomahawk like his brothers. The oldest one saved his money and bought one from Leninger Knife and Forge at a local rendezvous. The middle one I made a 'hawk for from a RR spike, so I thought I'd try it again.
BUT, impatience got the better of me, and when I was drifting the hole, I got the steel white hot, just starting to spark. I stuck it in the vise, and gave it a good massive whack with the hammer. And tore it in half. I did that with the middle one's 'hawk, when I made it, too, so I decided to fix it the same way: I welded some good 'ol "Fluffy Special" (black iron pipe) in the middle. But the welds wouldn't hold, and after it broke the second time, I tossed it in the scrap heap, and started over.
I had a small 3 oz. ball peen hammer I never use, and I've wanted to try this for awhile, so I threw it in the forge, burned the handle off, and started pounding. Flattening the head into a blade was a lot of work. I finally broke out Larry, and got it down to where I wanted it. Larry is my "git 'er done," a 5 bl. sledge hammer I cut the handle down on. I can't swing it for too long, but it DOES move metal. Sometimes even in the right direction.
It turned out pretty small, even for a mouse 'hawk, which is why I called it a Hamster 'Hawk. Besides, it's just fun to say.
Hammered out and ready for a lot of grinding. (Don't look in the background. My shop is a million half-finished projects)
The hole was a little small, so I enlarged it with some careful chiseling, and a trusty assistant.
Not everyone can have a supermomdel for a wife. (Supermomdel: noun. One of those stay-at-home mom's who manages the house, raises and schools the kids, cleans, cooks, babysits other people's kids, does the yard work, manages the husband, invests in minimal makeup, zero trips to the salon, no gym membership, never enough sleep, and still looks absolutely gorgeous! Why she chose me is beyond my understanding, but I sure count myself lucky! She even likes my blacksmithing, and is pretty darn good at holding red hot steel still on the anvil.) I couldn't have gotten this done without her.
I made a handle from a scrap of maple, and put it in to see how it looked. Lots of polishing, engraving (he needs his name on it) and heat treating, and it will be ready for his birthday!
I kept the ball peen on the backside, but squared it off some and flattened the end for hammering, since I know he'll use it camping.
I usually do my hardening in peanut oil or water. Any suggestions here would be welcome.