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Forging a tomahawk my way, WIP
Alan Longmire posted a topic in Hot WorkAfter I posted the pile of hawk heads I've been working on I got several requests for a tutorial. I've been meaning to do one for years now, so last Saturday I took the camera out to the forge and documented the process I use to make a wrapped construction hawk head. The particular shape this order called for is not my usual, but you can see what I do and make your own modifications to suit your taste. Basically, I take a strip of low carbon flat bar and wrap it around a mandrel, then forge weld a high carbon bit in between the sides of the strap. This is a historical method. Think about why the wrapped hawk is made the way it is. It's a method left over from when steel was expensive, so you used a non-hardenable metal for the body and welded in a piece of harder steel to act as the edge. Think about where the weld lines will be in that case - on either side of the edge. If you just wrap a piece of high carbon and weld that up with nothing in between, where is the weld line? It IS the edge. Not an ideal situation. This is just one way of making a tomahawk. It is not even the only historically accurate one, it's just the one I usually use and as such am the most comfortable with. I learned this method from Nathan Allan, Melvin Lytton, and Hershel House in a class at Conner Prairie just outside Indianapolis, Indiana in 2000. Materials list: For the body, 12 inches of 1 1/4 inch by 1/4" mild steel or wrought iron. I have some lovely blanchard-ground 1018 from Aldo I use. For the bit, enough 1 inch by 1/4 inch 1084, again from Aldo. Tools list: Forge, anvil, hammers, vise, tongs, and tomahawk drift. Edit: The original makers of the drift are back in business! Go to http://www.imountainforge.com/ and get the TD-1 drift. The ones from other suppliers use these as the pattern for their own castings, so the shrinkage factor can cause problems if you are using the handles from Dunlap like I do (see page three of this thread for handles). The tongs I typically use, from left to right: Off-Center Products 1" V-box, Sam Salvati 1/4" blade tongs, Hawk head pincer tongs made by a gentleman from Chattanooga whose name escapes me (EDIT: the gentleman in question is Jack Walker. I won this set in an iron-in-the-hat at one of his demos in 2012), my own hawk tongs, and a set of flat-bit tongs. The first thing I do is prepare the bit steel by forgeing a full flat taper edgeways. It's the same as forging a flat-ground single bevel knife blade, except I take it as sharp as I can get it. This is to ensure there are no gaps between the body and the edge when I weld it up. You can see in the pic above how thin I forge the back edge of the bit steel. Next, I forge a flare on one end of the flat bar. I use the cross pein hammer for this to spread the end out to around two inches wide and sharp on the end, carefully shaping with each heat to keep it flat on top and fairly straight on the bottom. If I were making a head with a curved lower side I'd leave the bottom edge curved. After the first heat: After four heats the first side is done: Repeat this on the other end of the bar, making sure you flare it in the same direction as the first end. Don't laugh, I've done them in opposite directions when I'm tired and in a hurry! Here's what you should have at this point: More to come...
My latest Tomahawk
Bobby Ricketts posted a topic in Show and TellI just completed this tomahawk for a friend. I used a 4" piece of 1" square mild steel, punched the eye, and forged welded in a piece of higher carbon for the edge. I found the maple at the CLA show in Lexington KY in 2021. I am happy with the way it turned out and will miss it... as I do everything I make.
Dagger Spontoon Tomahawk
Iron John Logan posted a topic in Show and TellThis a copy of an original 19th century Dagger style Spontoon tomahawk I finished recently. Forged from rifle barrel and 1084 steel with pierce work, whitesmithed, and an aged patina. Handle is black Walnut with fire checkering, incise carving, paint and brass tacks. Raw hide quirt with wool and glass beads. Handle is 23in, head it 14in
Tomahawk for a Horse
Iron John Logan posted a topic in Show and Tell
Jaro Petrina posted a topic in Show and TellThis is tomahawk which I made as a birthday present for my friend (on the pic). Its really big chap, arm wrestler and goes by nickname "Chingachkook" . The blade is forged from old spring. Bit of activity on that quenchline. I actually couldnt find anything to quench in the dagger blade, as all my knives are quenched lenghtwise - edge first. Then I found one, but it was plastic. The point where the quenchline breaks is actually when that all ignited and fireballed over my hand. Jaro
"Purple Heart" pipe tomahawk
Daniel W posted a topic in Show and TellI recently put up a small post about a failed hewing axe that I wasn't very proud of. Today, I'm putting up a little post of an axe I'm a little more proud of. I took a tomahawk making class at Touchstone Center for Crafts - this was actually the second time I took this course being it was just so fun the last time. I walked out with 4 axes and this one is the best of the bunch. I no longer see myself as a beginning blade smith, I'm pushing myself more into the small/large decorative stuff. Although a blade does give you a chance for experimentation that sometimes you can't find in the small decorative stuff. As this course is taught, there is no hardened bit in the pipe hawk, there's other chances in the week for that. As this work is, the axe head is mild steel which I browned using berchwood casey's plum brown solution, which true to its name, its a little more purple/chocolate brown in color. The haft is speckled sugar maple which I pre-split to get the smoke tub straight, then glued back together. Then finished with a mix of tung oil, and a drop of red mahogany stain which pulls a little purple hue into the finish. The mouth piece is actually the tip of a white tale deer shedding. The tacks, are furniture tacks, I don't think anyone would be that picky if they didn't look 100% historical. There is also a very slight bit of plunge engraving on the molding and chevron. She's just waiting to be seasoned with a little pipe tobacco, which I'm handing off to a friend to do.
Ball Peen Hammer 'Hawk
Buck Hedges posted a topic in Beginners PlaceMy 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.
The Patriot tomahawk WIP
R.W. Deavers posted a topic in Show and TellHello all. Tomorrow, I will be starting another project. This one's going to be a good one, which I need a little advice on. A good friend of mine wants a tomahawk based on the one in the movie The Patriot. From research I've done, it was supposed to be a peace pipe tomahawk given to Benjamin Martin from the Cherokee. My friend wants this to be a fully functioning piece. I have done one or two railroad spike tomahawks in the past, but nothing quite like this, although I have always wanted to. So, I am looking for any advice on this project. I will try to get as many photos as possible for this build. Thanks in advance.
Tactical Tomahawk For Sale
HarrisonIrwin posted a topic in Knives For SaleSelling my tactical tomahawk made by the folks over at Zombie Tools Forge. Bought it for $250 + shipping. Selling for 215 Shipped. Don't want to sell it but I have other expenses. Its absolutely Awesome Here are the Specs Total Length: 16 in (.41m) Head Width: 7.25 in (.18m) Edge Length: 4.25 in (.11m) Steel Width: 0.187 in (4.75mm) Steel Type: 6150 Weight: 2lbs (.91kg) Send me a PM if interested. The owner has a warranty from the workshop
My first tomahawk and forge weld.
Guest posted a topic in Beginners PlaceI have been reading the viking age axe tutorial thread and it gave me a bit of axe fever. Unfortunatly, it is a bit beyond my toolset to make an axe so I decided to try just forg welding a flat bar into a rough tomahawk. It is solid leaf spring with no bit which as Mr. Alan once said is not ideal due to the weld line on the edge. That is okay because something tells me I won't be using it for any heavy chopping. The weld lines are visible but I I am still happy considering it is my first (real) attempt to forgeweld and I did not really have any proper blacksmithing tools except a hammer (not even a mandrel to shape the eye); I just wrapped it around a round bar to start before welding. It is about 3 inches long in total and has a 1 inch edge A few things that I am going to do differently next time: 1 make sure that the faces being welded are clean, 2 weld a bit in and focus on welding the edge and eye well, 3 possibly a full sized wrapped tomahawk...
Guest posted a topic in Design and CritiqueThis is my version of a tomahawk. the blade is 3 inches long and is based loosly on the dane axe. the spike is also meant to be used as a pickaroon. I want it to be useful as a small axe as well but this design itself would only be about .7 of a pound so I may go for a longer blade that gets thinner more gradually. the handle would be 1 inch by 18 inches probably round. I am currently working on forging a round drift from a 1.5 inch round bar which will take a large amount of fuel and time to finish forging. I am planning on using solid 1 inch barstock to make these becuase I don't think I could reliably forge weld a cutting edge on. I would like to know if there are any problems with my design. I would also like advice on how to make the eye, should I use a straight chisel to slit and drift or should I drill a hole in the material then drift?
WIP Rail Spike Viking "Axe"
Josh A Weston posted a topic in Design and CritiqueTrim the orange edges to complete the profile DONE Finish the finish… er, sanding/polishing DONE Etch the design on both side SKETCHED (I haven't etched/carved it yet, just photoshopped my sketch to test it, thoughts?) Make and mount the handle Figure out something to carve on the handle Sell it… any takers? See the full sized images here.