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  1. After 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...
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