Jump to content

Forging a bearded/polled hunters axe..

Philip West

Recommended Posts

We took pics for the customer of the process. Just thought we would post them..This is going to be a bearded, polled bag axe..Used mostly for hunt'n chore's..The body is 1045(1" x 1" square) and the cutting bit will be 1095fg(so as to hold an edge to skin with)..You'll notice in the pics everything is done by hand..I always liked doing it that way but to be honest we dont have a mill or a lathe or a power hammer so we dont have a choice anyway :P We'd use them if we did but we dont :grumpy:

To start: In the coal fire :D


Here we forgot to take a pic of upsetting the end but we have upset it and forged a very rough blade shape.The reason we upset it is to have enough mass for a bearded head..Unless the blade is 3x as wide as the width of the eye body its not bearded to me ;).Then we have it in a hold hardy tool so we can split the head to accept the wedge of 1095fg..


Here is the "blade" split with the cutting bit in it ready to weld up..


Here is the first welding pass..We do two-three passes..


Here we use a spring fuller to fuller the blade between where the eye will be and the rest of the blade..Just makes it easier to control the blade forging.


Here we have measured and marked both sides of the head after cooling with a cold chisel. This is where we will hot slit the eye..


Here we have started. Go thru BOTH sides and then you can meet in the middle..


After you have done a few bucket full of these it will meet perfectly in the middle like this :D


Here we have a flat drift thru the eye to forge the ears on. Again here we use a spring fuller..Later when we drift it to shape we will fuller some more on the eye drfit.


Well heres the rest of the pics.After the eye was drifted to sharp. We didnt get pics of staining the haft. We'll do a post about the maple by itself later..

Here its starting to be forged out..


Over the horn to set the blade profile..


The blade pretty muchs set and ready to clean up..We will forge the edge bevels in after the cutout is done so we can leave a forge finish..The blade has to be clean and level to do the cutout right..


The head is cleaned up somewhat and the holes set for the cut out..In this case a deer track (buck of course) after this its all elbow grease and files..


After a long time and sore elbow heres the deer track..


Stamping the poll...


Well this is it..During heat treat we did forge the bevel and left a forge finish per request..It was edge hardened and tempered and the hammer poll was also heat treated like a regular hammer(after being trimmed to length)..

4 5/8" wide bearded cutting edge. Hair poppin sharp.On a 15" curly maple haft.



Edited by KYBOY

You have to take Life by the throat, then you need to chocke it until it spits up what you want!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice. Thanks for sharing.


This should get pinned...





"Geometry says how sharp, steel says how long." - Roman Landes, Ashokan 2009


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."


- George Orwell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Informative and entertaining. That sir is one heck of an ax! Thanks :)

Troy Allen Christianson is NOT a "Licensed Bladesmith" so you may treat his posts with the contempt they deserve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the pictures. It helped solve some problems that I was concerned with about the process. I'm planning to do something like that this summer. I'll post picture if it's a project that I get to.


Doug Lester

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This should get pinned...


Duly noted. B)


It does show how to do a slit-and-drift axehead right nicely!


That "meet in the middle" thing while slitting is always a bear to get right. If one bevel of your slitting chisel is the least bit uneven it'll go off to one side very time. I've taken to turning the slitter one half rotation every heat to try and keep it centered, and I go until I see the edge on the bottom side before I turn it over. I find punching with a flat-ended punch to be easier. That's all done on a treadle hammer, BTW. A press would make it sooooo much easier!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I forgot to add that Alan..When hot slitting rotate your hot chisel every few licks..If the bevel is off and you dont rotate it....well its aggrevating to say the least..

You have to take Life by the throat, then you need to chocke it until it spits up what you want!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...