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Integral Tomahawk Tutorial

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When i posted the first one of these, I got alot of "how the heck did you do that?!" responses, and while I explained it well enough I thought a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a million.


I have thought and thought on how to do this for awhile, sketching out different ideas over and over on how maybe to split, cut, fuller and squeeze out one of these from a single piece of stock, and this is what I have settled on.


First, oil up the powerhammer



I start with new drops from a spring shop, spring steel made in USA. It is 3/8" thick by 3" wide





and here is my setup. I utilize the Swage block for the upsetting, my regular anvil, my NC forge for the long work, my Mankel for the wide work, and different hammers and tongs.



and of course sledgehammer :D


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First step is to neck down the bar and begin to forge the handle, it was quick work on the Say Mak 110 but takes a few more heats on the Anyang hehe but it does surprisingly well on such wide stock.










And there we go, 1" wide by the orignal thickness 3/8".



And then cut off from the parent bar, making sort of a lolly pop. The dimensions of the end bit are 3" wide by 3 1/2" long



Grind the end clean



And switch over to the Mankel. I wish I had a coal forge setup for this then I wouldn't have to switch.


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Now we start to upset the lollipop in the swedge block.



This makes for some nasty corners so grind them clean and resume upsetting







I begin also to come at an angle into one corner, to start pushing extra material to one side, as the blade needs more material then the spike. I do this coming in at an angle onto one side.





As I am upsetting I keep going under the powerhammer and flattening things out as it will bend and mushroom over, keep it clean and inline and upsetting need not be so upsetting :D



Also the swedge block has slightly radius inside corners, this prevents a shearing action and also from those inside corners from getting sharp and forming cold shuts, a nice radius is good


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Now is the time I wish I had a striker. Once the Hawk head is upset sufficiently I flip it over and begin to work in the beard and angles in the "neck" area. I work in with the cross peen, then flattenm, then cross peen, then flatten, then cross peen, then flatten, and keep doing this until it's the shape I want.




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I want a swage block, I want a power hammer, I want a real sized anvil, wheres a pouty smiley when you need one? :D




Nice work Sam, looks great, thanks for taking the time to take all the pics and so the write up.




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Next day (today), I did a bit of geometry refinement, to make it a nice tough chopper, and began filework.



I draw a chalk line up from the handle to use as a guide for an artistic break in the beveling I file all around. I do this all by hand with different files, it is not as quick as the grinder but FAR more controlled, I have alot of work into it up to this point and I do not want to risk ruining it on the grinder. I find it very peaceful to file all the bevels. It really makes the piece come alive too.



I file in to start the sharp corners, then begin beveling.











And filework is mostly done. I will continue it down the handle shaft about 1/3.



And now some fun photos :D

the integral battle playset






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Nice work Sam, that's a lot of hammering, probably quick with your power hammer. The first picture had me thinking are you mad? Very nice series of pictures as it progresses. Nice set-up in your shop too.

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What a beautiful transformation! I really need to get a power hammer, then I can play too :P

Seriously nice work. Thanks for documenting it in such a nice way.



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Thanks guys!


Jim, no not mad just messing around hehe. I tell you, i couldn't do these without the powerhammer!


Geoff DO IT! and take pictures :D


Wade, not sure yet, might do some wood or micarta slabs, maybe some paracord, maybe some really nice wood.


Dammit Alan! it was just for the photos I swear!


Bill, thanks that means alot! Famous? Maybe infamous! :D

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Great work and a very informative thread!

That tomahawk has beautiful geometry.

I know exactly what you mean about working with files and not taking the risk on the grinder. I feel the same way.

Have you tried working with a Sen?


I can't believe how small the hammer looks when somebody is standing beside it. :P I always look up on the thing. :lol:



Thanks for sharing! :D

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I can't add much to what has been posted except to thank you for doing such a fantastic tutorial and showing us how to make an integral hawk! Next time I bring the tribe to Saratoga Springs I gotta visit!

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thanks guys!


Greg DO IT! and take some photos!


Will, the forging takes about 6-7 hours, I could probably half that if I had a striker, there is just no real substitute for someone with a sledge.


Sonny, it's an Anyang 33 pound ram. Check out Anyangusa.net I love it it's an amazing workhorse.


thanks James!

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