Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Okay, back on your heads...

 

Now I cleaned up the inside of the eye with a stone in the Dremel tool. I couldn't get good shots of the eye before and after, but here's the dremel. :rolleyes:

 

step71.jpg

 

And now, on to heat treating. I outlined my methods on doing tomahawks with 1084 in the thread on 1084 in the "Heat Treatment by Alloy" subforum, but here are the photos. I use veterinary grade mineral oil because it works well for this and it's what I have. Peanut or canola oil will work too. First, you need to heat the oil to around 130 degrees F. I do that by heating a large bolt I have for that purpose.

 

step72.jpg

 

That soft bushy flame is what you want for the hawk, it is a neutral to slightly carburizing flame. This does not add carbon, but it does prevent carbon loss and scaling.

 

The bolt in the oil after two heating cycles.

 

step73.jpg

 

No thermometer, the oil is hot enough when you can't hold your finger in it for more than a second or so.

 

Since I'm doing this single-handed, no pics of the head being heated, but I concentrate just behind the edge and watch the shadows until about an inch of the end of the head is a uniform, shadow-free red, which is around 1450 degrees F. You can do this in the forge as well, but I like the torch for this because I'll be engraving the body and it has gotten a little hardenable via carbon migration from the edge steel and using the torch means I only heat what needs to harden.

 

The head in the oil:

 

step74.jpg

 

And the head after hardening. Note the clean edge which indicates full hardening has taken place. The soot and scale will blow right off if you got your heat right and the oil is hot and thus fast.

 

step75.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 81
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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 do

Start at the eye. This is because it's the hardest place to get it to stick. It is VERY important not to touch the eye with a hammer from now until you're ready to drift it out at the end.   Flux

The edge is still around 1/4" thick, so now is the time to start shaping the head into its final form.   Since this one has to have a straight lower edge with a notch, I start by forging the notch o

Posted Images

Now that it's hardened, you must temper it immediately. You can stick it in an oven at 550 degrees, or you can use a regular propane torch. If you go by colors, and we're going for a uniformly blue edge, you must polish the head bright with the last grit used, in this case 400 grit. Degrease it afterwards, because the temper colors will be skewed to the low end if there's an oil film on the blade.

 

Also, when working with oxy-acetylene use the right eye protection. This should be in the previous post, but I got a bit out of order... :rolleyes: Here's my prescription safety glasses with a shade 5 flip-down lens cover for oxy-acetylene work.

 

step76.jpg

 

The blade polished back bright. Note the harder steel peeking through on the edge. The weld line will show after hardening because the 1084 will expand slightly when hardened compared to the 1018.

 

step77.jpg

 

The torch used to temper:

 

step78.jpg

 

You will need to play the flame on the middle of the body, not the edge, slowly bringing it up to heat so you can watch the colors run. When the edge is a uniform full blue you're there. For insurance purposes, clean off the colors and do it again.

 

step79.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now it's time to grind the edge sharp. It was about 1/8" thick when hardened to prevent cracking, and I want the last half inch or so to be a nice convex grind. I do this with the slack belt on the KMG. Since it is hardened and tempered at this point, dunk it in water often to keep the temper!

 

The edge ground from the side:

 

step80.jpg

 

And from the top to see the convex grind:

 

step81.jpg

 

Now, polish it all back bright. I grind the edge starting with an 80-grit belt, working up to 400 grit. Then I blend it back in by hand polishing to 400 grit. You can do this with files as well, it just takes longer and you risk gouging.

 

Once it's all bright and uniform at 400 grit, it's time to engrave!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember that picture of the engraving concept? I use that to guide my layout. Degrease the head so the paint will stick, then start by putting a thin coat of Chinese White watercolor paint on the part you want to engrave. I just use my finger dipped in a little water and rubbed on the dry paint. This gives you a matte surface that will show your pencil lines.

 

I use a 1/8" square graver blank from Gesswein sharpened to about a 70 degree face angle, with plenty of heel. See Tom Stirling's "Engraving for Knifemakers" thread in the Carving and other applied arts subforum for details on gravers. I drive the graver with a 1" chasing hammer.

 

I want an oval cartouche for the initials, so I start with an oval and cut it in.

 

Laid out in pencil:

 

step82.jpg

 

and cut.

 

step83.jpg

 

Then lay out the rest of the design.

 

step84.jpg

 

Cut it in carefully tracing your lines, correcting as needed and as made necessary by your slipups when the graver point breaks.

 

step85.jpg

 

Then take a cotton swab and carefully paint your cut lines with cold blueing solution. I like Kleen Bore Cold Black for this.

 

step86.jpg

 

Neutralize the bluing solution with ammonia (or Windex in this case), wipe it dry, and polish back bright with 400 grit and plenty of oil, and you'll have this.

 

step87.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Now it's time to do the blade.

 

Same drill, degrease and paint with a thin coat of Chinese White watercolor. Since the edge is shaving sharp at this point, a little masking tape will prevent bloodstains and their attendant rust pits.

 

step88.jpg

 

Draw your pattern.

 

step89.jpg

 

Cut and blue as before.

 

step90.jpg

 

Polish it back bright, taking care to avoid swirl marks, and you're done with one side!

 

step91.jpg

 

step92.jpg

 

I haven't decided on the other side yet, that will wait for the weekend. This does not take long, about 40 minutes for the cartouche and maybe 90 minutes for the rest all together. Keep an eye on it for the next few days to make sure the blueing solution is fully neutralized. If it starts showing rust spots, rub them out with #0000 steel wool and oil.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

So back to the shop for me and no photos of any hawks until they look much more like yours Alan! The tongs you mentioned early in the post look a lot like a pair actually two I have that Jack Wheeler from Chattanooga made me. As a side note he is the man who taught me to blacksmith and I hope to make him proud before he leaves this plane of existence.

Denis

Link to post
Share on other sites

How the bleep did I miss this thread? Awesome tutorial Alan, thank you so much. Now I have another project to start....

Link to post
Share on other sites

So back to the shop for me and no photos of any hawks until they look much more like yours Alan! The tongs you mentioned early in the post look a lot like a pair actually two I have that Jack Wheeler from Chattanooga made me. As a side note he is the man who taught me to blacksmith and I hope to make him proud before he leaves this plane of existence.

Denis

Jack Wheeler! That's the gentleman whose name escaped me earlier. He did a workshop at Rocky Mount in December and put those tongs in the hat. Made a hawk from a 1.5" wrought iron bolt from a steam locomotive water jacket. Great guy!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sam, there's not a lot left! Just have to engrave the other side and put a handle on it, and I didn't get the design approved until yesterday which, among other things, meant no work was done on it this past weekend. Engraving doesn't involve the time or mess that forging or grinding does, so I will probably do it after work one of these days, other obligations permitting.

 

In other words, keep your shorts on, it'll get there. :lol::P

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just for Sam... ;)

 

I managed to get an hour yesterday evening and finished all the engraving except for the future owner's initials to go on the poll end. By the time you get to the end of this there will be no mystery as to how to do that, so I'm not worried about documenting that part.

 

I did, however, get some better shots of the engraving process. Turns out my phone takes better macro shots than my point-and-shoot! One of these days I'll have a camera like Jake's or Peter's (Nikon D7000, iirc) and you folks will never see another blurry picture from me. :o

 

So, here's what a good curly of steel should look like as you're cutting it out:

 

step93.jpg

 

and some shots of the working end of the graver. Right side up, face polished flat on a fine synthetic oilstone. The sharp point at bottom is what does the cutting.

 

step94.jpg

 

And upside down. It's hard to see in this photo, but there is a pair of microbevels at the cutting point of the graver that are what enable it to work. Without those little facets you couldn't vary depth or turn a curve. By "micro" I mean tiny. Remember that graver is 2.4mm / 1/8 inch square. Once the face is polished flat and the sides are lapped flat, no more than four strokes will establish the facet.

 

step95.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

That takes care of graver theory for now. The design for this side of the blade is going to be a hunter's star, an eight-pointed stylized star that was very common on late 18th-early 19th century American folk arts.

 

First we lay it out, badly:

 

step96.jpg

 

This is a bad layout because I forgot to measure for the exact center of the long axis when I added the short axis, and didn't notice until things were not lining up quite right. :wacko: In that shot I also had not properly added the lines that form the secondary points of the star.

 

In this next photo I have added those lines and cut them in. Big difference, huh?

 

step97.jpg

 

Now add a little shading to give it character and movement...

 

step98.jpg

 

Then blue it, polish it up, and turn it right-side-up to see how it looks.

 

step99.jpg

 

And finally, add the maker's mark. On most of my polished hawks I use this mark, my initials with a starburst cut I flat out stole from Hershel House.

 

step100.jpg

 

The head is now complete, minus the future owner's initials. In our next instalment I'll do the handle. First, however, we have to wait for the blanks to arrive, I didn't have the curly maple I thought I did on hand. :rolleyes: They should be here by the weekend.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been a very enjoyable and informative WIP, now you have me wanting to try a bit of simple engraving... :rolleyes:

Looking forward to the handlework, particularly the fitting and finishing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No, this isn't a pipe hawk, but I went over how to do the bowls back on page one or two. They just add a lot of time to the filing and polishing, but are otherwise the same. Check out my tutorial on how I do fancy pipe hawk handles in the Fit and Finish section(http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=9559) for that, but wait until you finish this part first. ;)

Since this is one of a series of 25, I ordered 25 extra-fancy curly maple handle blanks from my trusty maple supplier, Dunlap Woodcrafts of Chantilly, Virginia. They have a website now, http://www.dunlapwoodcrafts.com/, but it's still best to call them with exactly what you need. Call the warehouse at 703-631-5147 and tell Wayne or Daniel what you need, and tell 'em I sent you. Daniel has a rather thick Mexican accent, but he knows his stuff.
So anyway, I called Daniel on last Tuesday and a large box arrived Thursday. 25 of Wayne's finest air then kiln dried curly sugar maple handle blanks:
step101.jpg
Pretty, huh?
Next, the tools we'll need, minus the soft-faced deadblow hammer:
step102.jpg
That's a spokeshave for rough shaping, a small block plane for more control, a Nicholson #50 cabinet rasp, and an 8" Iwasaki carfile (200mm x 80mm EF). That last one is a miracle tool. It cuts faster than the cabinet rasp and leaves a VERY smooth surface. Oh, and that cabinet scaper is essential if you want to avoid heavy sanding with 80 grit paper.
You will need a soft-faced deadblow hammer to seat the head. Mine is a 24-oz $4 cheapy from Northern Hardware.
step133.jpg
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

We're in the home stretch now. If you were very good and very lucky with the drifting stage earlier, the handle will drop right into the top of the eye and fit perfectly. This rarely happens, thus the tools needed in the previous post.

 

Here it is right out of the box:

 

step103.jpg

 

step104.jpg

 

Drive the head on as far as it will go by hammering on the big end of the handle. Note if your weld is not good it will pop open at this point and you will be very sad, because there's no fixing it at this point. :(

 

Remove the head by hammering on the little end of the handle and note the marks it left on the handle.

 

step105.jpg

 

Depending on how much wood you need to remove, use your tool of coice to remove the contact marks from the sides of the handle. DO NOT touch the back of the handle. You want to make the head move up the handle, and the forward contact surface will guide you. If you remove wood from the back of the handle the head will never fit quite right. The marks on the back also show you how far you have gone per fitting. In the photo below you can see I've moved the head about three inches from its initial position. Slow and steady is the key here. You should get 1/4 to 1/2 inch of movement per fitting trial.

 

step106.jpg

 

As you move up the handle you'll start seeing that the front of the eye will begin cutting its way into the wood, showing you where to remove more. Pay attention to the little curl of wood in the next few photos:

 

step107.jpg

 

step108.jpg

 

step109.jpg

 

Take off the wood ABOVE that curl, removing the curl last. Remember the handle needs to make contact the whole length of the eye. If you remove wood below the curl you'll have a wobbly fit. This is a bad thing.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

So far so good, but pay attention to the way the head is moving up the handle. The counterintuitive part of this is that when you remove the wood above that curl the head will tend to swivel in that direction.

 

This is happening in the photo below:

 

step110.jpg

 

To correct for this, you must remove wood from the OTHER side of the handle. That way it will rotate back to the proper position. Every time you drive the head on after removing wood, sight down the handle from both ends and see where you need to remove more wood. Hint: If the head is not touching wood at any point, do not remove wood from that area. You can't put it back. ;)

 

So: we're getting close to the top of the handle, so we will use less aggressive tools. Here's one side after using the Iwasaki file:

 

step111.jpg

 

Look at that sawdust! This file will load up in use, so keep an old toothbrush handy to clear it. Don't use your fingers, that little sucker is sharp enough that it will remove your fingerprints and more.

 

Follow any filing or rasping with the scraper. A properly sharpened scraper has a tiny little hook burnished into the edge that acts like a microscopic plane blade to leave a glassy smooth finish. You can tell you have the hook right when the scraper removes tissue-thin curls as shown in the gratuitous crotch shot below.

 

step112.jpg

 

Now that we're getting close, I find it helpful to use a pencil to mark areas that need to be removed. Drive the head on tight and look at it from the top. Scribble on the handle with a pencil to show you were you need to work next time.

 

step113.jpg

 

step114.jpg

 

step115.jpg

 

Only remove the pencil marks. ;)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

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...