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Spontoon pipe tomahawk

Alan Longmire

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I've been working on this one off and on almost every weekend since Christmas, and it's finally done.  Forged from a 1050 axle shaft, slit and drifted eye, lathe-turned bowl threaded and brazed on.  All other details are filework except for the mark, which is hand engraved.

Head length is 14.75 inches from tip to end of bowl, eye height is around 1.125 inches, handle is 24 inches of curly American white ash finished natural (unstained) with boiled linseed oil, hand rubbed.  The eye is lined with thin leather to form a gasket.

The parent bar showing a cool interference pattern from bandsaw blade vibration.

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The rough forged head.  The arms were split out with bandsaw and chisels, and curled after cleanup.

spontoon 2.jpg

The (mostly) finished head:

spontoon 1.jpg

Handle shaped with axe, belt grinder, planes, and gouges, finished with scrapers from a 24 x 3 x 3" drilled blank:

spontoon 4.jpg

And done!

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spontoon 10.jpg

I know it's a little rough, but that was on request. 

spontoon 8.jpg

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45 minutes ago, Doug Lester said:

Interesting, very interesting indeed.  How does it feel in the hand?


Like an instrument of sharp pointy death on a stick!  Seriously wicked.  Head weight is around 18 ounces/ half a kilo.

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2 hours ago, James Higson said:

Very cool, haven't seen anything like that before! How does it fly?

They are not a common form.  They're mostly associated with Plains tribes of the later 19th century as status items, but of course they occur earlier and elsewhere.  As for flying, buy one and tell me!  I always thought it was silly to throw a perfectly good weapon at your enemy, and I'm not going to risk damage to a customer's handle! :lol:

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that is an awesome thing, vicious but still attractive. The wood is great, too. Nice work, and scary.

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“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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Holy crap that is so sweet!  I love Spontoon hawks and that is a great one!  I showed a buddy today at work who had never seen one and he called it a "brain poker" :lol:

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."  -Albert Camus


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That's too cool! I didn't realize that something like that exists, the only similar thing I have seen are those tactical tomahawks that are really pointy towards the top.

"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man" -The Dude,

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Thanks, guys!  "Brain poker..."  I love itB)

Brian, not sure what you mean by season, since it's steel.  I did tell him if he wants to smoke it he'd best wipe the oil out of the bowl.

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Sorry, season means to build up a layer of char on the inside of the pipe stem. It seals off the wood so you don't get all the esters and oils in the smoke, just tobacco lol. A fresh pipe without seasoning is a horrid thing!!  I don't smoke tobacco anymore, but I've done everything from homerolled to pipes and I still remember that choking cloud you get from an unseasoned pipe! 

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Wicked cool, Alan! I love that curly ash-- I didn't know ash could do that! I frequently prefer it to hickory for handles on lighter-weight tools; hickory can sometimes feel handle-heavy on a tomahawk with a long shaft.

Your work is inspirational, as always. I have got to get back to forging axes and hawks--they're my first and truest love in bladed tools.

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I like curly ash better than curly maple for some things, and that is a spectacular piece! About twice as hard as maple, too.

Brian: that's what I thought you meant, but the smoke is cool in these things because the handle hole is 1/4" diameter so there is no charring or wood gas issue.  In other words, as long as he wipes the oil out of the bowl there will be no taste issues.  If he doesn't, well, it'll taste like an exhaust pipe on a diesel.  Depending on what he puts in there he may not notice anyway...

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Nice one Alan, I've always liked these dedicated weapon type hawks.  Not made for utilitarian tasks, you either partake of the peaceful end or the less friendly end....

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Allen you need to  advertise that in Colorado those boys out there would fall all over them selves to have one.  LOL

Love the wood work.


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Those spontoon style haws and spike hawks, are fear inducing!


There is a book called, Firearms, Traps, and Tools of the Mountain Men, by Carl P Russel In one passage from a man supplying the fur trading parties heading west and, those headed north to what is now Canada and Great Lakes area.

He describes for his supplier the spike hawks and say he wants, a large order ( forget the exact amount). He goes on to say it is mostly the  Iroquois who want them, and he then says, "can't figure out for the life of me why"!!

Why, as you said Alan, it was mostly a status symbol and probably rarely used in battle but, could you imagine being on the receiving end of one of those! One blow with one of those and its all over, if it doesn't kill outright, you are out of the battle!!

Great work Alan! Two thumbs up!!



Edited by C Craft

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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