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Three axes for the new year

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I made three axes over the holiday break. Outside of a spike hawk I did a few years ago, these are my first three attempts at making axes.

The Dane axe-esque one is for a Marine friend of mine who wanted something big to swing around camp and threaten rattlesnakes with (thus the long handle).  The blade edge is 6 1/2" and the hickory haft is 60"; mild steel wrap with 1095 bit - I still have some etching to do on the blade, per his request.

Second one was forged from a solid bar of 4340.  A weak attempt at a Petersen type K silhouette.  Why?  just because - it was my first attempt to forge from a 1 1/4" round bar of 4340 and I wanted to see if I could manage moving the metal to a specific shape without resorting to grinding to alter its silhouette. 4 1/2" blade and 28" long hickory haft.

Third one is a hunter's axe attempt, also from 4340 for a friend who saw the hand axe and wanted something similar for deer hunting. 3 1/4" blade and a 17" rock elm haft.  The handle came from a piece of elm that had a natural curve to it, so when i split out the blank, I kept the curve to follow the grain.  The handle is on the thick side because my friend has bear paws for hands - it should fit his hand nicely.


Thanks for looking and criticisms/critiques are always appreciated.


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4 hours ago, Gerald Boggs said:

Might I ask why?  The extra nickel makes it bloody hard to forge.

Gerald,  yeah, I found that out the hard way.:wacko:  I had a length of round bar left over from some simple tooling that I made awhile ago (cut off, fullering, other hardy tools, etc.) and thought why not..... I didn't have any solid bar of low carbon stuff laying around to use for the bulk of the axe and I had a small window of forge time and desire to do it "now".  No one has ever accused me of being a brilliant smith.


Thanks Alan!  I have an order of mild bar coming in soon and I can't wait to make some hawks based on your pinned WIP - I have read it over and over and use all of your posts on hawks as inspiration.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the kind words everyone, I appreciate it.  


@Jim  After two failed attempts with larger stock attempting an asymmetrical eye, I cheated and did it in three pieces.  A chunk of 1 1/2" x 3/4" for the cheeks/face, a 1/4" x 1 1/2" wrap for the eye, and a piece of 1075 for the bit.

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You're welcome.  I was afraid of the same thing with keeping the eye centered, so I went with a wrap.  Did you slit or punch the eye?

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Punched it and then drifted it. I got lucky, but there were a few in the class that didn't and it was a lot of work to fix it.  Started one the other day and not getting that lucky this time. 

Edited by Jim Pierce
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@ Stephen:  Just keep working at improving your skills - and keep pushing yourself.  I think everyone here would agree that we learn more from our failures than our successes.


@Jim: You are braver than I to punch a 2"x 3/4" by hand, the 1 1/4" round bar was enough of a challenge for me.... I'll probably try again sometime down the road... when I am feeling masochistic!:wacko:

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