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MikeDT

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.

 

3 axes1.jpg

3 axes close1.jpg

3 axes side by side1.jpg

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Nice ones!  I particularly like the big Dane.

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58 minutes ago, MikeDT said:

 solid bar of 4340

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

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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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Nice.

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Very nice, I took a Viking ax class in November and really impressed on me how much forge time it takes to make an ax with only hammer and anvil. What size was the starting stock for the Dane?  

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Wish the damn Doctors would quit findin stuff wrong so I can git back to forging stuff. !!

Nice work  !!......................B)

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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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I envy you, I have wanted to make an axe since I first heard of bladesmithing!

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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
Addition

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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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