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Forging tooling

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I have been rereading a few of the pinned topics on axes ever since I saw Jim Austin's Viking axe demo at the ABANA conference in Salt Lake back in 2016. I bought his video there and have been watching it over and over again. I finally decided to make some of the tooling he uses. I made these from old jackhammer bits. Other than some wire wheel cleanup of scale, these are all as-forged

From the left, there is a round vertical mandrel and two bicks. One round and the other flat. The flat one is trapezoidal in cross section. These are Hardy-hole tools. Then there is a round drift, which will probably get cut into three smaller pieces, and two other drifts. One of these is a squat D shape and the other is a more modern shape for a hatchet size.


The round mandrel

Round Mandrel.jpg

The two bicks.

Flat bick.jpg

Round bick.jpg

I have done some smoothing with a slack belt and padded disc at 60 grit. The only question I have now, is do I heat treat them?



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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

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I would heat treat the bicks  and Mandrel but the drifts I would leave as forged. (I know I'm not the best source of info it's just what I would do!).

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