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Jeremy Blohm

Wrought iron axe

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I'm starting a wrought iron axe. As of now I dont have a shape in mind I'm taking a break for now and I'm going to think of what to make. I'm building it up from several pieces of wrought so I have quite a bit more work to do before any shaping will be done and I am starting with way more material than I need. And I want  to make something that I'm going to use and something manageable to swing nothing like Rollo's axe maybe more like Ragnar's or........? Help me brainstorm on some shapes. I will make whatever drift I need for the desired kor needed shape of the eye. I already have 2 different drifts ready for reshaping.

 

My pulse of wrought iron Resized_20191113_111332.thumb.jpeg.4ab26360108acc345cba3f8792bedbc2.jpeg

 

 

A couple pieces from the big hook on the right squared up ready for stacking.Resized_20191113_124928.jpeg

 

A couple more pieces ready to go in the fire to be drawn out and cut and stacked.

 

Resized_20191113_122919.jpeg

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Something like one of these?

77A0101A_23.jpg

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Or this åby forest axe

images.jpeg

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A recommendation for wrought iron axes:  you might consider wrap and weld rather than punch and drift.  That is the more common historical method of making these.  Wrought has issues with splitting along the "grain" depending on how hot or careful you work, especially with the back of the eye close to the "edge" of the billet.  You might want to forge weld a high carbon poll first before you try to make the split.  If you do go wrap and weld, make sure you are careful with the tight bends at the back of the eye as well, very prone to cracking if you work the wrought the same as standard mild steel.  Keep it very hot and it will behave nicely.

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What are you planning to use it for? What is more important for the build function or form? I like the top one here, you get a bit of both. 

447999FE-8D4D-4551-9480-B44A7055F4D2.jpeg

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It will be used as a general use/camp axe. I'm also putting a wood stove in my house so I need something I can maybe split some smaller stuff in the basement. If I need to make another one for splitting that wouldn't be an issue.;)

I like the bottom one in that picture!!!

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And remember to keep it a little bit thicker than a modern steel axe.  If you thin it out too much ahead of the eye or behind the edge, the wrought can bend.  The really thin ones you see were meant to be used on humans, and we're generally soft, and easy to push out of the way if armored.  Compared to a hardwood, of course. 

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I dont "Plan" on using it on humans but here in Michigan there dual purpose! :lol: 

 

I've been looking at a lot of the different gransfors bruks axes and there is some interesting ones. I will find a few pictures I'm thinking of and post them.

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I've always been a fan of this shape, similar to the one on the bottom of Don's picture. 

42247_CR2747-01.jpg

 

In the end, it's up to you of course. 

 

I would also wrap and weld, were it me. I'm not very experienced with wrought, but its tendency to split along the grain would make me weary of punching and drifting. 

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I've punched and drifted 3 wrought iron hammers successfully and and I've had one fail and split because I worked it too cold. I'm still debating on how I wanna go about this. I'm going to be very diligent about this one because it's going to be quite a bit of work and I really want it to work out. I've been using a 60/40 borax/cast iron mix for my flux on wrought iron and it seems to be working really well!

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I do like that shape but taking into account what Alan said about being too thin and the wrought bending I'm hesitant to make this one like that for chopping wood. But I do have that big wagon wheel that would make a good wrapped eye axe like that one. 

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Personally, for your intended use, I suggest this one by @Gerald Boggs

It will be the right one, and it comes with detailed instructions on how to build it (and the drift for it).

Edited by Joshua States

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I second Joshua's suggestion - I was about to suggest that one myself before he beat me to the punch.  I've made one like that out of mild and want ot make one out of wrought... whenever I get my hands on some decent wrought.

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Oohhhh I like that. Being wrought iron body should I make it a little thicker than that though? 

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I should note I just skimmed through the article. I'm going to sit down and read the whole thing in a bit so if that was addressed I guess I will find out.:lol:

Edited by Jeremy Blohm

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This is absolutely perfect!!!

 

 Gerald Boggs made the body of his from mild steel and I'm using wrought iron so the question stands should mine be a little thicker in the body?

 

I also made some headway!!! I have the body built up of two different types of wrought iron. Here is some progress pictures.

 

 

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Screenshot_20191113-211522_Video_Player.jpg

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26 minutes ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

Oohhhh I like that. Being wrought iron body should I make it a little thicker than that though? 

Put it this way. I followed that same article and used the same sized pieces and came up with this.

It's freaking huge. A lot bigger than I thought it would be anyway. There is plenty of material there to control your forging and wind up with what you want.

I didn't really know what I was doing and let it get away from me.

Edited by Joshua States

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Sounds good. Tomorrow I will bring it down to a bar the dimensions stated in the article and begin my forging to shape.

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Here is a video I made welding the body up.

 

 

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When I said thicker, I meant only 1/16" or so.  Not a huge amount.  

Be sure to wrap with the grain.

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

When I said thicker, I meant only 1/16" or so.  Not a huge amount.  

Be sure to wrap with the grain.

That's easy enough to accomplish.

 

I've burned at least $30 in charcoal to get to where it is now. Here is another $28 worth of charcoal. 

 

Resized_20191114_081851.jpeg

 

Gerald Boggs didnt mention a handle length and my local hardware store didn't have a boys axe handle all they had was a house axe handle and then jumped to a 3 1/2 lb single bit 30 inches long. I bought the house axe handle ($14) which is 19 inches and has the same dimensions in the eye as the boys axe. 

 

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All this and I could just buy one for $29.99 but where's the fun in that? :D

 

Resized_20191114_081528.jpeg

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I've said the same thing to people before when they ask "why put all that effort into a knife (or hatchet, axe, etc.) when you can just buy one for 30 dollars?"

 

Because that's no fun! Those cheap knives and tools you buy in the store, probably the only time they have see human hands is when you pick it up to buy it, they have no soul, 0 passion went into its construction. 

 

Some people just dont appreciate handcrafted stuff I guess <_<.

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The kids dug into my charcoal also!!!:lol:

Resized_20191114_085945.jpeg

Edited by Jeremy Blohm
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29 minutes ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

Gerald Boggs didnt mention a handle length

That's because Gerald Boggs is only interested in the forging :-)

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Me too....me too!!!:lol:

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