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A tomahawk I just finished for J.B the horse. Made in the Bat-wing style of the Western Great Plains. Hand forged rifle barrel head with diamond shaped eye, whitesmithed, pierce work, and copper dot inlays. Handle of Bodark, brass tacks and raw hide
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Really nice work, and the diamond shaped eye, don't see those too often.

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Excellent, clean work, particularly the whitework filing and overall hawk proportions.  I'm not a huge fan of the piercings, but they are also very well executed and I am sure the client loves them. 

 

Could you elaborate on what you meant by "bat-wing style" please?  Aren't rifle barrel pipe hawks commonly made by necking down the pipe barrel junction, piercing the rifle barrel for the eye (I've always been curious about how that is accomplished without collapsing the rifle barrel as well, drill and saw?), then forge welding the "business end" of the hawk?  It looks like you also forge welded in a HC bit.

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6 minutes ago, Dan Hertzson said:

 (I've always been curious about how that is accomplished without collapsing the rifle barrel as well, drill and saw?),

 

I've learned it on pipe, and part of it is not using a flat faced slitting tool.  Instead you use one that looks like a tear drop to pierce the edges of the eye on each side, then cut the wed between them with a radius hot cut.

 

The other part is to flatten the pipe before cutting in the eye. Weld all the blade portion but leave the eye section un-welded.

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Nice one!  I have yet to do one of the later plains style, I just prefer the eastern woodlands look.  I have to ask, though: what's a horse going to do with a hawk?  :)

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This is a real cool looking t.hawk. 

 

Thanks for sharing. 

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On 2/11/2020 at 10:30 AM, Dan Hertzson said:

Could you elaborate on what you meant by "bat-wing style" please?  Aren't rifle barrel pipe hawks commonly made by necking down the pipe barrel junction, piercing the rifle barrel for the eye (I've always been curious about how that is accomplished without collapsing the rifle barrel as well, drill and saw?), then forge welding the "business end" of the hawk?  It looks like you also forge welded in a HC bit.


Bat-wing is a typology assigned by modern collectors to a style of broad bladed tomahawks with piercings (the blade looks like a bat's wing) that were popular on the western Great Plains mid to late 19th century. So, it is a style rather then a construction method.

As to making a pipe tomahawk from barrel: I start by fullering in the narrow stem area between the pipe and the eye, I then flatten the barrel in front of this stem careful not to weld the two sides together. I then slit the webbing between the two flat sides with a normal straight edged slitter and open it up with an eye drift. Closing the barrel first by flattening gives the iron the strength to stand up while I slit both the top and bottom webs, it also makes the sides of the eye parallel with the eye.
I then, depending on style and time period I either forge weld the barrel in front of the eye together to form the bit adding HC edge, or cut the barrel an inch in front of the eye and split this to take a solid steel bit
 

 

On 2/11/2020 at 11:05 AM, Alan Longmire said:

I have to ask, though: what's a horse going to do with a hawk?  :)

      Haha! Well, this is a very special trick horse that plays roles as an Indian war horse. His owner has had an entire period correct kit custom made for him and needed a tomahawk

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Thanks for the clarification.  Your process appears to match what I envisioned.  Now I just need to locate a junked black powder rifle barrel...

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I ran out of junked antique barrels years ago, What I use is the material that most barrel makers make barrels from. DOM Pipe (drawn over mandrel) 1in OD, 1/2in ID in 4130 or similar alloy

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I'd sure like to watch a video of your making one of those, John.  That hawk is ridiculously impressive.

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38 minutes ago, Iron John Logan said:

I ran out of junked antique barrels years ago, What I use is the material that most barrel makers make barrels from. DOM Pipe (drawn over mandrel) 1in OD, 1/2in ID in 4130 or similar alloy

Now that is genius!

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Indeed!  That's why I want to see a video of the process.

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