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Well,the title is more of a click-bait...In actuality what i'm shooting for here is an approximation of the work by an elusive and somewhat mysterious Swedish maker,Stefan Ronnquist.


He produced a few heads for the wood-carvers' market some years ago,just enough to get them poor carvers all stirred up and aroused,and then kinda vanished,in spite of all the interest in his product.

Unfortunately i don't know anything about the man himself,only that he reignited my own lust for that general shape.

From photos of his work i want to say that he worked them up from a solid mono-steel billet(under a goodly-sized hammer).They're ground all over so any traces of his forging process are gone.


There's a fantastic pinned topic on this and related types of axes in History by Jim Austin,who studied the particulars with the usual for him (brilliant) systematic,thoughtful,logical approach.

Knowing all that only too well i still did not follow much of his method(-s),goodness only knows why...Some technical reasons,but mostly 'cos my bad brain is shaped too awkwardly...


I've barked up this shape in the past several times,with a Very disappointing results,and finally decided to break it all down-the main design particulars,And the whatever causes my neurons to misfire when attempting to forge this.


The biggest challenge(for me) in this shape is the Transition from eye to blade.That Narrow but Thick neck.

It's what always screwed me up in past attempts-i either never ended up with enough mat'l there,or lost it in refining the shape.


So as ridiculous as it may seem(and Is),i decided to treat that transition part as a separate piece...I forged it separately(WI),then welded the blade to it(RR track flange),then welded the pre-formed eye to the whole mess(mild).


I'll just post some photos now to complete the above info,i think that's about all there's to that...(i Did get that beef that i so lusted after in the transition section,and i Was supremely satisfying...as ashamed as i am for my lack of skill to've managed it any other,normal,manner...i can practically hear some viking-era smiths sniggering at me...:(...but i don't care,i finally got that Fat neck in one!).


So here it is,that "neck",my effing nemesis;still on mother-stock,saddled for what'll be the front of eye:





The simple,bow-tie eye pre-form.In reality many of these were not entirely poll-less,and if i was actually shooting for some historic accuracy or some other serious purpose i Cold have taken some time and isolated a thicker,more defined poll on this,but this is a study for the transition pretty much solely,so i don't care about the eye:





Now i can easier determine the shape of what i'll need for the blade:





Just Have to show off my blade mat'l...Now is that cool or what?!:)

(fresh from the dump,nayturally):




That completes my parts collection...First mistake at this stage-didn't hack off enough mat'l(running low on cut-off discs),and,plan everything according to my overall Length limit(6").

A silly mistake,as this shape is REALLY succeptable to elongating itself outta shape,and i'm old enough to know that,and Should've kept it short and compact,to allow for much more refinement of welds by forging...But dinn't...:(

But again-this is only the transition study:




Anyway,first weld-blade to neck;parts cleft,peined,ground:




 Second weld,ditto.This one was a bit trickier,as there was no way to keep the corresponding parts registered in relation to each other.

Added to other challenges,this type has a funky slight angle between the eye and blade.

But i had the time to stick the drift into the eye before the first whack of the weld,so it worked(well enough anyway).Here's the pre-weld prep:




And-success,a poor photo,but here's our coveted Beef in the transition:




This next photo is for the fellow masochists,you may call it "close,but no cigar",it Coulda been a decent forging,but see above about the length of assemblage-you can see how it wants to become way too distended for it's iconic proportions.

Which means that i just lost any ability to refine the neck by forging(in spite of leaving plenty of thickness for it there):





Anyway,after trimming and grinding and all that boring stuff, i DO get my nice Phat transition...In spite of lacking material here and there,which won't let me cover up the traces of my shameful process,i'm happy:





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I salute you! Well done and an incredible series of forgings.

I did search and rescue work for seven years (high angle serious technical stuff that used ropes and rigging systems) and we had a saying:

"There is no wrong way to tie a knot. Either you have the knot when you are done or you don't. How you got there is not important."


I think the finished product looks very much like it was supposed to turn out. 

My neck hurts just thinking about forging that RR flange into a usable blade.


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2 hours ago, Joshua States said:

My neck hurts just thinking about forging that RR flange into a usable blade.




Forging out that RR flange was surprisingly easy,i expected much worse.I worked it first under my spiffy new dies,and then by hand-both were much less punishing then expected.

Maybe i haven't worked a biggish size 10xx lately...and it's the difference in stiffness vs all the Cr-ish spring steel...


It felt so doable that i thought that RR rail may be a nifty stock for axes of all kinds,the massy rail-part can be smashed down into a decent slitted&drifted monosteel head(axes or hammers or eyed top-tools?),and of course that sizable flange makes for some decent material of other shapes and for composite tools.  

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I forgot to comment when this first appeared, was way busy with bureaucratic nonsense. :rolleyes:  So, AWESOME!  You got the mass ahead of the eye like it's supposed to be, and that's not easy.  From what I've read, rail should be a high-Mn 1070?  Glad you have the LG to do the brute force work.



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Yes,the rail is generally said to be in the 1070-ish range(one of the cuts that i finished by breaking exposed a super enlarged grain structure,i haven't played with trying to reduce it by normalizing yet,hope it'll be amenable to that).


LG is a darling,for that very thing.Of course Joshua has absolutely saved me with that set of drawing dies...

But the space in between the dies is of course minimal,and allows only for the simplest stock-reduction and not much more...


So again,this felt almost like cheating,i feel kinda diminished in my own eyes as a smith for having to come up with that mass in That wise...

I've been reviewing that JA's method of developing that shape by an asymmetric eye-weld,and also wondering if i'm man enough to try for a solid,monosteel forging...That's where the hammer's limitations really surface-i could do Very little indeed under PH there,maybe the starting blank,and some blade drawing,that's it.


This is somehow a Very challenging pattern-that mass is Very easy to loose.You need all your Controlled Hand-Forging skills sharpened up,and approach it strategically in the extreme...

(also,possibly,make a couple of specialized fullers for working up the inside of that steep curve behind the blade...).

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