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New hawk, sort of a half WIP, picture heavy


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Sterling is springy.  Even when fully annealed, there's always a little springback when you bend it.  Since it's darned near impossible to use binding wire on a cone like this, once I had it fitted to the handle I bent it a little more so the seam would be a tight fit for soldering.  Fitting these involves bending in all three dimensions, frequent annealing, and a long thin cone mandrel.  A ring sizer is handy as well.  Anyway, once it's rolled and slightly squashed so the seam stays tight, it's time to solder.

 

High-tech soldering station:

 

h56.jpg

 

The cone, as soldered. You can really see the deformation I used to get the seam tight.

 

h57.jpg

 

Re-shape the cone on the mandrel, the anvil, the handle, or any and all ways you can think of the make it fit.  Keep in mind it will only fit in one orientation, so remember which side the seam needs to be on.

 

Fitted:

 

h58.jpg

 

And the end filed flush:

 

h59.jpg

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First I went back to the vise, removed the dye with acetone, and went over the whole inlay with a smooth chasing chisel to drive the silver into all the undercuts and barbs, followed by the ball end o

Before you file flush, make sure all the points of the star are as far into the inlet as they'll go. Gentle hammering with a chasing hammer is okay, but the chasing burnisher used to smear the silver

Once it's all down to depth, undercut and internal barbs raised, it looks like this:     I talked about that in the "Why I'm always recommending files" thread too.   Fin

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Then comes the eternal question: Do I punch a hole so it will be neat, scribe around the end on some sheet, cut it out, and then solder it on?  Or do I just solder the thing to a bit of sheet, cut it out, and carefully drill an undersized hole to be cleaned up with files later?  Since the hole is not exactly centered, and I'm not the most precise with the saw, I chose option two.

 

Soldered to sheet:

 

h60.jpg

 

The side seam is done with hard, which flows around 1800 degrees F, and the end was attached with medium, which flows at about 1650 F, so as not to risk bad language.  Cut it out, taking care not to saw into the sidewalls, drill an undersized hole roughly in the middle from the inside, and epoxy that sucker on.

 

 

 

h61.jpg

 

Tomorrow's a guild meeting, so probably no more progress until next weekend.  Then we do the central band and whatever else I decide to add to the handle.

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Dick, I don't know any other way! :lol:. My motto should be "persistence and files give the impression of skill." 

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I had to read several pages of this to catch up. It made for a very relaxing and enjoyable after-lunch activity.

What a great thread.

 

9 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

"persistence and files give the impression of skill." 

Persistance with files is the definition of skill.

“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.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

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On 6/5/2022 at 10:48 PM, Charles dP said:

Hi Alan

 

Thanks for documenting this. Lots of good info here. Can you please pin this thread?

 

Charles

The motion is on the floor and I will second.

 

“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.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

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Hi Alan

 

Went back through the thread to makes sure I didn't miss it, one of my biggest doubts about making a pipe hawk is drilling out the handle, how did you do that?

There's already several things I never would've though of, so thank you for the detailed WIP.

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5 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

how did you do that?

 

I didn't.  ;). The guy I buy the handles from drills them while they are about 12cm square blanks, then turns them to size on a 5-axis lathe.  This allows him to account for the inevitable runout.

 

When I was younger and dumber I would do it myself.  I brazed a 3/16" drill bit onto the same size drill rod and lined things up carefully before drilling freehand, using a small level to keep stuff true.  If the grain runs straight, this works, especially if you start at both ends and meet in the middle.  Just go slow and clear chips every other second or so.

 

If the grain runs funny, the bit will run out the side of the handle.  I lost five or six in a row that way, and decided it was worth the extra $10 to buy them predrilled.

 

So, how did they do it in the old days?  The gunsmith-made ones like this were drilled as I described, often with a frame to keep things aligned, and always before shaping the handle.

 

The ones for trade with the Native Americans were usually handled with ash sapling. This has a pith channel in the center that is easily burned through with a hot wire. 

 

So, I cheat. :lol:

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Thanks Alan, considering what you start with and the end product, that's not cheating B)

I've thought about this a lot, I can't see drilling being an option, nothing in my skillset or equipment gives me any hope of success.

Only alternative I've been able to dream up is saw the handle down the middle, carving out the hollow and glue back together :ph34r:

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1 minute ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

Only alternative I've been able to dream up is saw the handle down the middle, carving out the hollow and glue back together

 

Some people do that, too.  Whatever works.

15 hours ago, Joshua States said:

The motion is on the floor and I will second.

 

 

I think I have enough pinned hawk threads, but I'll link it in the first post of one of the already-pinned threads, how about that?

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Alan, I think there's enough here, that with a ghost-writer, a reasonable book could be produced on the production of historically accurate Tomahawks and Belt Axes of Southern Appalachia. Just a thought, buddy.

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Are you volunteering? ;)

 

Minor correction, though;  I don't know of any hawks made in southern Appalachia in the period.  This one is a mishmash of one made by an Irish immigrant smith living in western Indiana.  The genre originated in the Mohawk Valley in the early 18th century and was immediately adopted by the factories in Europe as trade goods.  Mostly England in the Birmingham-Sheffield midlands, but a few were made in France.  American-made ones were always by gunsmiths, mostly immigrants themselves.  It's possible that the Moravian gunsmiths of North Carolina made a few, but the primary influx of pipe hawks into the southeast was via the deerskin trade in Charleston, SC with English-made heads and native-made handles.  They were never as common in the south as the north, for whatever reason.  But that's why I like adding the silver nameplate on the spine, THAT is a southern Appalachian technique used on rifles and pistols.  And I've never seen it used on a tomahawk.  Except mine, of course.  

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This has been an educational thread Alan.  Thanks.

 

On 6/13/2022 at 1:49 PM, Alan Longmire said:

This one is a mishmash of one made by an Irish immigrant smith living in western Indiana.  

 

One of may ancestors perhaps B)  

-Brian

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On 6/5/2022 at 1:02 PM, Alan Longmire said:

And they're close enough for you to make it a daytrip and check it in person. It's 7 hours one way for me, so I just call.  

Well, I might be closer, but 2 1/2 hours each way is still a little long just to visit :-)  So I just called and asked about the differences between WD1, WD6, and WD24.

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On 6/13/2022 at 10:49 AM, Alan Longmire said:

Are you volunteering? ;)

 

Minor correction, though;  I don't know of any hawks made in southern Appalachia in the period.  This one is a mishmash of one made by an Irish immigrant smith living in western Indiana.  The genre originated in the Mohawk Valley in the early 18th century and was immediately adopted by the factories in Europe as trade goods.  Mostly England in the Birmingham-Sheffield midlands, but a few were made in France.  American-made ones were always by gunsmiths, mostly immigrants themselves.  It's possible that the Moravian gunsmiths of North Carolina made a few, but the primary influx of pipe hawks into the southeast was via the deerskin trade in Charleston, SC with English-made heads and native-made handles.  They were never as common in the south as the north, for whatever reason.  But that's why I like adding the silver nameplate on the spine, THAT is a southern Appalachian technique used on rifles and pistols.  And I've never seen it used on a tomahawk.  Except mine, of course.  

This reads like a great book introduction......just sayin'

:)

“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.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

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On 6/14/2022 at 3:13 PM, Brian Dougherty said:

One of may ancestors perhaps B)  

 

I mentioned him on the previous page, he should be pretty traceable.  

 

1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

This reads like a great book introduction......just sayin'

 

If Chris is as good at writing as he is at film production, it'll be great.  Yeah, we're talking. B)

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Totally forgot to get a shot of the mouthpiece with its four nails prior to filing them off after family stuff this afternoon, sorry.  But here it is filed flush...

 

h62.jpg

 

The trick here is to keep the nails short. They are evenly spaced around the widest part of the cone, where there's about 0.25" / 6.5mm of wood between the inlet and the smoke hole.  You do not want the nails to protrude very far into the smoke hole. A tiny bit is okay, then you can use a 1/4" rod driven into said hole to clinch the nails over, strengthening the joint.  But if they're too long, that pulls the heads into the hole a little bit, which tends to leave visible gaps when polished. What we have in this pic is after filing with a 10" mill bastard, a 6" mill smooth, and wiping with the green Scotchbrite pad visible in the background.   If you ever want to see how smooth your silver is after filing, when it's nice and shiny, just wipe it once with a dusty Scotchbrite.  Every little scratch will show.

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Today was the wide silver band on the handle.  First decide the width and cut the silver, then clean up the edges so it's even, then draw a line around the handle where you want the top edge of the band to be. Use the coping saw or whatever to cut a line 0.025" deep and carve a bevel where the inside of the band will be.

 

h63.jpg

 

Now lay the silver in the bevel with the edge up against the cut line. Use the silver itself as a guide and lightly trace a line around the bottom edge with an Exacto knife.  This is to tell you roughly where the lower edge will be. DO NOT cut it out to the line yet!

h64.jpg

 

Instead, cut a 0.025" deep groove just inside the line. Use a chisel to rough out the inlet, and use a narrow file to make the upper edge of the inlet sharp and square-edged.

 

h65.jpg

 

h66.jpg

 

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Anneal the silver and bend it around the handle with the top edge up against the top edge of the inlet. Use the Exacto knife to finalize the location of the bottom edge by making a deep scribed line (it'll have moved a bit!) and chisel out the excess.  File the bottom smooth and level. Constantly check the fit.

 

h67.jpg

 

h68.jpg

 

h69.jpg

 

Once it snap in place, see how much overlap there is on the ends.  If you measured the band by wrapping a string or something around the handle, there should be 0.050 extra since you've now inlet the silver.  Cut or file that off.

 

h71.jpg

h70.jpg

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Looking at that last picture I can see the inlet wasn't level on the back of the handle, which explains some things...

 

Anyway, once it fits flush with no overlap on the ends, nail one end down.  One hole at a time, use a clamp to hold the silver tight to the wood if you can. The following pics show a series of how I fixed a mistake (I'm told that's the best part of my demonstrations, I always screw up and then show how to fix it), but this time the camera malfunctioned and a lost a few important shots.  In the first pic, the band is mostly nailed on, but there's a nail missing. I used the wrong bit and got the hole the same diameter as the nail, so it wouldn't hold.

 

h72.jpg 

There was still a tiny bit of overlap on the ends before I did the last two nails. This got filed off, which is not easy when the band is attached to the handle. Slow and careful with a safe-edged file with no handle so it can slide on the handle without gouging the wood. And there!

 

h73.jpg

 

So about that missing nail.  Dip a toothpick in superglue and drive it into the hole. Cut it off and file flush after the glue sets. (two missing pics here)

h74.jpg

 

Mark the center, redrill with the right bit, countersink, drive new nail.

 

h75.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There were two issues that popped up because the inlet was a bit deeper on the top edge on the back of the handle.  One was that as the band wrapped and got nailed down, it twisted towards the upper edge. This required a little twisting and an emergency removal of a bit more wood along the top edge of the inlet while the band was in place. This was most annoying, and means there's a tiny gap on the bottom edge in this location.  It won't be noticeable when I'm done, but I know it's there. There's also a slight misalignment where the ends butt up, which IS noticeable. But it's too late to fix now. 

 

The other issue was that the nails had to be driven in a little harder than I usually like to do, which dented the silver a bit, so the nails aren't as fully invisible as I like at this stage.

 

h76.jpg

 

By the time the rest of the handle is done they'll be mostly invisible, though.  As will the seam in the band, except for that little misalignment. Such is life.

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The old toothpick trick. Good on ya!

“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.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

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Another weekend, another day working on this thing. I went with the classic hunter's star inlay between the head and the band.  It's a motif you see on EVERYTHING made in this country between around 1770-1820.  You can buy pre-stamped nickel silver ones from Track of the Wolf, but they're a little pudgy in proportion and, well, this hawk has no nickel.  It's sterling all the way.  How do you lay one out?  It didn't occur to me to take pictures of the process until I'd made the initial markings, but it's a set of ratios.  Just decide how long you want it to be, and every element is then 1/2 the length of the last.  This one was going to be 1.25" long, or 5/4 inches. Therefore, the crosspiece and diagonals have to be 5/8 inch long.  Then the reference tic marks for where to connect the lines are 5/16 inch, OR 5/32 inch from the centerpoint of the cross.

 

h77.jpg

 

Note how the lines intersect. the end of every line gets a line drawn to the tics.

 

h78.jpg

 

Now cut that sucker out and stick it on the silver sheet with an old glue stick. Cyanoacrylate/superglue works too, but glue sticks are good enough and they're much easier to clean up. I could have laid it out directly on the silver, and I have done so in the past, but if you're trying to minimize waste it's nice to have a pattern you can reposition to get the exact spot you want.

 

h79.jpg

 

h80.jpg

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Yeah, it's a little uneven.  Shows it was hand made. ;):rolleyes:

 

Anyway, cut that out with a jewelers' saw, file it true and straight. The safe-edge triangle file is VERY handy for getting into the inside corners. You can't buy those, you make them by taking a 6-inch XX-slim taper three-square file and grinding the teeth of one face.  That's the best way to get into sharp inside corners or to make a sharp point in a filed V. 

h81.jpg

 

h82.jpg

 

Now you have a pattern. I should really make one of these that's really better out of brass and keep it around to make these instead of laying it out on paper every single time, but where's the fun in that?

Hold that star firmly on the silver where you want it to go and carefully scribe around the edges.  It will move when you least want it to, so be sure you're following the right lines when you cut out the next one!  I should have used layout blue.  I didn't.  It was hot today and I got distracted. :lol:h83.jpg

 

File that one clean, and you have two stars.

 

h84.jpg

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Ready to inlay!  I covered this in that pinned thread on page one, but you have to remember this is a flat piece of silver, and it needs to fit on a curved surface.  You can either flatten the wood, or curve the silver.  Always curve the silver. It just looks better, and is what you'll see on the old ones.  How do you do that?

 

h85.jpg

 

h86.jpg

 

Yep. Pad a swage block and use the eye drift.  Make sure it's aligned right, then squash that sucker hard. Just push on it, don't hit it with a hammer or anything. It's silver, it'll bend. 

 

h87.jpg

 

Not bad!  I then laid it over a bit of 1" round bar and tapped the outer points until they touched the wood as well.

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