The purpose of the forging was to try out some hypothesises i have made after examining and documenting several early vking age axes at the archeological museum where i work.
The main body of the axe was made of two pieces 20x8 mm mild steel, the larger section (180 mm long) was folded to a U-shape. A smaler section was tapered to a chisel shape, folded onto iself and fagotwelded, making a wedge shaped piece.
The wedge was placed into the U-shaped larger section and then everything was forgewelded, making up the main part of the body.
The shaft hole was formed using a mandrel and the "cheeks" drawn out. Then i forged the front part into an axe shape. This first form actualy makes a small axe like the earlist viking age axes (Petersens type A). However, i was ging to make a bearded axe. To make the beard-part i took a piece of 20x3 mm mild steel and drew out a section of each side towards both ends.
The beard-section was folded onto itself and placed into position and forged tight onto the main axe body. For the edge I also placed a section of high carbon steel (piece of an old file forged to a thin shape) into the beard part. Everything was forged tight together.
The beard and carbon steel edge was forgewelded onto the main body. The profile was cleaned up usin files and a hot cut.
Doing this forging enabled me to test the hypothesises i made when documenting and studying the original axes. The main thing I noticed in the original axec was the weldingseams runing lengthwise in the small sides, and perpendikular on the main sides. Forging this axe reproduced similar weld seams as the original. When forging an axe in this type of technique, It is posible to use a minimum of work. There is no need to slit and drift, and the material is built up where it is needed, thus minimising heavy forging. Looking at original viking age blacksmithing tools, the anvils was small, and the hammers lighter than today (300-700 gram). Making an axe using slithing and drifting technique, and heavy forging was simply not possible. Also you do not need to have larger sections of steel to make an axe, you simply build up enough material to make a large enough body.
I used metric measurements in this post - simply because it's what I know best. If i tried using the imperial system it wold simply be the wrong numbers. I hope those of you using imerial understand my measurements.