Tomahawk Drift

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Anyone know a place that sells a decent tomahawk drift? Looked on ebay and they had cast drifts, but not sure the quality of those tools. Thanks for any help,
Coltpax

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Posted · Report post

I have also wondered about the cast ductile iron drifts and that is what for sale on Ebay and Blacksmith Depot. Has anybody used them?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I know this doesn't answer your question but just for something to chew on as to whether you actually need a 'tomahawk' drift. Some good advice that I've used was given by Joe Szilaski at the 07 ABS hammer-in in Vermont, that if you're making a tomahawk for use and not for the art of it, drift the hole square or circular and not tear drop shaped like the 'typical' tomahawk drift, because it makes re-handling it in the field easy when it's very hard to shape a branch to a tear drop when in the woods

Edited by Jmercier

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Posted · Report post

I might see about ordering ne from kayne & son. It says its cast ductile iron like the ones off of ebay. I reckon when I get it, I'll post back here saying how it does.

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Posted · Report post

I have one that I bought from this man. It works great. I've used it several times.
Duck's Nest Iron Works, Pemberton, Ohio. Phone (937) 498-1253.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The cast ductile iron drifts will all mushroom sooner rather than later as they are too soft. Some of the alloy steels are much better for that purpose. HammerHawkDrifts.jpg

Edited by rthibeau

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Posted · Report post


I know this doesn't answer your question but just for something to chew on as to whether you actually need a 'tomahawk' drift. Some good advice that I've used was given by Joe Szilaski at the 07 ABS hammer-in in Vermont, that if you're making a tomahawk for use and not for the art of it, drift the hole square or circular and not tear drop shaped like the 'typical' tomahawk drift, because it makes re-handling it in the field easy when it's very hard to shape a branch to a tear drop when in the woods


You're right Jmercier, all the research I've done tells me that most original tomahawk type trade axes made in the 17th 18th and 19th centuries were drifted or mandreled with a round tapered drift/mandrel so the natives could just cut a branch and fit it in the field.

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Posted · Report post

I have had a couple of ductile drifts and they both worked fine. they are drifts and not punches!

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Posted · Report post

I purchased a drift from Kayne and Sons and am very pleased with it. the top has mushroomed a bit but I keep it cleaned up whith the belt sander and it has not been a problem.
Aaron

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Posted · Report post

Guess my reply from yesterday is in the bit bucket.

I use structural steel alignment pins to do the heavy work drifting---good quality steel and I buy them at the fleamarket when I can find them cheap. Then I use my tomahawk drift for only the last couple of heats to get the shape down for a hawk handle. (same thing with my ductile hammer handle drifts for that matter)

Preserves the drift and I can wallop the pins without worrying!

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Posted · Report post

You can also find drifts and fancy curly maple handles at Hawkinsknifemakingsupplies,com.

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Posted · Report post

Why not make your own drift. I did mine out of a large pin made of good steal and heat treated it. It's a little work but well worth it.

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Posted · Report post

I have the drift from Kayne & Sons, after 10 or so hawks the struck end has mushroomed.  Can the ductile iron be forged back into shape or should I grind away the mushroomed edges?

 

 

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Posted · Report post

Brent Bailey lists one his website. It's more than the one for Blacksmith's Depot but forged from tool steel.

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Posted · Report post

Grind Ductile; do not try to forge!

 

Have you been hitting it with a brass or lead hammer?

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Posted · Report post

Oops no, was hitting it with a tool steel hammer.  I can say I've gotten my money's worth out of it and will continue to use it for a while after grinding the edges.  I've got a suitable piece of 5160 that I'll forge into a new drift and use this one as a model.

 

Thanks Kubiack for the Brent Bailey suggestion, nice things on that website.

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Posted · Report post

i`m new here, this will be my second post. i`ve made several tomahawks, all with round holes except 2. one is a tear drop shape, and the other rectangle, more on that one later. the teardrop shape i found very difficult to make handles for. maybe my taper was off, who knows. i finally fit a handle, fancied it up and it is nice to look at, but i`ll just do that with it, look at it. the round hole i found easiest, make a handle in about 20 min using  the hawk head as the tool for shaping , and have had no problems with them. use an iron workers spud pin to drift the eyes. makes a nice drop on fit, pick axe style.

 the rectangle eye is still a work in progress, being sized for a readily available handle accessible to all for almost no cost, if any. let me work on that before i get too detailed. i`ve forged the drift and only need to fine tune it. once it warms up.image_zps7c78ddeb.jpg

on the right is the beginnings of the rectangle eye

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Posted · Report post

more questions

Blacksmithdepot says their tomahawk  tool is a mandrel, not a drift.  sounds like folks are using them as drifts anyway right?  not sure how to use it as a mandrel unless i clamp it in the vise and form the eye around it?  in that case it would be better to have flats somewhere or a hardie square end. 

 

I took Ryan Johnson's axe & hawk weekend class at the JCCfolk school last weekend.  Excellent.  he really knows his stuff.  I think it could easily be a week long class. 

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Posted · Report post

All the cast hawk drifts seem to be from the same manufacturer.  I have one and it works, but it needed to be ground out smooth by me, and it mushrooms.  I also have a tomahawk drift made by Brent Bailey.  It is top notch in size and shape, and is forged from either S7 or H13.

works great and shows no signs of damage after I've wailed on it!

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Posted · Report post

Hi  bikecopxxx the maker is correct made for the wrap and weld hawks not the slit and drift style

but they do work of course how long is up to you the user

Chris

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Posted · Report post

brent bailey's axe drift looks really nice, I have 3 of his hammers and they are top notch.. worth every penny.he also describes how to make a hawk drift in the shop notes section of his site.

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Posted · Report post

wow BrentBailey makes some nice looking stuff. 

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