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I Forge Iron

Bearded Polled Hunters Axe WIP

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Heres a special order Lisa filled a while back and documented the process for the buyer..
Just thought we would post them..This is going to be a bearded, polled bag axe..Used mostly for hunt'n chore's..The body is 1045(1" x 1" square) and the cutting bit will be 1095fg(so as to hold an edge to skin with)..You'll notice in the pics everything is done by hand..I always liked doing it that way but to be honest we dont have a mill or a lathe or a power hammer so we dont have a choice anyway :P We'd use them if we did but we dont :grumpy:

Here we forgot to take a pic of upsetting the end but we have upset it and forged a very rough blade shape.The reason we upset it is to have enough mass for a bearded head..Unless the blade is 3x as wide as the width of the eye body its not bearded to me ;).Then we have it in a hold hardy tool so we can split the head to accept the wedge of 1095fg..
Here is the "blade" split with the cutting bit in it ready to weld up..
Here is the first welding pass..We do two-three passes..
Here we use a spring fuller to fuller the blade between where the eye will be and the rest of the blade..Just makes it easier to control the blade forging.
Here we have measured and marked both sides of the head after cooling with a cold chisel. This is where we will hot slit the eye..
Here we have started. Go thru BOTH sides and then you can meet in the middle..
After you have done a few bucket full of these it will meet perfectly in the middle like this :D
Here we have a flat drift thru the eye to forge the ears on. Again here we use a spring fuller..Later when we drift it to shape we will fuller some more on the eye drfit.
Well heres the rest of the pics.After the eye was drifted to sharp. We didnt get pics of staining the haft. We'll do a post about the maple by itself later..
Here its starting to be forged out..
Over the horn to set the blade profile..
The blade pretty muchs set and ready to clean up..We will forge the edge bevels in after the cutout is done so we can leave a forge finish..The blade has to be clean and level to do the cutout right..
The head is cleaned up somewhat and the holes set for the cut out..In this case a deer track (buck of course) after this its all elbow grease and files..
After a long time and sore elbow heres the deer track..
Stamping the poll...
Well this is it..During heat treat we did forge the bevel and left a forge finish per request..It was edge hardened and tempered and the hammer poll was also heat treated like a regular hammer(after being trimmed to length)..
4 5/8" wide bearded cutting edge. Hair poppin sharp.On a 15" curly maple haft.

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  • 1 month later...

Very nice work you two! I see a happy customer in your future.

Have you tried a Brian Brazeal type punch? We got our first experience with one last weekend and it's slicker than wet ice for getting the slit from both sides. His technique makes it almost a sure thing. Pics and I believe a how to are posted here, a search should find em for you.

Frosty the Lucky.

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Thanks Frosty, yes I have used one of thoses style punches. They are good,and worked well for me. I guess Im just too use to these flat thin slitters..Ive made so many that I just keep going back to my old way of doing it..

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Ah, perhaps I should have said "wall hanger" instead of "repro".

Either way, it's just great to see a historic (or historically influenced) piece made that can perform as well, or sometimes better, than the originals.

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I'm generally cutting kindling at my forge with a bearded blade and none of them have a "wall hanger" polish to them. I like *using* blades! (Of course I remember digging an impromptu firepit with a pattern welded knife and seeing folks eyes bulge out a bit---I made it what could I do to it that I couldn't fix!)

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KYBOY,dumb question time for you. In the first picture you are using a homemade vice on top of the anvil to hold the axe head. I have seen these used before but do not know what they are called. do you know?

Sorry, I dont honestly know what its called. I saw one used in a video once..Went to the shop and made one..been very handy..
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  • 2 months later...

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