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I Forge Iron

Double Bit Axe

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I've been away from the forge for the last couple of weeks and was happy to get some time to do some forging today. For some reason I felt inclined to have a shot at a double bit axe so I did! I forged this out of two leaf springs (assuming 5160) which I welded together to form the two blades. As I don't have any fancy slitting and drifting tooling yet, or even a mandrel, I just wrapped the middle around a piece of rod. It's just as good as it will naturally form an oval shape, but you have to be very careful not to close it up which made it almost impossible to do any cleaning up after it was welded. I'm pretty happy with it, everything is straight for a change and I was quite pleased with how the curves are consistent. I'd have liked to have left a few less hammer marks, although I quite like rough finishes. I managed to keep both blades roughly the same size and shape which was where I thought I'd run into trouble. One edge is sharpened like a knife for stripping bark or general woodwork, the other has a much steeper bevel for rough work like splitting. Quenched in veg oil, tempered brown.


I think I'll do some more work on axes! I like the fact that they are forge finished with only a little grinding on the bevels. Without a belt grinder, knives take me ages and I don't have a whole lot of time, I think I've only ever finished two knives, once I put a handle on this one it'll be my 3rd finished axe. I'm pleased with the fact I'm getting a lot faster at forging. A while ago, this would have taken days, which means weeks when you can only work at the weekends. I should really forge myself a mandrel and proper slitting and drifting tools!






I also forged this 'Urak-Hai' letter opener for a friend. I'm doing a fantasy exchange with a guy from Portugal which normally means giving books or other gifts. I thought I'd make this to go along with it! It was actually surprisingly difficult to get the bit at the top right, at first I thought I'd just turn a right angle, quickly realised that wouldn't work! I wanted to go for a completely blackened finish, but I hardened and tempered it properly so I didn't want to ruin the temper by heating and quenching again after sharpening. I'll be wrapping a little thread around the handle to finish it off I think! Had some fun with this!



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Really nice!  The black and polished finish reminds me of the Gransfors Bruks axes.  I've been thinking about making a double-bladed felling axe, but haven't decided if it's best to weld two pieces together or slit punch a hole through a piece of mild stock and weld in the bits.

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Thanks! I've tried welding bits but haven't had much luck. I'd say that it'd be easier to weld than slit, drift, split and weld, especially if you don't have the right tools like me! Also saves a lot of heavy forging. I think you can get a better finish doing it that way though, but it's easier and quicker for me as a beginner to do it like this!

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