NickOHH

straightening tomahawk head

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I just recently forged my first hatchet/ tomahawk head from a ball peen hammer and it turned out nice. Could have planished alittle bit more but I like the hammer marks left it for a nice hand forged look, if yo look down the blade though it is slightly crooked I was wondering if anyone has a solution for it, or how to keep/ fix that one my next attempts.

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One of the fun things about making axes is trying to keep everything lined up.  It can be a booger.  No advice from me, just empathy.  :)

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I have the same frustrating problem every time I decide to repair an old axehead. Even worse when I try to correct it. It can go all wavy...

So more empathy from here, too.

 

Waiting excitedly the Answer! 

 

Bests

 

Gergely

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This happens on every single one of my axes, save the last two: the two where I had a striker. That leads me to think that it is caused by my own negligence in hammering one side more than another, and by not making my hammer blows square enough.

You have my sympathy :)

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Put the drift in and put it in the vise use a bar bent in half with parallel sides to go over the blade as a twisting wrench and twist the blade back to straight. Or put the blade in the vice, use the drift as the twisting wrench.

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Put the drift in and put it in the vise use a bar bent in half with parallel sides to go over the blade as a twisting wrench and twist the blade back to straight. Or put the blade in the vice, use the drift as the twisting wrench.


Thanks I'll give that a try next time I'm forging just have to make a drift first. :) but that's ok I wanna get into punching the eyes anyway. How big of a punch do you normally use for a ball peen size eye?

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Having a punch that exactly fits the eye will help with straightening, I quite like long axe punches as you get a much better idea as to how straight the axe blade is in relation to its eye.

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Having a punch that exactly fits the eye will help with straightening, I quite like long axe punches as you get a much better idea as to how straight the axe blade is in relation to its eye.

im gonna work on making a couple drifts this weekend the one for the hatchet will be first, see if i cant get it straitend out if not ill just bevel the one side and try again, i want to start doin punched eye heads anyway so thats the first step anyway, that and some hammer eye tongs probably.

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I straighten my axe heads the same vice and wrench method described above. Assuming that the head isn't too far off, you can also compensate somewhat in the fitting by shaving a little more off the wood in the right spots   ;)

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Drift and vise method works a treat. If you plan on making hawks, hatchets and such you'll want punches and drifts. I used my first hammer head  as the die to make my punch and eye drifts, long punches are the way to go and they're just right for putting a cheater pipe over for tweaking the heads. Even better I use the punch or drifts to temper, makes for nice progressive tempers.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'm no expert but hawks are my favorite thing to forge! I come in contact with this problem a lot. I heat up my hawk head, clamp the blade in the vise, slide my drift into the eye and give it a slight torque in the way it needs to be straightened! May not be the best, may not be the worst way, but it's what works for me! 

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It is an on going problem with hawks, It takes skill to make the "perfect" Most hand forged hawks will not be perfect. What seems to help me most is during the forging process I only hit the piece three times on one side before I turn it over and then three hits on the other side. I also drop my drift in and get it tight when the hawk is near done and hold it up and check the straightness. but its still a tough thing to do. Practice, Practice, Practice is the key. But you are doing good work from what I can see in the picture.

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