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Story board for the Tomahawk workshops at the ABANA Teaching Tent. As always, my target student is someone that has limited tooling, therefor, all steps can be done at the anvil and vice. The three semi-finished Tomahawks are to help give folks ideas on what they might do. I left them mostly in the raw, as that's about what folks will have the time to do in a four hour workshop.

Picture 2616 Large e-mail view.jpg

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Sometimes people do not realize that represents 10 (ten) tomahawks in various stages of work. In order to get to tomahawk #10, you have to make #1 tomahawk 10 times, #2 tomahawk 9 times, etc. 

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Thanks very much for the picture. Very helpful. 

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That’s really useful; thank you!

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11 hours ago, Glenn said:

Sometimes people do not realize that represents 10 (ten) tomahawks in various stages of work. In order to get to tomahawk #10, you have to make #1 tomahawk 10 times, #2 tomahawk 9 times, etc. 

And that's not counting the ones that didn't make the grade :-)

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It is, this is a story board work in progress.  Still getting all the bits ready.

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Gerald,  as I was looking at the photo you posted it occurred to me that your storyboard communicates what needs to happen without language.  That would be a huge advantage for a foreign student, or even a student with limited vocabulary.  I've had teachers whose enthusiasm for the subject led them to talk so much that they complicated a simple lesson.

Another thing that really pops out at me is that your story board is driven by the smiths thought (and working) process rather than the presentation medium.  I've sat through a whole lot of power point presentations that adapted a lesson into "bullet point lists" simply because that's what powerpoint does best.

Ten "slides" with bullet point lists of instructions would be less coherent than the single photo you've presented.

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Having a bit of trouble (no pun intended) determining the difference, or even the purpose, between steps 2, 3 and 4 (if taken from the top as #1).  I've only made a handful of hawks, but some I have thinned down the cheeks (as is sometimes done for a folded axe), but I don't see any evidence of that here.  Is the difference between the three just that step 4 has well planished surfaces?  If so you might consider leaving step 2 a bit rougher to more clearly show the crosspeen marks in drawing the head wider.

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I see the difference between 2 and 3 as giving a degree of curvature to the blank (the "hard way", in the long direction), but I could be wrong.

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John,

I agree that there is a curvature difference between 2 and 3, but since it goes back to a flat top on 4 I don't necessarily see the logical progression.  Of course storyboards must leave out some steps, or they would be huge, but I'm suggesting that currently the sequence between 2, 3 and 4 is not completely clear.

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Latticino,  I had to go back and look at it twice but I think the deal here is that they're drawing a taper towards the edge of the bit.  If you look at the total length of 2, 3, and 4, they are progressively getting longer.  To my eye, this illustrates how the "clean up" of peen marks at this stage will make a significant difference to the final product.

 

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Hi there, apologies for the newb questions but I'd really like to try this project. This would be perfect as "limited tooling" is most defiinately where I'm at currently.

Between steps 5-6, is the part forge-welded? Or is it just hammered together, until the high-carbon bit is added, and then forge-welded all in one go?

 

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I've seen it done both ways, but in this case I believe that the mild steel is forge welded prior to welding the HC bit in.  There is an advantage to this method, as the mild steel forge welding temperature is most often elevated enough that you have a chance of burning out the tool steel bit if you try to do it simultaneously.  Note that the weld joint just in front of the eye is the most difficult to do well, and the most critical for later eye shaping and function of the hawk.  I was taught to forge down the eye section a bit thinner so there is more thermal mass in the parts being joined together, if possible (doesn't work well for rasp hawks for instance, but then they are all tool steel...), so the weld there is extra secure.

Pro tips:

  1. I recommend using a 4.5" grinder to clean the surfaces of the weld sections just prior to forming the eye, and keeping those surfaces cooler till welding so they don't scale up if possible (another advantage for the localized heat you can get from a solid fuel forge).
  2. If you have a post vise you can use it to both squeeze together the weld surfaces to close proximity before welding and for setting the initial weld after a tacking pass with the hammer at the front of the eye as well.  Getting a localized squeeze there seems to help with the forge weld at that critical location.
  3. Make a tapered Hawk mandrel (or purchase one) that mirrors the commercially available hafts.  If you want to throw your hawks, and who doesn't...it is lots of fun, eventually you will need to replace handles, and the commercial handles are relatively cheap and easily obtainable.  The mandrel will also help you with alignment during the forging process, but try not to use it as a drift too much as you will put a lot of stress on the forge welded joint at the front of the eye.  If you do any drifting, reef down on the welded joint in your post vise before you drive the mandrel into the heated eye. 

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Sorry for coming back late, I didn't see the conversation.  

On 5/16/2018 at 11:05 AM, rockstar.esq said:

Gerald,  as I was looking at the photo you posted it occurred to me that your storyboard communicates what needs to happen without language.  That would be a huge advantage for a foreign student, or even a student with limited vocabulary.  I've had teachers whose enthusiasm for the subject led them to talk so much that they complicated a simple lesson.

Another thing that really pops out at me is that your story board is driven by the smiths thought (and working) process rather than the presentation medium.  I've sat through a whole lot of power point presentations that adapted a lesson into "bullet point lists" simply because that's what powerpoint does best.

Ten "slides" with bullet point lists of instructions would be less coherent than the single photo you've presented.

That's true and when I'm finished (timeline is for the ABANA Conference)   I'll actually have two sets, one mounted to the board with notes and one students can handle.

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Step three is the curve to create a frustum of a cone.  When the eye is folded over, I will have the taper already started.  If you don't do this, then the only way to get a taper, is to hammer in the drift and forge the top side.  As the weld is there, you're putting a lot of stress on it.

Step four is putting a counter curve on the inside to counter the arch the happens when you fold over a piece of metal.   In both the Cosira book "The Blacksmith's Craft"  and in volume one of Mark Aspery's books, this is discussed in good detail.

Neither of these steps are required, but do make the finish work all but done. 

On 6/7/2018 at 4:59 AM, Jon Kerr said:

Hi there, apologies for the newb questions but I'd really like to try this project. This would be perfect as "limited tooling" is most defiinately where I'm at currently.

Between steps 5-6, is the part forge-welded? Or is it just hammered together, until the high-carbon bit is added, and then forge-welded all in one go?

 

Welded, I find it easier to weld that section and then weld in the bit.  I do the same steps when forging an axe.

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Gerald,

Makes perfect sense.  I've actually done something similar, but never bothered with the step four counter curve.  Will have to try that and see the effect.  I assume, on more careful viewing of the photo, that the top edge of the blank in step 4 is slightly raised up off the flat plane of the rest of the blank to allow for the extra material used to maintain the tapered eye.  Subtle details like this are some of my favorite aspects of smithing.  Now you have me excited to get out to the shop this weekend.  Thanks.

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What I've done there, is counter curve the eye area.   If you take a bar and bend it, the ends will flare upward.  The result is the center is the smallest and the ends the largest*.  If you you curve first, when the bar is bent, it's neutral.  I did it by using a rounding hammer and a swage or one could use the step and peen.

*For those that have made a hinge and had trouble with it being a bit wobbly, this was likely the culprit.

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Nicely done, and easy enough even I can follow the progression, thanks for sharing.

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ABANA 2018 is over and over all I think it went well.  If I can blow my horn, the teaching tent rocked!   Some of the demos we had was standing room only.  We had 20 forging stations and often the forges were 2 to the forge. 

For the small part I played, I'm quite happy with how it went.  For the tomahawk class, we had planned on 10-15 smiths a day wanting to have a go.  On Saturday, we had over 50, sadly we could only accommodate 30.  We ran a second class on Saturday and had space for 13 more. 

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Very nice demo' I missed size of mild steel stock and thickness....caught area needed and marks for center and end of eyes with punch marks Need stock info thanks!!! Also how much coal did you have from the side blast exit to the area you heated your stock? That is where the neutral part of fire is

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The size was 10 inches of 1 1/4 by 1/4.  I try for 2 1/2 t0 3 inches above the center of the  tuyere

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