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I Forge Iron

Some of my axes (picture heavy)

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On this grey, cold day I thought I'd take the opportunity to post a couple of the axes I've made in the last year or so (yes, I'm a slow, hobby smith only...).  Not great photos, but might do for inspiration:

This one is a sweet little hand axe.  Punch and drift mild steel with a forge welded 1084 bit:


A trio of mild steel wrap and weld throwing hawks with 1084 forge welded bits:


Punch and drift pipe axe with integral forged bowl and HC bit:



A wrap and weld "Viking" style with forge welded 1084 bit:



Something a little different.  Wrought iron eye forge welded to a 5160 body.  Like the technique, but need to refine the form further.  The wrought was deliberately left proud of the body and preformed to the final shape.  Once I get my coal forge going I'll be making more of these.





Another wrap and weld splitting axe:

Wrap and WEed Splitting Axe.jpg



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  • 3 weeks later...

Boy, how'd I miss this thread? 

I like your hand axe, first pic. and the viking. I really like the wrought and 5160 for the pol, I'm looking forward to seeing more refined versions. 

Thanks. More please. :)

Frosty The Lucky. 

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A reasonable request.  I tried to photo with something added for scale, but i had a lot of trouble composing the photos, so I begged off and just went for simple shots.  All of these axes are essentially single hand axes, with the largest being on the scale of a camp axe, or there about.

Here is a rough list of the size and weights (note that all weights are including the handles).  Sorry for the mixed measurement systems:

  1. Hand axe: 473 g, 3" bit, 6" long head, 15" haft  (made for backpacking, still need to make a belt sheath)
  2. Hawks: 716 g, 3" bit, 6.25" long head, 19.5" haft  (a good weight for throwing, though I've made similar size at 580 g that I also like)
  3. Pipe Hawk: 492 g, 2.5" bit, 8" long head w/functional bowl, 19.5" haft
  4. Viking axe: 1041 g, 4.5" bit, 6.75" long head, 25" haft
  5. WI axe:  966 g, 4" bit, 8" long head, 24" haft
  6. Splitting axe: 1041 g, 3" bit, 6.5" long head, 26" haft (I kow, hard to believe it came out the exact same weight as the VIking one, but I did make them the same week from similar sized stock)
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Some more photos showing details and eyes in certain cases (didn't want to bore folks before, but since you asked):

Pipe axe eye (w/violin tuner peg):


Closeup of a throwing hawk (shows my touchmark):


Splitting axe detail:


Here is another functional pipe hawk with welded bit and integral bowl.  Not super happy with the eye proportions, but the filework was fun:



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  • 2 months later...

I made a quick bearded hawk  today as a demo to teach one of my son's friends to forge a hawk.  He did great on his (don't have a photo of that), but he stuck both the forge welds on the first try (wrap and weld eye with a 1084 HC bit)  as a complete beginner to forging.  Only thing I did for him was to preforge the HC bits for both of us.  Of course he was a former glassblower, so familiar with working with heated stuff you can't touch, and that helps.  Both got fully heat treated and his is mounted on a handle as well.


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I like your splitting axe!  I just am impressed by the power of a true wedge shape driven by weight and momentum!  Yours looks just about right too.  I do find that the axes in my collection are rarely used for splitting though.  For firewood a maul is better and when I had a bad arm on one side I actually split quite a bit with a heavy duty froe and hand maul.  For more delicate splits... like spoon blanks or tool handle blanks... I generally use a mid size froe.  The small froe is also just the thing for splitting chunks of hickory or pecan for the smoker/bbq.

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Thanks for the kind words from everyone. I agree a maul is a superior choice for splitting, but haven't made one yet.  I do have a froe  that just needs a handle.  I'll have to try that next.   I have a small fireplace in my home office/sanctum, so processing small logs is in my future. The current axe works well for that also.

Here is the latest hawk with an "antiqued" hickory haft. I like the look, but my wife says it is "interesting" (code that she is not impressed).


Today I've been struggling with a pipe hawk with integral forged bowl.  All from a 4.5" stick of 1 x1" with forge welded bit.  Hope to finish forging tomorrow. 

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I'd like to point out that not only is Latticino a good maker of axes, but he's also quite a good teacher of how to make them. Here he is demonstrating for me how to do the wrap-and-weld:

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and fire

And here I am, giving it a try:

No photo description available.

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