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I Forge Iron

Axe / hatchet (bowtie/butterfly ) method 1 video 1

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The Youtube subcribers got to have it a full week earllier.    Not sure how it works but there is a community tab on YT and I send out updates and questions to the group there.. 

Sometimes there is content that does not make it to general release there.    

This series of videos I was not going to release for general view but changed my mind. 

Your welcome..  I think there might be 2 more to the series.   I was told my videos are 2 long so to break them up.. 

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I received a YouTube notification when you post a new one but the WiFi at my house is slow and videos eat up data fast so I usually wait till I go to my place of employment where the WiFi is fast enough that I don't go crazy watching it buffer. 


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Steve,  Thanks for the encouragement.. Much appreciate the support..  

Jbradshaw.  The process is pretty long as I look for a very particular shape (fine tuned so to speak) and take the time to get there.   Not a big fan of the grinder so do it all by hand.  :) 

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Video 4   Redesign.    I wanted a swept or leading cutting edge.  This accounts for missed blows and will allow for me to use the hatchet for many years before having to redress the hatchet in the forge. 

Of note, Because the wrought iron was "Well, what it was." It had this interesting slip plane thing going on.  You can see it in the video clearly. 


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thanks..  It swings great.  Could be just a tad heavier for my own personal critique but that would move it up to full ax size. 

I did etch it for people to see the crazy wrought iron grain patterns and the way the wrought iron runs and how forging it just moves those patterns along. 

I think I prefer the as hardened look better with that nice dark blue color.  

95% of the people who look at it don't even see the wrought iron grain..  It's only the people in the "KNow" see it.. 





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It is pretty znd explains a lot as to why the wrought was so funky in forging.


You can see that delam at the pole from the layered lay up of the original bar.


That separate bar sheared when the shoulder was forged to create the bowtie and then layed down on the sides of the cheeks. 


Its also interesting in that the areas that were forged vs filed there is not as much of a side grain pattern like down at the cutting edge. 

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I have found that if you can control the expansion of the wrought iron either by supporting it with another bar welded on,  Or having a solid something or other the wrought iron stays together enough to weld..  So with each heat you just watch it and if there starts to be a delam you just hit it again with a welding heat.. 

Again being careful to catch it as it happens vs after the fact.  

If you notice in the video as soon as it started to come apart while peening it I immediately tried to weld it back together.  But since the fibers were going the wrong way  "spreading" vs being compressed..  It has to be compressed or in compression when hit with the hammer  to keep it together.  If the layers slip past each other there is no fix but to forge it completely in compression  or add another bar that goes the other way to support it. 

I hope this helps some.. 

I mentioned else where  about slip planes when working with wrought iron  and I think JHCC even commented somewhere.. 

Wrought iron does not like to be worked on the diamond or parallelogram.   It will shear around the center.    

So, if the pressure is direct it makes a lot of difference. 

When massaging the eye both the rear of the poll and the weld at the eye controls this expansion..  

Anyhow, If you make the photo larger you can see how the layers are going the right way though it's a stacked bar..  Had it gone ontop of the layers (On edge of the layers) it would have simply sheared apart.    

Really neat. 

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Wrought iron is where we get forging tapers on the square and if you need a conical taper, forge it square and then round it---again with opposing sides, S-O-R, so it's in compression as much as possible.    Mild steel isn't as "picky"; but it's good technique anyway!

It's sad that the lower grades of wrought iron have the most interesting patterns when etched. This can result in things like san mai blades using wrought iron grades that would have never seen the inside of a cutler's shop back in the 18th and 19th centuries.  I'm guilty of this as I like the patterns!

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