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I know this doesn't answer your question but just for something to chew on as to whether you actually need a 'tomahawk' drift. Some good advice that I've used was given by Joe Szilaski at the 07 ABS hammer-in in Vermont, that if you're making a tomahawk for use and not for the art of it, drift the hole square or circular and not tear drop shaped like the 'typical' tomahawk drift, because it makes re-handling it in the field easy when it's very hard to shape a branch to a tear drop when in the woods

Edited by Jmercier
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I know this doesn't answer your question but just for something to chew on as to whether you actually need a 'tomahawk' drift. Some good advice that I've used was given by Joe Szilaski at the 07 ABS hammer-in in Vermont, that if you're making a tomahawk for use and not for the art of it, drift the hole square or circular and not tear drop shaped like the 'typical' tomahawk drift, because it makes re-handling it in the field easy when it's very hard to shape a branch to a tear drop when in the woods


You're right Jmercier, all the research I've done tells me that most original tomahawk type trade axes made in the 17th 18th and 19th centuries were drifted or mandreled with a round tapered drift/mandrel so the natives could just cut a branch and fit it in the field.
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Guess my reply from yesterday is in the bit bucket.

I use structural steel alignment pins to do the heavy work drifting---good quality steel and I buy them at the fleamarket when I can find them cheap. Then I use my tomahawk drift for only the last couple of heats to get the shape down for a hawk handle. (same thing with my ductile hammer handle drifts for that matter)

Preserves the drift and I can wallop the pins without worrying!

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Oops no, was hitting it with a tool steel hammer.  I can say I've gotten my money's worth out of it and will continue to use it for a while after grinding the edges.  I've got a suitable piece of 5160 that I'll forge into a new drift and use this one as a model.

 

Thanks Kubiack for the Brent Bailey suggestion, nice things on that website.

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i`m new here, this will be my second post. i`ve made several tomahawks, all with round holes except 2. one is a tear drop shape, and the other rectangle, more on that one later. the teardrop shape i found very difficult to make handles for. maybe my taper was off, who knows. i finally fit a handle, fancied it up and it is nice to look at, but i`ll just do that with it, look at it. the round hole i found easiest, make a handle in about 20 min using  the hawk head as the tool for shaping , and have had no problems with them. use an iron workers spud pin to drift the eyes. makes a nice drop on fit, pick axe style.

 the rectangle eye is still a work in progress, being sized for a readily available handle accessible to all for almost no cost, if any. let me work on that before i get too detailed. i`ve forged the drift and only need to fine tune it. once it warms up.image_zps7c78ddeb.jpg

on the right is the beginnings of the rectangle eye

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more questions

Blacksmithdepot says their tomahawk  tool is a mandrel, not a drift.  sounds like folks are using them as drifts anyway right?  not sure how to use it as a mandrel unless i clamp it in the vise and form the eye around it?  in that case it would be better to have flats somewhere or a hardie square end. 

 

I took Ryan Johnson's axe & hawk weekend class at the JCCfolk school last weekend.  Excellent.  he really knows his stuff.  I think it could easily be a week long class. 

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All the cast hawk drifts seem to be from the same manufacturer.  I have one and it works, but it needed to be ground out smooth by me, and it mushrooms.  I also have a tomahawk drift made by Brent Bailey.  It is top notch in size and shape, and is forged from either S7 or H13.

works great and shows no signs of damage after I've wailed on it!

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Have a question I have been searching for information on the drift size most common for a hawk , and right now am more confused than before there seams to be not actual set size . That is that I can find I made a drift to one inch but it seams a little small that is to me , is there a set or common size that most use when punching not welding and shaping .  

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