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Thread: Ballpeen hammer head tomahawks

  1. #1
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    Question Ballpeen hammer head tomahawks


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    Talked to an old timer yesterday that said he use to make tomahawks and hatchets from ballpeen hammer heads. He would hammer out the head to a blade and then would spike the rounded knob. Anyone ever heard of this? He said they would hold an edge forever.

  2. #2
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    I've made quite a few this way..They come out great..If you want to see what they look like check out the one I have in the for sale (fixed blade) area.

  3. #3
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    Have a few myself. Great hawks too........... Check out my collection pics in this forum.

    I'm a believer.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketmann View Post
    I've made quite a few this way..They come out great..If you want to see what they look like check out the one I have in the for sale (fixed blade) area.
    I have one of rocketmann's hawks made this way & I can tell ya 1st hand they do come out great! Mine did anyway!

  5. #5
    The one I have made from a ballpeen hammer is my favorite. Easily. Good balance. My K5 is handle heavy. I prefer the weight in the head.

  6. #6
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    Thanks Bruce, It's great to have satisfied customers!!

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    Will have to find me one. I would only need the head. sounds like a nice hawk.

  8. #8
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    Here's a couple that I have made from ball peens
    Last edited by Stuart Willis; 08-26-2008 at 08:12 PM.

  9. #9
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    Do you need a special drift to open the eye up? It has to taper for the head not to fly off the handle, it seems that would be the hardest part for me.
    Also, I have heard not to use chinese made hammers, but ones from the US are the best.

  10. #10
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    Stuart, I love the one with the spike. You do really nice work. If you can rough me out one like that non finished and just shaped PM me a price.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the kind words trentu I appreciate it.

  12. #12
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    I make mine using a small t'hawk drift (mouse hawk size) then use the full size drift if it's a big enough BPH head. 12-16oz use a mouse hawk handle, 20-24 oz I use the full size drift. Yes, stay away from the chinese versions. I can get BP hammers at garage sales for $0.50 to $1.00 a piece, so I rarely buy new.

  13. #13
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    Very Nice stuff !!!
    Dusty One

  14. #14
    Two questions, if you don't mind.

    1. Why do most of these always have a curved spike on the back? Wouldn't the spike be more effective if it was straight?

    2. How do you go about making a tomahawk from a ball pein hammer? I don't have the skill/tools/know how, I'm just curious about the project in general. I've seen some beautiful ones recently.

    Stuart Willis has some really nice ones that I've seen on Ebay. Amazing that something so beautiful can come out of a bp hammer.

  15. #15
    Yep, I'm curious too as to how they are made. This is the first time I've come across this idea and it's fascinating.

    Can anyone give us a rough idea of the process of making them and time lines involved?

    Thanks.

  16. #16
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    Two questions occur to me:

    1. You suggest avoiding Chinese hammers. Okay--but why?
    2. Where does one get a tomahawk drift? How much do these cost?

  17. #17
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    Third question:

    3. Stuart Willis: how'd you shape the pipe out of the ball peen on the pipe 'hawk?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by archangel29407 View Post
    Two questions, if you don't mind.

    1. Why do most of these always have a curved spike on the back? Wouldn't the spike be more effective if it was straight?

    If you really look at the arch of your swing, especially if you choke up on the haft, the curved spike makes very good sense.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the compliments guys. I have been told that the curved spike design was taken from the boarding axe ,as Mike said if you look at the swing action a straight one would not hit with the force it should.
    I have used some of the higher end brand name bp hammers that were foreign made. It is getting harder to find new ones that are not. I have seen craftsmen,snap on and mac that were.
    I start out by drifting the haft hole either tear drop or oval. I do have some different shapes but these I made myself. I hammer the blade out next spreading it as much as possible as I go. I then hammer out the spike next keeping everything inline. I rough grind the profile with a side grinder and finish up with the belt grinder and files. The pipes or the hammer poles I just hammer the ball into an octagon shape and finish grind theres alot more steel in the ball than it looks like. Completed hawk with handmade haft I will have about 15 to 25 hours in.
    These people supply drifts:
    http://www.blacksmithsdepot.com/
    http://www.blacksmithsupply.com/

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Willis View Post
    The pipes or the hammer poles I just hammer the ball into an octagon shape and finish grind theres alot more steel in the ball than it looks like.
    Do you hollow out the octagonal peen on the pipe hawks, to make them functional? If so, how?

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