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Thread: help making a tomahawk from a ballpean hammer

  1. #1
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    panton Vermont
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    help making a tomahawk from a ballpean hammer


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    hi guys
    I would like to make a tomahawk from a old ballpean hammer head that I have. I was wondering if You guys had any advice on going about it or if there were any WIPs or tutorials that you could point me to thanks for the help
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    I have an old hammer head (claw) I was thinking of turning into a hawk as well, though I have no expectations of it hardening under my simple processes, I'm more doing it for practice and fun, and if it hardens great. I'm interested to see how you do with yours, if you go ahead with it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Norfolk,Va.
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    I make hawks from HF ball peen hammers. Get the five piece, 12oz. to 32oz. set when on sale, and make small, medium, and large hawks. The steel is something around .40-.50% carbon and is just right for hawks.
    They don't take long to forge out, and are good projects for the crowd to watch take shape at demos.

    Put the hammer head in the forge for a minute, and the head will come off the handle easily with one whack from the forging hammer. Save the larger wooden handles to make hawk handles for the smaller hawks. The surface char will grind off.

    You will need a pair of large bolt tongs and a pair of rivet tongs.
    Do forging and drawing at high red to orange heat, and re-heat when it drops to low red.

    Using a 16oz. to 20oz. head:
    Start by drawing the ball straight out into a 4" long tapered spike. Hold the peen head in the bolt tongs.
    I like the spike sides flat and the top and bottom rounded, but the shape is up to you. Don't curve or finish the spike yet.
    Use the spike to hold in the rivet tongs, and start flattening the peen. Once it is flattened a bit, start "pushing" the metal toward the outer edges from the eye direction.
    At this point, drift the eye with a hawk drift. Once drifted to size, I have a 2" piece of mild steel that I have shaped the same as the drift end. It is the size that I like my handles. I drive this in the eye, and leave it there. This prevents the eye from getting too distorted while finishing the hawk head.
    Continue to draw out the hawk blade. Once it is out about 1.5-2" inches, start dropping the beard downward. Shape a little more until it is getting to look a bit like a hawk blade.
    Continue drawing the blade until it is shaped and done. Leave the edge 1/8" thick.
    Finish shaping the spike and curve it down as desired.
    Once all is looking right, give the metal plug in the eye a whack and knock it out of the hole. Clean the hawk up on the grinder, and/or with files until shaped and smooth. About 220 grit is fine.
    Heat the hawk in the forge and quench the blade edge in oil up to about 1" from the eye. Let cool in the oil for a minute.
    Heat the spike only, and quench to about 1" from the eye. After about 10 seconds, quench the rest of the head.
    Temper at 450-475°F.
    Make a handle from some nice curly maple ( or buy one pre-shaped from a supplier), and finish it to accentuate the curl.

    The edge can be made sharp and at 25° for a cutting/fighting hawk, or at 30-35° for a throwing hawk.
    Last edited by bladsmth; 12-09-2011 at 09:14 PM.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2011
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    Jefferson City, Missouri, United States
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    Thanks Stacy!! This is something I have been wanting to try as well. Can't wait!

  5. #5
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    Sep 2008
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    panton Vermont
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    thanks Stacy

    I'll be giving this a try next weekend I've been wanting to do it for a while and am very excited to give it a go

  6. #6
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    Oct 2007
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    Valparaiso, IN
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    Got any pics Stacy?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Bruce Evans did a video - no hammer he slit a bar from scratch

    http://smartflix.com/store/video/366...Style-Tomahawk

    http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4628863

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Norfolk,Va.
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    I made a spike hawk from a hammer head for the 2009 KITH. It is in post #16
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...-knife-arrived
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  9. #9
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    Creek County, OK
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    Stacy in that pic on page 16 do you remember what size hammer head that was??

    absolutely beautiful work I love that spike shape..
    BeckerHead #13

    "I am not a Number, I am a Free Man"- Maiden

    "The moments we share today, Inspire the stories we tell tomorrow"

  10. #10
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    16 ounce, IIRC. But it could have been a 20 Oz. I use 16,20 and 24oz. for most hawks.
    The larger heads - 24,28,32 - will make a nice camp hawk for cutting wood, and for splitting kindling.
    The medium heads - 16-20-24 - make nice small hawks, which can be belt carried.
    The smaller heads - 12-14-16 - make nice "Mouse Hawks". They can be made very sharp, and used as a skinning knife, a utility blade, etc. for belt carry; or have a sharp but steeper edge angle and be used by the fireplace to split kindling.

    You can draw out a small hawk from a 12oz. head in a very short time.

    I have been told that the heads from HF are 4140, and that seems right from my experience with them. HT is super basic.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  11. #11
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    Jul 2006
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    Hershey, PA
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    Hey Stacy,

    I checked out H F's site and only found this set....they are fiberglass handles.....will they be OK to use for hawks?

    Thanks,

    Bobby

    http://www.harborfreight.com/5-piece...set-39217.html

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
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    My wife loves to get together with her sisters and mother on sat mornings and go to yard sales. I told her if she saw a hammer for a dollar or less to bring it home. I now have a box of cheap hammers

  13. #13
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    Aug 2004
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    Norfolk,Va.
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    Those HF hammers are the ones I use. They have been in wooden handles so far, but may have old wooden handles for grinding into small tool handles.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hershey, PA
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    I've actually got a set of those fiberglass handled ones already. Been searching the net and found a set of drop forged, wooden handles on EBay for $14.00 and a set of Pittburgh Tool co for $24.00...

    Thanks Stacy for the idea.

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