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Ballpeen hammer head tomahawks

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by trentu, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. trentu


    Mar 2, 2006
    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. rocketmann


    Dec 24, 2005
    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.:D
  3. MikeA


    Aug 21, 2005
    Have a few myself. Great hawks too........... Check out my collection pics in this forum.

    I'm a believer. :thumbup:
  4. Mick57


    May 27, 2004
    I have one of rocketmann's hawks made this way & I can tell ya 1st hand they do come out great! :thumbup: Mine did anyway! :D
  5. ubernut


    Jul 21, 2004
    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. rocketmann


    Dec 24, 2005
    Thanks Bruce, It's great to have satisfied customers!!:thumbup:
  7. trentu


    Mar 2, 2006
    Will have to find me one. I would only need the head. sounds like a nice hawk.
  8. Stuart Willis

    Stuart Willis

    Nov 6, 2006
    Here's a couple that I have made from ball peens
  9. Liam Ryan

    Liam Ryan

    Sep 26, 2005
    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. trentu


    Mar 2, 2006
    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. Stuart Willis

    Stuart Willis

    Nov 6, 2006
    Thanks for the kind words trentu I appreciate it.
  12. hss_forge


    Jun 7, 2006
    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. Dusty One

    Dusty One Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    Very Nice stuff !!!
  14. archangel29407


    Dec 14, 2006
    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. alephlex


    May 4, 2005
    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?

  16. Return of the J.D.

    Return of the J.D.

    Nov 29, 2005
    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. Return of the J.D.

    Return of the J.D.

    Nov 29, 2005
    Third question:

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


    Aug 21, 2005

    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. Stuart Willis

    Stuart Willis

    Nov 6, 2006
    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:
  20. Return of the J.D.

    Return of the J.D.

    Nov 29, 2005
    Do you hollow out the octagonal peen on the pipe hawks, to make them functional? If so, how?

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