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Recommendation? Looking for a "custom" hawk maker

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Middle Peninsula, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Middle Peninsula

    Middle Peninsula

    5
    May 13, 2015
    I've been making attempts over the past couple months to contact Steve Liley, Coal Creek Forge, near Alton, IL, but have had zero success. I found his information from a necro posting from back in 2010/2011 and then a reply from him in 2016. I'm not sure if he is still in business, still around or even wants to be contacted. I've got a couple pics of an extremely lightweight design of a Revolutionary War-era hawk that is currently on exhibit in my area. Was looking for a blacksmith preferably and not a custom knife maker to recreate a similar item for use ultralight hiking and bugout. I really liked what I was reading about Mr. Liley, it appeared that not only was he one of the top hawk makers in the US he was also very reasonably priced for the quality he was producing -- two thing I find extremely commendable when people have the skill to team up those two traits. Any assistance you folks could provide would be very helpful. I'm not into knife collecting other than knowing the odd name here or there when they are mentioned. I'm more of a user of blades. My most expensive blade currently isn't that pricey (Bark River Gunny/CPM 3V) and my daily beater is merely a Mora Companion in Carbon and a Kershaw Hot Wire. Well that's where I'm currently at in the knife world just to give you an idea of what I'm extremely happy with.
     
  2. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    He has retired try H&B Forge he should be able help you out.
     
  3. Middle Peninsula

    Middle Peninsula

    5
    May 13, 2015
    Thanks so much, I appreciate the input. I give H&B Forge a look-see.
     
  4. shaw11b

    shaw11b Gold Member Gold Member

    397
    May 26, 2010
    Walk by fifth 777 makes a fine forged hawk as well
     
  5. Camber

    Camber Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Also look up Justin Burke.
     
  6. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    The Toronto Blacksmith, Paul Krzyszkowski, is reportedly making very high quality products.
     
  7. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    The Toronto Blacksmith, Paul Krzyszkowski, is reportedly making very fine products.
     
  8. John A. Larsen

    John A. Larsen

    Jan 15, 2001
    Lonnie Hansen makes Hawks out of Titanium and found the difference in chopping between real steel and Titanium to be very small. John
     
  9. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    I think titanium impact tools are goofy. You loose the mass needed for the tool to be effective. There's no escaping the effect of inertia on impact. A light tool lacks force.
     
    nzedge likes this.
  10. nzedge

    nzedge

    249
    Apr 7, 2013
    I agree. Titanium is stupid idea for an impact tool. It needs to be physically very large in order to achieve the same weight of its steel counterpart, and its mass that gets the job done.
    Imagine a 5lb + titanium ax head, vs a 5lb + steel axe head. The titanium head would physically be around twice as large. That alone would make for a very poor tool in many ways vs the regular steel ax.

    IMO if you want something better than steel for an impact tool, it needs to be heavier for the same physical dimension, and therefore can be physically smaller while maintaining the weight needed to be an efficient tool . Like tungsten (not saying tungsten would be good, only using it as an example as its a heavy material for its size)
     
  11. Kentucky

    Kentucky

    Dec 13, 2008
    Most historical hawks are very light and fast.. they are generally not at all like we see today. Squire Boones hawk is a good example. Ive researched axes/hawks for years and have seen a lot of historical examples. Id realy like to see that pic if you done mind posting it sometime.
     
  12. Pointshoot777

    Pointshoot777 Gold Member Gold Member

    675
    Feb 16, 2001
    Hmmm . . . this is very interesting. You see this with other types of products too. As people become less users of items every day, designs become less user friendly. And people become ignorant on what are desireable design elements. Of course, this is understandable. We're not frontiersmen living in the 1700s in a wilderness. Hopefully a picture of that historical hawk will be kindly posted and some of its specs.
     
  13. Kentucky

    Kentucky

    Dec 13, 2008
    yes, if you look in books like "traps,tools and firearms of the mountainman", the accouterments books, swords and blades of the American revolution etc you will see just how light and fast belt axes and hawks were. Bag axes, a tool that people today dismiss as unusable and worthless(they try to use them like a full size axe and they are not meant to be used that way) were common at the time. good examples of those can be found in the books and in museums like the Col issac Shelby axe and the general Samuel Hopkins axe with baldric sheath. that's in the autobahn museum here in Kentucky.
     
    Pointshoot777 likes this.
  14. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Even Viking axes were light light and fast. [​IMG]
     
    Pointshoot777 likes this.
  15. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    [​IMG]
     
  16. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    [​IMG]
     
    d762nato likes this.
  17. Kentucky

    Kentucky

    Dec 13, 2008
    Yes, I can point to many,many examples of historical hawks that weigh less than 12-13 ounces.. Plenty of belt axes they are 4 1/2" long and weigh 6-7 ounces
     
  18. Pointshoot777

    Pointshoot777 Gold Member Gold Member

    675
    Feb 16, 2001
    I don't know if the attitude is unique to post WW2 Americans but 'Bigger Is Better' seems common.
    This thinking has influenced many products. -- In regards to axes, I recall seeing a number of YouTube videos where people praised a particular axe because it had a big thick, heavy handle that they thought would be less likely to break. One knowledgeable fellow who uses an axe often, complained about the handle. He actually thinned it out, to give it a little flex. He said this reduced hand shock and made the handle actually Less likely to break.
    Of course, its not surprising that this kind of practical knowledge would be lost by people over time & changing circumstances. Professional loggers mostly use chainsaws today; they rarely use axes. Everyone else is mostly a hobbyist.
     

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