Wedge in handle

May 5, 2000
Hi Andy,

Some time ago you had stated that the handles on the Hawks were made so that the head could not come off. The picture that shows Hawkchucker getting ready to cut a pie with a hawk, shows a wedge in the handle. I always thought that the wedge was used so the handle couldn't come off and possibly hurt someone. Should we be concerned that the head could come off.? Should we put a wedge in like you have done.? I would really hate to see someone get beaned.

Tony P
Good question here Tony, but there is nothing to fear.

The Rogers' Rangers Series utilizes a 1 degree drift attachment method. This means that the actual handle is tapered larger at the top than the bottom....the eye of the Hawk is also tapered to match the handle. We have not seen one head come off of a handle with this attachment method.

We could not do that on the Vietnam Hawk for two primary reasons.

1) The original design was an hourglass eye with a wedge. Our job is to be true to the original design, as Mr. LaGana spec'd it.

2) The eye configuration in the Nam Hawk would not support a 1 degree drift handle attachement short, the eye is too small. Our Step Lock handle attachment feature is quite impressive. Inside the eye, the top half is tapered and larger in dimension than the bottom. So, when we insert the handle from the bottom and wedge the top, the top of the handle wood flares to fill the eye, locking the wood over a small ridge or "step"....very similar to a 1 degree taper method.

The head might become loose after extreme abuse, but it will NOT come off unless it is broken off.

In our destruction testing, only one handle broke, but the head remained on the handle...the handle broke about 2" under the head.

Hope this helps....

Andy Prisco,
Co-Founder, Manager
American Tomahawk Company

[This message has been edited by Andy Prisco (edited 05-09-2001).]
Andy Prisco:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">the actual handle is tapered larger at the top than the bottom....the eye of the Hawk is also tapered to match the handle.</font>

Which is one of the features sorely lacking on the cheaper 'Hawks. The Cold Steel ones for example have no taper and the head is simply pressed on until it catchs on the lip of the eye. Because of this it is not secure enough to stay on while throwing. You can wedge it, but because there is nothing to lock the eye down, the wedge will just drive the handle down through the eye. I took a file to mine and roughly tapered it a little to allow a more secure lockup. Lasts longer now but still won't make it through extended sessions. A smoother taper match to the handle would help, but trying to do that freehand is far from trivial.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 05-10-2001).]