Thursday, December 19, 2013

Woodsman 'hawk with sheath

This is the first piece of mine to make it up to Alaska.  12" Woodsman (hammer poll) model, unsharpened inner beard, black Durabake and natural tan canvas Micarta.  1/4" 4140 steel, flared stainless steel tube rivets.

The customer ordered a sheath with the shoulder sling, double adjustable and quick-detachable.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wrecker 'hawk with bare sheath

This one went out to the customer a few days ago.  18" Wrecker model with pry spike, sharpened inner beard, black Durabake and Micarta.  1/4" 4140 steel.

He plans to have a buddy build a leather sheath for it, but went ahead and got a Kydex one without carry options for the meantime.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Temper, temper

Nine ground and hardened tomahawks hanging in the kiln, ready to temper.  They've gone through the tempering cycle now; this picture was taken before.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Done with one batch, on to the next!

This batch has all been finished up and are on their way to their respective customers.  Here's a brief glance as they were waiting for sheaths to be built:

I'll post the finished pics in their own posts.  I don't plan to document all the batches of 'hawks like I did this one, but I wanted to show some of the steps along the way.

Now on to the next batch!

This is a big one as there are two double orders and one of the long Wreckers is going to be a demonstration model for myself.  About half of the grinding is already done.  This pic shows them all post-normalizing.

Friday, December 6, 2013

War Chief tactical tomahawk with sheath-making video

I had a customer who lives nearby come to the shop today and watch as his tomahawk's sheath was made.  He ordered a 12" War Chief (combat spike) in black, with a sheath.  He also brought tasty breakfast tacos!  :)

 1/4" 4140 steel, canvas Micarta handles, flared stainless tube rivets.

The sheath is Kydex, bottom-eject, ambidextrous, MOLLE-compatible, jump-ready with multiple carry options.

He chose to add a quick-detach double adjustable shoulder strap and IWB bands.


And here's how I built the sheath.  I had templates waterjet cut to build the Kydex molding forms, lay out holes and slots, and trim the overall outline.  Still takes time, but the results are consistent and work well.  I'll do another video in the future showing the sheath's various carry options.



Four more 'hawks waiting on sheaths and sharpening, then on to the next batch!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Micarta manipulation

It was a short day yesterday, but I got some good things done.

Micarta sheets after sandblasting and before being cut up on my table saw.  The bottom sheet with the cutouts is 1/4" mild steel, used to make some tooling.

After cutting into handle slabs, I used my handle template to drill the rivet holes.

There are always little tricks to any process.  After a while, I figured out how to drill the holes without having to shift the C-clamps each time, and drilled two slabs at once.

Then I countersunk the holes.

Then I bolted the handle template to the individual slabs and used a trim bit on a router to trim, obviously.  :)

Followed by a 45 degree bevel using the other router.

The handle template is built so that the Micarta is trimmed leaving the butt of the tang exposed, providing an extra impact surface and protecting the Micaarta from damage if someone should do something like, oh, throw the darn thing.

Tomorrow I'll round the edges of the bevels, rivet the handles on, and sharpen, all going well.  If I pop my coat tails, I could probably do some sheaths too.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wrecker tactical tomahawk in black. First look at new sheaths.

This one went out to a patient customer this past weekend.

18" overall length Wrecker model (pry spike) with a sharpened inner beard.  Black Durabake coating and Micarta with flared stainless steel flared tube rivets on 1/4" 4140 steel.

 He is one of the first customers to receive a sheath from me, something that delayed me starting to work on orders by probably at least a month while I built the tooling to make them and tried it out, working out the little tricks inherent in any process.

It's Kydex, bottom eject, ambidextrous, MOLLE compatible, jump ready, with multiple carry options.

This particular one was ordered with optional second retention strap, quick-detach double adjustable shoulder strap, and MOLLE locks.

Hope it serves him well, and I appreciate him sticking with me while I got everything off the ground.  :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Durabake coating on the tomahawks

Got this batch Durabaked today.

I need to build a better spraying setup, but I rigged this up as a temporary solution and it did all right.

Everyone in this batch wanted black, except one.

About to bake in the kiln.

Cooling off afterwards on the normalizing rack.

And the whole heat treatment setup.  Three phase kiln on the left used for tempering and baking on the finish, Evenheat used for hardening to the right of that, normalizing rack to the right of that, tomahawk quench oil in the black barrel, and canola oil for quenching bush swords in the square tube quench tank.

Tomorrow the plan is to get Micarta sheets sandblasted and cut up, and possibly shaped into slabs and on the 'hawks.

I also shot a little video showing durability in response to a handful of people who have asked me about if the top rivet hole on the short 'hawks is a weak spot.  The video is uploading and I'll post it when finished.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nose to the grindstone. Well, tomahawks to the belt grinder. :)

I've finally got the ball rolling on everything and am working on the first batch of tomahawks since getting my new heat treatment furnace set up.  I'm first working on taking care of military orders, then will work on the rest in order.

Here's the first batch of five.  I plan on working on six at a time in the future, but I wanted to get these finished and to the customers ASAP.

All of them have sharpened inner beards except the second hammer poll from the left.  I know some of them are hard to see in the pic.  It was taken under fluorescent lights at night in my shop.

Here they are on the combination tempering/coating baking rack in the big 3 phase kiln that I use for such operations.  At this point, they've been normalized, ground, and hardened.

And the two heat treatment devices side-by-side.  The new furnace, dedicated to the hardening phase, is on the right.  The 3 phase kiln, dedicated to tempering and baking on the finish, is on the left.  The first tempering cycle is just starting and the kiln isn't up to temp yet.

The rack I use for normalizing is to the right of the furnace, with only one foot visible.  The quench tank is just out of the shot on the right and forward.

Also, after wrestling with the idea for a while, I've decided to name my models.  Model names for blades can get really gimmicky for some folks, but I wanted something straightforward that would be evocative of the intended use.

So, I chose War Chief, Wrecker, and Woodsman.

War Chief (combat spike) on the left, Wrecker (pry spike) on the right.

And Woodsman (hammer poll):

I have a pretty good handful of orders to get made, and should start putting up some finished pictures in the next few days, all going well.  :)