Forging an axe what tools needed?

Forgedog

Well-Known Member
Im about to order some blacksmithing tools.
I want to try forging axe heads.

Im not entirely sure what tools ill need... After watching a number of axe forging videos this is my best guess.

Some sort of drift for the eye
Swage for the eye
Some sort of hardy cutoff tool
Tongs
Hammer

Im just not sure how to choose the types and sizes needed?
Anything im missing from that list?
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Have you ever forged anything before? Not an insult just a question to see where you are coming from because it will effect the answer.
 

Forgedog

Well-Known Member
I took blacksmithing in high school. But that was pretty basic.
I understand much of the basics but not a whole lot of hands on experience.

In high school we never got into anvil tools other than hammers and basic tongs.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
If your plan is to grab a BA-piece of steel and forge out an axe head I will tell you that is a lot of steel to move by hand. Not mention that also involves punching a hole in said BA piece of steel by hand and drifting it to shape by hand. It is by no means un-doable but I saw in your other post that you are having issues with your hands already so consider what you are attempting. I can offer you an alternative plan which will cut the amount of tools and work you have to have by a good margin and it is a much better first project involving an axe.
 

Forgedog

Well-Known Member
If your plan is to grab a BA-piece of steel and forge out an axe head I will tell you that is a lot of steel to move by hand. Not mention that also involves punching a hole in said BA piece of steel by hand and drifting it to shape by hand. It is by no means un-doable but I saw in your other post that you are having issues with your hands already so consider what you are attempting. I can offer you an alternative plan which will cut the amount of tools and work you have to have by a good margin and it is a much better first project involving an axe.
Thank you, any plans or help is appreciated!
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Assuming you have a cross, straight or diagonal peen hammer then all you would need to buy or make is a tomahawk or mouse hawk drift. You will need tongs suitable for holding the project pieces too I would recommend hammer eye tongs at a minimum. Get you an old ball peen hammer and remove the handle. Draw the hammer head part out into your blade and then draw the ball peen out into a spike or upset it to form a blunt section for hammering like on a traditional axe. Since your hole is already present you do not have to buy or do any punching. If your hole needs to be larger or if it gets distorted during the forging process use your drift to correct the hole. When i do them i always work the cheeks out some on the anvil horn to give them some style. You can perform a simple HT on the blade and leave the rest un-hardened. It is a great project you can make from scrap hammers and your imagination should take over from there,

Once you have done a few of these you should know how to move steel to make the basic shapes you want then you will need to learn how to hot punch steel starting with small stuff and working your way up to hammer or axe blanks. It is not easy to hot punch large hammer and axe blanks evenly by hand and the entire project would depend on doing that step correctly and evenly. The great thing about blacksmithing is you can and should make a majority of your tools because in doing so you will learn how to move steel where you want it.
 
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