Well if your reading this , I am going to take you through how I make a railroad spike into a fully functional badass tomahawk. I was working on this today for a customer, and decided to take some pictures to show the process , or at least my process.
Disclaimer: I am dead sure there are better smiths than myself who do this better than myself. They weren’t in the forge with me today. Lol.
Step 1. Get a spike or 2. (2-3 like me.. I mess up on these frequently. lol wait.. is that bad to admit?)
Your probably going to want to use a forge for this, but if you don’t have one, a cutting torch might work, but will be expensive to use. Check out www.whitloxhomestead.com for cheap wood forges, you really can’t beat using wood to forge. Finding coal is hard. Buying it is expensive. Finding someone who doesn’t want your house as collateral to ship it is even more difficult.
Anyway, for this im using a small gas forge called a ‘devil-forge’ . Not sure of the website for them, if you have it comment it below.
Step 2. Heat those suckers up!
Step 3: The handle drift
If you have a forge already , might not be a bad idea to make one of these… I call it a ‘slit’ or ‘ hawk slit’ .
This lets me do a nice even slit on both sides of the railroad spike. Drawing this on with soap stone is perfectly fine and I recommend it!
This part should take you several heats. Don’t get in a rush , or you will mess up. Trust me. I know. I do it alot.
Once your almost all the way through , stop. Don’t drift the hawk all the way through. You still need to flatten out the head of the spike to make a blade. If you’ve drifted through , you will warp this over and over, accidents happen . I have ripped the sides of a drift several times right here. Slow down and ….
Step 4. Forge the hawk’s blade.
Turn the spike on it’s side and hammer the head down to about 5/16 thick. Don’t go any further, we still have to move some steel around to make a hawk shape.
To get your hawk shape, use the peen of your hammer to move steel different ways without flattening it more.
Your blade should be getting close by now. So let’s address that handle drift. You really could use a piece of steel around 1” to make your own handle. But if your going to do traditional tomahawks, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to get a tomahawk drift. I got mine off of ebay I think. I have had it a good while, I really don’t remember where I found it but you get the idea .
Step 5: Drift the hawk.
Keep driving the drift down a little bit at a time. I like to use the cross peen hammer to dress the sides of the hawk with the drift inside it. This helps stretch a little steel out so when you drive the hawk farther and father, you don’t rip the steel -This happens and it’s heart breaking when it does- .
Well there you have the broke down ,—-me taking pics as I forge- version of ‘ how to forge a tomahawk from a railroad spike. lol. I know theres probably things that I could explain better, and in time, I will address those. But for now, here you go.
If you aren’t interested in forging but want to buy a railroad spike tomahawk please message me, or go to the website http://www.wolfsheadforge.com and click on Tomahawks. If I have any in stock they will be on there.
I am also doing Railroad spike tomahawk AND knife sets in Curly Maple soon.
Don’t forget about the newsletter giveaway. All you do is signup here, and you get entered to win a Curly Maple Tomahawk and Railroad spike knife (above) . Cool huh?
Until next time! – Denny