View Full Version : Hawk design. Advice please

Jason Cutter
03-27-2003, 10:53 PM
I'm including a picture of what I've made and tested to be clear on what I'm talking about. I've been trying to make a hawk and this is as close as I've gotten. It has a forged O-1 steel head with 4 inch length and 3 inches wide at the cutting side, edge quenched, tempered twice at 450F, quite thin stock - 3/16inch only and with a long convex bevel to the edge. The haft is canvas Micarta with Loveless screws and 416 pins to secure the head. I've taken apart a lemon tree, thrown it, hammered with it etc. Hasn't died yet, so technically its OK. The handle is way too abrasive and had to be wrapped in a cloth to be comfortable enouh to use hard.

Can anyone please give me some pointers on how to improve the design to be more effective ? My problem with the "other" design is I don't know how to / can't make the hole in the head. Thanks in advance. Jason.

03-28-2003, 06:57 AM
Jason, The hole in the head is one reason that I use ball pein hammers. Cris Crawford has a video of Bruce Evens building a hawk that is a lot of help. Bruce uses a hot cutter to slit the steel for the eye, then a drift to form the eye. Another way is to drill two holes about 1 1/4 apart and connect them to make a slot
and then use the drift this is a somewhat easer way to do it.
There is a post in the supply forum on where to find a drift, make sure that the drift fits there handle. Hope this helps. Gib

Chuck Burrows
03-28-2003, 07:50 AM
Most of the old original forged hawks were actually a piece of iron that was wrapped around the drift and then a steel cutting edge was forge welded between the iron sandwich.
Several other procedures were also used and the "The American Indian Tomahawk" by Harold Peterson has line drawings and descriptions. If you can't find the book (worth it's weight in gold and about as expensive) let me know and I'll email you some scans.


03-29-2003, 10:25 AM
Hi there Jason
I sent you a link to a site that had a hatchet/axe making demo on it by email a while ago
the guy 300ish km away from you