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Steel for a Battle Axe - advice please

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Col Defender, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Col Defender

    Col Defender

    Nov 11, 2011
    I have a good friend and customer who wants me to make a Battle Axe for him. I’m a stock reduction guy who has done just a tiny bit of forging but if I had just the right piece of steel, I think I could pull this off. Any idea where I can come up with 4”x4”x 1/2” (or larger) block?

    1084 would be great but I’ll try whatever.

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  2. Josh Rider

    Josh Rider KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 2, 2014
    Are you planning on making a battleaxe head to be set in a wood handle or a completely steel axe with full steel tang?
     
  3. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    5160 is a good choice for stock removal. 1075 for forging one out.
     
    shqxk likes this.
  4. shqxk

    shqxk

    Mar 26, 2012
    I would use 5160, cheap and tough as hell when HT properly.
     
  5. Col Defender

    Col Defender

    Nov 11, 2011
    Just the head
    - handle can
    Be wood
     
  6. Col Defender

    Col Defender

    Nov 11, 2011
    And I am wide open on suggestions for size.
     
  7. Josh Rider

    Josh Rider KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 2, 2014
    I’d probably use 1075.
    Or a big old saw blade :).
     
  8. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    If your buddy is really rich, go with z-tuff.
     
  9. John mc c

    John mc c

    274
    Aug 23, 2018
    If you're daunted by all that forging and driving an straight eye hole,I would be,I've seen a guy here forge great looking tomahawks out of ball pein hammers.kentucky I think his name is
    Something to consider maybe
     
  10. Tin.Man

    Tin.Man

    817
    Sep 5, 2010
    S7 or 4140 or as Willie said ztuff for the win
     
    hugofeynman likes this.
  11. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    Is your customer planning on using This? If you forging why not forge it from mild steel and forge weld in a bit for the edge. This is a traditional way to do it. Nothing beats mild steel for toughness lol ;)
     
    Josh Rider likes this.
  12. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I have forged a battler ax from a cheap HF 3# cross peen hammer. I suppose you could forge a great big Viking ax from a 8# sledge or maul. Of course, this requires serious forging effort and/or a power hammer.

    The alternative for a stock removal maker is to use 1/4" sheet stock and cut out the head shape. MIG/TIG/stick weld a piece of 1" black iron pipe to it for the poll/eye. A little clean-up with an angle grinder and some sanding will make the weld acceptable. Grind in a taper for the 2" to the edge. Heat with a torch or whatever you have that will get the edge to 1500F and edge quench in a couple gallons of oil. Make the handle from a new shovel shaft from Home Depot These are much heavier than a cheap shovel shaft). Add some leather grips and/or decorative paracord wraps to make the shaft more functional.

    Other things that make it look good are making cut-outs in the cheeks in the shape of a four leaf clover/flowers, heats, runes, a moon, just circles, etc. You do this by drilling holes and filing/sawing the shapes.

    The best finish is a sanded finish around 220 grit and a deep etch in FC. An alternative finish is to flame blue it. Another antique looking finish is the mustard finish.
     
    Volkert Forge likes this.

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