Copper tomahawk WIP

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Skeptiksks, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. Skeptiksks

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    A while back my boss procured for me a 5.5' x 4" piece of copper buss bar. I figured I should make him something awesome with it since he scored me such a great piece. So I decided a tomahawk would be the way to go. Obviously because it is copper this is designed more as a decorative piece than an actual tool. I know copper can be work hardened with a hammer, so I will be hammering the whole head for both decoration and strength. Now some pics of the design and some of the materials I have to work with.

    20170627_175802.jpg 20170627_175757.jpg

    That copper nipple will travel through the sides of the handle and the head. I will then flare the pipe and sand it flush. I will use the pipe to run all my lashing around the head through, lets just say its gonna be awesome. The handle is a sledge hammer rehang that didn't work out so well lol I'm going to thin it out towards the base and do a ball type handle.

    Any input and ideas would be awesome as this is the first day of development so anything goes. Hit me with some crazy stuff as this is intended to be a decorative piece. Thanks for looking and there is much more to come.
     
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  2. House of Horst

    House of Horst Have knife, will travel Supporter

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    Watching the hell out of this thread. Sounds like an awesome project. How are you at wood burning designs? I'm thinking about the haft.
     
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  3. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman #7 Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Very interesting indeed! Looking forward to seeing more.
     
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  4. Skeptiksks

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    I haven't done much in that respect so I have no idea. That's one of the things I was planning on incorporating, as well as a waxed jute wrap, feathers and such, and setting sections of copper wire into the haft and sanding them flush. I'm super excited to get a bit of time to actually work on this. Chomping at the bit really. I have way too many ideas swirling around and it sucks to be at work and not be able to take my tools to this project and bring out the life in it.
     
  5. Skeptiksks

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    So I got a bit of work done on this project today. Hopefully I will get the head and handle fitted tomorrow and start on the decorative work.

    20170701_151518.jpg 20170701_153739.jpg 20170701_153749.jpg 20170701_153755.jpg 20170701_154446.jpg 20170701_165946.jpg 20170701_170011.jpg 20170701_180844.jpg 20170701_180851.jpg

    Everything is super rough right now. The pan is to smooth everything out and get it closer to where it needs to be to present it to my boss.
     
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  6. bobs1415

    bobs1415 Supporter Supporter

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    Looking good so far!
     
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  7. Skeptiksks

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    Its definitely getting there. Copper is weird to work with compared to steel as it doesn't react the same to heat and impact. So I have to work with it in a way that is pretty much alien to me. Thankfully I'm not doing anything too drastic to this piece, otherwise I may be in over my head.
     
  8. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Supporter Supporter

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    Got a bit more work done on the head today. I cleaned it up nice and purty before filing. After I file everything and get it all straight I will work on fitting it to the haft. 20170702_155020.jpg 20170702_155035.jpg 20170702_155048.jpg 20170702_155116.jpg
     
  9. central joe

    central joe Guide

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    Wow, that's looking good young fellar. Thoughtful way of you to repay him also. joe
     
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  10. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    That is looking great! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.
     
  11. Skeptiksks

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    Working on fitting the head to the haft. This is going to be a long process of filing and checking, I already know it. Anyway, pics for you guys, enjoy! 149904398910842137789.jpg 14990446420021252047241.jpg
     
  12. Skeptiksks

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    Here is the head, all fitted and filed. Not the cleanest fit, but it will be just fine as a show piece. All the gaps will be covered in epoxy and jute anyway so you won't even notice. Its super straight though, so that's all I care about. 1499045529099571454421.jpg 14990455743451479189290.jpg 1499045638510499576657.jpg
     
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  13. central joe

    central joe Guide

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    You have done well young fellar. joe
     
  14. Skeptiksks

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    Getting pretty close to having the haft all sanded and trued up. Next will be hammering the head and putting the edge on, then on to drilling for the pipe and getting stuff ready to wrap it up.

    More pics 14990493229392007344878.jpg 1499049368927290142741.jpg 1499049405728442362739.jpg of course.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  15. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Supporter Supporter

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    I got a bit of work done. About 5 hours to get where I am now. Why can't I choose a simple project once and a while lol anyway, here are some pics as I progress.

    20170708_195701.jpg 20170708_195705.jpg 20170708_223923.jpg Here I have pics of the holes marked and drilled for the 12 ga copper wire. Probably shouldn't have gone with 1/8th inch increments but that makes it much easier to cheat the spacing.

    20170709_120637.jpg 20170709_185429.jpg 20170709_185436.jpg
    I ended up running out of wire to place into the holes in the handle. Funny for an electrician, but I just did a scrap run so thi is all I had laying around. Gonna make sure I have a few more feet of bare copper on hand from now on.
     
  16. Skeptiksks

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    Got all the pins filed down. Now to flare the lanyard hole nd sand every flush. Then it it on to filing the head to put some kind of edge on it. Enjoy!

    1500256610200148818630.jpg 1500256671538996463592.jpg
     
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  17. Skeptiksks

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    A little more work done. The filing is gonna take a bit, even though it is decorative. I still want it to be useful if it has to be.

    15002588756081894778274.jpg
     
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  18. vyking

    vyking Supporter Supporter

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    That is quite possibly the coolest thing I've seen all day.
     
  19. Skeptiksks

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    Its only gonna get better, I can't wait to see how it turns out once I have finished. I may just want to keep it for myself lol
     
  20. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Your attention to detail is commendable, I really like where you are going with this project.
     
  21. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Supporter Supporter

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    Thank you! This project has taken a lot longer than planned due to life stuff, but that gives me a chance to slow down and take my time and really think the whole thing out.
     
  22. vyking

    vyking Supporter Supporter

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    Here's an idea and take it for what is worth. Think about a leather wrap around the grip over the copper bits. Hear me out. On katanas you have the silk wrap over the ray skin. You still see the ray skin through the openings of the wrap. The contrast of the leather and the copper looks pretty cool in my head. But it could also depend on how you end up staining the handle.
     
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  23. Skeptiksks

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    I love that idea! I have some rawhide that I have been aching to use, and this would fit the bill perfectly. I'm going to be using a mahogany stain and then a clear coat over that. I feel like the rawhide will contrast nicely with that. Is there a way to age it to make it more of a yellow color rather than the stark white it is now?
     
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  24. TheDandyLion

    TheDandyLion Tracker

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    Personally, I would rather hammer the edge in, it would keep more weight on the head and work harden the metal for better edge retention. Plus, less filing
     
  25. Skeptiksks

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    That's not a bad idea at all. I may start the filing and get it close and then hammer it the rest of the way. Tis a good idear
     
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  26. Kelly W

    Kelly W Scout

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    Your hawk looks fantastic so far. I'm very impressed with the craftsmanship.
     
  27. TheDandyLion

    TheDandyLion Tracker

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    That would leave a nicer finish too, especially with a polished hammer
     
  28. Skeptiksks

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    Polished hammer? You mean like polishing the ball side of a ball peen hammer? What is the advantage there, just out of curiosity.
     
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  29. slowtaknow

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    Looking good
     
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  30. TheDandyLion

    TheDandyLion Tracker

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    I polish all my metal working hammers. Both the peen and the face.

    When you strike a soft metal with a steel hammer that has a bunch of dents and scratches, all those small dings get transferred in negative on the material.

    So, if you polish your hammer face, peen, and anvil to a near mirror, the brass you're pounding out will take on almost a mirror finish.
     
  31. Skeptiksks

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    Ok, that makes a lot of sense. Would you sand the work piece down before hammering it? I have a bunch of scratches in the raw material from the filing and from the fact that I got this off a jobsite lol will those scratches carry over noticeably to the final product or should I not worry myself?
     
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  32. TheDandyLion

    TheDandyLion Tracker

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    I would just leave the hammered finish, personally. Hammering will pound out any scratches left from grinding
     
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  33. Skeptiksks

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    Sounds good to me. Hopefully I can get some work done on this piece soon. Life has been way too busy to get much dine on this and I would like to finish before I switch job sites
     
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  34. TheDandyLion

    TheDandyLion Tracker

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    While this applies to bronze, I'm not sure it applies to copper, either way it couldn't hurt.

    Try sharpening the edge by thinning it out with a hammer (at a fairly wide angle) as to work harden the very edge. You won't get a knife-sharp edge like you might with a file and sandpaper, but on such a soft metal an edge of that level would go to waste anyway. Also, with such as soft metal, don't expect it to have as thin of an edge as a steel tool. Unfortunately, for strength reasons it has to be a bit blunt.
     
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  35. Skeptiksks

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    I'm looking to primarily have this as a decorative piece. If it even needs to be pressed into service for whatever reason I fear my boss has bigger problems than a blunted bit lol but I would still like it to get the job done. I have some scrap pieces I will try this method on. If I don't like how it turns out I will file it then hammer for some work hardening.
     
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  36. will52100

    will52100 Tracker

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    Neat idea. I never thought much of copper or bronze weapons till I watched a bronze sword being tested. The edge had been work hardened and it performed surprisingly well.
     
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