Work Hawks (PIC HEAVY!)

Discussion in 'Park Swan - Wild Knife & Tool' started by Park Swan, May 11, 2017.

  1. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    This is going to be the master thread for my work hawk designs. I'm throwing up some pictures now but will update later with all the info I can regarding work hawks! In the meantime, feel free to send me a message if you have any questions or just want to say hello.

    The work hawk design was borne out of a love for backpacking and bushcraft. I love packing light and traveling far but I also love chopping and carving and building small structures. What I really don't like is the feeling that I wan't to cut something or make something but I don't have enough tool to get the job done, so I set out to create a tool for weekend+ backpacking trips that would give me confidence, versatility, and chopping power at 1lb weight. My tool of choice for years was an e-nep made from a large sawblade that weighed close to a pound, which was a great knife for this purpose but never seemed quite like it was worth its weight. My design started as a large knife actually, but I never could make use of all that blade during testing. The second iteration was a bit of an aberration, a 7" cleaver blade combined with a 9" handle offering three separate grips for the hand. Still, the extra blade was adding too much weight and helping very little, and I realized that I really needed to be able to get my hand behind the blade to make small work comfortable. I simplified my handle and created a hatchet-shaped template which was then tested and re-tested, and with the help of some structural engineer type folks, weight was brought down to my specs while keeping the tool balanced.

    Although I am a huge lover of axes and hatchets, I'm steadfastly unconvinced that the traditional axe model is the ideal tool within a certain weight range for a few reasons. A properly designed and built full tang hawk can provide an ideal medium between a large knife or a small hatchet in the same weight class. It can chop like a hatchet into thicker wood, but can also be easily used for snap cutting small brush or vines because of the superior balance. A large knife can also chop well and make quick cuts, but can be unwieldy for smaller work because you have to control 7+ inches of heavy blade out in front of your grip. With this hawk, you can chop down small trees, skin game, make fuzz sticks, prep food, clear a campsite, perform basic woodworking tasks (drawknifing, shaving, cutting notches, carving), etc.

    I built the design with .25" thick steel in mind, because it's very close to ideal thickness and can be found in many different steel types. The first small batch of these hawks was made from 52100 which performed excellently, but 80CRV2 is the current go-to steel. 80CRV2 has been called "5160 on steroids." It's a very tough workhorse steel with better edge holding capabilities than 5160. I have these heat treated by Peter's, leaving nothing to chance, and they do an amazing job. The bit and poll are 59RC, considerably harder than traditional axes and hatchets, and the tang is tempered down to 47RC for springy toughness. They hold a mean edge.

    SPECS

    Work Hawk
    Length: 12.75"
    Edge Length: 3.75"
    Weight: The Work Hawk with no scales weighs between 16 and 17 oz depending on the grind.
    Paracord adds an ounce or so, terotuf adds 4oz, and micarta adds 5oz.
    Steel: Aldo's 80CRV2
    Heat Treat: 59RC bit and poll, 47RC tang



    The first work hawk!
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    Second batch of hawks, first run of the XL
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    I want to do more with this etched finish in the future
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    Naked!
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    And with ultralight undies on :D
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    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  2. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    One I did with hand carved black micarta
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    Polished final edge

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  3. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Like the hawk work! Looking forward to see more.....
     
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  4. justinspicher

    justinspicher Tracker

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    Those are sick! Do you sell them?
     
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  5. battle.munky

    battle.munky Scout

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    Pretty cool reuse of the ALICE quick disco @Park Swan .

    How do these feel in the hand when you chop, specifically the vibe?
     
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  6. Landrunner33

    Landrunner33 Tracker

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    Love the wooden handle!
     
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  7. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Supporter Supporter

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    Those are really cool!

    A tumbled finish would be pretty sweet too, it would take a big nasty, super expensive tumble to fit a batch of those wicked hawks in it though....... but it would look good.

    Nice, really nice.
    I'm looking forward to seeing more of your designs and work.
    Keep it up man!
     
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  8. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    Thanks! There are more in the works!

    Thanks, I sell them here on BCUSA and the last one pictured is available now in the Vendor/Hobbyist classifieds.

    Much appreciated, it's a cool piece of hardware. There is definitely more vibration during 'hard' chopping compared with a wood handled hatchet, but the tradeoff is that the work hawk cuts deeper and more efficiently, especially in greenwood. I don't notice the vibration with terotuf and micarta handles, I only ever really feel it when I'm using the cord wrap only or doing testing with an unwrapped hawk.

    Thanks!

    Thank you! I have been thinking about tumbling these for a while now and just got a small cheap tumbler. Maybe it's time to try and rig something up for these. Yeah, it'd be a monster!
     
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  9. t.darrah

    t.darrah Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hoping to see one available soon in black micarta or grey terotuff.
     
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  10. Bitterfists

    Bitterfists Supporter Supporter

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    I also like the grey terrotuf, with that etched finish would be awesome! I have money set aside now, just in case one were to show up soon. I am glad you found your way here, you have some fantastic stuff. I also dig the unique character you add to your pieces.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  11. crewhead05

    crewhead05 Supporter Supporter

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    These are cool pieces. I like the use of the alice quick release buckle on the mask, that is awesome.
     
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  12. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    Thanks guys, I'm trying to get another batch of these going but I can't find 80CRV2 in the sizes I need right now. I'm considering doing another batch in 52100 or possibly even giving W2 a try. Thoughts?
     
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  13. t.darrah

    t.darrah Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hope you find available 80crv2 soon!
     
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  14. crewhead05

    crewhead05 Supporter Supporter

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    I personally would be fine with a hawk of this size and design in 52100 or W2. Would that bring your overall cost down at all? (not complaining just curious)

    How do you go about your final sharpening on each hawk and what angles do you sharpen too?

    The more I look the more I really like this design.
     
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  15. Bitterfists

    Bitterfists Supporter Supporter

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    I personally prefer the 80crv2. That is in part, due to my ignorance and lack of experience with the other 2 steels. If you believe the others to to be good steel for the job... I may be game. But that does also bring up the question of your warranty. I'm sorry if I missed it somewhere, do you warranty your products? Thanks.

    That XL looks like a champ!
     
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  16. Camber

    Camber Scout

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    While I'm sure W2 and 52100 would work out fine since it's not a huge chopper, I'm not a huge fan of either of those steels for a blade meant to do this kind of work. I'd rather see something tougher, like 1075 / 5160 / L6 / S7 or the 80CrV2 you mention. It's unlikely to dull by abrasive wear given it's targeted uses, so the wear resistance of the first two steels seem unnecessary.
     
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  17. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    Thanks for all of the thoughtful replies.

    Me too!

    I do a good bit of testing different grinds on these hawks, but a few things remain relatively consistent, like XL's having a bit more meat behind the edge than regular sizes do. Of course, for something available at any point I'm happy to talk about the type of grind it has. Most commonly, I do the primary grinds at about 5-6 dps down to around .015 before adding the secondary at around 10dps, which is usually then convexed into the primary. I occasionally do true microbevels and caution a buyer about the tradeoff of having such a small edge. They are real fun to use that way, though. Regardless of grind, I always add the secondary bevel and sharpen by hand with sandpaper and stones because I'm paranoid-level cautious about overheating the edge.

    Here's a grind like I just described but with some convex to the primary as well:
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    52100 and w2 aren't very different in price from 80crv2 at the same size so not likely, but maybe a bit.

    I have seen others do very impressive stuff with both 52100 and w2 lately. I was shocked by how well the 52100 performed in my first batch of these, but the only reason I used it then was because 80crv2 wasn't available at the time. I wouldn't hesitate to use 52100 again, but I certainly don't want to undermine the importance of my customers' confidence in a tool.

    Yep, full warranty against defects in materials, construction, etc. If something happens to a tool that shouldn't happen, I'll replace it. Thanks for reminding me that I need to actually write that up properly in legalese somewhere :)

    Understood. I'm looking for a source for large sizes of L6 or S7 currently but there doesn't seem to be much available in the sizes needed to make a batch of these cost effective. I'm asking around so hopefully something will turn up.

    Unfortunately, Aldo is out of 80CRV2 and will be until Autumn. Other places have it in stock in smaller sizes, but I'll have to see what can be done regarding multiple pieces and making the waterjet time viable.

    I keep getting tempted by 3v :16: but it would add about $70 per hawk in material costs alone and likely eat up my belts as well. :eek:
     
  18. Camber

    Camber Scout

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    Like I said, I honestly feel it wouldn't really matter using 52100 or W2 over the 80CrV2. I think most people, myself included get hung up on steel selection too much, when likely 99.9% are not going to push their blade to the point where they see the difference in steel. It's more just a piece of mind thing, or a "I want the most ideal thing ever" thing, lol.

    Have you tried flatground (that's the actual website) for S7? I remember a knife maker I worked with getting some from there...might have even been Scott Gossman on this forum. He uses S7 pretty regularly so might be worth asking him. McMasterCarr also used to carry it, but I don't know how cost effective it was.

    L6 is my favorite (not for any particularly huge reason, just it performs well and isn't common), but it is hella expensive the last time I sourced it.

    Have you considered good ole 5160? Or even 1084?
     
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  19. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    S7 and L6 are both considerably more expensive than 80CRV2, 52100, W2, but the bigger issue at the moment is sourcing large sheets, same problem with good ole 5160. Largest I can find is a 12x36" which should theoretically fit 8 regular work hawks, but it's almost double the cost of a 16x48 sheet of the other steels. Nothing wrong with 1084, but I'd go with 52100 over it.

    It's easy to get caught up in the steel type for sure. All of these steels will do an excellent job with the right heat treat.
     
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  20. Camber

    Camber Scout

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    Ahh, I wasn't aware of just how big a sheet you wanted. Yeah, 16x48 is pretty large for sure!
     

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