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Ever wanted to make your own Axe? We’ve got you covered.
If you’re a fan of Throwing Axes, or hatchets/tomahawks ect in general, here’s a guide on how you can make a homemade tomahawk. This will be a straightforward process which requires the right tools, materials and persistence. At the same time, we will focus on meeting the axe requirements of the majority of competitions. With this in mind, in this article we will take a look at the steps to make a tomahawk head along with the pros and cons of creating your very own throwing axe.
Characteristics of a Good Axe
In terms of similarities, a throwing knife is the closest weapon you will find to a throwing axe. However, there is more weight and length in an axe which enables a much greater extent of impact. Simply put, a throwing axe is much more devastating and also has a little more utility than a knife in a sense that this blade can either cut up or cut down trees in the outdoors.
However, the throwing axe is also a melee weapon which is designed for close quarter combat. For this reason, the handle should be rigid and a solid metal blade is needed to avoid damage when dropped. As for the sheath, this is also important, for this will make the axe safer and protect the lifespan of the blade.
Light or Heavy – While light axes are designed to be more accurate over shorter distances, they are often harder to guide compared to heavier axes. As you may know, smaller versions of this axe are used by special tactics who, in fact, carry this knife as a melee weapon.
Setting the Tomahawk to Meet Competition Requirements
According to the World Axe Throwing League rules, every axe should comply with a specific set of requirements. These rules apply to every axe throwing competition. Here are the most common regulations for competitive events:
– The head of an axe can weigh up to a maximum 2lbs
– The handle of an axe can consist of plastic, wood, or steel
– The length of an axe handle must be a minimum 12”
– This length includes the bottom of the shaft up to where the wood meets the axe head
Tools Needed to Make the Axe
Although making a throwing axe is far from rocket science, you will need the right tools to ensure the best possible outcome. Here are the basic tools found on Amazon which will make the process easier:
You will obviously need the right materials but also access to welding which will hold the pieces together. For the blade, look for scrap metal which is approximately 3/16 and ¼ thick and then at least 5 inches in length. Alternatively, you can purchase this in a hardware store. Most importantly, just make sure the metal is not too light and not too heavy as this will impact the accuracy of the axe.
– Quarter inch plate steel
– Three-Quarter inch heavy metal pipe
– 20 Inch Ash Hardwood
5 Steps to Crafting a Tomahawk Without a Forge
1. Making the Head and Blade
Although the precise shape of a homemade tactical tomahawk blade will differ from one axe to another, the same process applies. Drawn markings on the metal plate which are 3 ½ inch in height and 5 inches in width. You should then draw a radius on this piece to mark out the curve of the blade. With this done, take the ¼ inch steel and cut this using a steel cutting blade into the general shape of a standard tomahawk blade.
For this process, you can use a handsaw or a jigsaw but using a vice is always the easiest way to ensure the metal does not move and you get a clean cut. As a rule, the longer the blade surface, the more chances a throw will stick but either way, the final shape is quite a personal decision.
Finally, the blade should be beveled on both sides and sharpened before attaching this to the handle. Most homemade tactical tomahawk blades are sharpened to what is known as a 300 edge but the above method is the basic outline in terms of how to make a tomahawk head.
2. Clamping and Welding the Blade
When the above process is complete, leave the blade in the vice but position a ¾ inch pipe along the edge of the blade. At this point, the pipe should be centered and flush with the blade but you must be careful to keep this perfectly straight to avoid deformation. As already mentioned, you can find someone with experience to take care of the welding but otherwise, the blade should be welded to the coupling and then cleaned up afterward. Once again, just check that the blade is perfectly straight.
3. Creating the Handle
Take the piece of ash hardwood and cut this down to be approximately the same length of an adult forearm. In case you might be wondering, this should measure from the inside of your elbow to the very top of your closed fist. Quite often, this length is between 17 – 20 inches but again, this can be customized to be a lot shorter if the owner feels the handle is too long. At the same time, experienced axe throwers will also know that the length of this handle will determine the speed at which he axe rotates in motion. In short, the shorter this handle, the less time the axe will take to rotate.
4. Welding the Blade a Second Time
Many users are concerned when it comes to welding but maybe you know someone who can take care of this aspect. That being said, welding is relatively simple and only requires that you weld the very bottom of the blade (the butt) the very top of the handle. That is to say, you should clamp the head of the tomahawk into the vice and once the blade should be completely flush with the handle top, screw the handle into the pipe coupling.
5. Removing the Burrs
When you are finished making your tomahawk, you will need to shave off any burrs which are created from cutting metal. If you decide to skip this task, the thrower is likely to get injured as a result of the burrs and besides, this should only take a few minutes.
As you can see, this is a very straightforward solution to those who either cannot afford a tomahawk or yearn to produce one with their very own hands. While different materials and techniques can be used to produce an axe, the above process should cover the basics.
The PROS and CONS of a Tomahawk
Steel is the main material for a tomahawk blade but there was a time when rock and bone were used to construct the weapon. Either way, the longevity of a tomahawk is undeniable and the axe is still just as excellent at conventional tasks such as chopping and cutting.
The tomahawk is not so much a household item but certainly ideal for a throwing competition. As they are lightweight, tomahawks are easy to carry and in terms of affordability, learning how to build this weapon is an awful lot cheaper than the rather expensive retail price of the same unit.
At the same time, one of the best things about building a tomahawk is the fact that you now know how to create a new handle should the original fall or break for whatever reason. After all, this can happen and once you know how to construct this ancient weapon, throwing the axe should be just as easy to master.
While making your new hawk, consider the rich history associated with this ancient weapon. Native American tribes adopted the tomahawk with the two sides of this weapon standing for war and peace. During war councils, the tomahawk was a symbolic emblem and was raised prior to battle and used to rouse up the warriors of a tribe.
Burying this tomahawk was a sign of peace but on the other hand, to dig one up was an act of war. In this sense, you should now understand the meaning of “bury the hatchet” and why the tomahawk was always used to symbolize peace treaties.