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Blacksmithing & Toolmaking

Crafting the Throwing Axe

Course Overview

Popularized today by movies and many historical reenactors of the fur trade era, the throwing axe is a tool deeply embedded in North American history. Akin to the hatchet, it offers the ability to split and chop wood but is also designed to be used as a hand-to-hand or throwing weapon. The construction method for this axe will be a two-piece wrap via the process of forge welding to close the face of the axe and form the eye. In this class, students will learn the whole process to make their own steel-headed throwing axe. Starting with an understanding of the forges and tools, students will move on to learn forge-welding and forging techniques, manipulating and moving the steel to profile, forming an eye for the handle, and heat-treating the steel for field use. Also covered in this course will be basic techniques and examples for proper use of the throwing axe. Some blacksmithing experience is helpful, but not required.

This course is an intensive experience: forge welding these large pieces means a lot of flying, burning flux and extremely hot pieces of steel. Students should be prepared for long days of physical labor running a forge and hammering a large hot piece of steel.

Required Tools All Students Must Bring

  • Leather gloves
  • Jeans
  • Cotton shirts (no nylon clothing)
  • Leather shoes
  • Clothing comfortable to outdoors-in

Optional Tools that Might be Helpful

  • Safety glasses
  • Ear protection
  • Your favorite blacksmithing hammer (non claw types - 1-3lb hammer)
  • Good file for steel
  • Tongs or over-sized pliers
  • Steel punch
  • Steel chisels
  • Vice grips
  • Channel locks
  • Ball-peen hammer(s) and/or heads to be modified into a suitable blacksmithing hammer
  • Any hammer heads that you'd like to use (non-claw)
  • Camera
  • 4.5" grinder

Currently Scheduled Sessions

No sessions currently scheduled for this course.

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