Viking axe

Handmade Viking Axe

par {{ author }} Ali Raza au May 22, 2024

Viking axe

In 2010 I started commonsense exploration on authentic techniques utilized in the Viking age to produce tomahawks. My motivation was to distribute a DVD instructional exercise which would empower a transitional level smithy to fashion such a hatchet. In anticipation of the instructional exercise I made around 40 tomahawks to evaluate various ways to deal with lopsided hatchet manufacturing. The objective was to find a method that could best create the my "ideal" list of things to get of elements in a Viking-style hatchet eye with genuinely basic tooling:

  1. A thick survey and dainty, even cheeks
  2. Long langets (the sharp pieces above and underneath the eye)
  3. A weld joint with no undeniable creases inside or outside the eye
  4. . A moderately short weld-joint lap joined with even situation of the eye inside the completed hatchet body
  5.  A weld crease sufficiently able to endure the significant cross over producing later expected to shape the profile of the hatchet furthermore

Moreover I needed to have the option to fashion the eye almost to completed shape by utilizing fundamental blacksmithing methods would have been normal in the Viking age (particularly drawing and fullering). The method I chose is a hilter kilter variety of a work of art, balanced hatchet fashioning strategy which I accept was much of the time utilized in the eighteenth hundred years.


Step 1: Starting Material for the Axe With a Welded Steel HandleHandmade Viking axe 

In this instructional exercise the hatchet body is framed from a piece of hot moved gentle steel which is 0.75" x 2.5" x 4.5" (on the mid-line) and weighs 1070 grams. I consider it an intermediary for a conservative lump of sprout that a Viking smithy could have begun a hatchet with.

Note that the square card is set apart with a 1" network (dark lines).

On one side the cut is skewed at 7 degrees. The skewed face will turn into the cutting edge of the hatchet and is parted in the center with a saw or etch to a profundity of ½" for later addition of a high-carbon steel bit. To the skewed side is welded a handle of 5/8" square steel around 20" long, which is obviously checked R and L to signify the right and left faces of the hatchet cutting edge (I have reusable handles with welded letters). This is Vital in knowing how the piece is situated in a profound fire (particularly - realizing which side is confronting the tuyere-impact). As I would like to think a welded handle is the final say regarding control of the hatchet as it is being fashioned and welded.


Step 2: Forging a Shank on the | eye-side| of the Axe Blank

About portion of the material on the free finish of the work piece (right) is manufactured out to a straight knife with the aspects 0.6" x 1.625" x 4.75". The finish of the piece connected to the handle (left) is tightened from the first cross segment on the piece side to the knife cross segment (leave a little material un-manufactured on the piece side to try not to limit the completed sharp edge).

Step 3: Schematic Diagram of Forming the Axe Eye


The above graph will be useful in outlining the means that lie ahead in framing the eye of the hatchet. The charts show edge perspectives on the hatchet as it is fullered to frame the highlights of the eye. Later strides in this Instructable will allude to Figures 1 - 5.

Step 4: Beveling the End of the Shank (forming a Weld-scarf)

Handmade viking axe

           Handmade viking axe

The finish of the knife is then squared and angled as in Figure 1 of the schematic chart. I generally wrap and weld the eye onto the right half of the edge. Doing this in a standard manner is significant in controlling my welding methodology - for example realizing which side weld joint is confronting the impact when the piece is covered in a profound coke fire. The side of the knife that wraps to Within the eye has the sharp edge of the slant. This sharp edge frames the weld scarf - a vital idea is primary manufacture welds. As needs be, the sharp edge of the slope is manufactured on the right half of the hatchet.

Step 5: Laying Out the Shank for Fullering the Features of the Eye

Handmade Viking axe for sale
        Handmade Viking axe for sale

At the point when the incline is done the knife is estimated and set apart for the fullering expected to shape the eye. The fullering system that follows is the most urgent move toward shaping an astounding hatchet eye and should be done unequivocally to accomplish evenness

Beginning at the sharp edge of the slope the top edge of the knife is set apart with four lines (as displayed in the principal picture above) at the aspects displayed in Figure 2 of the schematic graph.

The top (restricted) edge gets checked with the goal that the lines can be extended down either the right or left sides of the knife. The peripheral lines are projected with a little square down the RIGHT half of the knife (second picture above). The right side structures within the hatchet eye and the matching essences of the weld joint. The center two lines are extended down the LEFT half of the knife (third picture above). The left half of the hatchet frames the beyond the eye. Fullering the center sets of lines shapes the external edges of the survey.

Every one of the four lines on the sides of the knife are set apart with various, weighty focus punch imprints to make them simple to see when the knife has been warmed for fullering (fourth picture above).

Step 6: Fullering the Shank to Demarcate the Features of the Eye

Viking axe

Right now the knife is warmed and fullered on substitute sides as displayed in Figure 3 of the schematic chart. When fullering under the power hammer I utilize a steel pole somewhat over ¼" in measurement. When fullering with a striker I utilize a likewise dimensioned ordinary more full. In these photos you can likewise see that the knife has been fullered about ¼" smaller on the center of the lower edge. This will balance the extending of the survey that will happen later as the eye is produced, and help accomplish the (my) favored structure in the completed hatchet.


Step 7: Beveling the Fuller Grooves

Axe for sale

At the point when the first fullering is done one edge of each depression is slanted with a set mallet toward the cheek of the eye as displayed in Figure 4 of the schematic graph. This will assist with forestalling cold closes when the cheeks of the eye are cross-fullered to thickness.


Step 8: Forging the Cheeks to Thickness and Profiling Their Width

Carbon Steel Viking Axe

The cheeks of the eye are presently fullered transversely to thickness while at the same time enlarging them to frame the trademark langets of Viking age tomahawks (the subsequent cross segment is displayed in Figure 5 of the schematic chart). This is finished in various disregards the edges of the iron block with a longish-edged more full as displayed previously.

Fullering is exchanged with flatting to smooth the outer layer of the cheeks. At the point when the cheeks have the right thickness and width (around 0.2" thick and 2-5/8" wide) the cheeks are estimated and changed in accordance with equivalent length with just enough restorative fullering. This is vital to accomplish a balanced eye wherein the edges of the weld joint match when the eye is collapsed closed.

Step 9: Upsetting the Edges of the Eye-seam for a "seamless" Weld-joint

Camping Axe

At the point when the fullering of the eye has been done the edges of the internal shoulders are upset to assist the eye with jointing to close consistently when it is welded. This is finished with fullers from within the eye as the hatchet is held in a tight clamp.

Step 10: Closing the Eye for Welding


From here the eye is shut over the horn of the iron block with many light and adjusted blows. This should be done cautiously with a great deal of remedial work to guarantee that that eye closes evenly with straight cheeks and with the inward edges of the weld joint coordinated. Care should be taken to try not to shape tight wrinkles within the eye by the survey.

Step 11: Forge Welding the Eye


The eye joint is currently prepared to weld. The entire hatchet body is covered in a huge, clean fire (I use coke) furnished with major areas of strength for an impact. The coke is held by a free block facade around 8" high that I work in a U-shape around the fire pot (base draft). To warm the joint equitably on the two sides it is important to coordinate the impact onto the huge sharp edge segment (by the handle) for some time to preheat it prior to carrying the joint to a welding heat. Transition the joint with (ideally anhydrous) borax at an orange intensity. The weld will most likely take 5 - 6 warms to finish, remembering mixing the scarf for. Try to seal the two sides of the joint. In the event that the tightened scarf it isn't as expected welded its edge tends to open up, particularly at the corners, when the sharp edge is produced more slender. The crease inside the eye should be very much welded to endure being reshaped on the mandrel.

The above recordings show the welding system practically continuously (the subsequent one in close-up) . This is my #1 step of producing a hatchet.

Note that during the later piece of the welding strategy the throat of the hatchet is manufactured smaller and more slender with a genuinely adjusted hammer over the foundation of the iron block horn (not shown). This is an ideal opportunity to complete the throat, taking consideration not to crack the new weld with weighty or delayed cross over manufacturing. Continuously follow a couple of cross over blows with level, welding disasters for guarantee the honesty of the joint.

Step 12: Shaping the Inside of the Eye With a Mandrel

Hunting axe

After the eye is welded it is molded on a mandrel. I have involved similar mandrel for the most recent few years on practically my tomahawks in general. It is "safeguard formed" in cross area. It is around 9.5" long with an outline of 3" on the little end and 4.5" on the huge end. As seen from the side the mandrel tightens from 1.7" wide to 1.2" wide in its entire length. It is significant not to drive the mandrel into the eye excessively hard (which can burst the weld) yet rather to shape and extend the eye by fashioning outwardly of it. While chipping away at the cheeks of the eye it can develop at a startlingly high speed - particularly later simultaneously. It is vital to leave some mandrel length for get done with manufacturing so the eye is completely upheld by the mandrel to the furthest limit of the cycle.

Step 13: Shaping the Langets

Carbon Steel Viking Axe

The langets (sharp projections on the tops and bottoms of the cheeks) are molded with the peen of a light sledge as displayed previously. As the edges of the langets are fashioned they are upset and twisted out of evident with the eye and should be consistently remedied on the mandrel.

Step 14: Shaping the Blade of the Axe to Receive a Steel Bit

While the manufacturing of the eye is done the handle is removed and the cutting edge is fashioned out for embedding the piece. During this interaction the hatchet body is held through the eye with utensils. The thickness of the sharp edge is tightened to around 3/8" on the edge that gets the piece, and the upper and lower edges of the edge profile are manufactured pleasant a straight. The front edge of the body, which was parted ½" profound when the clear was first removed is presently produced to a genuinely sharp etch tighten. Just the split material in front is tightened. The tightened segment emerges to about ¾" - 7/8" wide. It is then warmed and opened up with an etch to get the piece.


Step 15: Forging an Axe Bit From High-carbon Steel

Viking Bearded Camping Axe

For the piece I utilize 1075 steel that is 5/16" x 1" in cross segment and around 1" longer than the separated in the body. I manufacture a sharp edge on this piece, leaving a band around 3/8" wide un-produced. The sharp edge is cut with teeth that will hold it in the hatchet body for manufacture welding.

Step 16: Setting the High-carbon Steel Bit Into the Axe Body

Forged Carbon Steel Viking Axe

To embed the chilly, toothed digit into the warm hatchet body put the cycle on its in a difficult spot on the iron block or a weighty table and drive the hatchet body down onto it. Follow that promptly by straightening the tightened cheeks of the separated firmly onto the piece. This all needs to happen rapidly for the little teeth to endure being crashed into the hot split. I trim the abundance length of the gnawed off flush with the hatchet body to make the gathering simpler to move in the coke fire while welding it.

Step 17: Welding the Bit Into the Axe

Custom Gift Forged Carbon Steel Viking Axe

As of now I re-weld the named handle to the hatchet - this opportunity to the survey - in anticipation of welding the piece. The R and L marks on the handle empower me to precisely substitute my welding passes between the right and left sides of the piece. To set up the manufacture for the weld I again totally clear out the slag and fines. Practically the entire hatchet is covered in an enormous, clean coke as done beforehand for the eye. I weld the piece in around 6 passes during which I shift back and forth between the right and left sides of the weld. The principal passes are finished at the base of the split and ensuing passes are done nearer to the external edge of the separated until the scarfed edges of the parted are mixed into the piece material.


Step 18: Finish-forging the Blade to Thickness and Profile

Custom Gift Forged Carbon Steel Viking Axe

After the welding is done I standardize the hatchet cutting edge something like two times to assist with reinforcing the welds before wrap up manufacturing the edge. This is finished with cautious fullering and flatting to spread it to the ideal thickness. I frequently use water on the blacksmith's iron face to assist with setting scale free from the essence of the hot hatchet, in this way decreasing pitting in the edge. During this interaction the upper and lower edge profiles are fashioned to keep up with clean bends. The fourth picture above shows the position of the eye-weld crease in the hatchet body.

From here the hatchet is standardized, heat-treated and ground. An exhaustive round of normalizations (I standardize multiple times) will assist with holding the piece back from twisting during the extinguish. My tomahawks ordinarily have edge lengths of 6.5" - 7.5" and weigh around 750 grams when ground.


Step 19: Some Finished Axes

Rose Wood Shaft, Viking Bearded Camping Axe

These last pictures show a couple of the in excess of 100 tomahawks I have fashioned throughout recent years or something like that. I sell them through my site where I likewise list classes which I educate at my shop in Oakland, California, and blog about my encounters as an educator and specialist of old blacksmithing strategies.


Taking everything into account I might want to take note of that the objective of the work displayed above was to cause an admired hatchet in light of the absolute most gorgeous curios that to have made due from the Viking age. All things considered, numerous memorable tomahawks were fashioned as utilitarian apparatuses or weapons without the serious level of mathematical routineness or finish that we have become acclimated to seeing in modern items. Tomahawks, for example, these can be made by forgetting about or modifying a portion of the strategies that are framed here, and backing off a piece on the inclination toward inflexible mathematical flawlessness. Obviously a wide range of hatchet structures can be accomplished by utilizing different beginning pieces and manufacturing to various extents.

Shop Now: Handmade Carbon Steel Viking Axe