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Old 03-05-2009, 09:14 AM   #19
Arden Cogar Jr.
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 694

Very interesting.

The crosscut saw blanks are made from band saw metal. It's pounded flat, then cut out. Then the gullets are either cut out by laser or water jet. Then the maker takes grinders and shapes the teeth and rakers - swedge it (get everything the same height). At that point, they'll heat it. After it's heated, they'll file it and ready it for competition.

The folk that hand make their axes normally take 8" by 8" by 1" blocks of rolled tool steel and machine off the excess. The back of the competition racing axe is 4" in diameter. The back is also 1" thick. Most competition axes end up about 8" wide (measured from tip to tip - not the radius of the cutting face) by 8" long (at the center of the arc'ed blade). So the block would would need "half wings" machined off initially. Then the eye of the axe (where the handle goes) is machined out. At the point the excess steel would need machined off the front of the axe from what would be the edge. The edge is thin and will end up being razor sharp. Ideally, the machined head will end up with a 15 degree angle - 7 and half degrees on both sides - not flat, but arc'ed following the face of the axe itself.

My guess is if you got your hands on one of these axes you could make one pretty easily given your experience. If you're interested, I'll ship you out one of my older heads for you to take a look so you can get an idea of what it's suppossed to look like. You can send it back to me at your leisure.

All the best,

Originally Posted by glennpendlay View Post

I make most of my knives out of some old saw blades from a mill that shut down long ago, they are the old ones that were high carbon steel through and through and not just in a ring around the edge like the newer ones are. I have a bunch of these old blades saved up.

I can get a hardness of 57-58 on them pretty easily, and I usually anneal the spine of the knife for increased durability.

If I want to make something thicker (like a Kukri, or machette) I will start with a leaf spring, they make a pretty good blade.

I think I am going to look into these axe heads, and see if I might be interested in trying my hand at making one.

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