Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

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Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

Postby Mrknot » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:47 pm

On our last family camping trip I taught my youngest how to throw a tomahawk.
As will happen when using/abusing tools like this, the handle on my CS Riflemans hawk broke, right at the haft.

Tried emailing CS to see if they offer a polypropylene replacement handle and all I got back was a link to the trench hawk handle replacement. Kind of a bummer as I think a poly-pro handle fitted to their 'hawks would be kind of cool, (they all take the same size handle).
Had a bit of time to kill today so I went out into my "back 40", found a likely Vine Maple limb, and cut it off.
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Just me, a sharpie, some wood, and my BK9. Awesome forced patina on the 9 IMHO.
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Used the 9 to peel off the bark.
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Started by sliding the head onto the blank.
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Then marking any points of contact/resistance and shaving those away.
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Pretty much have the length where I want it now.
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As I cut a green limb for this project I am going to set it out in the sun and let it dry for a week or two before I do the final fitting.
I will say that I was pretty impressed with myself through this whole process. So far, the head has a really tight fit on the handle. Everything I've read says that vine maple should hold up to the abuses that are inherant in a tool like this.
From start to finish, minus drying and final fitting time, this was about a 2 hour project.
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Re: Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

Postby zbuddy » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:47 pm

Damn dude, that's some pretty cool stuff. But, did it feel hardy, or was it flimsy relative to what you had initially?
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Re: Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

Postby Bob » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:51 am

Good Work!
How long is the finished handle going to be?
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Re: Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

Postby Mrknot » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:16 am

Finished the fitting of the head to the handle the other night, it's not anywhere near perfect, but it's tight and will work.
OAL on the handle is about 20", 2" longer than the original, but with the extra weight the Riflemans Hawk has, I think it's warranted.
The maple is a little more flexible and springier than the original hickory. Threw it around quite a bit the other day and it seems pretty strong.
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Learned a number of things throughout this project: how to properly shave, which way to cut, (seems obvious now, not so much at the beginning). Also, wet wood bends as it dries...
Any little curves in the stick became exaggerated as it dried out...
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Hard to see here, but there is a slight bend in the handle that kind of throws the balance off a bit.
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Going to try to heat the wood up and bend it true.

If that is successful I will put some aesthetic finishing touches on the handle and really make it mine.

I like to throw hawks, so I know that I could put umpteen more hours into this WIP and then promptly break it soon thereafter.
This was more an exercise to see how much work it would really be.

The only tools I used here were these:
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The BK9 was amazing at the detail work, kinda like making feather sticks at some points.

Will finish this thread after my attempts at straightening are complete.
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Re: Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

Postby Bob » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:18 pm

ADVERSUS VICTUS MORTUUS TANTUM CAPUT MISSA PENDO
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Re: Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

Postby Mrknot » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:20 pm

That's kinda what I was thinking...I've also read that wrapping it in wet towels and throwing it in the oven for a bit will do the same thing...will try the oven first and if that doesn't work, I'll steam it...
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Re: Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

Postby Bob » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:50 am

Keep us posted on how the oven treatment works out.
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Re: Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

Postby kiltedninja » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:39 pm

That's a neat trick, I cut my handle down to 18", I also bought three of them, drilled holes in the handle and wrapped one in gutted paracord. I'm happy with the results.
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Re: Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

Postby Mrknot » Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:26 am

Bob wrote:Keep us posted on how the oven treatment works out.

Tried like hell to straighten it out, no joy.
I think it's too small a piece of wood.
Need to do like KN did and just buy a couple more handles.
It's good to know I could replace it in a pinch, but the factory handles are best
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Re: Bushcraft skills: replacing a broken 'hawk handle.

Postby kiltedninja » Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:01 pm

They're like ten bucks a pop on the website. Good investment for one who likes to throw tomahawks.
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