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April 19, 2011
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NIKON
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COOLPIX S220
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10/88 second
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Apr 19, 2011, 9:47:45 AM
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Hawk weekend by CuSmith Hawk weekend by CuSmith
Two small-ish axe heads made during a weekend tomahawk making class at the Brookfield Craft Center with Joe Szilaski. Dude is amazing at what he does, and is a very capable instructor. The head on top started out as a railroad spike, and judging by the sparks made while grinding, it is maybe a medium carbon steel.

The small bearded axe head started as a piece of W1 steel 1"x1"x4" and took quite a bit of time to make. I had never made an axe head with such a dramatic downward swoop of material before this class and learning how to do that was great fun. Lots learned about how to move the metal where you want it to go.

Both have yet to be brought down to a sharpened edge and heat-treated.
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:icontriadenforcer:
triadenforcer Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
How much do these lessons normally cost?
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
Generally right around $250 for two 6 hour days, but some of the more specialized classes can get up to $300 or more.
Reply
:icontriadenforcer:
triadenforcer Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
And here I was, Thinking that bladesmithing could only be done as a hobby or part-time job...

Thing is, I'll gladly take up a full-time job as a bladesmith.
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Well, it's typically not the sort of thing you can rely on initially. Unless you're lucky enough to be in an area with a lot of people who are willing to buy a lot of your knives directly from you, it might be hard to get things going in terms of supporting yourself entirely by selling blades. There's a lot of competition out there and some of it is the real deal, and some of it is garbage that people buy instead of quality stuff because it's what they can afford.
Reply
:icontriadenforcer:
triadenforcer Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
Another thing:

How was Joe able to come to America, As a bladesmith?

The INS usually grants Green cards to those who are educated to work in careers that generate loads of money, Like banking, Finance, Engineering etc etc...

They don't seem the type to take in a guy, Who worked as a laborer or other menial stuff, As a blue collar worker.

(No Offence to Joe, He's a good craftsman.)
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
I don't really know to tell you the truth, I never asked him. I know his wife was born here, maybe that's how? Not sure on that one.
Reply
:iconsothoth:
Sothoth Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011
Woah, jealous that you got to take a class with Joe. The man is a master. Great looking hawks!
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011
He's a great guy, I try to take at least one class of his a year if it's offered. You don't live too far away from his shop, you know. He offers classes there on a regular basis last time I checked.

And thanks!
Reply
:iconangelus-insania:
Angelus-insania Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011
epic
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011
Thanks!
Reply
:icondeathatsix:
deathatsix Featured By Owner May 1, 2011
Beautiful work !
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner May 8, 2011
Thank you! Keep watching to see the finished products!
Reply
:iconmitchel-jacobsen:
Mitchel-Jacobsen Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011   Artisan Crafter
Brilliant work!
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011
Thanks! Expect to see more in the near future.
Reply
:iconds-dasher:
DS-Dasher Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
may i sugest something?
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
Of course.
Reply
:iconds-dasher:
DS-Dasher Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
well, the way i know how to make axe heads is to make it with 2 pices of metal, make the eyehole and head with iron and then weld a piece of steel to make the part for the plade. thjat way you take advantage ot the strenght and durrability of iron and the edge and blade of high carbon steel all at once.
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011
Yes, that's a very effective way to make a very effective tool. It takes a bit more skill to perform though, unless of course you weld it with modern techniques. Forge welding can become a bit more problematic if you're not careful, but you're absolutely right about the advantages of both types of steel (or actual iron, if you can find it these days).
Reply
:iconds-dasher:
DS-Dasher Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
I know. i do solely colonial style blacksmithing and .... well... i havn't tried welding yet for a reason. :D
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011
Very cool! Forge welding is a bit tricky, but I think it's mostly intimidation factor that keeps people away from it. Once you do it a few times the confidence makes a huge difference.
Reply
:iconastalo:
Astalo Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Great stuff. Design of that spiked one is quite close to one of my own hawks. :) [link]
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
Thanks! Yes, they do look very similar. Not a lot else that can be done when starting with a railroad spike without drastic reshaping. I plan on doing a few more of this style, so you'll have more to compare to :D
Reply
:iconnbusse:
nbusse Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011
I'm in love with the first one... that spike is like the one of the hammer I told you :D
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
Why thank you, I did notice that while I was making it. A friend of mine has a cheap knock-off of that same one and it's tempting to make a "rough finish" version of it now :D
Reply
:iconnbusse:
nbusse Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011
cool! pics pics pics
what about that armour? ready I guess?
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011
Most of the upper body is finished, but I'm slightly dissatisfied with the breastplate. Not because of any fitting or aesthetic issues, but because I think I'm going to have a problem getting a backplate and all the other attached bits to match up. I'm very happy with it as a stand-alone piece, but in terms of being part of a suit... not so much. Pictures soon to come.
Reply
:iconpaleotool:
paleotool Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011
Beautiful job.
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
Thakn you very much, I appreciate that.
Reply
:iconisentosamballerer:
Isentosamballerer Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Nice, I'd like to see a top view of those. :)
Reply
:iconcusmith:
CuSmith Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
Thanks, I'll include a shot of the tops after I heat treat and sharpen them.
Reply
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