Forging a Bi-metal Bearded Axe from a RR Tie Plate and File
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Forging a Bi-metal Bearded Axe from a RR Tie Plate and File

Hello friends this video is about making
a bi-metal axe from scratch my axe’s wedge-shaped head was forged from a
massive railroad pad with the eye punched out using a drift while the cutting edge
was made from high carbon steel of an old metal file the axe’s handle was made
from a stabilized aspen while the handles shoulder was additionally
reinforced with carbon fiber at first glance one might think it is only a
decorative axe but let me assure you it is the real deal the axe underwent a year
of brutal testing in the Russian outdoors
it was then further improved and now it successfully going through its final
tests before being mailed to its new owner regardless of how you hold the axe
it produces no vibration or recoil the axe’s massive butt aids in balance and
control it works well for chopping hacking chiseling and even cutting I
heavily used this axe and my new DIY chisel for all of the projects at my log
cabin campus I didn’t even have to be sharpen
either tool a single time the high carbon steel edge stays sharp for a long
time this axe was made as a reciprocal gift to one of my viewers and presents
shouldn’t have any functional weaknesses or design flaws I’m fully confident in
this axe and it will soon be going to its new owner let’s get to the story of
how this axe came to be I forged the body of my axe from an old railroad pad
first of all we need to cut it to size I’m going to use my homemade side
grinder cutting attachment to perform the task fast and safely I use AC/DC
or Metallica heavy metal CDs to cut thick pieces like this one you could use
Queen or Nirvana for softer metals only kidding I’m probably going to catch a
lot of fire from Queen and Nirvana’s fans for that ))))
I particularly like my jig’s sliding function you can make a long and deep
cut in only one pass there are no vibrations no disk biting or overheating
the cut ends up being nearly perfect and the side grinder’s disc gets less wear if
you can see any deficiencies in my cutting attachment or you come up with
an idea on how to improve the jig I would love to hear your suggestions okay
a cut rectangular metal bar and now we can start forging it I don’t have much
experience in forging metal also a lack special instruments for the task this is
why I decided to drill a row of holes to make it easier to shape the axe’s eye
to make the forging process safer I welded a metal pin to the workpiece and
slightly nudged it in the center with a regular rock chisel it is a lot easier
to see if you are off-center on cold metal before you begin punching a hole by
blacksmithing now it will be easier to find the central mark by feel when the
metal is red-hot but there is no time to waste we need to heat up the workpiece I
use my portable gas forge I made from a tin barrel in order to punch out
the eye I will have to keep the workpiece stable on its side because I
don’t have a helper and I only have two hands for a hammer and a chisel I will
have to reserve to the traditional blacksmith’s trick holding a
workpiece with legs this is why an anvil should be at the height at which
your thumb hangs when you stand with your arms to your side as the rock
chisel gets deeper into the workpiece it gets hot and soft so you have to cool it
down in water frequently otherwise it will start deforming I traded my small
hammer and chisel for larger ones and it noticeably sped up the process
turning the workpiece while punching helps to shape a straight hole now I
will need a conical eye drift to form a wedge-shaped tunnel
for a handle I made my own drift from two battered tractor tread’s pins I
found earlier they were not very straight but my trusty grinder took care
of their visual imperfections I’m quite happy with the result and now we can
return to the axe forging process I enjoy looking at and working with
red-hot metal that is so unusually malleable in your hands
physical work like this is more of entertainment for me as opposed to a
computer or office work a cold drift quickly cools off the workpiece
and you have to reheat it every 10-15 hits this cycle allows you to rest your
arm while you wait for the metal to achieve about 1600 degrees Fahrenheit
(850 degrees Celsius) I don’t have any digital gauges and I was going by the
metal’s color just like our ancestors ‘the lighter the color – the hotter the metal’
raspberry color represents the temperature I needed as a forced a drift
all the way to the anvil I began to further shape the eye making it taller
the taller and the eye the tighter and more secure an axe’s handle will be seated in
it while the eye is cooled down by the drift the rest of the body is hot
enough for shaping the axe’s cheeks with each heating and hammering cycle the axe
becomes more and more asymmetrical: its beard and toe begin to widen for my design I
have to try to keep the toe in its current position and extend the heel
backwards okay as the drift went all the way through the axe’s body I decided to
take a break and study the workpiece I think you would agree with me it already
looks like an axe it is time to reheat the workpiece to continue shaping the
axe I enlarged the eye a little and began to work on the bit the cutting
edge will need to be widened hammering it
against an anvil will do the trick the bit gets wider and thicker it is very
satisfying to shape hot metal with a file even an
old semi-dull file easily shapes the workpiece while giving my axe rough shape I
arrived to the next step because I decided to make my axe bi-metal the next
step will be welding a narrow piece of high carbon steel into the blades soft
metal I used an old Soviet made metal file as a high carbon steel donor this
way the high carbon cutting edge will stay sharp much longer while the excess
body made of softer steel wouldn’t chip or crack I haven’t quite mastered forge-welding yet so I decided to play it safe and used an electric welder to create a
metallic bond between the atoms of both metals (U-10 high carbon tool steel and
softer ST-3 grade steel that came from the railroad pad) I’m planning to make
my next bi-metal axe using a traditional forge-welding technique though as I was
finishing shaping the bit the cutting edge got too wide for my gas mini-forge so I had to use my coal forge made from two metal buckets and sand as a
heat insulation switching from gas to coal fuel was actually a plus for me
because the coal forge doesn’t draw carbon from the metal my improvised
anvil doesn’t have a horn which makes it more difficult to shape the axe’s
contour however I managed to give my axe the shape I had in mind without it
almost entirely by blacksmithing I think I’m ready to make a more complicated
project perhaps an axe with more complex and exotic geometry similar to my
vintage Billnas number 9 Finnish axe shown in some previous videos
I must have gotten a few hundred comments over a short period of time
asking about what kind of an axe it was Because this axe is a gift it should look presentable which means I
will need to grind and polish it I wanted to give my axe a distinct handmade
look so leaving some hammer marks would be a good thing this is why I used the
soft radial sanding disc to do initial sanding and polishing to further
individualize the axe I branded it with two of my logos you can see them at the
bottom of your screen as watermarks before doing it I had to re-flatten the
axe’s eye to prevent its recoil it is important because you have to stamp a
logo with one strong decisive punch the axe’s recoil can spoil the branding
process despite my expectations it took me some time to restore the axe’s
geometry to where it was before branding process conclusion if you want to stamp
your axe with a logo do it before you fully shape its eye okay as the eye is
back to its normal conical shape with its outer opening being wider we can get
to the final checks and corrections of the axe’s geometry before quenching and
tempering it I quench the axe’s cutting edge in a small amount of warm oil such
selective heat treatment will only harden the axe’s cutting edge leaving its body and eye comparatively soft which prevents it from cracking during heavy
use in this video I attempted to show that even a novice metal worker can make
a decent axe from scraps as long as he or she has time and desire in the next
video I will share details on how I polished and sharpened my axe also I will
show how I made, stabilized, and installed the axe’s handle using three wedges as well
as how the handle’s shoulder was reinforced with carbon fiber finally
you will see my axe being tested as well as how you can easily make plastic axe
guards of different designs p.s. there are hundreds of videos on YouTube
showing how to make a side grinders stand
I’m not sure if the world needs yet another design of it if you still want
to see a video about my sliding side grinder’s stand let me know below please
if you liked this video perhaps you could share it with your friends let
good people watch good videos this is Max Egorov, st.Petersburg, Russia and a
final note I only produce one or two videos max a month and if you don’t want
to miss new content like this you can click on the bell reminder for
notifications I hope to see you back on Advoko MAKES


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