So what should I call ‘em – a bevy of spike axes? Pretty maids all in a row? Avian sculptures of extreme force?
You can see that they are all individual, Elmer does not work with patterns but they have a similarity of overall shape that you only get from someone who knows his material inside and out. They are graceful, elegant and wicked!
Here I am in the beginning stages of chasing a Viking stylized eagle onto both sides of a bearded axe. I have several hours of work remaining. The copper sheet under the piece is to protect the work on the other side while I work on this one. The axe is one of the Viking bearded styles and is folded, forge-welded together, the high carbon bit forge-welded on and forged into shape. The eagle is of the Mammen style. There is also some file embelishment. This axe will be going to Blade with me.
In the background you can see my chasing hammer and how I hold the work steady while the ornamentation is happening. There is a second bolt under my hand which always looks like that when i’m in the shop.
This 19th century style boarding axe is more of a challange than the trade spike axe even if they are similar. The boarding axe is larger and forge welding the languets on, then keeping them matched and even while the two halves of the axe are being forge welded together is almost a three handed job.
There is some speculation that the spike axe was derived from the boarding axe. I understand that these axes were used for general work aboard ship (have you seen the film Master & Commander?) but were also used as weapons when boarding an enemy ship hence the name. I believe that they would make a formidable addition to an arsenal. This one is patterned after the British navy boarding axe. Here I’m fitting the handle before heat treating and the final finish.
Table 9CC (MRFD Inc)
Cobb Galleria, Atlanta ~ 8-10 June 2012
I have work underway for Blade, some spears, axes, hammers – some damascus, some chased and carved. Keep an eye out here for updates from my workbench.
My table, 9CC is registered in our company name of MRFD Inc but it’s me!
These axes are made with the same methods in use by the Vikings in established historical patterns and feature embellishment of Elmer’s invention applied with tools and methods known in the viking era. click below for: Large image of the … Continue reading