Inexpensive throwing hawk recommendations?

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Tanglefoot

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I like `hawks, always have. During the Bicentennial my job took me to New Hampshire and the First Congress Of New England Muzzleloaders, which covered all of New England and had competitors from other nearby states like NY. Tomahawk throwing competitions were a standard activity in all the matches and the Bull Of The Woods in `hawk (and knife) throwing --- not to mention the Caber Throw --- was Walter Cady from Massachusetts. Other top competitors were Cal Lissard (aka: Lizard), Jim (Big Moccasin) Bell, and Joe Prue to name a few. Walt Cady favored a `hawk patterned after the British Boarding Axe. Cal Lissard used an H&B Forge Squaw Axe and so did Jim Bell. I disremember what style of `hawk Joe Prue preferred. My favorite `hawk was, and still is, a hand-forged Squaw Axe I got from the Log Cabin Shop. It was forged with a tapered eye so the handle could be inserted from the top and got tighter with use. The H&B Forge `hawks are made the same way, as are all the hand forged ones I've seen. Standard tomahawk handles are sold by most muzzleloading suppliers and they'll fit any of the hand forged `hawks I have and take maybe 15 seconds to replace. No offense to rp77469, but I've never heard of fitting a handle on a throwing hawk by using melted lead. Even if it is tighter, it'll work loose as you throw the axe.
One source for very fine hand forged tomahawks is DeLaRonde Forge up in Colorado. They're not cheap, but good work rarely is. Joe DeLaRonde keeps trying to retire, but so far he's still at the forge. Put DeLaRonde Forge into your search engine and you can look over Joe's work.
Another source is Dixie Gun Works. In their early catalogs, Turner Kirkland claimed to sell a tomahawk that was a good copy of one that had belonged to his grandfather, that had been through two new heads and four new handles but was still in good shape. Or maybe it was his uncle? I don't rightly recall.
Turner's gone now and sadly, so is the ad.
The photo below shows some of my `hawks. The little one on the left is an H&B Mouse Hawk that was my son's when he was small. The second from left is that favorite of mine from the Log Cabin Shop, with a new handle fitted. I've lost track of how many it's had. There's a full-sized H&B `hawk and two versions of the Boarding Axe style, one which has a handle barely held together with electrical tape. Neither of the Boarding Axes would ever pass muster as "traditional" or "authentic."
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. Keep yr horn tip up.
Tanglefoot
 

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Notchy Bob

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Tanglefoot, that was me who reported securing the head by filling the gaps with molten lead. No offense taken. My thought was that the head-to-handle fit was so poor on that head, there was no way to get it tight enough for even one throw. I could have tried making a better handle from scratch, but I just didn't want to put the work into it at the time, and I decided to just affix the handle I had more or less permanently and use that tomahawk as a camp axe. This was also one of my dumber ideas. The tapered handle of a throwing 'hawk is designed to slide out of your hand in a clean release, just what you don't want in a chopping axe. Live and learn. The smart thing to do with that axe would be to knock out the factory handle made of Asian mystery wood, do some more smoothing inside the eye of the head, and make a proper handle with the least possible amount of taper from hickory or ash. I have several old, broken-off sledgehammer and shovel handles saved for that sort of project.

The moral of the story, for me, is that buying a cheap tomahawk sight unseen is false economy. If or when I'm ready to get another one for throwing, I'll order one from Beaver Bill.

As an unrelated post script, I understand hatchet throwing is sort of going mainstream, and being enjoyed by more or less "normal" people in addition to folks like us. Council Tools, renowned for high-quality hammers and axes, now makes hatchets specifically for throwing. I don't know if they are legal under NMLRA rules or not. I'll research this and post a link or two when I get to it.

Tanglefoot, your comments were appreciated.

Notchy Bob
 

Rifleman1776

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Tangle, you post was interesting. I have a collection similar to yours hanging on the wall of my office. I also have several H&B hawks. A tiny 'mouse' my son used when he was small. Two 'squaw' hawks for my older son and the little guy as he go bigger. And, of course a full sized one. Your comment that you use a squaw in competition is interesting. I'm not very big but I find the squaw too small and light for effective throwing. And, some competitions require standing a certain distance from the block. A light squaw just wouldn't work. Plus, part of the competition is to try to cut a playing card in half long ways. Small blade on a squaw can't do that. As you said, American made hand forged hawks are expensive. However, I have two cast hawks from India. I normally avoid India made stuff but did not realize where they were from when I bought them. That said, they are good hawks. Use standard handles, sharpen well and look good.
 

Notchy Bob

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Here is some more information on the Council Tools throwing axe, for what it's worth. They call it the "Flying Fox," and it looks like this:

Council Tools Flying Fox.jpg


Like I said (in post #22), I don't know if these are NMLRA legal or not. I suspect not. However, they are out there. Looks like the best price on one of these may be from Whiskey River Trading.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 

Notchy Bob

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I don’t know anything about the man, but for some reason I have a good feeling about trading with a fellow named “Beaver Bill”.
You should feel good about doing business with him! He is a master blacksmith, an American small-business owner, and a good man. His "mark" is a little beaver stamped into the steel. I read somewhere, I think in a back issue of the Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly, that a similar mark was used by a frontier blacksmith during the fur trade, although I have unfortunately not been able to find that reference again.

There is a link to Beaver Bill's website in the last paragraph of post #7. Well worth a look, even if you don't buy anything.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 

flashpoint

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OK, so why do they call some, tomahawks and the next photo it looks exactly the same and they call it an axe?
 

Jaeger

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Much as I hate to say this, the made in India hawks look good and are stout. I bought two at a ronny not knowing they were imports. They look like the high priced American forged ones we usually see.
Yep.....they are good. Grind off the spur under the beard to change the shape a little and grind off "India". Voila!
 

house

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New Reliable from Track. I like it way better than the one Crazy Crow offers.
 

hawkeye2

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I have had a couple of expensive hawks including one hand forged by a well known area blacksmith but my favorite is still the Amish one I bought back in the 70's. It isn't necessarily the price, it's what fits you best like a fine shotgun.
 

ohio ramrod

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I use the hand forged hawk that Dixie sells. Mine was 19 dollars in the early 70's. It throws nice and splits kindling well.
 

Notchy Bob

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OK, so why do they call some, tomahawks and the next photo it looks exactly the same and they call it an axe?
Hard to say. I have seen it written (although I don't remember where) that an axe handle inserts into eye of the head from the bottom, while a tomahawk handle drops into the eye from the top. I don't think this is universally true, though. In his book, American Indian Tomahawks, author Harold Peterson discussed the terminology at some length. For a time, a tomahawk could be any axe used by an Indian, although plenty of early frontiersmen specifically mentioned carrying a tomahawk. A more sinister meaning was that the term "tomahawk" implied use as a weapon, while an "axe" was a tool. There is a whole lexicon of axe-related terms that are used by people who are interested. Every part of the tool (or weapon) has a name:

Petun Trade Axe .1.png


I don't know if there is really a definitive answer, as to why one is a hand axe, camp axe, belt axe, squaw axe, or trade axe, and the other a tomahawk. I guess a lot would depend on who you are talking to, or maybe the context in which the item is being used.

It's an interesting question, though.

Notchy Bob
 

Two Feathers

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Howdy guys:
For what it's worth, check this co. out. Tomahawk Handles – Dunlap Woodcrafts
I get my handles from here. The guys come up every year to the 18th. Century Artisans show at the Country Cupboard restaurant in Lewisburg, Pa. They have every kind/size of hawk handle you could ever want. Talk to Daniel, you can't go wrong here. Here's the email for the CS department. info@dunlapwoodcrafts.com
God bless:
Two Feathers
 

flashpoint

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Hard to say. I have seen it written (although I don't remember where) that an axe handle inserts into eye of the head from the bottom, while a tomahawk handle drops into the eye from the top. I don't think this is universally true, though. In his book, American Indian Tomahawks, author Harold Peterson discussed the terminology at some length. For a time, a tomahawk could be any axe used by an Indian, although plenty of early frontiersmen specifically mentioned carrying a tomahawk. A more sinister meaning was that the term "tomahawk" implied use as a weapon, while an "axe" was a tool. There is a whole lexicon of axe-related terms that are used by people who are interested. Every part of the tool (or weapon) has a name:

View attachment 65676

I don't know if there is really a definitive answer, as to why one is a hand axe, camp axe, belt axe, squaw axe, or trade axe, and the other a tomahawk. I guess a lot would depend on who you are talking to, or maybe the context in which the item is being used.

It's an interesting question, though.

Notchy Bob
Thanks Notchy Bob. That's good information; especially your point that an axe is more of a tool while and a Tomahawk implies that it's more of a weapon. Appreciate it. Flashpoint
 
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