How to Forge a Railroad Spike Axe (by thepxsmith)
- Smash the point into the shaft.
- Keep smashing.
- Try to keep it from bending while smashing.
- When you get to 4"-4.5" you can stop smashing (Your forearms will be super tight and your fingers curled permanently around your hammer by now).
- Make a slit in the top side. I use a slot punch, usually takes 3-4 heat cycles for me to get it through.
- Drift the hole out just a wee bit. No need to get crazy here, we will come back and refine this later.
- Flip it back to the side and hammer the “ears” down a little. This will also open the drift hole more so be subtle.
- Work the inside over the horn or some other smaller round bar to create the starting indentation for the beard.
- Continue to heat and work that beard.
- Use the cross-peen hammer to start fanning out the edge shape.
- Before the edge is thinned all the way beat that beard down in from the top to curl it inward. Keep the inside shape cleaned up over the horn.
- Once you have your blade/edge shape 95% finished go back into the eye and spread it the remainder of the way.
- Clean up the ears and then align the edge over the center using your final drift and a vice.
- Grind it, sand it, polish and buff to your hearts content.
- Whatever you do to one side of the axe you must do to the other. I even keep track of my hammer blows so I know what to replicate on the other side.
- Keep things aligned as you go. It takes time and patience but keeping it where you want it will help you finish it balanced and symmetrical.
- Use the proper tongs/tools. I use three different tongs to make mine: