How to Forge a Railroad Spike Axe (by thepxsmith)

  1. Smash the point into the shaft.
  2. Keep smashing.
  3. Try to keep it from bending while smashing.
  4. 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).
  5. Make a slit in the top side. I use a slot punch, usually takes 3-4 heat cycles for me to get it through.
  6. Drift the hole out just a wee bit. No need to get crazy here, we will come back and refine this later.
  7. Flip it back to the side and hammer the “ears” down a little. This will also open the drift hole more so be subtle.
  8. Work the inside over the horn or some other smaller round bar to create the starting indentation for the beard.
  9. Continue to heat and work that beard.
  10. Use the cross-peen hammer to start fanning out the edge shape.
  11. 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.
  12. Once you have your blade/edge shape 95% finished go back into the eye and spread it the remainder of the way.
  13. Clean up the ears and then align the edge over the center using your final drift and a vice.
  14. Grind it, sand it, polish and buff to your hearts content.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Use the proper tongs/tools. I use three different tongs to make mine:

The troll cross (trollkors) is a twisted piece of metal worn as an amulet to ward off malevolent magic. A charm worn by early Scandinavian peoples as
protection against trolls and elves, the troll cross is an important part of Scandinavian folklore. Iron and crosses were both believed to ward off evil creatures.

Troll crosses continue to be a popular item of jewelry throughout Scandinavia. 

For sale via thepxsmith on etsy


Huginn + Muninn

“O'er Mithgarth Hugin and Munin both
Each day set forth to fly;
For Hugin I fear lest he come not home,
But for Munin my care is more.”

Above excerpt from the Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál

Fast and light it swings
Like Huginn’s feathered wings.
Quick and brute the seax
Like Muninn’s angry beak.

15″ Blade (wrought iron, 1084, 15n20, 80crv2)
5/5” Handle (wrought iron, elk antler, teak)
20.5” Overall
1.2 Pounds
2.125” POB from the hilt


Order a sword built specifically for you. From initial design of concept through the fire and final handle assembly watch your sword come to life. Scabbard included with purchase and will vary on materials and decoration. I will start with a concept illustration based off of requested time period and other considerations. Then I will make a schematic and start the build. I blog my progress as I go so you can follow along with me. Timeline says 9-10 weeks but it can take longer depending on what is decided on.
*note: swords displayed are my creations, however items pictured are from previous builds and are not for sale.

Also, I just released some new pricing options for various lengths. Give it a look.

*Must be 18 years of age or older to purchase.


Mammon Style Viking Knife:

I’ve been playing around with this new knife recently. It’s been a little while now but I’ve just started making some progress on the handle carving. I’ve got one side just about done now. I am trying to achieve something mammon style. It’s my first try with something like this and so far I am enjoying it, though it is more difficult. It might have been easier to start with a wood piece but of course I had to go straight to antler. It will be worth it in the end.


Kraken Seax (Hafgufa) by thepxsmith

According to the Örvar-Odds saga, Hafgufa was the mother of all sea monsters and fed on whales, ships, men, and anything it could catch. Hafgufa was said to have lived underwater, and when the tide was low at night, her nose and head would rise out of the water. The only physical description provided in the saga is the nose sticking out of the water, which was mistaken for two massive rocks rising from the sea.

Source: Wikipedia

Blade: 5.625″ Wrought Iron Spine, 1095/15N20 Twist, 1095 Edge

This blade was forged to feel like a sea creature. The middle bar is oddly twisted to look like tentacles reaching out through the tides of the ocean just under the surface of the sea, which is represented by rippled wrought iron. The point of the blade is structured to feel like the side profile of a ship with a gentle curve upward to a stable deck.

Handle: 4.25″ Wrought Iron, Extinct Sea Cow Rib Bone, Copper Pin

The handle is hand carved from extinct sea cow bone. The carving is of kraken tentacles reaching upward and grasping at the copper pin, which much like a sail on a ship is the main element that can rip the piece apart. The guard is also wrought iron and has the word, “Kraken” carved into in on both sides in runes.

Overall: 10″

Spine: .125″ through break

POB: center of the guard

Check my ETSY store for availability.


Double Twist Seax: Heat Treat

The first shot is the blade after its final forge for straightening. This show it with the fire scale that has to be ground off during the final shaping process.

The second shot is the blade after it is rough ground. I start with an angle grinder them move to a belt at 80 grit and finish with 120. All the final profiling is done at this point and the edge is left roughly as thick as a penny or nickel.

The third shot is the blade after heat treat with just a scrub from #0000 steel wool. The pattern popped right away during heat treat. It was awesome!

The bottom four shots show the blade exactly as it looked when removed from the quench and then scrubbed at different angles.

I really felt the soul of this one as I went through this process. Building a multi-bar seax really is something special. This is my fourth multi-bar blade and I fall in love with this process the more I do it. There is something magical about it. Something beyond the science and the art and the production that I must explore further. I feel really relaxed and at peace about this blade now that it has gone through the extremes and turned out solidly. I noticed a definite mood shift during the process. I will have to repeat again to fully be aware of this shift next time. The shift took me from feeling anxious, nervous and excited to relaxed, peaceful, accomplished and powerful.


Viking Rune Pendant Necklaces

Hand carved into polished bone to serve as amulets for various reasons: good luck, fertility and ale. The bone is cow, strand is leather.

Check them out in my ETSY store.

AUJA (X): is ‘good luck’ or ‘hail’. These runes are interpreted as referring to ‘fortune,’ ‘wealth’ or ‘possession’. Amulets containing auja might be used for protection.”

LAUKAR: means ‘garlic, leek’ and the magical use of these runes might have been connected with the notions of growth, fertility and sexuality. A bracteate with these runes might serve as a magical amulet protecting against evil. Some researchers explain this by the fact that garlic was often used as a medicine or antidote.”

ALU: refers to the state between the world of the living and the dead, some kind of ecstasy or trance caused by an intoxicating drink.”



The Shark Axe

Wrought iron has such a beautiful look. The life and lines of the wrought bring a special dimension to the body of work. This axe represents my first successful wrought iron axe body with a carbon cutting edge. The trick for success was to keep the cross section of the eye very thick. I started out with about 700 grams of weight and ended around 400 but I was able to keep that cross section quite thick. It was still tricky to shape the eye without the wrought crumbling but the wrought I used for this is very good quality.

The blade shape is shark inspired, hammer head to be more precise. The cutting edge feels like a shark fin or head protruding out of a sea of wrought iron. It is shaped much like a fin and comes complete with a mouth full of teeth in the underside. It throws like a dream and cuts like sharpened shark teeth. It’s ready to be-head the toughest of fish.