Photo Essay: Forging a Hatchet Head

Way back in 2013, one of Mr. GeoKs’ friends extended an offer for K to spend some time in the blacksmith shop at the Canadian Museum of Making. While Mr. GeoK and I stayed busy photographing the blacksmith’s specialized equipment and tools, K worked with master blacksmith Japheth Howard to transform a strip of mild steel and wedge of high carbon steel into a hatchet head. Take a look…

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I didn’t post this at the time because we ordered a handle and had to wait quite a while for it to arrive. By then, I’d forgotten about my intention to share the process. But thanks to NaBloPoMo, I’ve been cleaning out my draft blog post folder and this one finally floated to the top!

Here’s the finished product:

Thanks again to Japheth for so patiently coaching K in the role of blacksmith’s assistant. And thanks also to Mr. GeoKs’ friend for arranging this unique learning opportunity. K enjoyed his experience and I appreciated the reminder that many of the things we take for granted today were so much harder to come by in times gone by. My only regret is that it’s taken me so long to publish this post!

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4 thoughts on “Photo Essay: Forging a Hatchet Head

  1. Pingback: Blogging Lessons from NaBloPoMo | Out and About with the GeoKs

  2. But how do you attach the handle so securely that the head never, ever flies off when you are ferociously driving it into trees and logs?

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    • Good question. I should have photographed the top of the hatchet with the handle attached. I comes with a metal wedge that you drive into the top of the handle, causing the wood to expand to the point it shouldn’t ever fly off. That being said, K hasn’t made a habit of using his hatchet, so I can’t say for sure based on experience. The way you asked that specific question, I can’t help but wonder if there’s a misadventure story you have to tell?

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