I got a load of Cold Steel tomahawks in for the HEMA/WMA salle I run - most will be blunted and used in class, but I thought I would work on my tan this weekend and play around with one in the sun....to see if I can make it a little 'prettier' with a bit of honest graft.....
First, off comes the hard black laquer with paintstripper and a scraper. The resulting surface is forge rough and needed a lot of patient polishing to get it smooth. Then I cut and filed a 'notch' in the underside of the blade - because I prefer notched blades! - and re-profiled the poll to give it the same graceful contours all the way 'round. Then I filled the grub screw hole with a peened steel plug. Then a bit of decorative filework which really sets it off nicely, and a satin polish. The handle was shortened slightly, scraped and stained.
A vast improvement, I think (judge for yourselves - the original and the 'improved' version below). And I'm as brown as a nut, so two birds felled with one stone....
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