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Viking Hawk Refurbishment

Posted on May 25, 2017 at 4:45 PM

I have been long fascinated with ancient weapons, and have started to accumulate several for my own personal collection. Martial Arts and handling weapons is just part of our normal everyday household. I have always been partial to the Sword and Shield as my preferred weapon and my husband’s weapon of choice is the Axe and Shield.

It wasn’t until he purchased himself a tomahawk for his own project that I started to think about owning a tomahawk. His tomahawk turned out amazing and when he took it with him on our trips into the woods I realized how much more versatile a tomahawk can be. It can be used for so many things besides a fighting weapon. After he allowed me to use it for chopping wood, or creating my walking stick I soon found my wanting one of my own.

My husband must have known that I was secretly harboring a love for his hawk, for on my birthday he gifted me with Cold Steel’s “Viking Hawk” I was over the moon, holding the “Viking Hawk’ in my hands was so empowering. I decided to do something I have never done before and that was to refurbish an axe and make it my own.

The first thing that I wanted to change was the tomahawk’s head, I did not like the painted look and decided to strip the paint off the blade. Removing the head was quite easy. The thing with Cold Steel manufacturing is that they often use a screw to hold the tomahawk head into place. For a tomahawk, this should not be required as the head should be held on with friction. I would like to note that once you remove the Tomahawk Blade there is a small lip in the wood where the sharp edge of the head has bitten into the wooden shaft. That will need to be sanded down to get a good solid fit.

Next I needed to get rid of the black protective paint on the tomahawk head. I found a great paint stripper that isn’t harsh and biodegradable called “Citristrip” which can be found at Home Depot or any hardware store. It is a gel like substance and has a citrus smell. I covered the hawk blade in this gel and let set. All in all, it took two applications to remove most of the paint. First application was 4 hours and then I let it set over night. It is an easy clean up, and if you find you have any remaining paint you can remove that with a wire brush.

Stripping Gel 

Hawk blade covered in Stripping Gel

Finshed Hawk Blade

Now that the Tomahawk Head was sorted I turned my attention to the handle. First I had to sand it and remove the burr left by the hawk’s head, mention earlier. This also conditioned it for staining. I knew before I even started that I wanted some sort of Runic Script and knotwork down the handle. This for me was the most difficult part of the entire refurb. I am not that artistic and taking a wood burner to my hawk’s handle was a wee bit scary. But I did it! I decided to burn the name of my axe in runic script “RavensWing”, and found a simple knotwork design that even I could match. I used tracing paper to transfer the script and designs onto the wood and that really worked well. I was quite pleased with the result.

Finished Wood Burning Design

Now it was time for staining the wood. I used a basic wood stain from home depot. I hung the wooden shaft from the ceiling on our porch which allowed both of my hand to be free while applying the stain. It took about 3 applications of stain to get the desired look.

Finished Stain

Before the tomahawk could be re-assembled I need to tackle the sharp edge of the hawk’s head where the shaft meets head. This was done by filing the inside edge to be rounded. Now it was time to get this tomahawk assembled again, which was quite simple just slipping the handle back into the head and with a few taps on the ground the head was in place and held with friction. After the tomahawk was whole again I needed oil the handle with Boiled Linseed oil. Our rules for oiling handles are as follows: oil every day for a week, then once a week for a month, then once a month for a year and then once a year for the rest of the tools life. This will help maintain and protect the tomahawk for many years to come. Since the Tomahawk Head was Carbon Steel I also oiled the blade to prevent rust.


As you can see we have quite the collection going : 

There is something to be said about taking the time to make weapon/tool your own. There is satisfaction with making a tool your own and creating something that is unique to yourself. RavensWing is everything I hoped she would be.

~ Kat 

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