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How to Make a Stone Tomahawk or War Club

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posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 10:28 AM
Here's the difference... below is a stone headed Tomahawk... see how the stone is roughly axe shaped???

here is the head of a Stone war club... Note the grove in the stone...whichever one you chose to make your stone head is going to need a similar grove to fasten head to handle...

Unless you want to buy a ready made stone head then your first stop is the closest rocky creek bed. Don't go crazy here... for a tomahawk you want one about as long as a coke can... for a War Club you want one the just fills the palm of your hand... Also if you'd rather use metal then a trip to the closest junk yard is where you want to go.

Do Not Use SandStone for the Head!!!

river rock... you want good ole river rock

Once you get your prize home now it's time for a little elbow grease...Shape the stone or metal to a rough blade or ball shape, using whatever you have, rasps, chisels,half-rounds,hacksaw. Remember to cut a grove... then file smooth... don't expect perfect here and remember this is not flint knapping
your just trying to rough out the general shape you want

A good solid piece of seasoned wood for the handle is next... I recommend wood from a fruit or nut baring tree... never use pine for this...since this is not a real SHTF episode feel free to run to the local hardware store for a nice piece of Hickory... Please, please, please do not use green wood for this... greenwood will shrink as it drys...
Once you get your handle then your going to split one end to serve as a cradle for the blade... Use a vise to hold the wood... dont want any nasty cuts due to slips of the saw or knife...

Attaching the head comes next and since this is not the 1700"s I'm going to give a coulpe of morden tricks to make this the old way...

To attach the head tie it off with a piece of fishing line to hold in place for now... Now if you happened to have easy access to rawhide great move on to the next step... if not... we need to make one more trip... this time to the local pet store... there buy a few large rawhide dog chew toys... once you get them home soak in a bucket of water overnight... you'll have to get in there with your hands to untie knots and pull those chew toys apart... but when you done there's your rawhide and if you cut that into strips....your ready to go

Okay so we got our wet rawhide... and this next part is going to take a little muscle...I like clamp one end of the rawhide in my big bench vice and pull back on stone and handle as I make my wraps... those wraps need to be as tight as possible so really put your muscle into it...if you don't have a bench vise tie the end off to a pole or trailer hitch... I'm sure you can find something if you use your noddle...

you want to make at least a half dozen wraps for that initial connection... Later you can add more over wraps as kind of a design if you like... sometimes I'll use silver wire and trade beads just to give it the NDN look.. either way finish off by cinching threw your very first loop and pull tight tight tight...

don't go tiring it out yet because now you need to let the leather dry out... rawhide shrinks as it dries so your knots will just get tighter and tighter... but if you don't wait for it to dry... don't be surprised to see your Tomahawk go flying across the room... Let it dry... at least three it drys keep checking... if it's not setting right just re-soak the rawhide to loosen and do it right... once it's dry... your done.... done enough that now you can decorate it any way you like...


On a personal note... the first few of these I made didn't turn out so well... my little brother has a scar and story to go with my first failure... expect those first few tries not to be perfect... but the more you make the more you get a feel for your materials and build a working conference... like they say practice makes perfect so practice practice practice


Tech note... if you cant get rawhide... welders gloves will work too... don't go cutting up a good pair of welders gloves if you don't have too...
edit on 6-8-2011 by DaddyBare because: fixing my horrible spelling

edit on 6-8-2011 by DaddyBare because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 10:41 AM
reply to post by DaddyBare

Keep these threads coming! I had no idea that a chew bone could be made into something useful. It never occured to me whatsoever.

Thanks! and hope you're feeling better.

posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 10:51 AM
reply to post by TDawgRex

well you can thank our old english sheep dog for the chew toy tip...
see that dog slobbered on everything... including his chewtoys...until the just fell apart...
once I picked up the gooey mess I realized it was just regular old rawhide... already cut into a nice long strip and way cheapper than buying a rawhide flat...

posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 11:32 AM
Another great subject!

I was just scouring my creek for flint yesterday...
It's not easy to find at all.

But I did manage to find a small piece I might knap later.

Another idea is to make the club heads and handles before hunting season.
That way you are using all of your kill. (waste not want not)
When you get your deer for the season, you can make rawhide and get sinew. (free)
I tend to use strips of deer skin (after de-furring and soaking in brains)...
They seem to hold up well. The sinew is great for added strength and arrowhead point arrows.

Although I broke my last home-made tomahawk...
I guess drinking whiskey and throwing tomahawks don't mix.

My dad found a war club head a long time ago, near my property.
It has the groove and everything.
Very cool find.
I'll have to find pictures of it and upload...(one day)

I digress.
Everything you need to make a formidable weapon is found in the woods.
From war clubs, to bow and arrows, to making rope. (yes hemp is the best plant)
But in a pinch grapevine works...

Good topic!

posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 03:54 AM
The old way of making handles was to take a pre-shapen stone head and find a small tree with a forked trunk. You would then place/tie in the stone so that the sapling grew wood around the stone head. Allow to grow for a few years and cut down tree with no tying necessary.
The other preferred method is to tie the head on using wet rawhide which shrinks as it dries.
An exceptionally hard knot of wood could also make a fair head for a war club. sometimes with metal spikes embedded.

It also helps to have a loop of cord on the handle so that you don't accidentally throw your club away during a fight.

posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 08:38 PM
reply to post by DaddyBare


Once the rawhide dries, is it set permanently?

Or can rawhide be soaked again and reused?

posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 09:17 PM
You could try making an exceptionally strong joint under the rawhide with the tree sap and carbon ''glue sticks."

That stuff sticks.....I mean applied hot, its the super glue of the forest.

posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 10:01 PM
Great post. I was wondering about this sort of thing a few days ago after watching Hunted. I'm going to have to try this out some time. S+F

posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 09:27 AM
reply to post by Lemon.Fresh

that's the nice thing about rawhide... it's not permanent
once dry it should hold tight... but with hard use things do work loose... if they do you can re-soak that rawhide and carefully unravel then re-tighten and let dry again and again... also if you have a miss hit and tear up your original hunk... it can be just as easily replaced...

posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 11:45 AM
reply to post by DaddyBare

Cool beans. Thanks for the info

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