Some time ago, Cold Steel held the first of what will hopefully be an ongoing series of contests: the custom tomahawk competition. Essentially, competitors posted pictures of one of Cold Steel’s tomahawks, with their customizations, on their facebook page or in their forum – the winner, chosen by Lynn himself, received a Rajah II.
The level of customization ranged from simple wrap-grips and refinishing to full on lathing, regrinding, and reshaping of the weapon. I didn’t yet own one of their tomahawks, so I ordered a Norse Hawk and started to work as soon as it arrived.
First, I removed the head and sanded the clear finish off the handle, refinishing it with a walnut stain. The anti-rust coating on the blade is extremely durable, so I used a brush-bit with a power drill to grind it off (my dad and uncle both tooks shifts at the table grinding – thanks guys). I have no tools or experience in etching or engraving metal, but I wanted some kind of decoration on the blade to set it apart, so I came up with an idea that, to my knowledge, has never been done before. I bought a gun-blue pen from a sporting goods store, and drew designs on the now unprotected blade. Each place I touched with the pen instantly oxidized. When I was done, MC-Scoot (legend of the 918) suggested that I sand the rust off, until only the “shadow” of the rust remained – excellent idea. I covered this with two clear coats for protection.
I also sanded the black paint off the langets and blued those. The screws that Cold steel includes with the langets are the softest I’ve ever tried to use, so I recommend buying similar sized screws from a hardware store and pre-drilling your holes.
Lastly, I used a wood-burner to draw the scales pattern in the handle, and the drill to make a lanyard hole. While my attempt wasn’t a winner, it still turned a no nonsense hand axe into a unique, eye-catching weapon and tool as good on the wall as it is in the wild. None of my customizations compromised the effectiveness or structural integrity of the weapon. I probably won’t take this particular axe into the woods for any grunt work, only because I don’t want to mar my decorative work, but I wouldn’t hesitate to grab it off of my wall and go suburban-viking on some zombies or unfortunate intruders.
Yet another inexpensive piece of Cold Steel hardware I recommend for your armory. Tell them I sent you!