CCF Damascus Viking Belt Axe Review
by Avery Pierce
Coal Creek Forge Damascus (patteren welded) Viking Belt Axe Review
By Avery Pierce
Axe Head Length - 6 1/2"
Axe Head Width at the eye - 3/4"
Blade Face Length -(peak to peak) - 3 3/4"
Bevel Width - 3/8"
Axe Material - High Carbon Steels
Weight - 13 1/2oz
POB 14 1/2" from end of handle ( if the handle is a standard and unmodified, this will change.)
This is another axe made by Stephen over at Coal Creek Forge. Since I've been moving away from mold cast production axes and moving toward handcrafted axes, he's the person I email first. His work with not only pattern welded 'hawks, but also with good 'ol high carbon is awesome. I think his work will leave a lasting legacy for throwers and axe fighters all over the country. Maybe the world, who knows?
The axe head arrived in a now familiar box. Steves lead time on his axes is 7-10 days. After that time, it took 5 days to receive it by standard post. After removing the box, I found the head to be wrapped tightly in bubble paper.
Now, before I post the next pic, I think an explanation is warranted. Steve and I spoke, and instead of clear coating this one, he sent it without any rust protection. We wanted to see what the short time in the mail would do to it without any protection. There was only a bit of surface rust, but nothing I was worried about.
Here is some pics of the axe as it arrived.
After a quick swipe on the wire wheel and a buff, the weld started to shine through.
Since I didn't want to put too much effort into the polish before I threw it, these next pics are after I threw it and had time to clean and oil this puppy.
This particular belt axe wasn't patterned on any specific historical piece. Steve told me he went by "feel" on this one, as he does with a lot of his axes. This shape, however, closely resembles axes found from the late 900's on. Unlike other axes, this model wouldn't have been used for anything other than fighting.
It's thin bridge and weight doesn't lend itself well for chopping wood, shaping planks or hammering tent stakes. But it does lend itself well to splitting a mans skull.
This particular axe head is lighter and a tad smaller than the historical counterparts it resembles. The bridge of the axe is thin, tapering out nicely to the peaks of the blade face. The Eye is smaller than other axes I’ve handled, but Steve tells me he has a new way to punch the eye, making handle modification unnecessary. The Bevel is nicely done, even and well ground. No complaints there, either.
The pattern weld on this one is one of Steves own designs. deemed the “wobbly O’s”.
If you look closely, you can see how the name came about. Oddly shaped O’s can be seen along the side of the axe, even wrapping around the eye. I ran my hand along the side of the axe and couldn’t feel a hammer dent or mark at all. My experience with the grinding on Steves axes thus far is very impressive.
Handling and Throwing
Though my in hand experience with Steves work is limited to only 2 axes, I have been thoroughly impressed with how they throw. Light and fast, this axe is a killer. The paces from the target are the usual 5. These pictures are from with my old target, but now I have a brand spanking new walnut target. A very hard walnut target. The blade face on this axe is so thin, it bites the target with no problems at all, yet well forged, so no anxiety over chipping or rolling the edge with a bad throw. I was putting a lot more force into my throws than normal, and not once was I worried about this axes durability.
I have to admit, when it comes to handling, it feels more like a tomahawk than a belt axe. It certainly is light and fast, but the thinner handle and lighter weight gives it less blade presence than I'd expect from a Viking axe. I'm still trying to decide if this is a pro or a con. But I think if a viking warrior were given this axe, he would appreciate the weight and quickly add it to his arsenal.
1) Every C.C.F. axe is hand forged one of a kind.
2) At 13 1/2oz, this is a very light axe.
3) Hardened, sharp edge.
4) Beautiful and unique pattern weld.
1) If not clear coated or properly cared for, this head will rust.
2) May be too light for some.
3) Not quite historically accurate
This section is for reviews of stuff that is commonly available, or from a vendor that has more to get. New sword from Albion, or Windlass? Great. Leather work or cloak from a vendor or another board member who has hung out her shingle? Excellent. Discussion of the finer points of the arrows you just made. Not so much. Put that it in the Weapons & Armor Section.
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- Avery P.
- Silent Watcher over the Peaceful Lands
- Posts: 124
- Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:18 am
- Location: Harmony, N.C.
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