Starting with a piece of one and a quarter inch square stock made of 4140 steel; American Journeyman Bladesmith, Rudy Dean places the raw metal into a forge that heats the material to over 2000 degrees. Only when the metal is orange hot, is it ready to be transformed into a working tool.
First, a piece of tool steel, that is the same shape of the wooden handle that will eventually hold the head, is forced through the hot blank with incredible pressure which forms and shapes the eye. Second, the blade is drawn out of the remaining hot material and gently shaped with hand and hammer into a functional cutting form. Next, the hammer pole on the opposite end is squared up and the edges are rounded just enough to provide a good surface for camp work like hammering and driving tent stakes. When all of the individual parts have been formed, a final heat allows them all to be carefully manipulated so that each part aligns with the others. Now that the forging is complete, the entire piece is differentially heat treated so as to provide the correct hardness for each working part of the tool. The final phase of work on the head is to grind off the rough fire scale and place a sharp edge on the cutting end. A custom shaped American Hickory handle is placed into the eye with enough pressure to keep it in the tapered hole with even the heaviest of use. The hawk is then finished, and the smith makes by hand a leather blade cover to fit each hawk individually. This allows the hawk to be carried in a pack or through the belt without worry of an unexpected injury.
The finished product is a timeless, collector grade piece that can be passed down through generations to come using materials hand forged in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.
Each piece is exclusive to Zion's Farm and you will not find them anywhere else. Every piece is sequentially lasered with a serial number and the logo of Zion’s Farm which includes the year it was made. Since every piece is warranted for life against defects in craftsmanship not only by Zion’s Farm; but the craftsman himself, each completed tool is entered into a written log that is permanently kept for reference should it be needed in the future.