Offgrid Survival Video: Forging a Bi-Metal Bearded Axe from Scrap Metal
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Max Egorov, creator of the YouTube channel Advoko Makes, is what you'd call a Renaissance man. No, not like the Danny Devito movie — we're referring to the fact that he has a seemingly unending list of skills to demonstrate. He has a day job as a lawyer in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. For fun, he produces content for his YouTube channel, demonstrating proficiency at videography and editing. And in those videos, he shows off his abilities at woodworking, bushcraft cooking, boat-making, cabin construction, and much more. We honestly wonder how he finds time for it all.
In his latest video, Max forges an axe from a few pieces of scrap metal — soft steel from a railroad tie and high-carbon steel from an old Soviet file. Like his other projects, the results are seriously impressive, especially considering his admitted inexperience with blacksmithing. He said he made this axe as a gift for a friend — we need more friends like this.
Using an angle grinder jig he made himself (of course he did), Max cut the rail tie to the appropriate size. A drill press and chisel were used to set up a guide for the position of the eye, and then the metal was heated in a gas forge (which he also made). During the shaping process, Max welded up a custom metal drift from discarded tractor tread pins, enabling him to shape the eye more easily.
The shaping process continued with hammer, anvil, file, and chisel. Eventually Max split the blade edge of the axe to insert the high-carbon file, creating a three-layer sandwich with a hardened cutting edge for durability. The axe was differentially heat-treated in oil to further increase strength, and ground to a finish that still shows some hammer marks near the poll.
We're looking forward to Max's next video, where he discusses polishing the head, making a handle, adding decorative carbon fiber overlay, and making a heat-formed axe guard/sheath. For a sneak peek of what's to come, check out his Russian-language Part 2 video from his other channel.