'Ax-pat' Teacher in Thailand Takes Axe Making Class
Local expat & international school teacher, Robin Graham, sent us in an article on his experience forging axes with The Forge BKK at Golden Axe Throw Club in Bangkok, Thailand this past week.
Robin came to Thailand to teach and travel, and he sure didn't know he would have a grande future with axes in the horizon! Robin is the Golden Axe Throw Club's Inaugural 2018 League Champion, the first Axe Throwing League Champion in Bangkok.
He's actually the only axe throwing champion in all of Thailand, as Golden Axe Throw Club is the only destination for axe & knife throwing in Thailand. Actually, upon further research, he may just be the only axe throwing champion in all Asia! That is, until he defends his Championship in the 2019 Bangkok Axe Throwing League.
Here is Robin's experience forging axes in the urban jungle of Bangkok. Enjoy!
Forging an Axe on My Day Off: Life in Bangkok
Waking up early on my day off seemed somewhat of a chore, I thought as I was driving to the Golden Axe Throw Club on Tuesday, on my way to making my own axe. I didn’t anticipate that it would be such a long and gruelling day of hard work.
Once the forge was hot and I had met Tedtae, the blacksmith, we put in a couple small blocks of steel. I began to get excited at the thought of forging my very own axe and carving a handle for it, I’ve wanted a handcrafted axe since I began throwing them last January. Tedtae and I began practicing using the tongs to move other pieces of steel and familiarize ourselves with the hammers that lay around the anvil. Was I really about to hammer red hot steel?
It was only when we started pounding out the steel into an axe head shape did I start to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each individual piece.
We spent what seemed like hours hammering the metal into the shapes we wanted, and granted, half the time Tedtae was fixing our mistakes. I didn’t think once about how much effort and skill went into forging an axe head before actually trying it myself.
After we finished forging, grinding and heat treating my axe head it was time to turn my hand to wood and design a handle that would look great with the long tomahawk style head I had made.
Tedtae showed even greater patience here, educating me on how to properly whittle and sand the handle into a perfectly symmetrical piece.
At the end of the day, I drove home with not only an axe, but a great sense of achievement. I had spent the day learning the basics of an ancient art and come away with something I was both proud of and happy to add to my collection.
I had to leave my comfort zone and get my hands dirty but if I have the opportunity to do it again, I will!