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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/04/2023 in all areas

  1. It's finally finished! 13 years since I started it. It's been quite a learning project, where I took my time until I felt confident (and had the time) to do the next steps. It's certainly not perfect, and I consider it a learning project, which could enable me to make a better one next time I attempt one. For reference, here is the original which is located in the depot of the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, Netherlands. It's a type I narrow seax, dating to roughly around 700AD. The blade started out as an antique leafspring, probably from a hand cart used in my city. To my surprise it appeared to be shear steel, showing as layering as I forged it down: The blade after forging, with minor filing to clean it up: Then I forged the bolster and pommel parts. The holes were punched in hot, so not the most tight fit, but that's fine by me. These parts are made from 17th century wrought: At this point I had a chance to study the original in the depot. I took measurements, and tried to decipher the engravings which were very faint, and not present everywhere. There I found that I had the dimensions wrong. The length is correct, but the actual blade is a little wider, but much thicker. Mine is 5mm thick and a flat grind, base of another example. But the Nijmegen seax is 7mm thick, and strongly convex. So the original is about twice as heavy. Nevertheless, I considered mine a practice project, so I pressed on. Then it took me a lot of time to find the courage to do the engraving. I had done one other blade, a schmall seax from Weingarten. The challenge on this one was much greater, as I had to fill in the missing parts of the pattern, and I'm not good at just making something up. Here you can see my blade compared to the drawings I made of the original with the visible bits of the original engravings. Of some parts I just had a few bits of lines which I used to figure out what might have been there. Then the blade had to wait years more until I finally hardened it just recently. The blade just after hardening:
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  2. Wow! That looks fantastic!
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  3. I had a hearth steel blade (based on that sax from Sweden with the carved handle) fall apart in the quench. It was more of a “pop” than a “ping.” I was taking a video of the quench and you can very clearly hear it . I was hoping to get in contact with the archaeologist who first documented it, but haven’t heard back yet. Maybe this is a sign I should call her tomorrow morning to see if they’re are any further publications/reports and try a second blade. I’ve been cold calling Danes and Swedes for months while looking for a job, I might as well add one more! Also shown are a light broadsax and a blade to recreate that Viking age knife with the curly cue tang. In the “after” photo, you can see a cut I made to arrest the crack. It will take a thorough inspection to see if the rest can be anything. The silver lining is that the sliver of hearth steel that broke off (after grinding parallel, but no temper) was quite hard! Over 65 HRC, harder than I expected. I may have underestimated the carbon content of the edge bar…
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  4. Here's a trick I use to get thin, parallel lines onto guards and such. Put a cutoff wheel from a dremel in a drill press or milling machine. Clamp a small square of aluminum or other material in the mill vise to act as the "bench" Lower the head of the mill/drill until the edge of the cutoff wheel is as high off the bench as you want the line inset on the piece. Keep the piece flat on the bench and slowly rotate it into the wheel. I have a picture of this somewhere on one of my posts. I'll try to find it. It really help if you can slow the speed of the spindle down. Dave -- Found it!
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