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    • Alan Longmire

      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  

Jeroen Zuiderwijk

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Jeroen Zuiderwijk last won the day on September 16

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    Bronze age, iron age, early medieval.

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  1. It's all about the crucibles

    I can confirm that the silicon carbide crucibles are the sturdiest. They can last hundreds, if not thousands of castings. Just don't cool down the metal inside the crucible, but poor it out in ingot moulds. Some people use baking trays, then find out why experienced people use more proper ingot moulds (hot copper or copper alloy dissolves steel). If you do have a proper way to protect yourself from breathing in zinc, lead and other nasty fumes, then if you want to melt and cast brass, you must be careful not to overheat it. Same goes for copper b.t.w. If it's liquid, poor, don't leave it molten for long. In general, the longer you heat it, the more gasses it will absorb. But with brass, it will turn into some sticky dross, that seems to appear faster then you can scoop it out. And you get a bright white flame, yellow zinc oxide deposits everywhere. There's not a lot you can do for copper to take up oxygen, except to keep the environment as oxygen free as possible. Like Alan suggests, let charcoal float on top, and keep a lid on it. And keep you furnace environment reducing. I've heard from professional casters that borax doesn't help much in shielding copper. Don't know why though. Probably won't hurt adding it.
  2. mild steel cracking?

    In my experience, mild steel is very susceptible to cracking when working it too cold. One thing I learned was never to straighten a blade before putting it back into the forge f.e.
  3. Please be careful.

    On the Backyard Metal Casting group we basically every day get people copying youtube movies on how to get yourself killed while melting metal, making people think "that's brilliant, I'll do that too". I don't remember his name, but he shows videos of him using an uncoated kaowool forge, steel crucibles, BBQ tongs to lift the crucible, little to no safety clothing and casting on a concrete floor to start with. Of course safety tips on how to actually do it without killing yourself or others get met with a lot of gratitude (not).
  4. Bloom Steel For Sale

    Looking forwards to it! As soon as I have cash available I might be interested in the refined bloom steel.
  5. Early medieval sword research

    The torsion bars extend outside the fuller. The section would look like this (but much thinner):
  6. Another way is hammering a pin through. Take a hardened steel pin that tapers very slighly, and hammer it through the metal, annealing the piece when it starts to workharden. Once you get close to the other side and the metal starts to bulge, grind away the bump as you go. You can create different size holes with the same pin, by hammering it through at varying depths. P.s. the Mastermyr draw plates don't look like draw plates to me. Most of the holes are blind holes, which makes no sense for a draw plate. See: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4d/b5/a8/4db5a88da64af10a20c0359e85914703.jpg and https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3b/d3/5f/3bd35f4e95681b8a3141bf67a32d8b4c.jpg
  7. Early medieval sword research

    Today the National Military Museum (Soesterberg, Netherlands) was kind enough to let me handle and study the sword. I have to process my notes, but some photos. The overal blade length is 790mm, total sword length including reproduced hilt 906mm. The thickness: 4.3mm at hilt, 4.2mm at 55mm, 3.8mm at 160mm, 3.6mm at 285mm, 3.4mm at 460mm, 3.2mm at 600mm, 2.8mm at 725mm. I was able to confirm that the blade truly consists of a centeral core, with patternwelded veneer on both sides. It looks like the patternwelding is just the top slice of a torsion bar, probably less then 25% of the original thickness, and quite consistent at that over the whole blade. Edge is slightly convex, but not much. Also missing quite a bit of the edge. The fuller is more narrow that then torsion welded area, but hard to measure (20mm wide was my estimate, which I believe is more or less correct). The fuller depth was also hard to establish as well in this condition but max. 1mm, probably less.
  8. What did you do in your shop today?

    Time to make stuff is reducing fast, but this weekend I had some time to do some woodworking:
  9. Help with Seax bolster

    What George said. There are contemporary drawings that show either bolsters or ferrules for broken back style seaxes, but they don't survive in the archeological record that we know off. I have heard of references to seaxes with them found in the UK, but I've yet to see them. There's a longsax with steel (?) ferrules though. Doug, I wouldn't call them basic blades. Basic hilts perhaps, but the blades were either have complex pattern welding or inlays. Every time I think I've found a simple one, upon close examination is appears to be pattern welded. Longsax variants can be a bit more simple in construction.
  10. Full flat bevel vs Partial bevel

    I'm rather partial to the full flat grind with slightly convex edge (see what I did there). With slightly convex I mean of course that the edge angle is not a lot greater then the flat bevel angle. One thing to keep in mind with an edge, which is often not seen by new bladesmiths, is that the performance of an edge is not just limited to the very edge itself, but by the blade behind it. It's not just how many molecules thick the final edge is, but also the angle at the final edge, and how fast the edge thickens up behind it. For cutting you want the final angel as small as possible, the blade as thin as possible, and the thickest part as far away from the edge as possible. From strength and stiffness point of view however, you are limited to how far you can go with that, and that depends on it's use. But what you have to keep in mind is that when you cut through a material, the material has to be pushed sideways for the knife to pass through. The stiffer the material you're cutting, the more resistance you will feel. That's why with a scandi grind for a blade with the same width and thickness, you will feel a lot more resistance cutting then with a full flat grind, particularly when cutting stiffer materials, like wood or leather f.e. Another point to keep in mind is that if the same amount of material is worn from the edge, how thick is the final edge then, and how much material do you need to grind away to sharpen it. The larger the final edge angle, the more blunt it will be with the same amount of material worn off. Then it matters how much material you have to grind away to get a sharp edge again. In that respect, the micro bevel is by far the fastest, very little material has to be removed to get it sharp. With a scandi grind without micro bevel, a lot more material has to be ground off.
  11. Filing Jigs: Yay or Nay?

    I see them a lot on facebook, but I've never seen the advantage of them. I forge in the bevels, then use the file to clean them up. In that kind of use, the filing jig will not help. I also don't see how you will draw file well with one end stuck. But I guess most people who use filing jigs don't do draw filing I suppose? There's a use for filing jigs, and that is if you want to create a flat end on a small surface, with is too small to guide the file, and you don't have a belt sander. But on blades, I see it as a hinderance rather then an advantage.
  12. The price was right...

    That's easy enough to tell from the picture, the one on the left is at half the distance compared to the one on the right, therefore the one on the left is taking twice as much weight as the one on the right. So the one on the left is taking 2/3 of the weight, and the one on the right 1/3. In other words, you're lucky that there's additional safety margin build in those ladders.
  13. The price was right...

    Reverse at full speed, then slam the brakes I had something similar, but missing the top. I gave it away as I had to clear space, and it was gone instantly. Nice solid steel, industrial workbenches are great. Having a work bench that does not move at all when your filing, sawing is a great help. I now use the dinner table as workbench (as does my girlfriend), which is solid oak, but not quite as inflexible and heavy unfortunately.
  14. Chili garlic paste

    With Jalapenos? I thought these were on the very low end of the Scoville scale? This year I got a pepper plant at the green house, thinking they would be ordinary chillies. Instead, some weird tiny shriveled peppers started growing on it, and a lot of them. I found out they most likely are Scotch Bonnets. It only takes a few crumbs of that to make a good spicy meal and they also taste wonderfull. Of course I had cut them up bare handed when I wanted to dry a batch. For the next few days I had very spicy fingers
  15. Bronze age antenna hilted knife

    Thanks! You hold the entire handle in your hand, including pommel. So the pommel prevents it from roling. With this one, two fingers go over the straight bit, the third over the pommel. I've got a reproduction of a larger one, where 4 fingers fit over the handle, but you still cover the pommel when holding it in a handshake grip.