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Jeroen Zuiderwijk

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Jeroen Zuiderwijk last won the day on June 6

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    Bronze age, iron age, early medieval.

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  1. Tin bronzes are red short, so they crumble if you try to work them hot. If shaping them, it should be done by cold working with regular annealing. Lead in the alloy doesn't help with coldworking, as it can cause earlier cracking. It's why bronze is generally cast, rather then formed by forging/coldworking. Among modern bronzes (aluminium or silicon bronze) there may be alloys that can be forged as mentioned above.
  2. I agree. Do a dry run first, with an empty crucible from the unlit forge, so you know where your tools are, what steps/moves you need to make, where to cast left over metal from the crucible. I also keep going through the entire process many many times until I'm ready to poor. At that stage, I do not need to think or look for things, other then dealing with unexpected matters, which do happen.
  3. Yeah a couple of things on top of my mind: - don't melt scrap unless you know exactly what's in it, and you are sure you won't be creating and breathing deadly fumes (beryllium, lead, zinc f.e.) - liquid copper alloy contains enough energy to explode and will explode if it's released all at once, for example in contact with moisture, unsuitable mould material. Also keep in mind that if air gets trapped in a mould, the metal can shoot back out in any direction as the air suddenly heats up and expands. - crucibles will drop, break, crack at some point. Make sure that it can do that safely. Rather keep a crucible low to the ground and away from you, then close to you and high. - for crucibles containing 1kg or larger, use tongs or lifting bars that support the crucible all around. If you pick the crucible up with forging tongs at the edge, the crucible can break off just below where you hold it. - eye protection and general heat resistant safety gear much recommended, but only if you don't do anything more dangerous because you have safety gear on. - and of course only do it in a well ventilated area, with a clean floor, fire safety equipment, well away from fire hazards etc.
  4. That's a lot of distance traveled! You must by now know every nut and bolt of your bicycle very well I ride very little these days, only about 2000km per year. I do miss being out on the road and travel long distances with only my own muscles moving myself forwards. It feels incredibly free.
  5. For antler I just put the antler in hot water until the core is soft, and then press the tang into the antler. That works fine, as long as the porous core is large and straight enough for the tang. I've attached antler hilts that way, and just left them to dry after. They are still together after many years of use.
  6. That's quite a bit larger. The Nijmegen seax is about 45cm long in total. Narrow seaxes have blade lengths of around 30cm typically.
  7. We know that the hilt of the hunting knife of Charlemagne is of horn and 22cm in length: Also it appears that horn was a common material used on anglo-saxon hilts. But where do you get a solid piece of horn that long and straight nowadays? If you look online, the solid horn tips you usually find are all much shorter, and then you have the part of the tip that's too narrow and bends to deal with. Recently I came across this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAxCsA19xLQ&t=3s Not only did it show that you could bend solid horn tips (I knew thin plates could be shaped, but didn't realize it also works for solid horn), but that he uses solid horn tips of 38-45cm in length! Apparently Indian waterbuffalo horn can have solid tips that long. But finding them online took quite a bit of searching. I've managed to find one source on Etsy that has solid horn tips of sufficient length: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1154781738/buffalo-horn-tip-section-cavity-free or the complete horns: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1215340715/water-buffalo-horn-70-to-85-cm-water I've ordered one of each. The best of the two is the complete horn, which has a solid tip of over 40cm. The tip I got is a bit shorter, and has some cracks in it. I may still yield a hilt, but I'll use it as practice piece to straigthen it. It will probably be years before I get around to it, but at least I have the material for when I need it.
  8. I absolutely loved it Alan. The bit "and a nonstop string of foul language" made me smile as I know it too well
  9. This is getting somewhere. I found out that it's 14 years since I cast this blade. The blade was cast using a bronze age process, while I was still doing living history in Archeon. Back then the intention was to also finish the sword with authentic means. But the cast was not refined enough to do that, and would have cost me a hundred hours or so to finish the blade alone to a good enough reproduction. But with modern files it's a piece of cake. I rough ground one surface. The other side requires some more material removal, so I first take the mechanical shape corrector (angle grinder) to it, before I'll start filing. The hilt is done, except for oiling. It's always interesting to see what you end up with, starting from a log of wood. Back in the day these swords started out as some stones from far across the see and a tree. It never fails to amaze that they actually did that 3500 years ago, without all the modern stuff to make it easy.
  10. Better luck (or better planning) today. Tang burned, holes drilled and started shaping the hilt. Paricularly drilling the holes, so they line up as the blade is inserted was a challenge.
  11. Another attempt at a bronze sword hilt. Didn't work out, but was educational. The wood is alder, which I harvested some years ago. Unfortunately after I burned in the tang, there was still a drying crack there, making this one unusable. So I split it open, to see how the inside looked. As I've experienced before, the effect of the burning is paper thin. A tenth of a mm below the surface the wood is completely unaffected. Burning in the tang. The wood is kept wet in between burns. The tang is heated to below red (though in broad day light): The split handle: The hilt tang was burned in sufficient to cut the end to the right profile. The wood cut across, showing the depth of the burn near the end, which is exposed to the most burns: Anyway, back to another attempt, and better checking for drying cracks in the next piece of wood that I use. I did make some domed washers for the rivets. So at least a little progress was made
  12. Yikes! I hope it heels well. I just lost one other project, which is much less bad. An early bronze age sword that I went to finish the hilt I had burned a slot in. Apparently this project got eaten. I'm really hoping the rest of my wood supply is not affected, or my house and shed Ash wood which still had the bark on it. Apparently woodworms really like that. Anyway, hilt is lost, and the blade is not going that great either, so I'm scrapping this project. That's one positive thing of having had very little time in recent years, that I don't want to waste any of it on projects that won't turn out as nice as I'd like. Scrap and move to the next. Plenty of things left to do, and if not it's casting and/or forging again.
  13. It's how the wood protects itself from rot. Same with oak, due to it's tannic acids, it's not a good combination with iron (or bronze). So woods poorly protected from rot will not react with iron as much You can also have the same problem with veg tanned leather.
  14. Yeah, it doesn't feel that long at all when you continue on it. It's like the time in between didn't happen when you continue working on the same piece. I'm also glad I get the same amount of joy making stuff as back then, and that I'm still learning and progressing.
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