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MatthewBerry

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Everything posted by MatthewBerry

  1. I love this piece - it came out great! What catches my eye the most iare your junctions where the guttering, the band, and the ring all come together (the last picture). They are are a wonderful design executed so cleanly.
  2. Wow! Beautiful. Are the panels on the scabbard done with reposse or pres blech? They’re great. I’d love to see a closer shot of the whole handle.
  3. Beautiful sword. I really like the multiple woods on the handle.
  4. I have to give credit for the idea to Peter Johnson - Emilliano described the jig Peter was using to me, and this was my first attempt at something of the kind. Definitely stop down next time you are around and I can show you how the whole bronze-casting thing works.
  5. Nice looking piece. Sounds like you got the handling right too.
  6. Very nice looking. Your blades always have such excellent curves.
  7. Thanks guys! Glad you like it. Yup. It's kinda the Peter Johnsson method - two thin slats on each side. The inside is lined with wool felt before gluing. Then i used a layer of hide glue between the slats and wrapped the whole thing up with a bicycle tire tube cut into a huge strip. The outer leather is sewn on wet over a coating of hide glue.
  8. I finally finished my first viking sword that I made all-by-myself. The big challenge on this one is that wide shallow fuller - I've never done that before and it looks difficult to get right. Here's the sword blank (1075 steel) with the bevels forged in. I shaped the initial blank with the power hammer, and then hand forged the tip and the bevels. I didn't take a picture, but the bevels are forged in with a spring tool whose dies are radiused to 6". Here's the result: Slightly crooked, but it gets a lot of the steel to the right areas and significantly widened the blade. It also made it about an inch longer. I did run the fuller all the way back through the tang. One of the biggest challenges on any sword is getting it straight in all dimensions. Here's how I start to establish a straight edge - marking fluid and a scribed straight line down the edge. It will move during the hardening process, but it's much easier to get back to straight when that's where you started. Doing it this way also means that I don't have to rely on the sword sitting flat on a surface. The fuller being straight struck me as the biggest challenge of the blade, so I made this contraption to grind the fuller straight: It's essentially a really big work rest (with legs) and a sled to hold the blade level as I move it. It worked very well for the rough grinding of the fuller. It got it nice and straight. After that all the grinding was done by hand. Not ruining the nice straight fuller is much easier (but not easy) than trying to establish one by hand. The wooden sled is a prototype and I learned a couple important things from it. First, make it metal as I set it on fire during the grinding. Second, without some kind if repeatable indexing for holding the blade you can never get the blade back in the same position again, so make a better sled or do all the grinding you can the first time. And yes, that's a 6" wheel on the grinder. The finished blade was pretty much straight. The sides of the fuller are a bit wobbly because that line can't directly be made straight - it's created by the interplay of the fuller and the bevels and is affected by the thickness of both. All you can do is make both as straight in all dimensions as possible and then do some cheat grinding where you didn't get it quite right. The guards and pommel are carved from wax. I modeled them after an original that I think is in the Swedish National Museum (but I could be wrong). I get the overall shape completed and fit them to the blade before I start decorative carving. That way if I blow some fundamental dimension or the fit, I haven't ruined lots of hours of carving. Skipping over a whole lotta work, here's the final product: The blade is 28" (711mm) long and the sword is 34" (863mm) overall. It weigh 2lbs 13oz (1146g). The handle is stabilized cherry burl, and the fittings are all bronze (90% Cu, 10% Sn) I'm fairly happy with it. I'm going to make the next blade a touch thinner as this one has a little more forward weight than I personally like. But then again another smith who held it said it was the first sword he really like because of that slight forward weight. It does let you know exactly what it's for - cleaving.
  9. Great piece! The blade pattern is very nice and the handle components and carving all work together very well. i do a bit of bronze casting and the burnout schedule can usually be found on the website of the investment plasters maker. Generally the process is melt the wax out and drive out some of the water by heating to about 300 degrees F for 3 hours. Then you slowly raise the temperature about 200 Degrees F per hour until you’re above 1000 F. The plaster I use has me take it up to 1350 F and hold it there for 3 hours, but i’ve Seen it done by holding at 1000 F overnight. Then you let the mold cool down to 900F and pour the bronze. The main 2 points are 1) heat up slowly to prevent cracking, and 2) get it hot enough long enough to completely vaporize the wax and burn up any ash.
  10. It's a wonderful sword - I had a chance to play with it after it was finished. It's feels very light and alive in the hand. It knows what it's supposed to do...
  11. I love it! I'm a big fan of could-have-been creations like this. You did a great job of evolving the anglo saxon style toward scottish dirks. I also really like the way you did the garnets - it's the original technique just with different materials - I don't think you can't get any closer to real for this side of a king's ransom.
  12. Very nice! Makes me want to give one a try
  13. I think it would work, but it will be difficult. Getting the pommel hole and the tang hole to line up and having that exact spot be where the tang fits tightest in the hole would be really hard. If I were to do it this way I'd suggest not making the hole in the tang until after the pommel has be heat fitted to the tang. Then drill the hole in the tang and fit the pin. If you want to pin to disappear use a taper reamer on the hole and compress the pin with a pin vise. But personally I'd put the tang all the way through the pommel. It was done that way for a number of reasons I suspect.
  14. I’d definitely temper the cutter. I don’t know w2, but something like 400 degrees maybe(?). Full hard will chip, even if you can’t see it.
  15. I’d give careful attention to the areas at the edge of the fuller. As the tool cuts deeper more blade is engaged. If you don’t have a good edge on the scraper on the areas newly engaged right at the edge of the fuller, it may be riding on those. Try putting sharpie on the scraper and then take a pass - it will show you where the tool is contacting the fuller
  16. Looking quite awesome so far. Can't wait to see the pressblech!
  17. Thanks Dave, I take this as a huge compliment - Jake's work is what launched my down this road. When i first found Jake's site my jaw hit the floor and stayed there for a couple days. And yeah, that would have been a very odd white sprue.
  18. Thanks guys! Glad you like it. Here's the last part: The chape and locket were cast by the same process as the handle parts: First I made a thin wax as the base then I added more wax on top by melting it. This is not normally how I go about it, but the design had a lot of flat background so I decided it would be easier to add wax on instead of carving down to the background. The back piece was pretty much the same, but with no design added. For the chape the design was dense enough that I went with my normal procedure of carving down to the background, then shaping what sticks up. the assembled halves of the locket ready to cast: And the final results: We definitely learned a lot making this one.
  19. A detailed explanation would be a book, and I don't know enough yet to write it. But I did post a basic explanation of casting on my blog a while back: http://hopkinsforge.blogspot.com/2016/05/lost-wax-casting-dragon-head.html How do you get from the rough casting to the finished state? I don't have any pictures of that, but here's an outline: 1) a wire hand brush and a bucket of water - get all the plaster off. 2) if you have a lot of firescale (the dark gray in the picture), pickle it -> soak it in sodium bisulfate (pH down from the pool store) for a couple hours. If you warm it in a crock pot it goes faster. 3) cut the sprues off. I used a sawzall for the big sprues on these parts. Abrasive cutting disks, clippers, jewelers saw and anything else that works is fair game. I used a die grinder with a carbide bit to eat down that big sprue inside the pommel. 4) Now we get into what is called chasing - the art of blending in that area where the sprue was. I start with a belt grinder, then go to files, sandpaper, etc. Hammers, punches, and other stuff can be used. Place your sprues where they won't show if at all possible. 5) the finish on the piece can be done many ways. The big thing is to use an abrasive that yields a lot, like steel wool, scotchbrite, or my favorite - throw it in a tumbler with a fine abrasive media. I'm also a big fan of those 3M Radial bristle discs (https://www.riogrande.com/product/3m-radial-bristle-discs-400-grit/332573gp). They will clean and shine the castings without removing detail. It's also important to realize that you aren't finishing it like you do a blade. The waxes are hopefully quite smooth, so your are really cleaning it more that polishing it like we do blades. You don't need to get every single nook and cranny because you're going to... 6) Patina the bronze. Patinas area whole topic unto themselves. I use stuff from here: https://www.sculptnouveau.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=34&category=6 I just dip the whoel thing in, turn it all dark brown. 7) polish off as much patina as you like. If you rub it with a coarse cloth you get a mostly dark finish that looks nicely old. This sword I went over with a 400 grit bristle disk because i wanted a brighter, newer look. I hope that helps. There's just a whole lot of steps. My cooking show style demo I've given a couple times runs a solid two hours with me going as fast as I can talk.
  20. So Emilliano had this blade he wasn't sure what to do with, and i had this set of wax fittings I'd been carving for a while as a side project, and Ashoken was 2 weeks away... The fittings started out as an attempt to reproduce these Z type fittings: For those of you who have Fedir Androshchuk's book Viking Swords, this is sword Dr12. Roughing in the parts: and the basic shapes finished: That was a crap load of work and I was getting ideas beyond reproducing the original, so at this point I made silicone rubber molds of the parts so I could take them in different directions. I like carving wax, so I decided to just kinda take off in a Urnes direction and carve up one set with intertwining serpents. You'll notice that the pommel pictured here is not the one on the sword. I carved it, but to my mind it wasn't working with the other parts the way I wanted. It was right about here that Emiliano and i decide to create Fingrbitr, so I had my work cut out for me. This is the pommel we ended up using, prepped for it's silicone mold. I could have cast the original carvings, but that can be risky and I thought i might want to use this set again so I made molds. The waxes are then fit to the blade. You don't have to do this, but it cuts way down on the fitting work when they are bronze. The bronzes were cast from the copies: Once cast there is a decent amount of clean-up to do - cutting sprues, removing bubbles, etc. Then it's back to fitting the parts to the sword again. Fitting them in the wax means that all I really have to do is some filing to account for the 2% shrinkage of the bronze. unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the handle process. Basically it's 20ga wire wrapped around a fitted wooden core with bands on the end to hold the wire on. I did smear the core with acraglas before winding, so it shouldn't move. After doing this core I'd recommend thinner wire for wrapping. 20 ga is very hard to work with even dead soft. I'm going to drop to 24ga for the next one, and looking at the few originals I think their wire might even have been thinner. So the friday of Askhoken this is where we were at 9:00am. Our mission? Get the damn thing put together quick enough that we wouldn't miss dinner. This is when Fingrbitr really earned its name... T
  21. Very nice! The sheath work is great, in addition to the sexy blades
  22. Beautiful seax, and congrats on a well earned beard ignition!
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