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Joshua Snead

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Everything posted by Joshua Snead

  1. Perhaps this is a new development since the last post here in April, I just ordered the book through shop.histofakt.de. The link to this shop was provided on the museum website. I was able to make my payment using PayPal which was very quick and reasonable. The only tricky thing was shipping to the US was not an option on the drop down menu on the checkout page, but a couple emails with the company straightened that out (they do ship to the US regularly, there's just some bug in the system). After seeing a copy of the book last week during a wonderful visit with Peter, I am very excited to
  2. Thank you Peter! That makes a lot of sense. I may try to find a torch and see how it works while I am here. I love the small, efficient setup of the forge. The metalworking heritage in Sweden is fascinating to me. I'm hoping to learn as much as I can on this trip. I also just found a couple wonderful mechanical shears today. I've never seen one this large before.
  3. I have been traveling in Sweden and came across this small firebrick forge or furnace of sorts. It is located in a woodworking shop which used to be a school here on the west coast of Sweden. It opens similar to a clamshell design and has 3 openings in a T shape. I imagine it was heated with a torch or gas burner of some kind but I have not seen a torch yet. There are a lot of plumbing supplies around being stored in this area; the forge was hidden underneath them. There are some other metalsmithing tools nearby, including an anvil, several forming stakes and wooden sinking block
  4. Hi everyone, I was just searching for some info to help me decide what files to get for draw filing and I came across this wonderful little guide and thought I would share it with the forum here. It has a lot of information on files from how they are made, to their shapes and cuts, and when and how to properly use them in a variety of situations. nicholson_guide_to_filing_2006.pdf Downloaded from: http://www.evenfallstudios.com/woodworks_library/nicholson_guide_to_filing_2006.pdf Hope you find this helpful!
  5. Thanks for the kind words everyone! This sword is certainly not perfect, but for being my first I am very pleased with how it turned out. I hope to make many more of these in the future, unfortunately I've had to clear out my bench at school and my 3rd story, 70-year-old apartment is not exactly ideal for bladesmithing, so it will be a little while before I can get a proper shop setup. Nevertheless, I don't plan to stop any time soon! I wouldn't have been able to get this done without the information shared on this forum, and the kind advice of various members, so thanks again!
  6. Thanks for the kind words everyone! Now it's time for the final update! This is the Sword of Lucis, my vision of the weapon wielded by the white knight in "The Ballad of Lucis and Umbra," which can be viewed on my blog if anyone is interested. In case you missed it in an earlier post: The blade was forged from 1075 steel. The guard and pommel are white bronze cast in a sand mold, with faceted white quartz crystals set into the pommel. The handle has a hickory wood core with hand stitched stingray skin wrap for the grip. The sword measures just over 43" in overall length, with t
  7. This is my first interpretation of the viking style blade known as a seax. When making this knife I tried to use as many traditional techniques as possible, and materials that produced an archaic look. The blade was made from my very first piece of homemade steel, lightly etched in a vinegar solution. The guard and pommel are cast bronze, and the handle is bog oak. This piece comes out of Russia and is said to be over 5000 years old. All of these elements are held together with a natural pine pitch glue made from pine sap that I gathered from the tree. The guard was made using the tradition
  8. Hi, I had a similar looking crack on a draw knife I was making not too long ago. The issue was that I hardened the blade and then let it sit overnight before tempering. it cracked before the temper however, so this may not be the cause of your problem. Like you said it is possible there was a micro fracture in the steel that propagated during tempering, but there's really no way to know. However, I think the problem is more likely due to grain structure. If the blade was overheated the grain will grow causing excess stress which can lead to cracks like this. Make sure to use a magnet or ot
  9. Things are winding down here in the jewelry studio with the grad show deadline quickly approaching. This will likely be the last update before the sword is complete, so enjoy! Here is the guard after much cleanup and filling of major holes. I think it turned out rather nice. The pommel came out rather nice as well, but is a little dirty in the photo. A 10mm faceted quarts crystal is set into both sides of the pommel. This was a tricky setting to do because the stone is so large. Below is a diagram and explanation of the process. I began by drilling a 10mm hole in the metal just
  10. I need the guard and pommel to be a white color for sake of the design. Stainless steel would work, but it is also very hard on files and a pain to forge so I decided to use white bronze instead. This material can be easily cast in a sand mold, which requires a model for each piece. Here is a picture of the completed models for the guard and pommel along with wooden cores. (I should note here that I do NOT recommend using wooden cores for sand casting, more on that later.) Each model is made in two parts so that one half can be packed in sand then the other half added to it and th
  11. I have been very busy working to catch up from snow days, and am still a little behind schedule. However, I think now is a good time for an update so prepare for some exciting stuff. To heat treat this long of a sword blade (around 32 inches), we filled a long piece of pipe with motor oil. The school has several of these monster gas forges. We lined around the opening with firebrick to help get a more even heat. The blade was then slid back and forth through the forge until the entire blade reached hardening temperature (a cherry red or dull orange color), at which po
  12. Thanks everyone! Hmmm... and I thought school cancellations were crazy... The blade is a little more "whippy" than I had hoped, but not terrible. I'll know a little better once the guard and pommel are cast and fit. Mine was Thursday too, happy B(ruce)-day! I actually had a width-wise bend in the blade due to uneven heating, but careful hammering on the concave edge finally got it out. The guard and pommel models are done and ready for casting next week. I hope to post a more thorough update after that. But for now, back to sanding!
  13. This week has been quite a rolller coaster ride. Monday school closed early due to snow. Tuesday we miraculously had school all day, an unusual occurrence here when there is an inch of snow on the ground. I accomplished a good bit that day, but with a little disappointment. Wednesday it snowed all day and school has been cancelled through today. We got about 5" of accumulation and a lot of ice so the entire town shut down and I haven't had internet access until today either. And my little point and shoot camera died, so I will not be able to document things as well in the future I'm afraid . I
  14. It's finally time for another update! I have been frantically working to catch up after missing about a full week of classes due to weather. But this week the snow is back again in full force so I don't know how much will get done. I am officially behind schedule at this point, so I have decided to put the second sword on the back burner until the first is finished. About 2 inches already, and the big storm isn't supposed to come 'til Wednesday, Yikes! Prior to flattening the edges of my blade I made a paper template based on my design and ground the edges on a belt sander to matc
  15. Very nice Scott! Have you checked jewelry suppliers. They often carry a variety of chemical patinas for various alloys. Rio Grande has one for nickel: http://www.riogrande.com/Product/Midas-Nickel-Oxidizer/331051?Pos=2. I'm sure Jax chemicals would probably have one too. Not sue how it would react with the copper though. If you're looking for something natural you can make yourself I can't help you there. Folks generally use nickel to resist patina .
  16. Excellent work Rob! It must be satisfying to finally have this done. Also, I want to thank you for sharing your process here as this will be a great resource as I move on further with my first sword. I wish you well in your future endeavors!
  17. Very cool piece! I have a good sized bit of hearth steel that would be fun to try this with. I'm not aware of that thread and am not having any luck searching for it, do you have the link by chance?
  18. We've had another big snow this week. This time with lots of ice on the roads. I live in a central area of town and can't even drive a mile from my apartment without slipping and sliding. I'm not sure when I will get back to the shop, maybe tomorrow if it warms up a little. Before the snow, on Monday, I worked on flattening the edges of the first blade as they need to be as straight as possible. It's a time consuming process but I think it will be worth it in the long run. I need to have the blade ready for heat treat by the end of next week to stay on schedule, but I have a feeling that w
  19. 4140 and 1045 will not harden well as they are not high carbon steels. It may work for a hammer, but it will probably dent easier than high carbon that is properly heat treated. What Lee Sauder mentioned about the eye shape is very important. The inside of the eye needs to be hourglass shaped. This keeps the hammer head from sliding off the handle because the wedge expands the wood forming a kind of flush rivet. The image below is a little exaggerated but gives the general idea. This shape can be filed in after milling, or will naturally occur if the eye is punched with a tapered punch fro
  20. Thanks Mark, I'll look into that. The sand I have is as fine or finer than most play sands sold at the hardware store, not sure about pool filter sand though. I've heard some grades of sandblaster sand are really fine but I'm not sure where to get them. I actually have a little onglette graver, and tried to use it but the side of the graver cut the top of the opposite side of the channel. I may just need more practice . I'm thinking a sharp V graver will give me a little more room to work with, maybe. Last night I spent far too long, 8 hours, forging bevels into the second sword
  21. Thanks for the encouragement everyone! Unfortunately more snow has arrived and I couldn't get to the blacksmith shop yesterday, and it may be closed tonight as well. We shall see... But at least there's a little more snow this time. Nevertheless, I now have time to write about some of the other progress I have made. So prepare for a long, picture-intensive post. I have begun practicing wire inlay, which will be used to decorate the blade on one of the swords. This is my first attempt at this technique. I started with a thick plate of mild steel and some O-1 drill rod
  22. I think that blower will work just fine. Jim Hrisoulas is a great bladesmith! His work is far beyond my current level. He's been in the business for a very long time and no doubt learned to forge weld from blacksmiths who often use sparking as an indicator. Blacksmiths do not typically worry themselves about carbon content and heat treating. He has a great deal of experience and control over his methods, unlike most beginners. I happen to disagree with Jim on that point because you are literally burning carbon out of the metal and can risk totally destroying a piece of steel. A good numbe
  23. That's correct, you really want to keep the piece towards the top of the fire. It can be tricky to adjust the temp in a coal forge to get the right atmosphere but you will learn with experience. How far up it needs to be depends on the depth of your firepot and your air flow. Do you have an electric blower, or hand crank? Electric is nice because the amount of air will not fluctuate, but it will use more fuel unless you turn the air off after every heat. One sure sign that you have too much air is if your work sparks while in the forge. In that case the steel is burning and rapidly oxidizi
  24. Very nice carvings Rob! Looks like the liver of sulfur did its job. Out of curiosity how are you sanding the blade? (ie sanding sticks, stones, by hand?) I've found round sanding sticks to be useful on knives because I can rotate the stick as I pull it down the blade to have continuous access to sharp grit, but I'm not sure how well that would work on a sword.
  25. Mtodd, actually I think this is a great question for beginners to understand. You will come across that term a lot in a number of different situations. To put it simply, the term "reducing" is usually used to describe an atmosphere inside a forge, kiln, oven, etc. that will not cause the metal to oxidize and form scale or rust. A fire can have one of three atmospheres: Oxidizing: more oxygen than fuel (Carbon) Neutral: just enough oxygen and fuel that both are entirely consumed Or Reducing: more fuel, and hence more carbon, than oxygen However, it's a little more complicated than that.
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