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Blake Davidson

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    History, playing guitar, learning about the fascinating field of metalwork.
  1. What a great way to be inspired to start smithing! I particularly like that beautiful pre-viking age spearhead. Thank you so much for sharing the pictures. I am also new to the world of bladesmithing. And I've learned so much by reading through these forums. And if you pose a question, everyone seems to do their best to help you out. So I think you came to the right place, Bård.
  2. Thank you for the quick responses, gentlemen! This site and its users never fails to satisfy. Myles, I figured a book such as that would cost a pretty penny. But I'll certainly be picking it up ASAP. In the meantime, I'll make use of the online version. Thank you for the links and info. Jeppe, even a source that is in Danish or Swedish is very helpful. So I'm grateful for the links.
  3. Hello, all! It has been quite some time since I last posted on this message board. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in History back in December and I've been quite busy job hunting (a job is necessary to fund an aspiring smith's hobbies, I'm sure you'll all agree). As a result, I've not had much time, nor energy, to partake in the activities on this site. Still, my passion for history demands attention, so I spend my time researching and pondering on various aspects of medieval culture. Unfortunately, certain questions are left unanswered on scholarly databases like JSTOR and turning to wik
  4. I don't post here frequently as I've yet to actually begin smithing. But I can't resist reading through these threads and absorbing all the amazing information that is so difficult to find outside of this forum. Anyways, since nobody has responded to your question about the ISBN yet, Julia, I decided I would lend a hand. If you'll take a look at the bottom right corner of the image Darrell posted, the ISBN has been listed along with the title and author's name. I was about to do a search on WorldCat myself before I noticed it. Just thought I would point it out. Unfortunately medieval and
  5. Thank you for your responses, gentlemen. Ric, I've always assumed the knife was something low carbon, as instead of being springy as I've always expected tempered steel to be, it bends ever so slightly when pushed too far to the side and then must be straightened. I'd do a spark test, but I'm sure my mom would slap me silly. It is quite thin, though. So you're probably correct. It also has what I suppose would be called a half tang. No discernable marks, though (we've never sharpened it, but my great uncle might have). I'd like to find out more about it. I hope my 'sword and couch' a
  6. So, I've managed to get my hands on a copy of the Tylecote and Gilmour book (inter-library loan is such a great resource when you're starving for new material). I'm amazed at how early heat-treating was used just from the relatively small sample size given in the book, from one country no less. It's fascinating. The book also makes it easier for me to understand the different phases or structures of iron and steel (ferrite, pearlite, etc.). What I find most interesting, and of course this is only a small sample of the finds in Britain, is that, while there are differences in the creation o
  7. Kristopher, you didn't come across as condescending at all. I appreciate your advice. I'm actually going to request some materials at mu University's library through inter-library loan next week. Unfortunately, I've already browsed through the only archival collection on campus. There was nothing on metallurgy, smithing, or anything else. I'm an intern at the library (and museum!) on campus, so I've had the privilege of handling some wonderful materials that most people only get to view photocopies or pictures of (mostly things related to Mammoth Cave). Alas, in my searches during free time, I
  8. I echo Doug's sentiments. Thank you very much for the links (and the recommendations for other works). I'm gonna have a library of all this stuff in no time. I'm extremely thankful for all the information you fine folks have shared already. I hope this thread will continue to spark some interesting discussions or contributions. It is definitely helping me find out more about one of the fields I'm so interested in.
  9. Jeroen, thank you for the info. I want to make sure I'm understanding the basics of what you're saying. Higher quality steel was present from the iron age and it was known how to make it. However, broader cultural and technological shifts allowed for greater quantities to be available over time. So overall, when discussing historical iron production, an awareness of its larger context should be maintained. Am I understanding this correctly? If any other members have words of wisdom, I would welcome them. Whatever knowledge you have on the subject is very much appreciated. This will all help m
  10. Outstanding stuff, gentlemen. Thank you all for your contributions to this thread. I'll certainly start reading more about the hearth steel processes and whatever other smelting and refining processes I can. You've all given me some great stuff to think about.
  11. Thank you for the clarification on Ulfberht swords, Ric. I suppose I sound like the newbie I am. I think I probably complicate things more than most because I'm a history major. The one thing that has constantly been hammered into my head is that I'm supposed to "challenge the historical narrative" of years past to paint a more complete picture. I also appreciate the material you recommended. I'll do a search straight away. Thanks!
  12. Greetings, everyone. This is my first post here. I joined because I'm a history major with a fascination with metalwork and because I plan on trying my hand at bladesmithing beginning around December/January. I'm also a little bit of a fanboy when it comes to some of the members here. I was inspired by a few of them. So I'm quite happy that I finally decided to join the forums. However, because I'm not even a beginner smith yet, I'll probably mostly be reading what the rest of you have to say and learning what I can for the time being. That said, I do have some questions on some of the his
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