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Aiden CC

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Everything posted by Aiden CC

  1. Made it through heat treatment! This material likes a fast quench and I didn’t want to buy 10 gallons of oil, so I used water with a touch of dish soap. Tempering was done using the forge. by watching the oxide colors.
  2. I made these last year and there are pictures of them in their WIP thread, but realized I hadn't posted them here yet. All of these are made from old wrought iron plus my own hearth steel. First, a light broadsax with a leather wrapped handle. Quite a large knife, but with the long handle it is still easy to control. The blade is made from a sanmai edge bar welded to a wrought iron spine. The sheath is tooled leather lined with hair-on sheep skin and furnished with brass rivets with pattern wire decoration. The suspension takes the form of two wrought iron strap sliders on the reverse side. Dimensions: - Blade: 370 x 3.9 x 6.5 mm (~14 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1/4 in) -Overall knife: 625 mm (~24 1/2 in) The price for this one is $1,250 including shipping in the US. If you are interested or want to read more about this blade, check out its listing here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1362352375/ This next one is a small broken back seax, the type that may have had a more utilitarian role, perhaps serving as eating knives, etc. This blade has a hearth steel edge bar and wrought iron body, mounted in a stained curly maple handle. The sheath is lined with goat parchment, decorated with geometric tooling, and held together with brass fittings and suspension bars. Dimensions: - Blade: 145x31x8 mm (~5 3/4x 1 1/4x5/16 in) -Overall knife: 274 mm (~10 3/4 in) Price: $560 including shipping in the US https://www.etsy.com/listing/1337379420/ Another broken back seax, the following knife is somewhat slimmer than the previous. The blade has an inserted warikomi hearth steel edge and a wrought iron body. The handle is oak from an old whiskey barrel stave. The sheath is tooled leather lined with goat parchment with no metal fittings. The suspension here takes the form of a leather strap. Dimensions: - Blade: 145 x 28 x 6 mm (~5 3/4 x 1 1/8 x 1/4 in) - Overall knife length: 272 mm (~10 3/4 in) The price is $450 including shipping https://www.etsy.com/listing/1336677194/ Finally, my take on a short sax. Another warikomi blade, this one is also has a pair of grooves cut into one side. The handle is wrapped in leather with risers and the sheath is sheepskin lined and decorated with knotwork. The wrought iron suspension bars are held on with large-headed brass rivets and a line of brass nails secure the tip. Dimensions: - 165 x 26 x 7 mm (~6 1/2 x 1 x 1/4 in) - Overall knife length: 290 mm (~11.5 in) The price is $600 including shipping https://www.etsy.com/listing/1336699802/ Thank you for looking, don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
  3. For the past year I have been experimenting with knives with over-molded resin handles, resulting in a few different patterns. These two are my latest and are both available. The blades are AEB-L stainless with a stone-washed finish and the handles are cast epoxy colored with mica powder. The sheaths are Kydex with paracord. For those of you with in-laws who don't know better, these blades can survive being run through a dishwasher, though I never recommend cleaning knives you like that way. First, an ultra-lightweight model, weighing in around 2Oz, less than most small locking folding knives and much easier to keep clean. This is the pattern I personally take trout fishing. The dimensions are: - Blade: 77 x 15 x 1.5 mm (~3 x 0.6 x 0.06") - Overall knife length: 175 mm (~ 6.9") - Knife weight: 32 g (~ 1.1 Oz) - Weight with sheath: 60 g (~ 2.1 Oz) Available for $75 including domestic shipping here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1441954099 The second is a more robust model, more of a "true" bird and trout knife. Still barely noticeable in a bag or tacklebox with the whole thing weighing around 3 Oz. The larger handle allows for more force to be applied than the smaller version while still being a thin knife meant for slicing. The dimensions are: - Blade: 80 x 19 x 2 mm (~3.25 x 0.75 x 0.09") - Overall knife length: 196 mm (~ 7.25") - Knife weight: 61 g (~ 2.1 Oz) - Weight with sheath: 88 g (~ 3 Oz) Available for $95 including domestic shipping here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1427766606 Thank you for looking, don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
  4. Not a ton of time for knives the next few weeks, but the pattern welded seax will be a gift and needs to be wrapped up soon, so I got the knife finished, just needing a sheath now. The handle is made from horn. Unfortunately the piece I had wasn’t quite enough for this large enough for my original plan, so I added a bit of bend and flair to it. The phosphorus really does make for good contrast. My earlier pattern welding using only carbon content had a gradient between the two components rather than a sharp line like here. And here it is! In the future, I may try including some of the hollow part of the horn and using a butt-cap/inlay or more horn to fill the void at the end.
  5. 1. Jaron Martindale 2. Bob Ouellette 3. Aiden Carley-Clopton
  6. Amazing work! And ditto to Jeroen’s comment about the horn.
  7. I've been reading archeo-metallurgy when I get burnt out on automotive sheet steel papers and there are a fair number out there. There isn't any metallographic analysis, but if you are interested in Nordic finds, Jørgensen's work has a great number of examples with tracings and measurements: https://www.academia.edu/40119369/32_Waffen_und_Gräber_1999_Weapon_chronology_in_Southern_Scandinavia_in_Late_Iron_Age_Merovingian_Period_Vendel_Period_Anne_Nørgård_Jørgensen_417p_
  8. Patterns are something I always say I’ll use more of but often don’t manage to. I made this one after missing the mark on another attempt of this blade. I also love the lines on this seax, though it makes it a challenge to forge! Maybe I’ll make a few more for the other historical shapes I plan to make soon.
  9. Thank you! As for the single edged swords, if I had to guess I would say part of what is going on may be that if all you have is iron, a single edged sword may perform better. For the same bevel angle, a single edge sword will be thicker and thus stronger. The geometry of double edged swords requires that they be thinner for the same cutting edge geometry which means they need a stronger material to reach the same bending strength as a single edged sword. The investigation linked below is one of the sources I looked at, if I recall, they examined three single edged swords, two of which were all iron and one of which had some traces of steel. The authors make comments earlier on about X-ray images from other work of single edged long knives not showing evidence of pattern welding or welded on edges. There is still a lot I haven't read, so this is likely not the whole picture! It could also have to do with the single edged swords primarily being a result of (lower quality) local production, while many of the double edged blades (especially the nicer ones) were made elsewhere. Steel does not always gain carbon when it is smelted. Whether or not it does depends on the atmosphere, temperature, etc. of the furnace. It is possible to produce steel directly from ore, but IIRC there is also evidence of small furnaces which could have been used for re-melting iron to carburize it. Some early swords were found that had a medium carbon core with low carbon edges welded on. One potential explanation is that it allows you to sharpen the edge by peining as you would with a scythe. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/357211244_Viking_Age_Swords_from_Telemark_Norway_An_Integrated_Technical_and_Archaeological_Investigation
  10. A quick update before a few weeks where I won’t have much time for these: A repeat of the sax 4, the billet is wrought iron and hearth steel. Interestingly, looking though metallographic analysis of a number of old single edged Nordic swords and long knives, almost all I found didn’t actually have any steel in them. A lot of steel to manage, but easier for sure than the a two-edged blade. I gave it a little nose dive because I think there will be some curvature picked up in the quench.
  11. It’s been a little while since I’ve worked on a seax, but I recently have been experimenting with pattern welding with phosphorus iron and a broken back seax seemed like a good application for it. The pattern welding consists of four twisted bars which I squished down to 3/8” after welding to widen the bars. The goal was to make a blade shaped after the Honeylane seax, so the stack needed a fair bit of width. The bars are: hearth steel, wrought iron, patterned bars, wrought iron. I made this pattern a while ago because this particular blade has a fairly difficult shape (at least for me), so I find it helpful to be able to frequently check the profile as I go. The edge ended up getting forged fairly thin, so I went ahead and quenched before doing any grinding.
  12. I got the rough grind in and it’s pretty much ready to heat treat! I would tidy it up a bit, but I didn’t want to grind any more off before the quench. The weight is down to 710 g, I think this sword is gonna be quite light! The lines between the bevels and fullers could be a bit straighter, but I hope to finalize that after heat treat when I can grind it all the way down. To replace the transitional sax/sword with the crack in the edge, I forged out another piece of anchor chain and took a piece of hearth steel up to 8 folds and drew it out into edge bar size.
  13. I decided to do a test with some of my small amount of high P iron, alternating with medium carbon hearth steel. Interestingly, the steel etched lighter. Looking at metallography of old pattern welded swords, it seems like the phosphorus regions etch light when viewed with optical microscopy and the steel/plain iron is darker. I found the opposite to be the case, as has been noted on this forum a few times; I used four layers of high P material and three layers of hearth steel in this bar, so you can tell which is which: It’s also fairly visible with just a 220 grit finish, and it has a much better contrast than my previous iron and hearth steel combinations after etching. I didn’t have any issues working the material, we’ll see how well it twists soon.
  14. If you don’t mind typing it again, I would be happy to hear your take on this. From some forum posts and a review of literature about old swords, I’m getting the sense that this might be a complicated journey so anything helps.
  15. I made a quick coupon from Globe Elevator nail material (thin) and anchor chain (thick) and etched it: The first is after the etch and the second after a quick polish. Interestingly, the material looks less affected right out of the ferric chloride, but then remained “frosty” while the wrought got back some luster. Very good contrast, although this also was basically just welded and then cooled off, so was without time for diffusion to ruin the contrast. The nails snap when bent cold, but I was able to cut through a few with a hot cut and didn’t have any fracture on me. That being said, they are also quite small, so the hot cut doesn’t need to stretch them as much before it gets all the way through. Also, I decided to take a look at the Fe-P phase diagram and noticed that once the solubility limit is met, addition P forms iron phosphide. I looked around and found a 3 lb bottle for sale which I picked up to try sprinkling into hearth melts. It looks like it is what’s used to add P to iron and steel those few situations where you might want to, so I figured I would give it a shot.
  16. Thanks for the info Jerrod, the term had never quite made sense to me. I forged out the single edged sword, but the edge bar cracked 1/3 of the way to the tip, so that one will become smaller knives: Here it is while things were still going well I decided to do a bit of fuller grinding just to inspect the steel and get ahead of any issues. One side is better than the other, but I think they should both clean up alright. The weight is down to 897 g after profiling and rouging the fuller, but there is still quite a bit of grinding left so it may end up a little lean. The blade is also short for this style, but that might be good given it’s my first real sword.
  17. I have been experimenting with pattern welding using hearth steel, but I’ve been finding that I don’t quite get the contrast I might want using just low and high carbon material, so I want to start playing with phosphorus iron. I have a variety of different old iron sources I want to try and use and my first question is about trying to identify high P iron, ideally without sending it off to a lab (though if that ends up being the case, I may do that). I have heard that nails from the Globe Elevator may be high in phosphorus and it seems like there might be some evidence for that. The nails break when struck in a vise with no notch and generally have very little ductility. Would that be how phosphorus induced cold shortness might manifest in wrought iron? The material also does not seem to take up carbon well in a hearth, as the pucks start out sparking/hardening well and then lose it after a few folds. I have tons of pieces of hearth material that have behaved this way, is there some “in-shop” test I could use on material like this? Another thought I’ve had is trying to get a source of feedstock with a known phosphorus content. Are there any common modern alloys that might work for this? All I’ve been able to find is ferrophosphorus, which seems like one of those things that you need to buy 5 tons of, and phosphorus calibration standards which don’t have a listed price, but I imagine would be incredibly expensive. Any thought here would be appreciated, if I have to send some pieces out for testing, so be it, but I figured it would be good to check here first!
  18. Thanks @Alan Longmire for the advice and for the pin! I did a bit more straightening, but I may start some grinding and look at measurements of originals to see if it’s good enough or needs more fixing. Current weight is 1070 g, we’ll see how it goes with grinding. I’m shooting for a more Norwegian style, though the blade is right on the short end of the range. The long/short edge might be more of a longsword thing, but it refers to the edge that is usually forward and the other that is usually back. There are some interesting arguments from wear patterns and general ergonomics that these swords were usually held in the same way when used despite being mostly symmetrical. Often, the upper and lower guards line up, but the tang is off-center in the upper guard. Both of these swords in the Danish National Museum show it a bit, the top one more:
  19. I’ve wanted to make a full length sword from home made steel for some time now, I started the research for proportions last fall. I had a bunch of new material and decided to go with early medieval instead of Japanese since I have a blade in that style to work on already. This was an experimental melt with about twice the initial charge. It consolidated well and sped up the process. I may increase my charge size from 1000 g to 1500-2000 g. This piece was folded 6 times and used as the “jacket” of the sword. Here’s the starting billet. The weight was ~3.5 lbs. It has a wrought iron core, 6 fold hearth steel for the flats, and 10 fold hearth steel edges. Rather that try and do a wrap, I opted for a fish mouth weld. From what I can tell, it went pretty well. I’m glad I worked up to this with progressively longer blades. The learning curve would have been even steeper! This blade is 27.5” which is right at the bottom of the normal range from what I can tell. I was shooting for 2.5” longer, but I guess my material estimate was a little lean. It’s possible I should have forged in a bit more distal and profile taper too. I welded on a wrought iron tang to save as much steel as possible. Also shown are the edge and spin bar for a “Sax 4”. I haven’t gotten around to translating the typology, but the blade seems like a step halfway between the Nordic long knives and single edged swords. The example I plan to make has a sax blade (wedge section all the way to the spine, 65 cm blade) and a grip almost like a sword (upper and lower guard with a sax-ish “wing nut” rivet block). I figured it would be a good way to practice with a slightly shorter blade and much simpler geometry but basically the same grip components. How does the profile look? I still need to kick the tang a bit off to one side to establish the long and short edges, but I wanted to do that very intentionally referencing some originals. What might be a good weight for a blade this length? I was thinking maybe around 600-800 g, but it’s tricky to know from originals since most still have the (heavy) fittings still attached. I plan to grind a relatively shallow fuller, but I’ll see what the blade weighs in at as-forged.
  20. Not sure if this has been posted here before, sorry if it already has. I had heard mention a few times of a sax that was given a Japanese polish. I found a publication (albeit not in English) that has a detailed analysis of the blade along with a few others. Hopefully this link works: https://www.academia.edu/42133593/Stähle_Steine_und_Schlangen_Steel_Stones_and_Snakes_published_version_ I still have a lot more of it to read, since the process takes a while due to needing translation, however there is a lot of interesting stuff there. From what I can tell, the authors suggest that the sax blade they studied was made from a steel jacket of > 0.50% C welded around a lower carbon (~0.35% or less) core, and that it was hardened differentially by coating with clay. Second point seems difficult to prove, but the presence of hardening on the edge and spine side only at the tip is one piece of evidence they call out for this. They estimate that the material was consolidated by ~10 folds before the pieces were welded together. They use a lot of Japanese sword appreciation terms, so translating the article may be a two step process depending on your knowledge there (I certainly had to look up some of their characterization of the hada in the blade). They also have a long introductory section and analyses of two more blades I haven't read yet, definitely quite a bit there.
  21. Is this stuff something like a mixture of ore that got reduced and some which was just melted? I can imagine that if there wasn't a clear slag layer, this material may be a challenge as would be a good deal of non-metallic material that needs to be separated. I have a ~10 lb pile of rusty shavings and swarf I've been thinking about running through a hearth, but haven't yet since I'm not sure how much reduction can happen in such a short drop. Nice work @Joshua States, crucible steel is something I've wanted to try, but my small melting furnace for non-ferrous work just doesn't have the heat output to do steel. It's cool that you can see the dendrites so clearly, you could probably get some interesting insights from the primary and secondary arm spacing (distance between the "trees" and distance between the "branches"), as they are a product of composition and cooling rate. It would be interesting to see what the cross section looks like further away vs. up against the edges of the puck. I'm not sure if wootz intends to use columnar (same orientaion, from) or equiaxed (random orientation) dendritic growth, or some mix, but I would imagine that also has subtle influence on the pattern. If I had to guess, I would say many of the dendrites in the etched photo grew "into the page", and what we see is like looking up at a tree from underneath it. Cool stuff, I'm excited to see where this goes!
  22. I’m really hoping to avoid the cow smell! Originally I worked outside, but ended up going into the shop so I could hang the tails while I worked on them. Hopefully the drop cloth caught everything! It got down to single digits last night, so it may be a while before I can smell if I got everything If anyone decides they have to try this, my method was to hang the tails from a rafter and make a sling I could kneel in with one knee to pull the hide off while using a knife to cut around it. Unfortunately no pictures of the setup, it was messy and hectic. At the point of most resistance I had to jump up and down to get any movement. I shaved the hair down to try and make it “unroll” better. Here they are. I’m trying out both an ash solution and hydrated lime mixed based on proportions I found a few places online, this is 5 Oz in 3-4 gallons of water. I imagine the weather is going to slow this down, so maybe a bit over a week? It should give me some time to get a de-hairing setup put together. Maybe a dowel that these fit over and a dulled draw knife? I would have liked to get down to the smaller part of the tails, but in most cases, the tube ruptured once it got down to the small diameter area because of how much the skin had to stretch in order to double back on itself. There was a good amount of stretching of the ends, can I count on that being recovered before drying at all? It would make it much easier to keep things tidy if that is the case.
  23. Thank you for the advice @Hoy's Forge, I made an ash solution this morning to try out and started working on one of the tails. I had it rigged up with two ropes for pulling off the skin, but about halfway down the tail, it got to a point where pulling on it with all my weight wasn't causing enough motion to cut more of the tissue holding on the hide. I ended up nicking the hide as well trying to cut under it, so I decided to just cut it off at that point. It turns out that the problem was that there was too much friction at the point where the skin was doubled back, since even after cutting through all the way around, I couldn't pull off the hide without first cutting through the tail. How much can I expect this to shrink? Right now, I have a piece which is long enough for a sheath, but is maybe 30-50% too large in diameter for the relatively slim sheaths. Will there be enough linear shrinkage for this to work out alright? I plan to trim the hair on the next one I try to hopefully avoid this problem. Hopefully I'll give it another go this evening.
  24. Thank you for the offer @Brian Dougherty, luckily I was able to pick up five tails today! I have some friends in biomedical engineering who have made some strange purchases for work, but I don’t think any of them have worked with udders! I picked these up at a nearby ranch, they were very nice and asked that I send pictures of the finished product! For the squeamish folks out there, I kept them in the bag for the photo: These are frozen, and I need to work out how to thaw them, the forecast calls for 35 F overnight, so I may see how they are in the morning, or thaw them in a bin of water tonight.
  25. A section of bad weld in the Honeylane seax meant the edge got cut off and used as the center of sanmai for some later medieval knives based on pieces in Knives and Scabbards, so I’ll hopefully make another blade like that soon! That seax blade plus one other scrap gave rise to these three: a clip point, the classic “old hidden tang knife” and the start of a later medieval knife, which will get a bolster, butt plate, etc. Another tanto, as the previous “autobiography” blade had some fatal flaws show up in grinding. It’s 12 fold, kobuse construction with a hamon blending a number of different styles. Initial grind looks good, but time will tell. Finally, the latest run. This was about 25 lbs of feed stock and about twice that much charcoal, a mix of pieces all from one link of anchor chain, and the ever growing pile of scrap. Every time I run the hearth, I do more and more consecutive burns, since I get reminded of how much activation energy it takes. That’s it for now!
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