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Aiden CC

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Everything posted by Aiden CC

  1. That would work, and maybe be easier, though I have some lazy (and maybe some good) reasons to try soldering. The first is that a slightly off-center rivet in the washer is very evident. This means that either the hole and shank need to be exactly centered or one needs to be oversized. I’ve had a hard time getting the shanks square and centered since I poke through with a rod after taking out the model rivet. Would using a drill press for this maybe work better? A second, (slightly) lazier, reason is that I found a hole saw is a super consistent way to make discs with a centered hole. The pilot is bigger than an acceptable rivet shank though. Also, I have been playing around with bending rings out of pattern wire, which would definitely need to be soldered. I’ll try building a jig for making the dimples and see if that helps with centering though, since it will give a very obvious circumference to grind and file down to. A slightly more valid reason is that since the washers will have a few points of contact, some “settling” could lead to a wiggle. If I sunk three high bumps in the middle or made three around the edge a bit taller, I could potentially get around that by really controlling the contact points though. I also want to try some decorative tinning like you see on some originals (could be a good way to make bronze rivets match brass washers too ), that might basically make for a free soldering step, maybe with something like tinning flux?
  2. Peiter, I may try that out, at least for plain rivets. Cleaning up the gate from the back is a little tricky. Jerrod, thank you for the tip about putting details in the drag. I’m looking into some non-casting routes for the washers, but I will still probably try out a cast washers and a one-piece casting too. Very quick and dirty, but the actual features came out pretty clean. With a simple jig I think I could make these pretty consistent. I’m still not sure about the best way to solder these pieces together, maybe a few bumps or shins in middle? Any advice there would be appreciated as well.
  3. In a bit of a switcheroo, the broken back seax that seemed very promising needs to be scrapped and the broadsax blade I was worried about turned out to be alright! This blade is two flavors of wrought iron with a very low sanmai edge. I have found that in cases like this the iron around the edge I see actually picks up quite a bit of carbon, so it can be hard to find the edge at first by etching. Not so much on this one, but some blades will start sparking like steel before any of the core has even been exposed. I was worried that the blade was too narrow (37 x 4.2 cm) but in a quick literature review I found a light broadsaxe that had similar proportions. The handle is all wrapped up () as well. I decided to try out and under wrap on this one, though I’m not sure about the historical accuracy of that detail. I liked how the last risers turned out, so I decided for more on this one, though out of twine this time instead of leather. Also, the leather now completely enclosed the core. I’ve seen a few very nice looking handles done that way so I figured I would take a crack at it! This one just needs a sheath and it’s done. Finally, I decided to try out casting some rivet bosses from bronze. Once I figure out how to make bronze nails I like to match the color, these will replace the soldered brass bosses I have been using. I also have some pattern wire in the mail to try out making fancy washers like you see on a lot of originals.
  4. Thanks Alan, I’ll take a look at those resources! Admittedly, it’s nice to have the occasional break from articles about the edge ductility of advanced high strength steels I followed the advice from @Jerrod Miller and it definitely improved things! Here is a first shot at doing one rivet, the metal seemed to flow well even in a pretty shallow channel. I managed to get two at a time to work as well. I had some issues with sand erosion ending up in the castings, and, to be fair, I was warned. Next attempt will use solid forms for the runner and gates. I will probably try to do four of these in one flask, to actually save effort this way, I think I need at least two at a time, but four would be great.
  5. That would be great, thank you! I may try looking around at different types of pattern wire to potential make a master for casting these then. I think I've seen beaded pattern wire at various jewelry supply places. I do like soft metalwork like this, but at 4-8 of these on a sheath, that would be a lot of work for each knife, which may have been the point back then! I guess a hollow tipped punch could potentially do it more quickly as well.
  6. It makes sense that they would want to make parts like these hollow, especially since a casting needs some cleanup anyways. I was able to find a more zoomed in photo of those sheaths from above, and it does look to me like the boss and rim are different components on at least on the middle sheath, due to the shadows you can see in the flutes where they meet the central boss. Maybe a hollow, flat, head for the rivet and a thin sheet washer fluted with a punch and die or repousse? I think that the buttons on at least the bottom sheath could be formed from a single piece as they don't seem to have that same super sharp transition between the boss and the rim. Since I am still very new to casting, I think I'll probably start with thicker sections for the fittings I use to make it easier on myself while experimenting with other methods on the side. I'll try out casting the rivet and washer as separate pieces as well.
  7. Thanks, @Jeroen Zuiderwijk that’s interesting. Do you think that the boss and rim on these are the same piece? It seems like the transition between them is quite sharp, but it’s hard to tell in any of the photos I’ve seen and I’ve only managed to find drawings of the version of these that has a wide, flat, head with carvings on top, showing that they are hollow. I sketched up a couple of general processes, do any of these look like what you were thinking?
  8. Thank you for the very detailed advice! I'll try those changes out on my next attempt. I'll make an actual sprue pin instead of using a straight rod and try out using some wax strip to make the gating system. In my first attempt, the shank for the vent did go all the way to the top of the cope, though it only filled about halfway. I only really need about ~8 mm anyways though.
  9. Thank you @Jerrod Miller! I'm using a pre-mixed oil bonded sand. Would it be better to mix my own to get good control over grain size ratio? For gating, would it work to put in a larger sprue and then cut the gates directly into the sand? Ideally, I want to be able to clean up the casting by only removing material from the "back" of the rivet head, which seems like it would work with a gate cut into the sand on the back half. I think a longer term solution for these may involve a two part casting, it seems like maybe originals were done this way? It would certainly make it easier to clean up. Here is a picture I found which shows the general form I'm going for: Some or all of these may also be hollow, but that's another can of worms. The buttons on the top sheath may be tinned, which could be another way to resurface them. I ordered some carving wax since I think I'll be able to create the fluting I want more accurately with carving than with filing.
  10. I don’t like casting, and it doesn’t like me. That being said, every once in a while it’s useful to be able to do it, and this is one of those times. I want to make bronze rivet bosses for sax sheaths. I made the master below out of three pieces of brass, and with 4-6 per sheath I would rather not have to take the time to shape each one! Not shown is a long 0.093” shank that I’m holding in the picture. This is the geometry that I want to replicate, and here is how my first attempt came out: This is actually a lot better than I thought it would turn out, but still leaves some to be desired! With how many of these I want to make, it would be nice to have minimal cleanup. A few questions: 1) Is it a fair assessment that the the larger defects in the above casting come from loose/missing sand? I disturbed the sand a bit when making the mold unfortunately and may have dropped some in through the the spruce. 2) Is a 10 weight pct tin bronze a good alloy for this type of casting? I want to do a Cu/Sn bronze, but am somewhat flexible there. 3) Will I be able to make this part acceptably with sand casting? It has fairly fine detail and I want an even surface finish. If not, I’ll make a silicone mold to pour wax into for investment casting (another can of worms!) 4) What is a good way to clean up castings like this? I don’t need a perfect surface, just a bit more even. 5) Is there anything from my first casting that jumps out as something to do differently next time? Thank you for any insight here, I’m definitely outside of my comfort zone with this experiment! Edit to add one more question: Would I be better off casting two parts for this, i.e. a washer and a rivet with a head and shank?
  11. I met up with my old enemy, casting, in efforts to make seax sheath rivet bosses: Most if the defects came from disturbance to the sand due to removing the master and the long rod forming the shank/vent, so I hope to be able to fix that by making the mold a bit differently.
  12. I got the sheaths all wrapped up! I decided to redo the sheath for one of the broken back seaxes and I’m glad I did. The ornamentation is based on the back of some sheaths, I still need more practice before I could confidently base something off of the front. I also am working on a more ornamental rivet boss to use as a master for casting. And finally, another big one. This batch of hearth steel was very well behaved, I’m excited to see how it finished out! This is a seax styled after the Honeylane find, scaled up slightly.
  13. Thank you! I plan to leave it as is, I may play around with bolsters and pommels too with this kind of handle. Thank you as well! I do like the feel a lot. I think without the risers the handle would feel a bit small, but it is just right with them. I definitely will keep them in mind for the future as well. I'll put something together about work on a few blades when I have more photos, right now, most of what I have been working on is sheaths: This first liner is an experiment with goat parchment, which hopefully will be fairly rigid and cut resistant. Some more sheepskin liners, this time glued instead of stitched to keep a lower profile and protect the stitching better. Not shown is the hair being trimmed down and the edges skived. The liners, especially the parchment, make it much easier to do this kind of seam, and you can pull everything tight and shape it without worrying about cutting the stitches. I've been practicing drawing knotwork, time to actually put that into practice! This is where they stand now, with the edges sanded just needing final cleanup. I've been nervous about decorating sheaths in the past, but I'm fairly pleased with how these first few attempts have come out. It seems like ornamentation in general was ubiquitous on all aspects of these blades, so I've been trying to get better at leather carving, along with making grooves/fullers. You can also see a set of rivet bosses on the right as well. I made these ones by brazing a rod to a disc, but in the future I may play around with casting some of these, especially if I make a few with engraved patterns to use as masters. I also realize that the broad sax blade snuck in on the right, but that's for another day!
  14. Thank you! I’ve wanted to make a blade like this for a while. It’s tricky, since if it’s too narrow by the handle, IMO it looks almost cartoonish, but some of that effect is important to get the right look. I think I’ll end up taking a little bit off of the belly and lengthening the clip a bit too. Once I cut in the shoulders I think it will make it easier to get a sense of what the profile needs, if anything.
  15. Both of those tantos ended up with issues, one became a kogatana and the other is now languishing on a shelf. I decided to take a break and make a bunch of s(e)axes so I’ll post a bit of that here: These two are cut from the same sanmai bar, the core steel is exposed only at the very edge, but the iron around it actually got carburized to a fair degree based on sparks while grinding and what it did to my chisels for the second blade. This was an attempt to try a multi-bar blade, which I actually like quite a bit. There will definitely be more of this! Finally, a Honeylane-ish seax. Wrought iron from an old, broken, vise and a square bare of hearth steel. The profile needs a bit of tweaking, but the weld seems to be good, I’m looking forward to this one.
  16. Still plugging along on these when I have time. I’m pretty behind on sheaths so that will be next! I originally wasn’t a big fan of an edge bar as opposed to sanmai, but this one may have changed my mind. I have plans for a larger broken back seax, I may prepare the material as a square edge bar. I decided to try out a leather wrap with no fittings, this seems like something that could have existed, as there are tons of grips with no fittings metal fittings and a few with signs of leather. It was a challenge, but I like the look and feel. I was able to skive the edges of this leather much thinner than the goat skin and get a real ragged edge. I also decided to add some risers, as the handle is on the smaller side. Pretty pleased with how it turned out, I have a lot of ideas about making more handles like this! Lines carved on the “back” like you see on a lot of examples.
  17. Loving the pattern in the steel, and I think the bit of forward “kick” in the handle is a good touch. As for the original profile of the blade, I’m not entirely sure about it having gone out that far. The concavity could come from a bit of nosedive or be a design feature slightly exaggerated by wear and corrosion. It could be perspective, but it appears to widen slightly on the spine side as well. Japanese blades have a bit of “fumbari” where they get wider and thicker in the section before the habaki. European swords do this a too, though in thickness more than profile. It can give the blade a more substantial look if done carefully and I would imagine also impacts the dynamics.
  18. Thanks for the tips, Joshua. Tightening the stitches after the fact and doubling the stitches at the ends worked quite well. The spacing of stitch holes on old sax sheaths seems like it can be quite wide 8-10 mm for some), it seems like it would be hard for a stitch like that to be tidy, maybe tightening the stitching and burnishing it would help?
  19. Thanks, all! Now onto wrapping up a few more. I tried out a lined sheath for this Iron Age style knife. My dog was not excited when he heard the trimmers! I think the liner needed to be shorn down closer, the stitching could use some work, and I got hide glue everywhere, so this one will be chalked up to practice. The incised decorations came out better than I thought they might though!
  20. I've been trying out some new things with sheath making inspired by remnants of old sheaths and one part of that I'm not very familiar with is using a serpentine stitch in leather as opposed to a saddle stitch. As in, a single thread stitch where there are gaps between the stitches. I was wondering if anyone had experience with that kind of leather stitching and had a few questions. First, what do you do with the two ends? With a saddle stitch, the start of the stitch doesn't have a knot, as it is just where the two threads turn around, and it is easy to pull the knot into the seam when you finish. I don't know if the tricks you use when hand sewing cloth would work, but I don't know where else to look. Second, how do you keep the stitching tight? I did an experiment sewing the liner for a sheath from (dry) sheepskin, and definitely had a bit of trouble keeping the tension up, as the stitches aren't secured like they would be with two threads. Finally, should the holes go straight through the leather or travel go at an angle? Again, looking to hand sewing with cloth doesn't help too much here because it's so thin that it wouldn't make too much of a difference. Thank you for reading, any advice is definitely appreciated!
  21. Thanks, I'll try that test out for corrosion! I have found a lot of variation in the properties of leather in general, even from the same supplier. The sheath I linked to above used un-tanned sheep skin for a lining. I don't know where they got it, but the closest thing I could find was a goat drumskin, which I think is going to be a challenge to sew, but could be interesting. I have some hair-on vegetable tanned sheep skin (which I had to specifically look for, I think it's usually chrome tanned), I'm not sure how that will be with respect to corrosion. I also have a piece of parchment on the way to try out. That material seems somewhat more speculative with respect to the finds, I don't recall if there was any direct evidence provided for it's use, though a sheath without any cut marks or evidence of hair on the inside could be a good candidate for a thin, un-tanned lining.
  22. A bit of leather and brass work and the narrow sax is all wrapped up! These are all of the fittings, two suspension bars and round washers. I have a plan for how to make these differently in the future to be more like the bosses seen on a lot of sheath fines. The rivets are made from round headed nails peened on one side. Based on the positions of things like buckles etc in some grave finds, presumably sliders like this had belts wrapped through them to create a 3+ point suspension depending on how it was attached around the waist. These little rivets are tricky since they can buckle inside the leather, but I like how they look.
  23. Thank you for all of the info on this! “It depends” answer makes sense. It’s the answer to pretty much every question in metallurgy, so I’m getting accustomed to it by now. That’s interesting about leather quality over time. I imagine leather was more valuable before the beginnings of industrial agriculture and tanning as well. I imagine modern vegetable tanned leather suffers from similar issues? It’s always cool to see we’ll preserved organics. It reminds me of looking at colorized pictures of the past where you realize your ideas about a place and time were limited by what was left over.
  24. Thank you! I think to look right the handle needs to very subtly go from straight, to concave, to convex, to transition from the ferrule to the bark. I have some flexible belts I will probably try slack grinding it with. Now for saxes. First, some better photos of the narrow sax: Definitely a beast, this one. With the handle and blade dimensions, you can really feel the forward weight. Any narrower on the handle and I think it would start to feel hard to control with this blade weight. Finally, a broad sax blade all forged out. This is a two bar billet with a warikomi edge and wrought iron spine. This is the biggest blade I have ever made, and with the challenges that came along with it, I’m glad I didn’t just jump into making a langsax! I’ve already made some mistakes I hope to avoid on the next big blade. Just looking at it in the photo, I may need to either cut or forge the tip; it’s too close to the spine, while it should be a bit closer to the edge. In fact, the profile is an exact mirror of how it should be! Could be a good way to make the blade a whole number of Osco-Umbrian inches .
  25. Thank you Alan, that is very interesting. Would the same be true of some non-tanned skin product like parchment (i.e. deteriorating while leather is preserved)? There were some discussions of mineralized material, both hair and textile in different cases IIRC. It is a bit pricey, but has been worth it for me. I thought I recognized the makers mark on the sax that the recreated sheath was made for, and in fact it was made by Gaël Fabre, who I follow on instagram. His work is well worth looking at in its own right. The links below show the sax and sheath, and hopefully are viewable without an account. I may try reaching out to Gaël as well, the whole project seems like it was very interesting. https://www.instagram.com/p/CI0jxRjn-4p/?hl=en https://www.instagram.com/p/BzftPVLoszB/?hl=en
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