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Adam Betts

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    Blades, tools, HEMA, medieval tailoring, nature, bushcraft, witchcraft, cats.

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  1. My favorite medieval polearm! Beautiful work. About how much does it weigh?
  2. Looks like a super useful little blade, and well executed too. Nice job!
  3. That's the common thread that binds a lot of us together, I think. Especially those of us making axes.
  4. Late to the party on this one, but that was my experience with making my own eye drift as well-- though I was also going for a long, narrow eye like you see on American axes. Holy crap, that was a lot of work. If you just want the tomahawk-style teardrop or a basic oval, you'd be much better served buying a drift (that said, if anybody knows where the hell you can buy a drift for long, narrow axe eyes, I'd love to hear about it because I couldn't find one). As for getting the spread you need for the beard on those axes, I have some wisdom to impart! Most of my axes so far have been made from jeep axles (they suck for forging but are really good at being axes), which isn't too far removed from a ball pein hammer in terms of starting shape. I found that the Key to the Beard was to upset the very end of the bar (the bit that's going to become the edge) a bit before forging the cheeks and bit down to thickness. The upsetting gives you extra material at the edge, which translates to a more pronounced flare as you forge it out. If, while you are upsetting, you manipulate the steel so that your bonus material ends up mostly at the toe, you have pretty much set yourself up a pre-form that, with a little bit of coercion, will turn itself into a bearded axe as you forge it out.
  5. Have you tried oiling it? I've worked with black G10 a few times, and it always ended up a medium gray when I was finished with it. I tried using some kind of oil finish on it one time for some reason, and the G10 turned much, much closer to black. Regardless, that is a classy little blade. I'd carry it.
  6. Beautiful work, Kris. May I ask how you achieved that cross-shaped profile on the guard? Are the pieces that project down along the handle and up along the blade forge-welded onto the rest of the guard, or is there some other kind of smithing magic at work there?
  7. Absolutely! It'll probably get here just in time to make me feel better about working 30 days straight. I have a deep respect for the Spanish tradition of knife-making, and I'm glad to have found reason to acquire a little piece of it. Well I don't know about the French and their tastes, but I like your versions better than the few I've seen coming out of France.
  8. Jose, I liked that vendetta corso knife enough that I just ordered one from your website! I haven't had the time or space to pursue my own bladesmithing lately, so I'm contenting myself with supporting the work of fellow artisans. I am very much looking forward to seeing your work firsthand! Muchas gracias!
  9. That doesn't sound basic at all! With that design in mind, you might also look up information on sabers, which seem functionally similar to what you're describing. Another resource you might use for things like dimensions and balance points and such are production sword shops that focus on functional blades. They'll usually have weights and measures posted online for pieces they are trying to sell.
  10. I've only ever done one puukko-style blade, but I love me some stick tangs and have spent a lot of time on them. If you get the burning-in right and you use something like birch or maple for the handle, you don't NEED (though I use epoxy anyway) any additional adhesive simply because the remnant substances in the wood heat up and basically turn into tar. If you leave the blade in the handle too long after the last bit of burn, it takes a vice and hammer to separate them again. Go ahead, ask how I know. Anyway, the point I think I'm getting at is: don't underestimate the inherent strength of a solid press-fit!
  11. This is a fascinating thread! This is the first time I've ever heard of Cloud Cutter--but that thing looks amazing. Somewhere around here I have a blade-like object that looks like a cross between that and the headhunter's sword that Geoff posted. Clearly I need to find it and finish it now. Geoff, thanks for starting this conversation-- lots of food for thought here.
  12. That laminated steel blade is a really cool look-- and it contrasts well with the classic, no-nonsense profile of the knife. Well done.
  13. Aiden, I'm in CT, so our forests are very similar, and I was a lumberjack for several years-- I've cut a lot of oak, and that's definitely not oak. The pores are all wrong. It might be a maple of some kind, but both my significant other (a park ranger/environmental educator) and I both looked at that bark and said "Tulip." The color and grain is right, too. I have no idea if it makes good handles, but apparently Eastern indigenous peoples used to make dugout canoes out of it.
  14. One reason is the type of guard you want to use. The frame handle lets you slide a thin guard up to the base of the blade-- to do the the same thing on a full-tang knife, your blade has to be significantly wider than your handle. Basically, the frame handle lets you combine aesthetic features of full-tang and hidden/through tang type blades that couldn't otherwise coexist.
  15. Fortunately for you, Viking stuff is in vogue right now. Information on the subject is everywhere in text form, and if you're a visual-learning type, YouTube is your friend! Will has done a great job of highlighting the complexity of the pattern welding side of the equation--the "fullered sword" side of the equation is another, different monster (or maybe another head of the same hydra). Generally, on a "Viking" sword (and I'm sure that someone who specializes in swords of this period will be able to cite exceptions and variations) you wouldn't be forge-welding a pattern-welded strip down the fuller. You'd be forging a core of pattern-welded material, then forge-welding an edge bar around that core in kind of a U shape. Fullers are also their own special nightmare, and if you've never done them before, practicing on a not-pattern-welded blade would probably be a good call.
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