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Andrew W

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Andrew W last won the day on June 12 2019

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    Gainesville, FL
  • Interests
    Historical metallurgy, early medieval archaeology, Anglo-Saxon spearheads

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  1. Indeed! Brian's been so helpful over the years--we've mostly chatted about spears (what I studied in grad school), so I've enjoyed going back to the swords and reading all the parts I'd skimmed before.
  2. The edge bars are a stack like this (apologies for the ugly sketch). This sort of composite edge is common in early medieval swords. The wrought I used etches up with some wild textures, so I'm hoping this will look fun when it's finished.
  3. I've never made a sword before or done any pattern welding, so this is me feeling my way in the dark. I'm having fun! I went with a simple 2-bar herringbone core. The core bars are 7 layers (1084 and 15N20). For the edges, I built a 7-layer stack alternating wrought, 15N20, wrought, and 1084 (etc). Welded up my core bars... Twisted them with my buddy's torch... And then moved and forgot about this project for 12 months So now that I'm shut in on quarantine-- I'll grind it tomorrow and see how the welds look. They all seemed solid while I was forging the profile so...we shall see. As a bonus, I ended up with about 12" of extra herringbone bar. I made way more than I needed! Bonus seax? My goal for this blade is an early Anglo-Saxon style: fullerless (double-lenticular profile), 70cm long x 4.5cm wide blade, and a 12cm tang. I forged in a subtle distal taper, and the dynamics feel about right. Still too heavy at 2.5lb, but I assume I'll knock a lot of that off when I grind the surface and finish the bevels? I've got an old army surplus ammo tube and 6 gallons of canola oil, so once I finish the rough grinding I'll need to get up my courage enough to harden it.
  4. Success! All up and running—and safely wired and properly grounded. Thank you for your help! I’m really excited to put this through its paces now
  5. Now that I've replaced my outlet and it has a proper grounding wire, I can just splice a 10ga copper wire from my grinder frame onto the green grounding wire in the power cord--is that correct? No need for a separate grouding rod on the frame?
  6. Update: I flipped the breaker off and opened my 3-pronged dryer outlet. Turned out whoever built the house used a grounded cable for the circuit—they just didn’t connect the ground wire to anything. So I replaced the outlet with a 4-pronged 14-30 plug, checked everything with a multimeter, and now I have a grounded circuit to plug my grinder into (and my dryer’s safer too, an unexpected bonus). I wired a 20A fused air conditioning disconnect box to a plug (for the dryer socket) and a length of SJOOW cord, so I can run only as much power as I need out the window to the grinder. Just gotta hook up a vfd now.
  7. And my NEMA 10-30 outlet is nongrounded, is that right? What would I need to do to ground the VFD running off that socket?
  8. Question for folks who know about electricity: I want to run a 2hp VFD from my drier’s 240V outlet. But the outlet is 75’ from my shed. How stupid would it be to plug a splitter into the socket and run a 75’ extension cord to my shed? Some more info: - The outlet is wired with the old style 3-prong 10-30 plugs (ungrounded) - The VFD would draw just under 10A - The drier’s circuit is 30A. I have no intention of running the grinder and the drier at the same time, I think both together might trip the breaker - I’d use a splitter and extension cord rated to the full 30A of the 240 circuit - Installing a 240 outlet in the shed isn’t an option (rental property) Would this plan work, or am I going to set my house on fire? My backup plan is to run a 1.5hp motor off a 120 @ 20A circuit, but I’d rather use the 240 @ 30A if that’s safe.
  9. This is Asian buffalo. There's a horn seller on Etsy who will do custom sizes, and I talked him into listing 13cm long x 3cm diameter rolls. He should turn up if you do a search, I can't remember his shop name off-hand. Crazy Crow sells 4" lengths, which is where I usually get it for normal-sized knives.
  10. I'm also not on twitter, so I shared the video to the 122,000-member Bladesmithing for Beginners facebook group:
  11. To celebrate my Christmas time off, I forged two seaxes from bloom (iron and steel). I smelted the steel (right, in the photo above) back in March from powdered hematite ore ("Spanish Red"). I helped Mark Green and Daniel Cauble make the iron (left, above) at an SCA event in October, using Mark's "easy ore" (NC limonite). Mark and I, feeding charcoal and ore into the smelting furnace: First, I had to compact the iron bloom into a bar: After doing the same to the steel, I forge welded the two together into a billet for the two blades: I decided to copy two 6-7th century seaxes from a cemetery at Finglesham, Kent (UK): I cut the billet in half and forged the blades (also, a chef's knife from 1075): Lots of grinding... ...and ready to harden! Water got them hard enough to skate a file on the first try, so I didn't have to resort to brine this time. They came out blessedly straight, which is never guaranteed with bloomery steel. And the patterns started to show! 9 hours of hand sanding later (up to 1500), they're ready for a ferric bath. Etched: For the handles, I used horn (like the originals). And, finished! The seax on the left is 35cm long; on the right 37cm. I set the iron perpendicular to the blade's edge when I welded the billet, so the folds show as stripes on the sides of the blade's spine:
  12. Here's a helpful article about Ole Evenstad's method (referenced by Will Urban, above): https://www.tf.uni-kiel.de/matwis/amat/def_en/articles/ancient_carburisation/ancient_carburisation.html
  13. To usher in the new solar year and drive away the Winterdark, I smelted some iron today. My ore was 55lb (25kg) of “Spanish red” (ground hematite rocks, from a pottery studio). I mixed this with 7lb of sand (for better slag) and 7lb of whole wheat flour (to bind it all together, and maybe to add a bit of P to the metal too? I’m not sure if that worked yet). We burned 96lb (44kg) of Royal Oak charcoal. And we got a 13lb (6kg) bloom! Each of us added special offerings to the fire half way through the smelt—things we want to have in the new year. If our luck is good, the ashes of our offerings will be mixed into the iron and we’ll have a fortunate new year; if our luck’s poor, our wishes washed away in the slag. Time will tell which it is. This is the second smelt I've done in this furnace, and it survived for a third run next month.
  14. Alan recommended the burners from anvilfire.com ( https://www.anvilfire.com/21centbs/products/P-75/ ) the last time this thread came up, and I have only good things to say about them. They've made forge welding effortless, and they're relatively inexpensive. I lined my forge with 2" of inswool and 1/4" of kastolite, with some extra bubble alumina on the floor since I tend to throw a lot of corrosive things into my forge (lots of borax and slag from bloomery iron). I bought all these from hightemptools.com ; not the absolute cheapest supplier, but they had everything I wanted in one place and I didn't have to worry about accidentally buying the wrong product.
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