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Bjorn Gylfason

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Bjorn Gylfason last won the day on September 9

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About Bjorn Gylfason

  • Birthday December 13

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  1. Just finished up a neat little commission. A small but stout english style baselard, 30cm blade which is a whopping 7,2mm thick at the base and tapers down to 3mm 2cm from the tip. The grip was deeply fullered to bring the balance point about 2cm in front of the grip. And oh this was an incredibly messy glue up with all those pins and six scales The sheath is double layered leather and got a chape from Tod cutler. I still am amazingly bad at estimating how much leather stretches and shrinks so the outer layer end up a bit roomy but with some burnishing and massaging I gathered it around the sticthing to the point it almost looks intentional scribing in some vines Cut and trying out my new gas powered soldering pen to open up the cuts And then a whole bunch of tooling and now I want to make a really big one if course
  2. I have some experiments to conduct so started making some billets. Who knows, there might even be enough to make a sword or two
  3. Never made a buckle before and not entirely sure how exactly the ones from this era are supposed to work Began with a 4mm brass rod, annealed and bent it into a square, silver brazed it and then did some shaping with a small hammer but it ended up looking alright and it works everything oiled up and wrapped in cloth before going in the box. The inspector is making sure the box is up to standards This project led me to spend hours looking for methods and how to do both filigrees and cloisonne, filled my head with ideas for blade patterns and reminded me yet again how nice it would be to have the needed equipment for casting.
  4. Got the scabbard dyed and bronze bits attached, zip ties are very helpful to hold everything where it should while drilling holes. The pins are brass nails annealed before being put in, cut to size and peened over The original didn't seem to have any kind of bridge or slider so I went with Paul Mortimers idea of attachment to the belt not completely set on the way I bound the braided wool cord but it's easy enough to redo and try different methods. And now I'm just waiting for more brazing rods to arrive so I can make some sort of buckles for the belt
  5. The tiniest ball peen hammer I could find and then a dimpled nail driver. The biggest challenge of it was holding the whole thing upside down with a sharp blade in my face while also focusing in the peening
  6. Aaaah, give me a decade or so to practice and I might get closer to those guys The worst part about this build is that now I really need to try out a few more different kinds of patterns and blade shapes so the void will be filled up with lots of fire and glowing steel
  7. Scabbard core covered in linen. I used waterproof glue for it to help seal the core And then leather sewn on. And a dry fit of the hilt components just to see how it looks and then a lot of little fiddling to get the parts to fit better to each other Making pins for the upper guard. And then a peen block that fits quite snugly inside the pommel cap. I could have made it much thinner but this way someone could still demount and rehilt the blade as it passes down from one chieftain to the next and now that all the parts were finally fitted it was time to finish samding the blade. Appleseeded the edges and sanded it to 800 grit for the etch Vinegar acid works great. First I let it sit for a couple of hours and then scrub all the oxides off with 2500 sandpaper, second soak was about two hours again with scrubbing and the last soak was overnight The vinegar is mild enough that that long soaks don't really eat much into the steel as the oxides build up and slow the etching down. And then going over the whole blade with 2500grit backed with a rubber block And assembly time Thick leather pieces in the vise protect the blade while I peen One of the things I don't really like about pattern welding and specially on big blades like this is how difficult it is to take good pictures of it. and I still find this so interesting, the polished horn looks almost like marble and then when held up against the light you can see the tang, nails and pins going through it And now back to the scabbard. Though the original didn't seem to have any metal fittings I do think it should have some as even though they were rare on the british isles they were common on the continent For the chape I started by making a form And then it was annealing and hammering and annealing some more followed by more hammering
  8. Got the scabbard core lined and glued so took the blade back to the workshop to work more on the hilt. Starting by drilling and filing each piece to fit snugly onto the tang Usually I like to fully form each piece individually but for this I felt like epoxying them together before forming would be the right way to go. As the tang tapers in all dimensions from the shoulder and I waxes it before glue up the grip slid of without problems after curing. Then taking it down to rough dimensions on the belt grinder. It feels like fresh 80grit belts work the best for the horn And then it was back to the files and needle rasps Sanded to 800 and given a light polish And an interesting shot, this horn is light enough to be semi translucent when held up to light and with an even finer sanding and polish I believe that feature could be made more pronounced
  9. Now that the lower guard is im the right ælace it's time to begin on the scabbard core. Using airplane modeling 0.4mm thick plywood for it with three layers on each side glued and clamped around the blade to get the shape. and then some spacers on the edge where the halves will be glued together. Going to line it with some wool felt so might end up needing another layer of two of spacers for a snug but not too tight of a fit for the blade
  10. Sure go ahead, it might even motivate me to get things going It's only been around 30° here last week but this humidity is something I just can't get used to. If this is any sign of coming years I'll have to seriously think about air conditioning for the workshop
  11. It's been going slow here as there's been a heatwave and everything above 16° feels a bit too warm for me anyway But been working on the lower guard and getting the pieces to fit to the tang and each other. This part feels the most important to get right as everything from the rest of the hilt to the scabbard will be made to fit to it. Filing and fitting and filing and test fitting some more. Originally I had thought about just using a thicker plate of bronze for the lower portion of the guard but after looking a bit better at originals they are all made from very thin sheets formed around the organic materials. So I filed in a bit of a bevel on the horn and then copied the shape onto a piece of steel to act as a form I could hammer the bronze to shape on. Still need a few rounds of annealing and hammering to get the shape just right before trimming it to size.
  12. The size and shape of the blade reminds me a bit of a Sardinian leppa but either way it is a very nice looking knife
  13. Seconded Great idea and lovely execution
  14. I started at just above 130° and that does work good for thin pieces but for the solid ones about 160° seems to be a sweet spot to get them pliable without them starting to brown and discolor from the heat
  15. And a small update here. After a lot of searching I found a place that had something other than black buffalo horn in sizes close to what I need for the hilt. But they still needed to be formed and pressed to get the extreme dimensions to fit so experiments commenced. Dry heat and open flame doesn't seem to be optimal for such large and thick pieces with lots of burning amd tearing so I ended up buying a deep fryer This way I can accurately control the heat and used sunflower oil for these first tests. Then I ended up using pretty much all the vises in the workshop along with the swing press to squeeze and form. I've seen cane makers using all sorts of very smart dies to really manipulate horn and that is definitely something I would like to try in the future but for this simple is good enough these should become the hilt parts for this sword but as I had the oil hot I needed to try out a couple of more things and ended up with these Now I have to make some blades that fit hooked grips like these Conclusion thus far is that horn is stinky, prone to tearing, splitting and delaminating and I have yet to crack decipher exactly how to work it but oh this is giving me too many ideas and will definitely use it more in the future. Next up will be forming and fitting the lower guard horn, cut out and shape the bronze sheets that sandwich it as everything from now on builds up from it, hilt and scabbard
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