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Everything posted by GEzell

  1. Looks like the wood was worth messing with after all. That is one heck of a skinner, great shape.
  2. I keep coming back to look at that viking sword again. The forged fuller turned out great. Your carvings are really good. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the shortsword. Keep it up!
  3. While I'm at it... I don't even want to think about how this was done... An oldy but a goody... Deceptively simple... Forgive me, but I thought someone else might enjoy these.
  4. You know, I came to the same conclusion from looking at a multiple-fullered sax next to an x-ray showing the pattern. The grooves followed the pattern perfectly, showing the stars in the twist down the center of each fuller. Narrow fullers seem easier the scrape in, but I've yet to attempt a wide one. I suspect it would be easier to forge in, but could be done either way, perhaps hollow ground on a small wheel would be a modern way to do it. Some of the finer middle-eastern/indian blades have amazingly complex cross-sections; fullers, t-ribs, etc... I am in awe of them, the craftsmanship is shocking. I have no clue how they pulled some of these off. very nice But yes, some cultures do it one way, some the other, some both. I'm looking at that gadget Sam posted thinking 'it might just work'. I'm pretty happy with my slightly modified Groovemaster 3000, it did make short work of a few narrow ones. I know some fairly narrow grooves can be forged, as I've seen the results. I'm just not certian what tools were used to do it. Grain growth is what happens when steel is brought above critical tempature, the hotter the fire the faster it happens. To correct this, we use descending normalizing cycles to bring the grain size back down, as fine grain is stronger than coarse. Smaller grain size also changes the hardenability of the steel, making it shallow-hardening. If you keep an eye on it, this can be used to one's advantage, but it can render some steels that are already shallow hardening almost impossible to harden if over done. That's the short answer, anyway. A bit of searching should yield a wealth of information on the subject. Well spoken.
  5. Very nice hunter, very graceful. I agree that is some beautiful steel, almost a rose pattern. I need to get some of that German stag antler, it is lovely.
  6. For a camp knife I'd go with a flat grind over a hollow any day. The only thing that bugs me from a functional view are the sharp edges on the guard and buttcap. I highly suggest putting a slight radius there instead, it would be much more comfortable to the hand.
  7. Your best contrast comes from having differing alloys. 1095 and mild will show contrast in a san-mai, but with a few folds the carbon evens out and you get alot less contrast, because the carbon is the only real difference between the two. For better contrast, a 10 series steel can be mixed with another steel with nickel in it, L6 an 15N20 are both good steels for this. Some guys use pure nickel, but this can cause problems if it ends up at the edge, and it does not like to weld to itself. The nickel or steel with nickel in it will show up as very bright layers. Other alloys such as chrome and manganese influence the contrast, but not as much. Back in the 70's most if not all of the damascus being made was O1 and mild steel. This was when it was thought damascus had alternating layers of hard and soft steel. Now we know about carbon migration. Somewhere along the line someone had the bright idea to use 2 cutlery-grade steels, and now it is the common way to do it. O1 and L6, going heavy on the O1, will produce one heck of a blade, but has some annealing/air-hardening issues that make it a bit difficult to work. 1095 and L6 (or 15N20 for that matter) makes a very good knife. The most common mix these days is 1080ish (1080, 1084, 1085, 1086, etc...) and 15N20. This mix has the advantage of being easy to heat-treat, very good contrast, good edge-holding, good toughness, and very good stability. Stability... I discovered the hard way that it's a good idea not to mix 5160 with 1095. It will weld together nicely, show good contrast, and all the welds just open right up when it's quenched. Some steels are more compatable than others. The closer the heat-treatments of the steels used, the less likely this is to happen. This is one of the good things about 1085 and 15N20 mixes, they are virtually the same steel except for the nickel, which is all you need for good contrast. San-mai type blades, with a harder core and softer sides, are a great way to learn fire-welding without all the risks of multiple folds/higher layer stuff. Most of the carbon stays put as long as the steel is not over-worked.
  8. Now that is just amazing. Brilliant design and perfect execution.
  9. ...when you carry/drag a hundred pound chunk of steel 2 miles out of the woods because you know it's just gotta be wrought (it is, and it's happened twice now). ...and then you go back for that pile of deer bones, cause they're just the right size and shape for handles. ...when you can't remember the last time you didn't bleed during the finishing process (they are all christened in blood if they come from this shop).
  10. One of these images shows two small bone handled knives from the 8th century. The other was lifted from 'Untersuchungen an Langsaxen aus niederlandischen Sammlungen', showing a drawing of a very simular handle on a much larger sax. This is to illustrate one way they did the handle/blade transition back in the day. Also included is an image of the sax attributed to Charlemange, which shows another way to do it. All images from Jeroen's Zip file.
  11. I'm thinking if you put the iron mistress blade with the coffin handle you'll have a winner. I really like the Bell but I suspect it will have to wait, unless you can talk the customer into it instead... http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?sh...c=6944&st=0 Alan's thread on Bells, with a few good pics...
  12. I use el cheapo metal spring-clamps, and move them along to keep them out of my way when grinding... when filing and sanding, the tang and board are held in a vise, so the clamps aren't needed. I picked up that tip from one of the knife magazines years ago, I can't remember the author, but it sure saved me some burnt fingers. As an added bonus the backing will help keep you from impaling yourself when the knife is clamped in the vise and you let your guard down for a second while changing grits of sandpaper! (I learned that one the hard way)
  13. I've been thinking about this myself, just got an order for one. The first and last one I made I edge quenched. I think on this one I'll through harden, and temper back to 55 rockwell. My thinking is, for a thin blade the differential quench isn't nessisary, as a thin blade can be flexed twice as far as a thick one without ill effects. The slightly lower rockwell is mostly for insurance. I see you're using spring steel, which is a good choice. Be sure to do multiple normalizing treatments, these thin blades sure do like to warp. I agree with Alan, forge it thick, grind a bit, heat-treat it, then carefully finish the grinding after she's tempered. With a blade this thin there is no room for carbon loss. Grinding these thin narrow blades can be quite a job, too. I'd strap it to a wooden backing when grinding and sanding to help stiffen it, otherwise it will flex as you grind and sand, making it difficult to do a good job, and it will keep the thin stock from bending if you like to apply as much force grinding and sanding as I do. A flat grind seems to work really well on these. Good luck with it.
  14. Although we don't have any with the origional finish intact, I'm about 98% sure they were doing it for looks too by the start of the viking age. The advanced patternwelding started as a method to make a better piece of steel and over time became admired for it's beauty, and continued for quite awhile after quality monosteel became available. Visable patternwelding on the finished blade is alluded to in the Icelandic sagas, and the Anglo-saxon Beowulf. Thanks for posting these, they are beautiful.
  15. I swore after last summer I'd not complain about this winter no matter how bad it gets. All my forging's done for now, and I can't build handles with numb fingers, so I'm gonna set it out a few days til tempatures get back up in the 40's and I can feel my hands again. Jesus, I'm right down the road from you I noticed. Howdy neighbor!
  16. Beautiful work, I bet she's one heck of a chopper.
  17. Hmmmm... The one thing that bugs me here is the blade to handle transition, I've only seen one example from after 600AD that has an edge that drops below the line of the handle. It seems to have been much more common for the tang to be centered with the blade on the later, thicker blades. 4, 5, and 8 have rather short point sections, not quite out of the historic range, but right on the line of what was and wasn't done. To me the blades of 2, 3, 6, and 7 look the most like historic examples I've seen, if the handle transition is corrected. Number 3 might be my favorite of the bunch. It's interesting to note that on the one brokenback style seax with the handle still intact, the handle is almost as long as the blade, over 8 inches. I find it interesting that seaxes often have longer tangs than swords made at the same time by the same people, suggesting that long handles may have been the norm on some styles. Some of the really big ones may have had handles as large as an average katana's.
  18. Tell you what, I've got some of Don Hanson's W2 in 1 3/4" bars, be a great way to test her out... sure did a number on my arm the other night, anyway. (goes to check the corners of his shop)
  19. I think you may be correct... that's what I get for posting after midnight (after trying my own beer=better forging experiment). Thanks for the linked article, very interesting.
  20. I tried downloading it this morning with no problems... I'm using DSL with Firefox.
  21. http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=8973 Aldo had it tested, looks like good stuff, and just the right size for a project I've been thinking about... I'd suggest tempering starting at 450f, ramping up 15f until it will pass a brass rod test. This thread is for W2, which is almost the same thing... http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=8259
  22. Beautiful shapes, very subtle damascus, both are very handsome knives.
  23. I use a variety of stones, ceramics, or sometimes just sandpaper, to sharpen my knives. By the time my knives are ready for sharpening, the edge is extremely thin, almost sharp already, so it doesn't require much time to refine the edge. The key is the angle of the secondary bevel. On most of my blades it is around 15* to 20*, but for kitchen stuff and really fine edges I'll go down to 10*, and for big wood-cutters I'll increase it to 25*... I used to use a Gatco sharpening system until I was finally able to keep a constant angle by hand. I suggest to anyone having trouble keeping the angle try one of these type sharpeners, they take all the guess-work out of the process. Start with a coarse stone, then switch to a finer stone when a fine burr raises along the entire edge. Once on your finest stone, use decreasingly less pressure. For finishing the edge I use a strop charged with simichrome paste, being careful not to over-polish...a little is all you need, just enough to remove the final burr. Now, if we're talking about a true convex edge, with no secondary bevel, it's a whole nother ball-game.
  24. http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=8954 http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=8901 These are two recent topics with alot of good information, and a site search came up with alot more. Myarmoury and swordforum have some good threads to dig through. Sax have very characteristic shapes and details that change according to time and region, along with the whim of the makers and commissioners. Very few have survived with handles intact, or even handle remains, so the exact handle shape and construction is only hinted at for most forms.
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