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Posts posted by GEzell

  1. That looks good!  The welds look solid, and I like your design also.  I think you're using 1084 and 15n20, right?  Those two steels have almost exactly the same heat-treat requirements, so just treat it like you would 1084.  

  2. http://newjerseysteelbaron.com/shop/product-category/high-carbon-steel/

    This is the home of Aldo Bruno, the New Jersey Steel Baron.  His 1084 comes highly recommended, it is easy to forge, grind, and heat-treat, and makes a great knife.


    This is the site where Kelly Cupples can be reached.  Mr. Cupples hasn't really warmed up to the computer age, you'll need to email him for a current price list, but he makes up for it in being a great guy to do business with.  He also has free shipping on orders over $100 on most of his products so it's worth it to buy in bulk.  I highly recommend his 1080 for the same reason I recommend Aldo's 1084, it's very similar.

    The mothersite is a great place to get gas forge parts...


    These guys are great to do business with, and are great for small orders and reasonable shipping prices.  Stick to their 1084, some of the steels they carry are not for the faint of heart...

    As you might have guessed, I recommend new steel as opposed to used because you know exactly what you are getting and can get consistent results.  Old files may be case hardened (useless for knives), old leafsprings can have cracks, steel from Lowe's might be good for practicing with but will never make a decent blade, but Aldo's 1084 is always good...

  3. Most of the migration and viking era blades had very low layer twists, around 5 to 7 layers.  I typically do 9 or 11 layers, but occasionally fold and double that depending on the look I'm after.  The way I work, I expect the finished billet to grow in length by the time I'm satisfied with the welds, so I twist the bars accordingly... I like very tight twists, so my method is to twist as tight as I think it needs to be then twist some more...

    For the best looking twists, you'll need to grind away at least a third to a half of their thickness to get down to the 'stars', so again plan accordingly.  You can do a lot of this heavy stock removal before welding the bars together and avoid quite a bit of grinding later...

    Taking all that into account,  I forge the individual bars 3/8 to 1/2 inches square, and weld it all together expecting to end up with a billet about 125% the thickness of the finished blade.  If you don't do the thinning of the twists before welding everything together you'll need the billet to be almost twice the thickness of the finished blade, which means a lot of grinding...

  4. Excellent work man, all three turned out very well.  I have a few pieces of crepe myrtle that have been drying for a few years though I think it's mostly straight grained... It's a tough wood.

  5. We discussed this the other day on Facebook, that the work Peter Johnsson has done with sword proportions could be applied to seaxes as a way to determine handle length.  Taking the Aachen seax as a basis (overall 53cm, blade 31cm), we determined that the blade to handle ratio is 10 to 7 for a seax of this size.  Thinking further on this, assuming that 3.5 - 4" is the minimum functional handle size, we can assume a one to one ratio on a 4" blade.  As the blades get smaller the handle gets larger, and we can assume on blades under 4" the handles would be longer than the blades.  As the seax gets bigger, the blade gets larger in proportion to the handle, with langsax handles assumedly topping out around 10 inches... I think a formula could be worked out from all this which I may tackle some rainy day.

    I do love masur birch...

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  6. You have me wanting to try this construction method, it has a certain elegance to it.  The knife itself is awesome, I particularly like the blade shape and relation to the handle.

  7. On the rare occasion that I use stabilized wood, 90% of the time I get it from burlsource.us, and most of the time I wait for a sale... I like being able to see the exact piece I'm ordering.  There is a fellow who comes to Batson's symposium every year who brings cutoffs from riflestocks, usually curly hard maple, and his prices and quality are excellent.  I have enough of his curly maple to last me a few years now.  A few years ago I lucked up on an excellent deal on walnut burl turning blocks, I can get 3 or 4 handles out of each, so I'm set for a few years on figured walnut.  I was tipped off to bog oak from Etsy, there are a few sellers there who have excellent prices and quality.... Again, I have enough to last years now.  There are a couple of woods that I'd like to use I'm still looking for a good source for (boxwood, masur birch, etc).

    Good deals are out there, be patient and shop around.  Be willing to buy in bulk if it's worth it.

  8. It's almost there... The knife is finished unless I decide to tinker with the blade finish more.  The saya is in the process of staining, it's made from poplar, and I'm not sure if I like the color I'm getting so I may do some tinkering there also.  She's sharp, and wants to bite... 


  9. I got a late start, like last weekend, but it's coming together quickly.  The blade started as a cutoff from a much larger project, a four bar composite of 1080 with two twists running down the center.  It worked out nicely for this blade I think, and kind of took a life of it's own when I forged it out to shape.  I think it has personality...

    The photo is from this morning, the epoxy is curing as I type.  The handle is some stabilized bog oak I've had for a few years now, and stabilized black marcusta (or something like that, I'll have to look up the name again) with a bronze spacer.  I wanted to use stabilized materials as this knife will likely live in a wet environment.

    Hopefully I'll be finished with the knife tomorrow and starting on the saya.


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