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Found 90 results

  1. Hey everyone, This is my first post here so I figured I would start off with a bit of information about myself. I'm a first year at Hampshire College in MA and have recently started learning the craft of blacksmithing. Shortly after beginning this endeavor I began to itch after my own blade. I have been interested in swords and knives since I was very little, and the realization that I had all of the resources I needed to make my own available to me sent me right on to making my first knife. Needless to say, my first knife blank was pretty bad. Mild steel and a pretty rough grind. The second and third pretty much followed this pattern. All mild and varying degrees of straightness, evenness of grind, and aesthetics of proportion. First and second, top to bottom Second after final grind Third all finished up These all served well enough as first knives and none are any good at holding an edge or for much of anything else really. Luckily, there are two blade smiths at my school who are both huge sources of inspiration, and I chose to take a page from one of their books and try my hand at making a seax as my first real knife. The blade is local wrought iron with a middle bar of 15 layers of 1075 and 15n20, twisted in alternating directions from the middle, then folded to make a 30 layer twist bar for the center of the seax. The edge bar was originally 324 layers of farriers rasp, but due to a bunch of mistakes I made during the forging and grinding, I had to take away a lot of the edge material. The farriers rasps, the wrought iron, and the alternating twists folded and welded together. Test etch after the bars had been welded and shaped. I twisted the wrought iron spine to see what it would look like. At about this point in the process, I had the 324 layer bar that I welded on to use for the edge, but it was too long so I had to cut a bit off. I decided to use a bit of wrought iron and that edge bar steel to make a companion knife for this seax. Attempt at a wolf tooth pattern. Both blades test etched and ready for heat treat. Heat treated both seaxes and a viking sword at the same time, I love the colors that come out of the heat treat. After some stoning, which was mostly done in the shop, but also in my room watching a movie, I was ready for the final etching and sharpening. A nice picture of the wolf tooth seax after sharpening and etching. This little guy got sharp, and can easily shave an arm! Another shot showing the pattern on him. The wrought is really beautiful, and I definitely look forward to using more of it. A shot showing the two together. The next step is working on the handles! Both will hopefully follow the same motif. And advice or criticisms are more than welcome! Hope you guys enjoy what I've done so far! -Emiliano
  2. So I'm wanting to do a historically-accurate seax, and would like some pictures of actual artifacts, or accurate modern ones. It's much easier if there are a bunch of pictures on one topic, rather than hunting through the forum trying to find a few pics.
  3. Greeting everyone, I've been lurking on this forum for a couple years learning HUGE amounts, and I thought it was time I started contributing. This is my latest project, a gotland style seax with a few mutations/departures from the historical ones: The blade is 12" x 1 1/4 forged out of 1/4" 1084. It's a flat grind that I took down to 220 on the belt grinder, and then went from 220 (again) down to 600 grit by hand. The handle is stabilized caramelized maple. You can see in this shot where the wood got a little scorched during the caramelizing. The washers are leather and all the fittings are brass. As you can see the handle is not exactly historical because I added a bit of a guard to it. The straight handles on a lot of the nordic knives scares me no small bit, especially on a knife this size. The carving was done after stabilization, and I had hoped the acrylic would actually help with the problems of carving against the grain, but instead it just made the wood harder to carve and increased the tendency to chip and split because to wood was drier and more brittle. The filework on the blade is not authentic either. But with basically no distal taper on the blade (which I understand is how the originals are) I couldn't resist that long wide spine. I did it with files, and the pointy ovals where done mostly with a carbide bit in a foredom, with gravers for clean-up. The sheath fittings are just bent sheet brass. I annealed it first, then stamped the triangle in and scraped the lines with a little scraper i made. Then I put some Brass Black in the depressions for a minutes, rinsed and sanded. So thanks for looking. I'd love any critiques - it's the only way to get better.
  4. This is technically my second Seax, but my first one broke soon after hardening. The steel is from a leaf spring, the handle is Bubinga wood from some very good friends of mine, and the pommel piece is also from a leaf spring: my friend and I are planning a sword build (he's the lucky one with the big forge and property) and I'm supposed to do the handguard and pommel. The pommel on this piece I was originally planning to use as the handguard for that sword, but I decided it was too small and used it for this. So here we go. Forging... Forging done, also showed next to my plans. Grinding... Finished grinding and starting on the bubinga handle. The rough wood handle, soon after burning in the tang. The tempered steel. Due to my small forge, I only managed to get the center third or so of the blade completely hardened, probably longer, but at least the hardening is in the cutting area. Took a long time of moving the blade back and forth in the forge to get it up to heat. I tempered using a propane blowtorch- the spine is a blue and the edge is about a dark yellow. ...aaaand the pommel. The assembled and epoxied seax. I left it to set overnight, and will try to finish it today. More pics to come. This took me about two days to do, with maybe four-five hours of work each day. Suggestions and critiques greatly appreciated. This is my first sword, and was quite a fun project to work on. I think though, that I worked through the forging too quickly and some of the hammer blows were not straight on. This wasted a lot of steel in the grinding, which was almost completely done with an angle grinder.
  5. Another commission finished up, 2 seaxes with bog oak handles, one patternwelded, one W2. They were supposed to match, but they are slightly different in shape. The blades are 4 1/2" long, overall lengths 9 1/4". The W2 blade developed a pretty neat hardening line even though I fully quenched it... a strip along the spine hardened, I love this steel... the patternwelded blade has a wrought spine, 1084/15n20 twist, and the last of my 1095 for the edge. The sheath fittings are hammered brass with copper rivets, and didn't photograph well... Thanks for looking.
  6. Hey guys and gals, Its been far too long since I have posted anything. It's been a crazy year in the shop and out of it. I wanted to share a few seax knives that I have been working on finishing up. Sam forged the two wing nuts and kerry did the initial forging on the blade that has the bronze hande fittings. The rest was done by me. The carved handle was the first handle I ever carved about 5 years ago. I had it waiting for the right blade all this time. The top seax is 4130 with an edge quench and does show some activity in the right light. The fittings are steel and the handle is coco. I did some chiseling on the spine and ground a fuller. The wingnut is pure iron(forged by Sam Salvati). The next one is pattern welded from three bars of straight laminate. 15N20 and 1070 for the top two and I have no idea what the edge was. Kerry forged the blade blank and I took it from there. The handle is elk with cast bronze rings. The pommel bar and hilt bar are wrought and the wingnut is pure iron(forged by Sam Salvati). The next one is four bars. Spine is wrought then two bars of loose twist 15N20 and 1070 then wrought and then a W2 edge. Wrought fittings and a carved hickory handle. The fourth one was a bit of a trial for me. I was playing with different ways to do the welding. The blade is w2 and wrought with an antler handle and poured pewter bolster. Since this picture was taken all of these have been engraved and completed. All in all these 4 represent some good learning. Nothing to flashy. Just trying some new things. I dont get much time these days to break from the production so I have speant all of my weekends forging and trying some things that have been on my mind for awhile. Here is a better picture of #1 Here is a better picture of #2 Here is a few shots of #3 And here is a better of the last one. And a few in process shots... as you can see it fought me a little bit but I got it all solid under the screw press! and last but not least my little helper that seems to show up every time I fire up the forge. Thanks for looking. Feel free to launch questions. I know I did some things in odd ways on some of these but I learned a ton and continue to do so. Cheers,
  7. Two of these are commissions, the rest were test pieces and offcuts that somehow became seaxes. The two bottom blades were the experiments in wolf's toothery, one, the smaller of the two had the pattern forged into the wrought iron and ground into the edge bar, the other the pattern was forged into the edge bar and the iron forged into it while the welding took place. Both experiments seemed to work, with no real advantage found to either method, IMO. These are all ground to 120 grit with a test etch before heat-treating. This is the blade that was commissioned, he wanted a 'serrated' weld, after several experiments on how best to do a wolf's tooth, this is the result. It is based on a blade in the Museum of Ireland, I got her pretty close to the original's shape. The blade is approximately 9" long with a 4" tang. This one is a commission, seems a bit plain after all the wolf's tooth welds but I'm very happy with the shape. The blade is about 4 3/4" long. This one was an offcut from the other billet that needed to be dealt with. The wrought I've been using is particularly nasty, but I must admit it is pretty... I suspect it has a fairly high phosphorus content, and it was very obvious even before the blade was etched. It develops a rusty red patina very quickly. Well, that's what I've been up to lately. Hopefully I'll have some finished seaxes to show in the next few weeks.
  8. "What if?" has lead me into more trouble than I care to remember, but it such a fun game: "What if Thor had a folding knife?" has lead to this: 13" open, pattern welded blade consisting of a W2 edge, four twisted bars, tripple braid and a spine. Inlayed copper fittings and blackwood. I started carving the first bolster this morning: I am still in two minds about the pommel end, should I add a cap?
  9. The following knife is an experiment of sorts. It's the first blade I have forged from our Wootz-ish crucible steel (~1.7%C?) and meant to resemble a small seax. The ring-and-dot motif on bone is reminiscent of Viking-age bone decoration, although the motif is much older and common to many different cultures. The bolster is a simple copper plate that I drifted to the shape of the tang. The handle is scavenged ironwood from a flooring job. Unfortunately, I messed up the heat treat on the knife. Tempering at 500F for an hour left the blade very brittle and not suited for anything but kitchen duty. I wonder what a proper tempering temperature for Wootz-ish knife might be. For the next one, I will try 800F and see how that goes. I would also like some suggestions on handle decoration. For my taste it is too unadorned, but the ironwood is very hard and brittle. I had a hard time chiseling out even the tang. Blade Length: 7 1/4in Blade Width: 1 5/8in Handle Length: 6 7/8in Let me know what you think, Niels.
  10. Well... despite the title of this thread, I do know the Sax is not an African design. My brother is moving to Africa in a few months, courtesy of Uncle Sam. A few weeks ago he purchased a Savage Long Range Hunter rifle, the week after that he bought a Range Rover. Obviously the next thing he will need is a knife capable of taking care of, well whatever chores might happen to go along with a plains game rifle and a Land Rover. So I imediately knew I had to do a Sax, mostly because I haven't yet had the pleasure of doing my first one. Maybe second, but not sure I should cound my first since it has a RR spike handle...but that is a different story. Anyway I sat down to sketch it out and after a bit of fiddling, this is what I have: (Handle is drawn "transparent" to allow me to fit the tang into the image.) The drawing is full scale on the paper so I didn't think to put measurements on it. As currently drawn; Blade is 7 inches tip to guard/ferrule OAL is right at 12 inches. Edge to Hump on spine is 1.75 inches. The notation on wood choice (Afromosia aka African Teak) is my nod towards the blade's destination, it also happens to be georgeous and nearly as hard as steel. I am actually quite happy with the design so far, but I am debating a couple items, Layer count in the edge (288 or 576) Twist counter-twist or twist and split for cores Brass vs Nickel Silver for furniture and Oval or Octagonal cross section for the handle and furniture. Ok so thats more than a couple... I welcome any and all advice or suggestions, especially if your beard is blazing when you give it! Thanks, James
  11. The blade is right around 18" the fittings are made of brass with Moose antler and curly maple the blade is 7 bar composit done atthe brookfield craft center hammer in as a demo, 7 layer straight 4bars- 7layer twist 1 7 layer straight and the edge is a 25 layer twist. the 7 layer bars are 1095/ 15n20 and 4340the edge bar is L6/1095it can very close to riping it's self apart in heat treat... This one is entered into an art show in guilford CT and will be available for sale after I complete the sheath opon it's return. let me know what you all think! MP
  12. I am teaching a class on forging and hilting of Seaxs June 29-30th Every Viking warrior had one. the Saxons are named for them. The Sax or Seax is a knife designed for utility, carried all over Europe for century's, the varying forms used for every task imaginable , carried by Frankish farmers and Viking warriors alike, Seax's out lasted any other knife design. In this fun two day class students will learn about the varying sizes and shapes of the seax from the small broken back seax's of the British isles to the large sword hilted Scramaseax or Langseaxs of the viking warrior. Students can expect to forge grind, heat treat and polish a seax blade from 1084 high carbon steel and then make a wooden grip with copper accents to finish the seax. - Adult Workshop Jun 29-30, 2013 Meets 10:00 AM-4:00 PM on Sun Sat Instructor: Parkinson, Matt Medium: Blacksmithing Level: open to all levels Tuition: $170.00 Member Tuition: $153.00 Additional Fees: $15.00 http://www.guilfordartcenter.org/school.html
  13. I've been working on this narrow sax (did I get it right, blade taxonomists? ) for a while. 17.75" OAL, 11" BL, 5/16" thickness at the handle. Handle is walnut, maple, and browned wrought, built with reference to one of Petr's pieces that I admire a lot. Tool steel. Sheath is maple, browned mild steel rings, bronze nails and a little leather at the top. The carvings are inspired by some very old designs found in Ireland but I tried to give it a little more Urnes. Not everything went right with this but all-in-all I'm pleased and I learned a lot. I hope you like this..... thanks for any advice and comments!
  14. Hey Y'all, I just quenched this one an hour and a half to two hours ago! It has been oil quenched and I'm pleased with it. There is a little warpage on the spine. I heard that one could straighten a blade with a vice and pliers. Is this true? should I do this before or after tempering? Anyway I hope to clean it up more and put on its scales and let y'all see them. They'll be blue! I'm so freaking excited! Cheers!
  15. Okay, so I have this great apprehension of showing my work anywhere, especially here, due to the simply amazing quality of work that graces these pages. That being said, my meager contributions will only increase in quality if I force myself to suck it up and put my work out there. It's the only way I can get the proper advice on what to change in my approach, as well as anything else that may be lacking. It was a good learning experience, and I have a better idea what I need to not do in the future. The leather sheath, for example, was a first for me, but I hope to try some nice copper fittings next time. However, I would desperately love any advice and critique you great folks could give! Any-who, some background on this project My brother managed to get himself deployed with the Army before myself. He's been in the middle east for almost a year now, and is due to come home very soon. I vowed to get him a nice knife made up as a welcome home gift for when he gets back, and so I hit the drawing board. He is Wiccan, interestingly enough, and actually took over lead of organizing the military wiccans not only where he is stationed, but multiple other locations as well. He recently found out that he currently leads the only organized wiccan group in his area. So, I figure it a great welcome home present would be a handcrafted Athame, to honor not only his service overseas, but his spirituality as well. As he has a tendency to lean towards a more Norse style worship, I decided to blend seax and Athame into one, and make something not entirely accurate historically. SPECS o1 Tool Steel (probably gonna steer clear of this steel in the future and go with something like 1085 instead) Mild Steel fittings Red Pine and Black walnut grip (I chose pine as the decoration wood, because it was lying around, and I figured that as a ritual tool, it would not see the abuse of a work knife or weapon of war, and so a softer wood was not out of the question." OAL- 11 3/4" Blade- 5 3/4 Grip- 6" Well, here it is, let me know what you think! P.S. Sorry for the completely awful cell phone photos. Someday, I will get a real camera!
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