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  1. I have been semi-studying the old Norse culture and the blade forms from the Viking age and Germanic/Celtic iron age. I was introduced to this subject by a group of smiths who are extremely knowledgeable about the history and methods of construction and are right here on this forum. Check out the History sub-forum and the Seax and Langsax topics (they are pinned for a reason) I really became fascinated when I attended the 2016 ABANA conference in Salt lake City. There was a replica of the Mastermyr tool chest and all of the 200 some tools that were inside it. The replicas were made from modern steel, but the originals were either made from heath steel or hearth iron. The "anvils" that were inside it were about the size of a Dixie cup. That's when I realized that we take that 150-400 pound hunk of iron & steel in our shop for granted. (never mind the power hammer and presses) These guys were using tiny stump anvils and making swords on them. Then I thought about the fact that they used softwood charcoal in their forges...... OK. Enough brain twisting.One of these smiths is our very own Matt Parkinson, and I had the opportunity to take a class with him here in Arizona where he made a multi-bar knife in this style during the workshop. (I think I had posted pics of that demo here somewhere) Needless to say, at this point I was hooked. I had to try this style. Here is my first foray into the Seax.The more I read about this the more I realized that there was going to be a considerable learning curve. There were geometries I was not used to creating and embellishment techniques I knew nothing about. So, I took a piece of advice from some old friends of mine back in the New England rock-climbing community. They had a club called the Fat Boys Mountaineering Club (FBMC for short). Their motto is "Aim Low and Overachieve". I took the mental approach of doing this simply for the sake of doing it. I put neither expectations of quality nor time constraints on the project. This was going to get done eventually, and how well it turned out, it turned out. This project is almost done. I worked on it sporadically over the last year, sometimes only getting an hour of shop time a day, sometimes none at all, sometimes a couple of hours at a clip. Releasing myself from all those expectations and standards let me just enjoy the journey, so I'm going to share it with you here. I have been going through the photos of this project and sorting them out. This is going to last a while.First a bit of research. I decided to go way back in time to the 7th or 8th century and try one of the forms found there. You may think that it's not too different from a modern drop point knife (and you would be fairly correct). I decided against the later "broken back" sax with the clipped point we now think of as "Bowie style", because, well, just because. I was venturing into unfamiliar territory and I wanted to go deep. Here are a few images of the types of knives I'm thinking of. I didn't get to do the grooves/fullers or engraving in the blade, because it had other attributes I didn't want to mess with. MAKING THE BLADE This blade was made from this Hunk o' Steel I forged out two blades. One for the knife and one for destructive testing to make sure I got the HT correct. The small test blade after HT and some grinding. The break testing Satisfied that the HT sequence I used was good, I proceeded to grind, HT and finish the knife blade. More later.
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