Jump to content
owen bush

Is your beard still burning ?????

Recommended Posts

In the spirit of smithin’ tomfoolery, I don’t think we need to let Jerry off that easily!

 

:o

 

Jerry, although I am sure your thermite experiments have been a fun, productive and educational bit of backyard pyrotechnics, I don’t see how they would get you anything like a firey beard in the bladesmithing context – if you can’t be bothered to hit your metal with a hammer, all those thermite reactions may as well be happening on the surface of the sun! :P;)

 

:D It's true that my ingots outnumber my blades by about 4 to 1. I start forging, then get a wild hair, (idea), for some different alloy. :( I've got 4 unfinished blanks and one piece of stock, half way.... Probably less than Sam though. :P

I can't seem to stay out of the foundry.

 

EDIT: I should mention though, that I've sent my steel to other makers, including at least 2 ABS Masters.

So all that thermite steel isn't going to waste.

Edited by Bennett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reminded of just how wonderful it is to work on pattern-welded swords, in part by this thread, so I took a break from beating my head against a crucible wall yesterday and welded up a 'serpent' blade… three bars of 1095/1010 in the middle and 1070 around the edge.

This is after a light grind & etch to check out the pattern & welds, those seams are not as scary as they may seem in the photo ;)

Welcome back, Jesse!

serp081.jpg

serp080.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Burn baby burn !!

you have got to really,

that looks good ,simple and complicated !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the undulations :D - a few years ago I saw the attached drawing of an original sword fragment from the 5th century Netherlands, and I got annoyed that both Ypey's and Hrisoulas' "instructions" on how to do the pattern were so clearly wrong. I think I found a better way, and have been meaning to test it out ever since...

YPEY61_27a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, the undulations :D - a few years ago I saw the attached drawing of an original sword fragment from the 5th century Netherlands, and I got annoyed that both Ypey's and Hrisoulas' "instructions" on how to do the pattern were so clearly wrong. I think I found a better way, and have been meaning to test it out ever since...

YPEY61_27a.jpg

 

 

did you cut in ,forge in or twist ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic! Even more so for being a blade from my own homeground:) Where is the original exactly from?

 

N.b. please tell me you already had the billets ready. If you're going to say you did all that in one day, I'll just... erm... guess I'll have to work harder ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I’ll not reveal the method used until the blade shape is forged in, it might not end up looking ‘correct.’ So there is still time to figure it out yourself, if you are so inclined! ;) Both Ypey and Hrisoulas advocated laddering the bar, but I don’t think you could get those undulations via laddering without some extreme material loss & maybe not even then – I think cutting is not an option.

This blade came from Grave 821 in the Merovingian Cemetery at Rhenen, and yes, the bars were drawn out, patterned and ready to assemble.

The other blade with undulating bar that I know of is the Finnish one in (most recently) Swords of the Viking Age where the smith was really going to town, that one looks like he bent the bar into shape and welded it down.

Has anyone seen any other blades with similar effects, or is it just those two out there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm... I'll take a stab at it, pun fully intended. :rolleyes:

 

You forged a bar of straight laminate, then forged it between a pair of wavy bars (flat on the back), welded said wavy bars onto the billet, then forged and ground it straight so it would fit between the twists? :huh:

 

I've been working on an alternating opposed twist/straight laminate myself, and that was the first thing that came to mind. It's probably wrong, but that blade you're working on got my beard going so strongly I can barely see past the flames! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine non-visible-yet beard is in rage! I just saw some VERY special pictures and the sax I am makin for Jacques... Goood

I will have to go bow shooting tomorrow to calm myself a bit as the blade is on its way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr Pringle:

 

If you are saying that the processes that Mon. Ypey and I have have described are "wrong" because in your opinion they do not work, then I have to say something because they DO work and work very well if properly done. I have been doing serpent patterns in pattern welding swords for the last 35 years. Now is laddering the bar the ONLY way to get this effect? NO.. There are others but it is the easiest and most understandable for most folks when they start out. That is the level I wrote my books and articles for. The fact that Mon. Ypey arrived at the same conclusion that I did is confirmation that this process is repeatable by another smith.

 

There are many ways to go about most everything in blade work, and they all pretty much work out the same. I wrote that so the average person just venturing into smithing could accomplish this and not have too hard a time at it and get frustrated and walk away never to pick up a hammer again. Yes there are ways to get the undulations that do not involve laddering the centre core, but those tight bends and verticle welding would be way beyond the skills of most folks just starting into PW swords.

 

As for twist/counter twist interrupt pattern, the use of what I call a "witness stick" makes these a breeze to do and everything lines up pretty darn well...if you do not care to split the cores lengthways, which was also done, and will result in "book matched" patterns. Like I said there are more than one way to do most anything..My books were written to be a "stepping stone" to more advanced techniques and experimentations...

 

Below is a photo of a three core section done with a laddered centre core. This was a "quick and dirty" small blade done ina couple of hours to test out some new materials ..Not my best work but it does show the result of the proceess...

 

Sorry for the intrusion onto this thread but I felt a need to explain why I wrote what I did...

 

On a lighter note..I do not have a beard, nor hair on my head, thanks to the years I spent in the NANG as a Battalion Commander....

 

Dr James P. Hrisoulas

Dimitrios Apostolos Chrisoulasadides

Henderson Nevada

1189617982_MVC_001F.jpg

Edited by JPH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JPH –

Thanks for stopping by, good to hear from you on this topic!

Your reputation and contributions to the field of pattern welding in general and multi-bar composites in particular precede you I’m sure. B)

By ‘wrong’ I meant not the way the smiths of old achieved the effect, or specifically not the way that fellow in the 400s Netherlands did that sword. Ypey was directly theorizing on that sword, so I guess you are only wrong by extension, perhaps not at all if you are aware of an original sword that was serpentined via the laddering method. Typically, judging by the patterns revealed in the antique swords, stock removal was not a strategy they used for pattern development outside of a few specific operations. Ypey came up with some great explanations for how the artifacts of early Europe were created, but in both the serpentine pattern and the idea that a split twist will give you a bookmatched pattern I’m not so sure the ideas bear any resemblance to how our great-granddaddy smiths were working, so other methods must be investigated. ;)

Say, you probably have a better reference library than I do – have any other serpentine-patterned artifacts to share?

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The serpentine looks like the very outside of a bar that has been twisted with close tight alternating twists to me, subsequen grinding to the core would reveal the "star" type pattern?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Pringle:

 

That is the trouble with trying to figure out what was done, when and by whom, as all we can go on is a SWAG and well, using Occam's Razor, the simplest explaination/process SHOULD be the correct one, but not always. Sometimes the simplest does not work so you go back to the start and work from there.

 

From pieces I have personaly examined and "picked apart" I can come up with several different ways these things can be put together ranging from simple methods of construction up to some of the most elaborate blades one could ever concieve. The "serpent" pattern can be done by laddering as well as a tight "accordian fold/weld" as well as a couple of others.. After spending countless hours using plasticene clay I feel that the most common, judging from suriving examples is the accordian fold/weld. It is tricky but do-able but the "serpentine coils" do have a tendency to straight out a good bit if you overdraw the bar. I am still working on the formula that will allow enough drawing and further hot working in regards to this straightening. Right now this is on hold due to my work schedule and the fact I had a rather nasty personal life firestorm hit me that lasted for close to two years...One of which is my publisher yelling for book IV which will be covering this as well...

 

Now another way that does involve ladering is welding a very thick iron jacket on either side of the laminate and cutting down through the jacket ONLY, then flattening and welding that to the surrounding cores. I have even went as far as totally Rube Goldberg-ing a process when the outter cores are welded to a bar of iron, the iron removed in scalloped sections and then the centre laminate forged into the curves (sort of sandwiched in) and welded between the bars. It worked but it was way to much work and while it COULD be done that way..I doubt if it was...

 

If you have any ideas or anything as to how these could be done..I'd be more than happy to hear them.

 

JPH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think i have some peach fuzz fire , done a san mia wrougt iron bowie,and wagon wrought iron axe this etch to see how the patter looks.All how post here do amzaing work from all i just little fish with a home made forge with a hevery hammer.

 

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m298/Ja...Picture1643.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m298/Ja...Picture1262.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if we refer to the artifacts and compare patterns we can take the investigation past the SWAG stage, at least be able to test & toss the guesses that don’t work.

I recently found a copy of “La fabrication des épées damassées aux époques mérovingienne et carolingienne” by France-Lanord 1949, he may be the progenitor of the accordion fold concept. I have not had time to do any translating yet, but check out these illustrations – he seems to be putting it forth as the way to get the patterns we currently achieve with much less effort by twisting! A good example of the sort of convoluted methods you run into in the archaeological literature that don’t really work to get the patterns in the artifacts, yet somehow get repeated by each succeeding generation. I think Ypey must have put that one to rest, almost.

AF_L10_11.jpg

The fact that almost all modern blades in the Iron Age European style have patterns that are very stretched out compared to the artifacts reveals a difference in the way the early smiths did their patterning and packet assembly compared to modern workers, there is a pre- versus post-industrial perspective shift in how we think about our materials and tools & their application…

Hey Sam! The stars don’t show up in the center until you have done a complete twist, and that would give you an interrupted zig-zag on the surface – keep thinking!

;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr Pringle:

 

On the following:

 

"The fact that almost all modern blades in the Iron Age European style have patterns that are very stretched out compared to the artifacts reveals a difference in the way the early smiths did their patterning and packet assembly compared to modern workers"

 

I concur and I am as guilty as the next man in doing this as there is a tendency to start wit materials that are much thicker but shorter in length, especially cores than the "Old Masters" did, and we forge the blades out from there. I don't know how many times in the middle of a sword I look at it and say that "It's waaay too thick" and then proceed to draw it out and further proceed to bugger up the patterning.

 

On the whole, I think we must learn to start with pieces, especially on built composite, multi core blades that are closer to "finished size" than we have been. I think this is one reason why the patterns are different. We tend to build heavy and forge heavy until a smaller cross section is achieved, where as, at least to me..it appears the "old Guys" tended to build lighter and finished the forging with much less material movement than what we are use to doing today.....resulting in a pattern and cross section that we see in surviving pieces. My research is going down this avenue presently...

 

As far as the theories put forth by various "archeo-types"..unless they actually have a metalworking background, some of them are really "out there" as far as the way things could of been done...

 

JPH

Edited by JPH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you implying to make the different billets as long as thick as you want the finished product to be? That would incur less migration of the pattern that was made by drawing out the billets to begin with but wouldent the scale build up in an old style forge be very high and mess up a blade that is being made close to the final product?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you implying to make the different billets as long as thick as you want the finished product to be? That would incur less migration of the pattern that was made by drawing out the billets to begin with but wouldent the scale build up in an old style forge be very high and mess up a blade that is being made close to the final product?

 

 

Mr. Stier:

 

You pretty much nailed it..What I am thinking is instead of the 25% or so additional forging that I am doing, I am thinking that I should be doing closer to 5% additional forging, not quite as long as the "finished item" but much closer in length than what most smiths are currently doing, thereby advoiding the patterning problems/distortions that we are encountering. This means longer welds, most certainly, and hence, a higher chance of messing up but I feel that shouldn't be a problem with charcoal (or gas..which I am limited to using due to where I live..Clark County already said if I wasn't burning gas they wouldn't of given me a business license). If you can weld 100% perfect welds, 100% of the time (or are able to detect and correct a misweld) then there shouldn't be much problem at all. Working time would be a little shorter due to less mass but it should still be rather straightforward for an experienced smith.

 

Scale build up isn't the "monster" that most folks believe it is to be, wrought iron is a breeze to weld. Also, working in a clean fire, using the proper techniques it simply is not that big a problem. At least not for me it's not. The biggest hurdle are the materials. Modern steels simply do not work the same as hand made wrought iron, blister and shear steels. While the techniques are basically the same, there are some major differences as far as C migration/disfusion and other things like P content and other trace elemental differences and these too can play a part in the way things turn out as far as "workability" of the faggot and the resulting pattern and contrast. Contrast based on C content alone is not all that great when it comes to the pattern being easily visible.

 

Then there is the fullering question...That can also play around with the patterning as well...and I am certain we will be visiting that subject soon enough...

 

JPH

 

Note:

 

I am thinking that since this is starting to get really in depth that this section of this thread should be moved to a heading of its own?

 

Mr.Pringle....I noticed that there appears to be a bit of what looks like to me a seperation between the edging and the cores on the tip of the faggot in your photo. I have a rather spiffy way to prevent that from happening and it makes the hairpin weld much easier as well..... If you are interested, I'm more than happy to share it...just drop me a e-mail and we can go from there.

Edited by JPH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree an in-depth technical discussion of dark age pattern-welding would warrant a split, though firey beardness is entwined with the glamour of it, we risk taking all the smithin’ tomfoolery out if we continue to delve into the nitty-gritty like this… :D

Although I was a bit too casual in fitting up that packet before the weld, the tip is fine - here it is after a bit more shaping – The edge bars were a bit oversize making things look half-welded…you can tell I was playing the odds a bit by that tail of weld heading into the 1070, though it is possible that is a fold-over and will grind out later :huh:

P3010086.JPG

Yeah, those smiths of yore seemed to be basically at length after welding up the packet, and then forging to sword laterally…they used more of the hammer than we modern bladesmiths tend to, which does lead one to fullering for sure. Note how close to vertical the twist on the back of this sax is, for instance! :o

Saxback08.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did someone say "burnin'-beardy"?

 

Nice looking billet, Jeff.

 

Nice sax, too. Where's it from?

 

Reminds me of this:

 

seaxclose10.5.6.jpg

 

I concur: forging smaller diameter rods and much closer to final shape is key.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely right on with the forging the cores to approximate finished size before welding them into the final billet. At least as far as I've been able to tell by experimental forging. I did that from the get-go because either a.) it just seemed like the right thing to do, or b.) the ancient smiths who look over my shoulder gave me a whop up side the head when I was planning that pattern-welded trowel that started it for me. :lol:

 

Dr. H, thank for dropping by! Your beard was on fire long before mine, and in fact you helped light mine up.

 

Jeff, that sword is lookin' sweet!

 

I'll have some pics of my latest forays soon. No match for yours, unfortunately. :(B)

Edited by Alan Longmire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×