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WIP - Ealdric an 11th Cent Petersen Type Z sword


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This is a phenomenal project. As a beginner, it's impressive to see the amount of skill represented in the making of Ealdric. It's also inspiring me to keep moving in my hope to one day create a piece of this magnitude.

 

Looking forward to the next steps.

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Wow, can't wait to see this project progress further. I love collaborative pieces like this!

 

I should be posting updated photos this weekend. I had a bit of a setback and had to re-create one of the twist bars.

 

What I'm looking forward to is when David and Andy get the blade and we get to see the carving on the handle and scabbard they have planned.

 

Thanks for the interest.

 

--Dave

Edited by Dave Stephens
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Hi All --

 

Okay, so here's the progress report on Ealdric.

 

I recognized last week that I had never produced one of these composite twist blades before. Although I'd done the research and believed I had a solid theoretical understanding of the process, nothing teaches like actually doing.

 

So, rather than make the blade for Ealdric a "learning experience" I decided to make a dagger of the same kind of construction. That way, I reasoned, I could capture the "lessons learned" and apply them to the larger blade (also, of course, if I really screwed it up the number of hours lost would be significantly less.)

 

I'm glad I did this. I ended up throwing away a bunch of steel as I figured it out, but I now think I have a solid working knowledge of how to create these blades.

 

So, here are the lessons I learned:

 

1 -- Make darn sure the twists are alternating before you assemble the bars for welding. Those who know will no doubt note immediately that the twists on the two center bars are going the same way instead of opposing one another. This, of course, could have been easily avoided by simply flipping the bar over before assembly. Doh!

 

2 -- The bars need to be very even, square and parallel. I tend to get a little cavalier about the surfaces I weld together nowadays, since the press will smash even very uneven surfaces together. In building this one I learned that the tighter and cleaner the "cold" fit, the easier the weld.

 

3 -- The hydraulic press will screw you up. Don't even think of trying to set the weld between the bars with the press. Way too much force. Hand hammers only. Ruined an otherwise nice first attempt this way.

 

4 -- The tip is tricky to weld. You need to do it first, and then work backwards from it. Set the weld on the tip by leaving the middle bars slightly longer, then place the point of the blade on the anvil face with the billet sticking straight up, then strike the middle bars driving them down toward the tip of the blade.

 

Further advice, critiques and tips from flaming beards would be very welcome.

 

So, meet "Son of Ealdric."

 

I'm sorry I didn't take more WIP photos of this one. I was too focused on figuring things out. I promise to take a bunch when I build the sword blade.

 

The two top photos are of the dagger after grinding and polishing. The last photo is after etching.

 

What do you guys think?

 

David/Andy, shall I send this dagger blade along with the sword blade? Maybe make a matching set?

 

Cheers,

 

--Dave

 

Polished_Before_Etch.jpg

Polished_Before_Etch2.jpg

Polished Before the Etch

 

after_etch.jpg

After the Etch

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That is bloody awesome Dave!!! :)

 

And yeah, if you would want we would love to finish that dagger as a matching blade to accompany its Papa sword. haha

Sounds like a great idea to me!

 

 

David is workin on some super detailed gnarly awesome lookin sketched designs for the scabbard and hilt that he will post some time soon.

 

We are so stoked to be doing this awesome project with ya Dave! Cannot wait to see Ealdric itself in person! ;)

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Looking good! B)

 

Nice fuller grind, by the way. You've done a good job figuring out some of the mysteries of a multicore blade. All I could suggest would be to make the twists tighter before welding, and don't draw them out afterwards. The biggest trick to multicore blades is having every component pretty much finished to size and shape, thickness included, before welding them up, except of course for the bevels and fullers.

 

 

Do I smell a hint of smoldering beard? :huh:;)

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Dave,

That is wonderful! please keep the pics coming.

Kevin

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1 -- Make darn sure the twists are alternating before you assemble the bars for welding. Those who know will no doubt note immediately that the twists on the two center bars are going the same way instead of opposing one another. This, of course, could have been easily avoided by simply flipping the bar over before assembly. Doh!

 

Dave, you better start un-learning that last part of lesson #1 – flipping the bar will not reverse the twist direction, if that were the case I think all our nuts and bolts would need to have ‘up’ and ‘down’ threads instead of left & right. It must be a 2D vs. 3D trick our minds play on us, look at a chevron pair and imagine flipping one side, then actually turn one around and it is a little jarring – nothing changes. :wacko:

Ditto what Alan said about twisting; when you think you have twisted it tight enough, normalize the bars a couple times for good luck and then twist it a whole bunch tighter – you’ll be glad you did it when the blade is done. I also agree the fuller grind looks great, smooth and level – you’ve got the skills and hand-eye coordination it will take to put in/clean up the “flat bottom/steep sides” fuller of the original, should you choose to use that geometry in your blade – you might be the first to do it! B)

;) …No pressure… :D:D

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If you don't do it, I will.

 

Okay, fine. :rolleyes:

 

I present: Dave with smoldering beard!

 

dave_smoke.jpg

 

The only smoke pic I had was a cloud of pipe smoke over my head, so that's what that fuzzy-looking gray stuff is. :lol:

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Dave, you better start un-learning that last part of lesson #1 – flipping the bar will not reverse the twist direction, if that were the case I think all our nuts and bolts would need to have ‘up’ and ‘down’ threads instead of left & right. It must be a 2D vs. 3D trick our minds play on us, look at a chevron pair and imagine flipping one side, then actually turn one around and it is a little jarring – nothing changes. :wacko:

Ditto what Alan said about twisting; when you think you have twisted it tight enough, normalize the bars a couple times for good luck and then twist it a whole bunch tighter – you’ll be glad you did it when the blade is done. I also agree the fuller grind looks great, smooth and level – you’ve got the skills and hand-eye coordination it will take to put in/clean up the “flat bottom/steep sides” fuller of the original, should you choose to use that geometry in your blade – you might be the first to do it! B)

;) …No pressure… :D:D

 

Okay, I feel a little stupid now on the twist direction. Thanks Jeff.

 

How many twists per inch do you think is optimal/historically accurate?

 

Thanks for the fuller compliment! Hopefully I can pull it off on the sword blade.

 

Cheers,

 

--Dave

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Dave, your sword and dagger have me forging old school blades in my sleep. I am working on a 1060 short sword and a couple of edc pattern welds right now, but I want to start a pattern welded sword blade too. Thanks for putting up all of the process pics, because I would surely have hit some of the same snags. now I can hit snags of my own :huh::lol: Anyway, thanks again for the inspiration.

BR, Brice

 

Oh, and what smells like smoking hair? :o:D Congratulations!

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How many twists per inch do you think is optimal/historically accurate?

 

Historical examples show anywhere from three to nearly eight(!) per inch. Harder than it looks! :o

 

Here's two blades. The top one is close to five per inch, the bottom is about 2.5 per inch.

 

seaxes_pattern_close.jpg

 

Quick edit: The bottom one was originally four per inch, but I drew it out a little after welding on the edge. Don't do that. ;)

Edited by Alan Longmire
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Historical examples show anywhere from three to nearly eight(!) per inch. Harder than it looks! :o

 

Here's two blades. The top one is close to five per inch, the bottom is about 2.5 per inch.

 

seaxes_pattern_close.jpg

 

Quick edit: The bottom one was originally four per inch, but I drew it out a little after welding on the edge. Don't do that. ;)

 

Thanks Alan.

 

The hard part, it seems to me, is that the welding of the bars inevitably draws the blade out a bit.

 

It took me three or four complete passes with the hammer at welding heat to get the bars together with no cold shuts. The compression of the billet on the edge during the welding, followed by setting the bevels had the same effect as drawing out a bar by 90 degree alternate hammer blows. I guess that just reinforces the need for really tight twists, huh?

 

Thanks again for the advice.

 

--Dave

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Welding the blade up untwists them, forging in tapers after assembly does it, the stretch is inevitable - so just twist them as close to vertical as you are comfortable with and carry on. You can get pretty close to vertical without tearing, and if you forge in the fuller it helps to reverse the stretch from the welding. There is a lot of variation in the artifacts, so don’t lose too much sleep over it ;)

 

P1010063.JPG

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Welding the blade up untwists them, forging in tapers after assembly does it, the stretch is inevitable - so just twist them as close to vertical as you are comfortable with and carry on. You can get pretty close to vertical without tearing, and if you forge in the fuller it helps to reverse the stretch from the welding. There is a lot of variation in the artifacts, so don’t lose too much sleep over it ;)

 

P1010063.JPG

 

Dude. That is a heck of an even and tight twist. 16 twists an inch??? Wow.

 

Thanks for the advice Jeff.

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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Dave,

Jeff has this right . I have found a not quite yellow heat to be the best for twisting .... and a stead slow twist while you are doing it to be better than a fast turn .... and better to take it around one more time to make things match than to try and untwist it to match.... When it drops into dull orange I take another heat .... I usualy take the first heat from the forge and then use a torch to do the final twists..... I also keep track of how many times I go around so that they are matched ..... I draw an arrow on the vise for which direction I'm twisting in..... It is very easy to get it wrong in the "heat of the moment". and I also hammer back to square the twisted section... down to the size of the untwisted sections to make a cleaner weld .... and if you do this twist them both to match BEFORE you hammer them back to square You did a nice job on the short one.... that was a good Idea to learn on a a less time consumming piece....

One other hint ... I use a wrench that I welded an opposing handle on to the jaws of a cresent wrench.... It makes it easier to twist evenly than twisting from one side as what happends with a plain cresent wrench.... you may already have learnned this.....

Dick

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16 twists an inch??? Wow.

 

 

Nah, he's messing with your head! :lol: That's a center-finding rule, he's just a hair tighter than 8 per inch. ;)

 

Richard's bit about using the torch is excellent advice as well.

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Nah, he's messing with your head! :lol: That's a center-finding rule, he's just a hair tighter than 8 per inch. ;)

 

Richard's bit about using the torch is excellent advice as well.

 

Yeah. 1 too many IPA's when I saw that post. I counted sixteen twists but didn't note that it was over 2 inches. That 1 - 1 marking was too much for my hopped brain to deal with, LOL.

 

The new center bars are welded and about 1/2 way drawn out. The twisting and squaring should take place on Sunday. I plan on having a buddy video the process. I'll post a Youtube video after.

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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Dave,

Jeff has this right . I have found a not quite yellow heat to be the best for twisting .... and a stead slow twist while you are doing it to be better than a fast turn .... and better to take it around one more time to make things match than to try and untwist it to match.... When it drops into dull orange I take another heat .... I usualy take the first heat from the forge and then use a torch to do the final twists..... I also keep track of how many times I go around so that they are matched ..... I draw an arrow on the vise for which direction I'm twisting in..... It is very easy to get it wrong in the "heat of the moment". and I also hammer back to square the twisted section... down to the size of the untwisted sections to make a cleaner weld .... and if you do this twist them both to match BEFORE you hammer them back to square You did a nice job on the short one.... that was a good Idea to learn on a a less time consumming piece....

One other hint ... I use a wrench that I welded an opposing handle on to the jaws of a cresent wrench.... It makes it easier to twist evenly than twisting from one side as what happends with a plain cresent wrench.... you may already have learnned this.....

Dick

 

Thanks for the advice Dick.

 

I do have a twist wrench. It helps a lot.

 

That tip for drawing an arrow on the vice is smart. By the time you pull the bar out of the forge, get to the vice, lock it in, grab the wrench and adjust it on the bar (the whole time watching the heat drop and realizing you have only seconds left to make the twist) it gets pretty easy to forget directions.

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