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Langsax WIP


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Hello to all Firey Beards gentlemen and other knife enthusiasts !

 

I've been reading a great series of books and I know many of you know it. I'm talking about the saxon stories of Bernard Cornwell.

Impossible not to get this forge itch in your hands and the urgent need to forge wasp sting or serpent breath isn't it ?

 

Hard to get Uthred of bebbanburg and his adventures out of your mind !!!! it haunted me for weeks.

 

Three weeks ago, I decided to start a Langsax, inspired from several influences. It won't be a true historical reconstruction.

 

First I want to thank a handful of people for their influence and because they share this passion like no one else. I name here Owen Bush, Mick Maxen, Jake Powning, Peter Johnson, Petr Florianek ,Dave Stephens and last but not least Jeroen Zuiderwijk. I apologize the ones I forget to name, the list could be very long. ;)

I surely do not have the level of skills of some but I know it doesn't matter. This WIP will take a long time, don't be too frustrated if it goes slowly. This is my first big pattern welded multibar seax.

 

This forum has provided me lots and lots of fuel to keep my passion burning hot. Now, I want to give a little back myself. -_-

 

To share an idea of the time spent, I will give an approximate working time on each update.

Thanks for your interest, don't hesitate to make comments or give advice.

 

Stéphane

Edited by Tacol
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WIP :

I started two weekends ago by gathering the materials, preparing the billets and stack them. The blade will be 4 bars : 7layers 15n20-90mcv8/ wrough iron / 160layers 15n20-5160ish / 40layers for the edge

 

I keep it quite simple for a first one.

Sorry for the pictures, I took them with my iphone. During the effort I tend to have shaky hands. :rolleyes:

troussesbase.jpg

 

No pictures of the billet welding and drawing but you know the job. Hand hammer, power hammer and press.

 

- 7 layers interrupt twist above

- Wrought iron (dating around 1830)

- Billet 160 layers

- Billet 40 layers on the side for the edge

 

troussesax.jpg

 

The piece of wood is the blade blank

Edited by Tacol
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Next weekend, forge welding the bars together, (twice) and starting to draw.

soudure.jpg

soudurefini.jpg

Rough grinding to check welds and back in the fire.

tir.jpg

 

Thorough grinding to check all welds, one flaw near the tip was spotted and solved. I switch to my gas forge because the blade is becoming too long.

blanchi.jpg

tiragesax.jpg

forgefini.jpg

Forging the tip hand hammering to fit the blade blank

End of the Saturday completely nackered, 7 hours forging

me.jpg

Beer time, I was really really dirty dusty and black. Just the way I love :o)

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Sunday, lots and lots and lots of sparks. I dreamt of a surface grinder or a laser cutter… oh well I went for the usual grinder and 36 grit ceramic belts.

emoulu.jpg

At this point I had 2mm on the edge. I broke the angles with sand paper and let’s go for 3 normalizations

normalisations.jpg

Then oil quenched. Sorry no pictures I was alone and way too stressed.

Slight warping, corrected on the anvil, no fatal “TIC” I was happy !!!

sax.jpg

closeup.jpg

Immediate departure for the pizzeria. First to eat but also to stick the blade in their oven for an hour.

 

Back in the workshop, final rough grind, decreasing the grits and little etch to see how it looks like

sax2.jpg

 

6 hours work that day

Happy and disappointed at the same time. Welds are great but the wrought showed awful slag inclusions inside the bars. Of course deep inside the bars and it shows at the end. Structurally it is not an issue but esthetically not good.

Next steps, cut a fuller on the slag spots and remove them eventually.

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During the week, evening workshop time for about 3h30

Another spark feast to shrink the blade and try to get rid of the slag in the wrought.

Success for one side, not really on the other so I go for the fuller.

gout0.jpg

I feel quite confident with the grinder, therefore I cut the fuller freehand in several passes.

gout1.jpg

EDM stones to rectify

gout2.jpg

Done for both sides

gout3.jpg

Grinding 220 grit then hand sanding 240/320 and so on.

It ‘s late and I can’t wait for a little etch to see the pattern

revel.jpg

Very happy, the fuller visually solved the slag inclusions well enough. I can live with it.

Now shower and bed …

teaser.jpg

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ahhhhhhh now that is the good stuff !

 

very nice work and i do enjoy the materials you work with .... slaggy wrought is ok and its good to identify bloom iron...

 

i have to admit.. i was very scared when i saw you put the angle grinder to the side of the blade.. you have very steady hands !!! :o

 

wonderful work

 

Greg

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Awesome.

 

Great looking blade. Well done.

 

Mark

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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This is great stuff. Thanks for taking the time to document the build.

 

That was gutsy of you to cut in the fuller freehand with the grinder! I'm a fair hand with a 4" wheel grinder, but I wouldn't have had the courage to attempt that freehand! Looks like you pulled it off.

 

Can't wait to see the rest.

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

-----------------------------------------------

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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Sweetness.

My life is like shaving with a razor sharp machete. It's a bit awkward and I feel a sting every now and then, but in the end I'm happy with the results.

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Thanks for your comments !

 

I had several projects in mind for the handle.

Again nothing historical, just the way I imagine a Langsax. I want to have fun and improve/discover new techniques.

The wood will be walnut, patinated brass and a ring of reindeer.

I made the fittings in wood first to see how it looks like. I’m now trying to etch designs on brass as I don’t have the material to cast bronze.

The blade is now finished and etched. It need good pictures so you’ll have to wait a bit. <_<

 

I spent around 5 hours for these “details” :blink:

 

fittingsbois.jpg

percage.jpg

poignee.jpg

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Excellent work!

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


view some of my work

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Follow up... now !

 

Work on fittings, guard and pommel. A lot of work, probably around 8 hours.

As I don't have the chance and the knowledge to cast stuff, I went the way of acid etching and engraving.

 

File work

cap1et2.jpg

garde1a4.jpg

I used nail varnish. Then glued a paper with wood glue and waited to set. I cut the design with a sharp cutter through to the paper and varnish.

Removed the paper and glue with water. ( the design was taken and copied from pieces of the Staffordshire hoard)

 

garde5et6.jpg

nitric acid bath for about 8 hours

After the etch chisel and dremel to clean and deepen the engravings.

It's difficult, I need training, the next will be better :wacko:

 

fittings.jpg

 

Pieces almost finished

manchepiece.jpg

Next steps, carvings on the wood

manche.jpg

 

Thanks :)

Stéph

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Sweet! Who cares if it's historically accurate or not? Not I.

 

I wouldn't have cared about the slag showing in the wrought iron. That's what I would have put it there for. But, anyway, great work.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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That's GREAT work, man. Nice job with the acid etching and carving. Very bold.

 

I'm sure you are learning a ton with this effort.

 

Inspiring work!

 

--Dave

 

PS -- I see that you're using nitric acid as the etch. If that is brass, then ferric chloride etches it really well and it is WAY less dangerous than nitric. I used to use a 10% nitric solution to etch my damascus blades. That stuff is scary. Be careful man. Remember, always acid to water, never water to acid. Have a bucket of water with baking soda in it available. Chemical gloves and goggles (not safety glasses, but goggles that actually seal against the face) . . . (Sorry to get all OSHA safety crazy . . . )

-----------------------------------------------

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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Thanks Dave,

 

I'll tell you why I used nitric. But first, no problem with safety reminders. If not for me, it can be useful for others.

I have the proper gear and protections to work with it.

 

The choice of nitric was decided after some experiments I made last week. The ferric did etch well but turned the brass into a copper color grained surface that was really hard to remove. Nitic stayed much cleaner.

I had both available.

 

Scabbard fittings will probably be etched as well but I need to figure out an other way to transfer the design onthe pieces.

 

Stéphane

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Stéphane,

 

Vinyl resist has worked well for me for the very limited acid etching I have done.

 

There are relatively inexpensive home computer printers that will "print" vinyl stickers for you (do a search on "silhouette cameo" on google for the model I own), or you can go to a local print shop (in the US we have Kinkos, not sure what they have in Switzerland) to have a sheet of vinyl stickers printed up. Either way, it is pretty inexpensive and very effective for crisp acid etching.

 

Keep up the great work!

 

--Dave

-----------------------------------------------

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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Looking good Stephane!

 

Are you going to put some colored resin in your pommel cuts?

 

Great job.

 

Mark

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Hi Mark,

I thought about it as I saw your experiments.

However I'm not sure it will look good enough. I prefer to dip the fittings in ammoniac for some days and polish the high spots.

 

I wish we could find oven hardening garnets in paste :rolleyes:

 

Stéph

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Hello

 

Next steps ont the Langsax project:

 

The brass fittings spent over three days in ammoniac. They came out very dark, exactely the way I wanted. A light brush and polish will reveal the carvings.

fitammoniac.jpg

Carvings on the walnut parts, some steps of the process.

gravuresteps.jpg

Also on the reindeer. I like this material. I never carved that before.gravinterc.jpg

 

Getting pieces together, peening the tang. One picture is missing, the one with the nailed pommel hiding the tang.

montage1et2.jpg

It was too dark for the final pictures but it is almost finished. One or two touch ups and sanding and done for this part.

I counted 12 hours carving and 4 to mount the handle.

58 hours work so far. :blink:

Pictures of the finished Langsax to come soon.

 

Thanks

 

Stéphane

Edited by Stéphane A.
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