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Blue Ridge Seax

Jesus Hernandez

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Allow me to introduce you to the Blue Ridge Seax.




This blade started as a challenge between Alan and me, some three years ago. The steel for the blade came from smelting iron ore. The edge and spine steel is from a hematite smelt I did some time ago while I was living in Alabama. The twist bars are from steel made from magnetite ore by Mark Green. The inspiration for the overall look of the blade came from pictures of a seax posted on this forum by Peter Johnsson. The scabbard is made of tooled leather and the metal fittings were fabricated one-by-one using copper plate rolled to different thicknesses, formed to shape and engraved using simple tools. When I did not have a tool to make a form, I put one together as needed. The scabbard fittings were tinned and patinated to give it an aged look, as if it had been used many times. The wood for the handle is Padauk. I am not going to say that it was an easy choice of wood to carve but after I finished it, I was quite happy to see how well it fitted with the rest of the elements of the handle.

I recorded 20 hours of video while I made this blade and put it together in a home-made DVD edited down to 2 hours. The DVD takes you on a journey from smelting the ore to finishing the blade and gives you detailed glimpses of all the techniques I used to make the seax.


I apologize for the shameless plug. This DVD can be purchased at my website clicking on this LINK.


And now for the pictures…












And finally a short less than two minutes clip to promote the DVD.


<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7tWDSiR-E6k?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Edited by Jesus Hernandez

Enjoy life!

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Can't wait to see the DVD.


For those wondering, The steel has the color of the close up shot. The nice glamour shots make it look a bit brown on my computer. It's not, it is blue/gray


Blade length: 43.5cm

overall: 59 cm

Blade thickness: 6mm


The very proud owner of this treasure. :D



Mark Green


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

(cptn. Mal)

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very impressive Jesus... such a combination of talents!


I love, love the grip carving and fittings.


I have to agree with Mark about the brown (sepia?) look of the photos. Your first picture is more accurate it seems and more attractive showing a broader palette of colors. But it could just be my monitor too...

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Oh, man! :wacko::ph34r::blink::wacko::unsure:


I gotta add tamahagane to the list, so it's a good thing you gave me three years! ;)


Seriously, Jesus, that is not just awesome, but inspiringly so. Tinning the fittings was a brilliant idea. You set me a very high bar, my friend. B) Every single aspect of this piece is just perfect. The minute details, like the carving continuing onto the buttcap for instance, just blow me away.


Guess whose beard just burst into flame with a light brighter than the day? Congratulations! ^_^


Mark: You lucky, jammy, so-and-so! ;)

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Thanks guys. Mark saw the blade as I had just finished it and he did not take no for an answer.


Thanks, Alan. It's an honor to become a member of such gracious society. What's the process now?


These are less artsy shots that show the actual color of the blade.







Enjoy life!

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Wow, that's amazing. Great work!


Might I ask what you used for etching? It looks wonderful.



Thanks. I should say: Buy the DVD and you will find out. ;) I used ferric chloride but I don't think that the acid is responsible for the looks of the steel. The acid simply revealed the character innate to this type of metal.

Enjoy life!

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Thats a fiery beard well earned.

The seax is marvellous - but the scabbard ---- oh my. I´d even say "Jeez!". ;)


Seems about time you skipped the japanese crap ( no offence meant!)and continued the migration-era-way :)

This really blew me away. It looks like a oneandahalf-thousand-years-old!


Edited by Mat Maresch



Knifemaker, Germany

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That's just plain ole outstanding! I love the attention to detail. I just might have to get my hands on that DVD.

Resident knife-maker-wannabe

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Whoa! :blink: It's not a win/lose thing, it's just a friendly excercise to allow two friends to explore each other's preferred style of bladesmithing. B) Admittedly, with Jesus being Spanish he's probably got a bit of ancient Visigoth genes that allow him to feel the seax the way I do. ;)


Lee, when (not if!) my tanto/wakizashi/whatever it ends up being does not ring as true to the spirit of the required object as Jesus' seax does, I will not lose my beard. I will just be grateful for the friendship that led to such an opportunity to expand my limited horizons. :) Not that I'm gonna go down easy, mind you. :P


Remember, I have up to three years! :unsure:

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As an aside, I'd like to suggest a new category of metaphorical fieriness. The whole basis of the fiery beard thing is based on ancient northern Europe. I've always thought that was a little unfair to those who embrace the eastern artistic point of view, and years ago Jim Kelso suggested yet another subdivision of beard color for the contemplative arts. So, we have had Fiery Beards since 2006, Greenbeards since around 2009, and I now propose a new category for the east Asian enthusiasts: The Fiery Dragon Beard. What do you folk think?

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That was a good idea. I was going to email you yesterday and ask if I could qualify for a blazing Manchu mustache at some point. Only after I complete something worthy. Just proposing the category for Chinese stuff.



please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/


“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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I'll have to grow my ever graying reddish-brown beard if I am to have one any time soon. :( Could be a while before I qualify for anything fiery.


I did set my arm, moustache, eyelashes, brows and nearly my hair on fire once... Nevermind, long story. :lol:

Resident knife-maker-wannabe

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Truly a weapon for a Fell warrior of old. :ph34r:



"Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising

I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.

To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:

Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!"

J.R.R Tolkien

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Gorgeous blade and I really love the sheath! Another inspirational piece that I am years (and years) away from attempting....but blades like this keep me motivated. Masterfully done.

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Welcome, Brother in Beard!


Beautiful work, Jesus!




"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


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