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WIP Multi-Bar Viking Seax


B. Norris
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During a recent visit to Seattle (my son attended a Kendo tournament there) I got to spend a day in the shop of Geoff Keyes. I would have liked to just hang out but, some friends are getting married, we are going to miss the ceremony, and a NICE wedding present is my way of apology. They are interested in Vikings, specifically those who settled in Ireland so... The plan is to make a multi-bar seax for him and an everyday use knife for her. Because, time is short (they are getting married Labor Day weekend) I took the opportunity to pick Geoffs brain and to get a start on this project. Geoff mentioned that he would like to see a Work In Progress (WIP) and here it is.

 

Many, many hours spent welding up billets and drawing them out and this is where I'm at so far.

 

MultiBar 01.jpg

Top to bottom: 576 layer bar of 1095 and 15N20, 288 layer bar of 1095 and 15N20, 5 layer bar of 1095 and 15N20 (7 layers actually, the 15N20 was doubled up), 3 layer bar of 1084 and 15N20 (the 15N20 was actually four layers in the middle to match the thickness of the 1084), last some wrought iron anchor chain stock that just does not want to become a nice, square bar!

 

MultiBar 02.jpg

Close ups.

 

Not sure what kind of pattern to go for but, the next step is to twist and re-square up some of the bars. First though, I need to repair a cracked weld on the press which is contributing to forging rhomboid shapes!

 

~Bruce~

Edited by B. Norris

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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Looking good, Bruce.

 

Make sure the cold fit of the bars is very tight. That's the best way to ensure a good multi-bar weld.

 

Luck!

 

--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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Alright. Time to stop and fix what's broken before pressing on!

 

Press 01.jpg

The broken weld. The same weld on the front side of this keeper is cracked also. The trouble likely is that the part was welded and then the weld was ground down for a more finished look.

 

Press 02.jpg

The cracked weld has been ground out.

 

Press 03.jpg

Welded up with my little, cheap, MIG welder. Ugly as sin... I know!

 

Press 04.jpg

Slightly out of focus shot with some BBQ paint sprayed on to slow the rust down.

 

While I was at it I re-enforced the same weld on the other bottom die-holder. The top ones will probably be what fails next! Other than this, no progress on the project today except to decide on a 3 bar construction with a tightly twisted center bar, the 500+ layer stuff for the edge, and a low layer count bar for the spine. I've run out of time to mess with the wrought iron and will have to come back to it on another project.

 

~Bruce~

Edited by B. Norris

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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This mornings progress.

 

MultiBar 04.jpg

Cut a section off the 3 layer bar to match the length of the 500+ layer bar and twisted it up. I thought the bar would get thicker when twisted up and that when squared up it would return to about the original length. Instead the bar stretched a bit and I had to square it up just slightly smaller than 3/8 inch.

 

MultiBar 05.jpg

The 3 bars for the seax. I went ahead and squared up the other two bars as well, with the holder on the press repaired they were noticeably more square.

 

MultiBar 06.jpg

All edges in contact ground clean, the ends of the bars MIG'ed, and some wire twists to help keep everything tight. The wire ties ended up not working, the thin wire was red hot way before the bars and it stretched out instead of holding the bars together.

 

MultiBar 07.jpg

Welded together. Present size is just under 1 inch wide by 3/8" thick. The next step is to run it through a few welding heats, letting it soak a bit each time, to make sure that the welds are good and set. Then attempt to massage a blade out of the bar without separating any welds!

 

~Bruce~

Edited by B. Norris

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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In the rush to get to work yesterday I forgot to post one other accomplishment...

 

lunch.jpg

Lunch!

 

Today I awoke to the "somebody is stabbing my eye with a needle whenever I look towards bright light" feeling that indicates an eye injury. So... Off to the doctor I go. Got one good soaking heat in on the multi-bar billet and will, hopefully, get another in before going to work. Tomorrow, time to forge the blade out!

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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In the rush to get to work yesterday I forgot to post one other accomplishment...

 

lunch.jpg

Lunch!

 

Today I awoke to the "somebody is stabbing my eye with a needle whenever I look towards bright light" feeling that indicates an eye injury. So... Off to the doctor I go. Got one good soaking heat in on the multi-bar billet and will, hopefully, get another in before going to work. Tomorrow, time to forge the blade out!

 

~Bruce~

 

that sucks hardcore, best of luck

"Pour Bien Desirer"

Alpha Tester for "Chivalry: Medieval Warfare"

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Thanks.

 

Sometimes working on large projects like this can be very discouraging because, I feel like I'm spending all of my time on the extraneous stuff. Things like fixing broken tools just to be able to use them for one step of the process. Making lunch and taking care of my family. Healing up after an injury. It can be hard to keep the big picture in mind sometimes. I'm doubly pissed about the eye injury because my youngest (2 yrs. old) got hold of my glasses and busted the frame. Therefore my routine was off and I wasn't wearing the glasses that would have prevented this injury and didn't think to put on some protective eyewear. Quite a bill for not being more careful of my eye glasses: $128 for new frames plus $400 to get a piece of metal removed. Dooh!!!

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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youch, sometimes i forget most have to pay for medical situations. Active Duty here. But even then, having a piece of metal removed... man. What was it from? Scale or grinder?

Also, no price is too high to pay for preventative injury in my opinion.

"Pour Bien Desirer"

Alpha Tester for "Chivalry: Medieval Warfare"

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What was it from? Scale or Grinder?

MIG Welder. For the second time, did just about the same thing a few years ago. The little welder I bought at Menard's is no longer manufactured and the company that made it is no more. The trigger switch broke and after finding a switch that was virtually identical at Radio Shack for $0.10 I got it working again but, every once in a while the trigger sticks and the wire just keeps feeding. Mostly, it is just that most of the parts in the handle are plastic and cheap. Well, this time when it happened my helmet was off and, because they were broken, I did not have my glasses on. What I will pay to the doctor and to repair the frames on my glasses would have gone a long way towards a new welder.

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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MIG Welder. For the second time, did just about the same thing a few years ago. The little welder I bought at Menard's is no longer manufactured and the company that made it is no more. The trigger switch broke and after finding a switch that was virtually identical at Radio Shack for $0.10 I got it working again but, every once in a while the trigger sticks and the wire just keeps feeding. Mostly, it is just that most of the parts in the handle are plastic and cheap. Well, this time when it happened my helmet was off and, because they were broken, I did not have my glasses on. What I will pay to the doctor and to repair the frames on my glasses would have gone a long way towards a new welder.

 

~Bruce~

 

Man... If I was closer, I could take a look at it, hell Ive been an Aviation Electrician for 6 years now, and have always done electrician work on just about anything since I was about 8 (my father is an electrician)

Sell a few knives, that should get you enough to get a premium welder

"Pour Bien Desirer"

Alpha Tester for "Chivalry: Medieval Warfare"

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Bruce,

 

after reading this post, does this mean you can forge weld now????

 

bummer about your eye, a welder you say? want me to look around for one?

 

 

R

"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense the world was mad" Sabatini

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Today, my eye was a little bit bloodshot but, no pain! The good news is that the metal did not penetrate very deeply and the injury was (relatively) minor. This morning I got out there and went to work and, here is the progress.

 

MultiBar 08.jpg

I cut one end of the welded up bar off at around a 45 degree angle. The stuff I remove from the end will give me trouble anyway. The piece I am working on has the edge steel (high layer count stuff) at the point. Note the presence of eye protection today.

 

MultiBar 09.jpg

Close up. Looking good!

 

MultiBar 10.jpg

The 45 degree angle is folded over, by hand, so that the edge steel runs all the way to the tip of the knife.

 

MultiBar 13.jpg

After working on the tip end a bit, the bar is hot cut into two pieces.

 

MultiBar 14.jpg

Rough forged. Still need to come back to it and even things out, remove some hammer marks, and so forth.

 

~Bruce~

Edited by B. Norris

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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Okay,

 

I had the weekend to work on this but, it was totally consumed by family stuff. 2 sick kids, airshow at Offutt, et cetera. I managed to squeeze a little time in here and there and this is what I got.

 

MultiBar 17.jpg

Rough ground to 80 grit and etched quickly just because I could not resist!

 

MultiBar 18.jpg

Close up but, my camera is old and you just cannot see nearly as much of the pattern as I can by eye. You can see in this close up the only weld flaw on the blade. I think it would grind out but, I do not want to reduce the thickness anymore. These things loose thickness really fast and I'm already thinner than I wanted to be.

 

Hopefully I will be able to get to heat treatment tonight.

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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That is quickly becoming a lovely blade, Bruce.

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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  • 4 weeks later...

Yes. It survived Heat Treat. I went with an edge quench into oil because of the composition of the billet (deep hardening 1084 in the center and spine bars) and it came out with a fairly narrow hardened edge like is seen on some of the originals. Things came down to the wire and I had to work like a madman to get everything done in time. As a consequence there are no photographs showing the fitting up of the handle or construction of the furniture. Also, a friend took the finished pictures a few hours before these were given away and now that I'm seeing the pictures they do not really show the knives as well as they could. However, they are all I have.

 

MultiBar 19.jpg

 

MultiBar 20.jpg

 

MultiBar21.jpg

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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Bruce, Those are just great. Very well done. And great wip, except for the eye thingy!

 

Thanks for sharing. luv-um!!

 

Mark

Mark Green

 

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

(cptn. Mal)

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I had a question about the shape of the handles, so here is another picture. The wood for the handles is cherry and fittings are brass and bronze.

 

MultiBar 22.jpg

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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Great job, Bruce!

 

I would have etched them longer to get a deeper contrast. From the photos it looks pretty much like a shallow etch with only surface oxides to reveal the pattern.

 

But, that's just my preference.

 

Great set, and thanks for the awesome WIP!

 

--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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I would have etched them longer to get a deeper contrast. From the photos it looks pretty much like a shallow etch with only surface oxides to reveal the pattern.

 

Believe me, I would have liked to etch them longer too. That, and sand them to 1200 grit (at least) instead of 220 grit. With these ones it was more important to get them done. They will most likely be user pieces (at least that is my intention) so it doesn't make sense to finish them in the same way as knives that will sit in a safe somewhere. This was just testing the waters and getting my feet wet. Trying to work up to some Viking Age knives for the family kit when at faire. That and I want to do a sword with a serpent core and wolfstooth edges but, when I get there, that one will be a keeper.

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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