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First Commission--Claymore style Sword WIP


John Page

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Had an old friend come over for the day earlier this week for help as a striker. What a difference that made! Between the two of us, the tang is now much longer (still not long enough, though), and some of the initial work flattening the area by the guard is done. Four or so hours of work that would have taken easily twice that alone, and I wouldn't be able to swing the hammer that long :P

 

John

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Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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Looking good to this point. The only advice I can offer is forge thin and leave as few hammer marks as you have the skill to do. Forging is much more fun than grinding, to me anyway. What I can fix with a hammer in 10 minutes will take me an hour to grind. Keep up the posts it's a joy to watch.

Denis

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  • 5 weeks later...

Thanks Dennis, I totally agree. Forging beats finishing any day, at least in my book.

 

I've run into a bit of a snag. I've taken some time (probably more than I should have) in getting back into the swing of things, and now that I'm back inside, I've evened everything in the hilt end of the blade. However, the tang is still giving me problems. Centring it is becoming exceedingly more tricky, but I find that I cannot get a good transition. For something this large, I feel like the tang will simply bend once it is fitted. Of course, I have to keep the tang as thin as the thickness of the blade at the hilt, but that makes me nervous.

 

I've heard a few times that I do not want to heat treat the tang. Is that accurate? If so, why? Properly tempered, I would imagine it stronger than it is soft. Is it to help with the shock it will experience? I'll get a few pictures up in a little while to show where it sits currently.

 

 

John

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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Finally found that little sm card adapter to get my terrible phone pictures to my computer..

These were all taken just before lunch, and it's a little straighter and more even now. First shot is the tang and shows what I was talking about. The shape is looking better after another day in the shop, but it still lacks something. Not sure what. Any suggestions?

The profile shot doesn't show much with at this resolution, but I thought I'd share to show a little of the progress. I've finally made it all the way from one end forging to the other (that awkward spot in the middle where I couldn't get it in the forge was holding me up. Kept hitting the far wall and the table wasn't long enough to move it forward :lol: )

And, last but not least, the scale of the thing compared to the forge itself. It's nearly as tall as I am now, and a brute! With any luck, I'll be able to begin preparing it for the HT, but more on that conundrum later.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

 

John

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Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks gentlemen, progress is slow but still happening. This past month has been about as crazy as I have seen in the past few years, but I'm now nearing the time to heat treat. My hopes are to have it ready to bring with me to Maryland on the chance I can stop by Fire and Brimstone that Sunday and possibly, if the hosts are up to it I would be forever grateful if we could try the heat treatment there. If not, I will have to find someone around who has the means to quench and temper something so large as this. Sadly, my 11" forge won't cut it this time :(

 

As I draw nearer to completion of the forging, I've given quite a bit of thought about what to do with the fittings. Last week I began fabrication of an iron crucible to use in my forge, and now that it is functional I'm going to do some test casting. For the guard and pommel, I came up with the idea of melting down old spent brass from M4s and M16s. Not only do would I be able to get more than I need, but I think it would also hold a lot of meaning considering what the sword is for.

 

John

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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Finished nearly all of the remaining forge work today and started bringing the edges perfectly straight on the grinder. Slow as it is, I cannot imagine doing this purely by hand and without modern tools. Also, I cleaned up the radius between tang and blade, making it smoother and straightening out the tang itself. I forged out the tip as close as I could manage to the final shape and am about to start taking off the scale. More to come soon!

 

John

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Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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  • 2 weeks later...

All of the forging is finally done, and I have begun the tedious finishing process. The blade is relatively straight, but I need to grind a bit to get the distal taper right (I thought I was going to forge that all in.. :huh: ) but otherwise the shape is fine. I built a contraption to hold files more easily, and that should help, but I think I will be doing most of the heavy lifting with my angle grinder. Anyway, the time is fast approaching to heat treat this, and I have no idea how that is going to happen...

 

John

 

edit: despite what the pictures look like, there is a taper in width from hilt to tip.

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Edited by John Page

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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  • 2 weeks later...

A thought I had on this. If you are going to have it "mounted on a piece of 'rugged looking wood' " you could put a removable brass plate to engrave the winners on. Then they keep the removable plate and a new one is engraved for the next winners.

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Good thinking, thanks. I've been a little hung up on how to do that. Certainly I'll have some sort of plates to fasten to the wood, probably with tacks or the like.

 

I suppose it's time for an update on this too. I just got a box full of brass from a friend, but I don't think I'll be getting much more. Everyone I've asked looks at me like I am crazy. With the way things are going with gun laws, all the ammo in the states is disappearing as fast as it can be produced, which means more and more people are reloading their own. Cheaper for them, worse for me. If only I started this six months earlier...

 

The blade is coming along, I'll get some pictures when it looks like I've done more work to it. I clamped it down to my work bench and have been using a mixture of an angle grinder and file strapped to a piece of wood to form the distal taper. I will admit that I did not think this step would take as long as it has been. Although the last few weeks have been ridiculously busy, I am almost done with one side. The other should be faster now that I know what I am doing (sort of), but there are still several hours to go before I can even think of heat treating it.

 

 

John

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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Looking forward to seeing this completed :)

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail"
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves."
--Henry David Thoreau

My DeviantArt: http://wildwolfworkshop.deviantart.com/

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Brass!

Here's the brass I have, hopefully it will be enough, although I doubt it. I should be melting it down tomorrow afternoon and get a nice ingot so I have a more accurate idea of how much I actually have to work with and what more I need.

 

John

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Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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Yesterday, I finally had a chance to start melting down the brass casings, and it must have been one of those days. I think the atmosphere effects not only the success of damascus billets, but this too. For whatever reason, I wasn't getting hot enough to go full liquid despite doing exactly the same thing a few weeks ago. Never the less, the consolidation begins and I'll have another go at it (possibly with a blower added into burner line).

 

As for the sword itself, the grinding is almost done on one side and all I have left to do on it is fix up a few high spots before going to the other.

 

Thanks for looking, and as always, comments and criticisms welcome.

 

 

John

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Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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Great to see this John. Looking good.

"Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes" - Tom HALL - Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon wine.

 

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John , in reguards to casting go to www.backyardmetalcasting.com you can learn a lot about casting!

Keep them updates comin!

www.hoyfamily.net

Isa 54:16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.Lu 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Mr 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks gentlemen. A little more progress, although there isn't much to show for it.

I finished the roughing with my angle grinder and moved on to the belt sander. Having a little 2x42 is making this very slow, but helping with the slight ripples left from the grinder. While doing this, I realized that the tang is much wider than the blade (obvious in the second picture), which I'll have to fix. Also, the too rest of my grinder is horrible for sliding things over, so I decided to clamp a few pieces of scrap wood to it. Also, I moved the platen back as far as it would go without taking it off so I could get a uniform convex surface along the length of the blade.

Thanks for looking,

 

John

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Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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John,

 

Way to go grabbing the bull by the horns!

 

Looking at that grinder, it appears to be a 1" that is designed mostly for wood workers.

 

Do yourself a favor and save that grinder for polishing only.

 

I'd clamp the blade to a 2x4, then clamp the 2x4 in a vice and use a 4" angle grinder to remove most of the material for the bevels. Do you have an edge marker? If not, rub a black sharpy on the edge and them use an old drill bit ground to a point to scratch a straight line on the edge to give you a reference. A good way to do this if you don't have an edge scribe is to lay a thin (1/16", etc.) strip of something on the bench, place the blade next to it, and use the top of the thin material as a straight edge. An edge scribe is totally worth the $10 investment, though.

 

Anyway, use the grinder, then switch to draw filing, then go to the electric sander. It'll be tons faster, and you won't burn up that motor that was never designed for loading up (I know . . . when I was 19 I got one of those for an Xmas present and it was dead by New Years!).

 

Keep at it man!

 

--Dave

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"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 appreciate the advice. The sander was certainly hurting :o

The () shaped profile is almost entirely finished via my 2.5" angle grinder, and the scale looking stuff in the first picture is actually the area untouched by the belt sander. The idea of drawfiling is daunting, but I'd rather spend a little time than burn out the belt sander motor. I also ordered some EDM stones today, although I don't think they are right for this application. I have tons of old drill bits lying around, it shouldn't be a problem to sacrifice one or two. This has been an incredible learning experience already, and I certainly couldn't have done it alone!

Thanks again,

 

John

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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Drawfiling is actually pretty fast if you use the right file for the job. Get the biggest mill bastard you can find. MSCDirect has a 16-inch Nicholson that I use quite a bit, and they used to have a 14" Simmonds Multi-cut that's even better.

 

See this sword?

 

sword and me.jpg

 

Forged and drawfiled only. I didn't have a KMG or any other belt grinder when I made it. See it on the bench?

 

sword drawfile 1.jpg

 

Notice how flat and shiny the flats are while the bevel is still in the rough-forged stage? See the 10" mill bastard? Only took two days. I had to wear a lab coat to keep the filings out of my clothes, and that lab coat got so loaded up with little sharp filings I had to toss it afterwards. :blink: If I'd had the 16" or the Multicut it would have only taken a few hours, and I probably could have saved the lab coat.

 

Finally, check this out:

 

sax grind 12.jpg

 

That pile of shavings is from a mere three minutes of drawfiling with the 16" Nicholson.

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That's a great looking Messer Alan....

 

but back on topic, Drawfiling is fantastically effective. I use it by preference to establish bevels before belt grinding.

 

Most important aspect of the technique is to have an adequate bench to secure the work without it flexing. I have a long piece of angle secured in the leg vice the work is then held with clamps initially straight on the steel but later on wooden boards.

Onen Hag Ol.

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Hey John... Just now got a chance to go through this. Looks like you've made a lot of progress and are learning a lot along the way. Will you have this at my place? Let me know if there is anything I can do to help while you are here. My HT kiln will be dialed in by that time.

 

Alan that sword looks like so much fun to handle!

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That's one heck of a sword, Alan! Files are looking more and more appealing. I think part of my initial deterrence was my attempt to use a 50 some odd year old bastard file that I didn't mind losing to the project. Clearly, the better route is just to get a new one. I think I can scrounge up a piece of angle iron to secure it to, as I recently measured my bench and it turns out it is severely warped in the middle.


Scott, I might not have it, as the original intent was to have it for the end of May, but I think the internal workings of the folks it is going to has stalled it for another entire year. If I bring it out with me, I would greatly appreciate it if I could try and heat treat it. That's one of the final major obstacles to overcome.

 

Thanks for the input!

 

John

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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John , what of disk are you using on your angle grinder? A flap disk will out cut the hard glass reenforced grinding disks any day ! and they are easier to polish , since you can get progressive grit wheels.

Swords comin along good, dont get bummed!

www.hoyfamily.net

Isa 54:16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.Lu 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Mr 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
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