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Alright so I for some reason remembered my copy of American Blacksmithing a few days ago while gluing on hilt components and thinking that one day I needed to start doing some low-temperature silver solder to keep everything together and get rid of little rattles instead of epoxy. There's a page (182) that I've had dogeared for some time now. It gives a recipe for "iron cement" that is "A cement made for stopping clefts or fissures of iron vessels...This will be useful for flanges or joints of pipes and doors of steam engines."

 

It sounds like fairly tough stuff (especially the steam engines part :wacko: ), but does anyone have any more familiarity with it? Could it potentially be useful for final assembly to fill in any cracks and seams and stop any potential rattles? Or is it something I should just kind of play around with a bit and see what it can do? I really am starting to hate epoxy and other plastics like that...part of me wants to move more towards this or low-temp. solder for the metal hilt components, and cutler's resin (I love this forum...) for handles.

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Never heard of it, but that doesn't mean much...

 

I suggest just doing a tighter fit-up. Solder is rarely if ever seen on working blades until the mid-20th century, so if you're trying to be "traditional" it is no more historic than epoxy.

 

The traditional way to de-rattle a loose sword guard is by either hammering lead wire into the gaps, driving wedges (wood, copper, iron)into said gaps, or a combination thereof. From the back side if possible.

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I hadn't heard of it either until this book. Of course it uses terms like "muriatic acid" and goes into how to do things like make drill bits and repair wagon wheels, so the book's a bit on the more old-fashioned side of things.

 

The whole "historical accuracy" thing is only important to me to a certain point. It's not that I want to stop using "modern" materials or anything, I'm just a bit more reluctant to trust them in light of their brittleness and the longevity evident with things like cutler's resin. As for little wiggles, the XVIIIb I just posted had more than I'd usually allow, but I had to get it done before I left for Germany since I won't be home for a LONG time...so I used a copper wedge which removed most of it but I still coated it in epoxy for added security. For me it's not so much a "wiggle" thing as it is a "if this sword is used and abused for a long time, how do I keep it from wiggling?" thing. On a messer I did a while ago, the fit on the guard was pretty good and pinning it on made it solid as a rock, but I wouldn't go putting a pin through the tangs of many through-tang blades. Welding makes the steel brittle, brazing runs the risk of ruining heat-treat, and epoxy doesn't do well with shock, so I'm curious whether this "iron cement" would be a good preventative measure compared to the other options. Plus the idea of iron cement is just plain neat. :lol:

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It does sound neat, I am interested in hearing more about this iron cement, Ive been putting a lot of thought into making my own resin, like pitch, for waterproofing and sealing, maybe even as a filler to stop rattle.

"Pour Bien Desirer"

Alpha Tester for "Chivalry: Medieval Warfare"

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Brownell's AccraGlas is designed to withstand recoil in the action of high power rifles and the Tightbond and Flexbond epoxies are used by bow makers, so I'm happy using those products to glue up knife and sword handles. I don't think that the cutlers resin was used for any magical reasons, it was what they had and it worked.

 

Can you post the formula for the "iron cement", I'd be interested in seeing it?

 

Geoff

Edited by Geoff Keyes

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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I did a search for "iron cement". The results said it was iron and ammonium chloride. I kind of sounded like it rusts the pieces together. But I could be wrong on that.

 

ron

Having watched government for some time, it has become obvious that our government is no longer for the people. If the current trend continues, it won't be long untill armed rebellion is required.

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Geoff I would post the recipe if I had the book on hand...I'm currently out of the country and will be for some time so I'll just tell you what I remember. I think it was one or two ounces of muriate of ammonia (ammonium chloride) and one ounce or so of flowers sulphur. Combine this with on pound of cast iron filings or borings, then grind into a powder. When the cement is needed, combine one part of this with 20 parts of regular (says "clean" in the book, so this is what I took it to mean...) iron borings and grind up, then add water and work like cement.

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