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2 seax shaped objects


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well.. easter gave me a lot of reasons to work hard in the makeshift forge...

bought some "blacksmiths" coal .. turned out to be raw coal, but i baked it and it performed sufficiently to draw out and shape some seax'y shaped objects....

 

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.. now .. the issues i seem to always face is the difficulty of getting the knife blades well shaped enough.. what you see in the pictures here are after quench and HT, the dark spots are too deep for me to really to much with if i want to have metal left for a good seax...

... is it only training, or would set-hammers / flat-hammers help out on these issues?...

 

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Set & flattening hammer help in straighting and keeping steel flat in my experience. What I see is a problem I still have on occasion, lack of hammer control. Either hit it lighter or get a smaller hammer. The more you pratice the better you will get. Also make sure you work the metal hot. If color leaves then back to the fire. Hot metal is easier to work. Just MHO.

”Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor!”

 

George Brackett

American Bladesmith's Society,

Apprentice Member

Hialeah, Florida

Blademark photo 375x75BladeMarkPunch-125-sm_zps2e740d6d.jpg

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yeah i definately see that point :)

Im quite blessed to have a near undepleteable source of good carbon spring steel from 1" to 2" on hand, so i will have my brother send me enough to last me the summer :P ... hammerin' away!!!!

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Nice work! Your hammer control doesnt look too bad, but it will improve with time too. :)

 

One thing I would like to point out is that the seax is not a "point style", its a type of knife. So instead of just being a bar with an angle chopped off to form the point, there are considerations to be taken into account for the whole blade. The "break" usually is 1/2 to 1/3 the length of the whole blade, and there is usually some proximal taper in the width of the blade starting at the break, i.e. the break should be the widest point on the blade. These are good guidlines to follow, but check out some originals for inspiration.

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

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Hi Luke ,. yeah those are the same ideas i was playing with... unfortunately... my hammer control l didnt allow me to do just that... now.. i have some 40 lbs of 2" thick spring carbon steel heading my way ( or mix of 1"-2" ) will definately work more on it :D

... love those seaxes ....

 

btw .. anyone have a good idea how i can "hole" out the antler im targeting for its handle ?

Edited by vihalvor
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Take your time forging once you get near to shape. As the heat runs out of the steel, use more gentle blows to even things out. Once I get close to the thickness/shape I want, I don't do any yellow heats, just red heats and much lighter blows. Keep the hammer blows consistent, and move the steel on the anvil to where you want to strike it.

Scale can also cause low spots that need grinding out. I use a lot of water during forging to blow scale off. A flatter isn't going to do much good if you're flattening scale into the steel! But a flatter can help. It takes 3 hands to use a flatter though.

As for the antler, a drill press works best. If you use a hand drill you usually don't end up straight. Rasps are good too:

http://www.japanwoodworker.com/product.asp?s=JapanWoodworker&pf_id=99.726.20020&dept_id=12878

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well.. i wasnt at all happy with the seax for normal wear.. so i figured id just have it for my reenactment group...

733940_10152892708455727_1742379344_n.jp

 

.. we cant use sharp ones there anyway, and im pretty sure the run -of-the-mill war-seax wasnt the shiney stuff our masters here make, anyway :)

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Brian's right on about the pitting being caused by fire scale on the surface of your blade, and the remedy. Wet forging is a good technique to get comfortable with. I find it handy when working something very small that might not have enough time to wirebrush and then transfer to the anvil, besides that, it's wicked cool to blow the scale off! Just make sure you're wearing eye protection B)

 

Hammer control is a fundemental key to getting your work as close to final finish on the anvil. My hammer control was so poor last year that I just up and stopped trying to forge the bevels into my blades for a while. But, I now have a series of much lighter hammers which allows me to be much more precise. If you're struggling with your control, look for some smaller hammers, you can modify the faces and distribution of weight with abrasives. And don't forget to move your work, not your hammer, I used to chase the steel around all over the anvil and wonder why everything kept coming out looking like a crippled snake :rolleyes: Also, flattening your work can be done with a flatter, or with a series of light taps along a flat wooden surface at a dull red heat, which is how I do it these days. If the bend is slight enough, you could also straighten it in a vice with a few pieces of round stock, just be sure you do it before heat treatment(something I forgot about recently and paid the price for it),

 

All in all, I think these two look pretty darned good for a practice run, and it looks like you did well mounting the antler to the second. So, don't be discouraged, and don't throw away your first blades either, keep them in rememberance of your early days. Good luck, and keep at it!

I love the smell of Anthracite in the mornin'!

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yeah.. i have more steel coming my way, so hopefully i can make another seax before end of may...

I had another one actually, which i had intended for the antler handle.. but closer examination showed serious cracks in it.. lengthwise AND widthwise .. so in tthe end there was nothing worth saving.. it was far better forged, but didnt survive.... sucked to throw it, but i filed it under lessons learned....Chances are the water quench took part of it... i have an oil cylinder ready at home, that i will pick up when i get back later this summer.... that, and my anvil ( i live 300 miles away from my homestead forge) will make for much better forging.....

 

-vidar-

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When I first got my forge fired up I had a ton of leaf springs piled up in the back of my shop, and I tried making a serviceable blade from them but it was a nightmare. It didn't seem to matter what temperature I forged at, there inevitably would appear cracks all along the length of the work, even after annealing the stuff. I'm sure coil springs are of a different composition, and I have seen several demonstrations of folks making good knives from them, but for some reason me and springs just don't get along. But, if it's what you have on hand and you can forge it without cracking it, keep at it.

 

I think you will have a better success rate with an oil quench, as water is too fast, and will almost certainly cause stress fractures. Sometimes you get lucky, and it's just the point that cracks, or a shallow crack along the edge, and you can salvage it, but sometimes it's catastrophic and you just have to toss her in the scrap bin. Steel is a demanding mistress, I am discovering. I got off easy in the beginning because I was recycling railroad spikes and re-bar, but now that I've moved onto tougher monosteels I've found a whole new set of challenges to overcome.

 

Good luck to you, Vidar. I hope you can get all of your equipment sooner than summer. I can't even imagine being that far from my shop for more than a few days, I'd go nuts :wacko:

I love the smell of Anthracite in the mornin'!

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