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James Spurgeon

Drow Bearded Axe; WIP

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Well I haven't gotten far, but I have started on my KITH project.

Initial drawing (with a nod once again to Jake Cleland):

Fantasy Drow-Viking Axe.jpg

And after tracing, plasma cutting and some initial forge work I have the haft/handle:

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The head will consist of 3 layers mild/nickle steel/mild wrapped and welded plus the bit welded in. I anticipate the haft canting itself forward as I weld the poll, so I set it back a bit to compensate.

 

More to come...

James

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Moving along once again...I may have to scale back some of the decorative elements, carving etc in order to be done, but we shall see.

I plasma cut two of the head sections and pre-formed them around the head of the handle section.

First layer is mild steel:

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I also tapered the head section on the handle to help with the transition out towards the bit.

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Did some rough profile grinding to get the basic shape of the head set up.

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Plasma cut the second layer from lumber mill band saw, slightly oversize in case it wrapped off kilter:

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Then preformed it to the mild steel layer:

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The top line is fairly close matched, but tonight I will work on rough grinding the profile for the underside of the high carbon layer.

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My original plan calls for another layer of mild steel over the high carbon layer, which I will also cut out and preform tonight from slightly thinner stock.

Then I will forge out the bit from new 5160 bar stock.

 

Friday/Saturday I will wire the head wraps and forge weld it together and then forge weld in the bit and do some rough grinding to see how it all looks.

 

Once that is done, I will look at how much time I have left in the weekend to put in decorative twists and such...

More to come!

James

 

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Well Saturday didn't quite go as planned, but I got back to work Sunday evening and just now called it a night (3:30AM). No pics at the moment as everything is in a vinegar soak to work the scale off the preformed wrapped sections and the new 5160 bit. I did a good bit of work tapering all the various layers so there aren't any abrupt thickness changes inside a weld layer, and tightening up the preforms. With a clamp over the outer wrap, it draws up almost seamlessly, which should make the welding go nice and smoothly (crossing fingers, toes and eyes hoping I didn't just jinx it.)

 

I also did most of the file work to clean up the handle and ring guard. Feels quite nice in the hand now even without the wood scales in place yet.

 

Tomorrow, err, later today really, I will pull stuff out of the vinegar and get a few assembly pics. Then it's on with the welding. Should have a finished product in the next couple days.

James

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OK. Pics! Here is the whole thing dry fit together for a general overview.

 

tmp_20130923_160431532035660.jpg

 

and partial exploded view, 5160 bit seated in mild wrap, band saw wrap above. You may not the absence of the third wrap. I had to scrap that portion of the plan for several reasons, but I still hope to overlay some mild steel twists for that extra touch of character.

 

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fully exploded view... along with various paper patterns I used along the way. Maple burl on the right will provide the scales for the handle.

 

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Detail on the inside taper to the bit where it will join the body of the head.

 

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Upon re-assembly, I discovered that my earlier comment "almost seamless", was either relativistic or wishfull thinking. Either way, I blame 3AM brain syndrome.

This is how tight everything really is, or isnt, as the case may be...

 

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Still seems like a reasonable fit up to me for the preform stage. I may have been overly optimistic in my view of welding this in my 4.5" x 4.5" x 13" gas forge. While it does fit, I don't have enough maneuvering room to get it to heat evenly. So I arranged to meet a friend of mine at his farrier's shop tomorrow evening. That has the double benefit of a much larger coal forge and a second smith to assist in orchestrating this 2000+ degree ballet.

 

So that about wraps it up for today... time to get the sleep I skipped last night...

James

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Well, first round of welding passes met with mixed results. His coal forge is rarely used and produced an enormous ammount of clinker with every bit of flux that dripped off the axe. That slowed things down and was a little frustrating, but overall the head is welded and feels quite solid when thwacking a stump. On the other hand, there are a few visible flaws and a short section of unwelded wrap on the backside of the bit. I am going to soak it all in vinegar once again and clean it up really well and then attempt a second pass of welding heats in my gas forge. I will post pics once that second pass is done.

James

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I got a nasty cold and sore throat on wednesday and havent been able to get back out to the smithy. Topping that off my family vacation starts today so I am writing from a hotel room in Pigeon Forge, which is less conducive to finishing this axe than the name sounds. I only have a few hours work left, consolidating the head welds and then putting the last bit of hand work into the handle. I plan to leave the forged finish for the head and haft, which will greatly shorten typical finish time. That said, I will not be back home to work on it till next weekend. I really do not want to drop out of this KITH, so if the final list can delay till October 7th, I am committed to finishing then!

James

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Pigeon Forge... ugh.

 

I live about 15 miles from there. Thankfully there is a good sized mountain between us.

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I am at a conference until tomorrow and won't have a chance to take final pics until I get back home but I did take some process pics with my phone and finally have a chance to upload them, so here we go.

Couple pictures of the head after consolidating the welds, prior to any grinding:

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And after profiling:

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An odd angle trying to catch the back side of the beard:

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The only major weld flaw I was unable to fix was the tips of the ears on the haft. I had to quit before I ended up thinning the haft to a failure point. This pic looks worse than it is and I am very confident it has the necessary strength, but I might back fill it with a little JB Weld before shipping it out just to be sure it doesn't trap moisture and end up compromised from rust:

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I flat ground the primary edge with a 60 grit belt on the flat platen of my KMG, then swapped to an 80 grit belt to clean it up and establish the secondary edge.

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The grinding slightly further up the head in that second image was a slight bubble that developed in the thin nickle steel surface layer of the wrap. I saw it when consolidating the weld and I debated going back to the forge to re-weld the spot after opening the edge while profiling, but considering it was almost 1:30 AM, I decided to just grind it out. I extended the grind so it wouldn't look like a sharp divot and used the edge of a 2" contact wheel to add a bit of dimple texture so the normalizing heats would somewhat blend it back into the forge finish on the rest of the head.

 

Final pic for now, last step before heat treat was cleaning up the secondary edge bevel with hand files. I decided to try the phone's shutter delay to get a real "process" pic with the hand filing. Shocked the hell outta me that it actually worked:

1013130159.jpg

 

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Well, I posted these pics in Show n Tell, but also posting here to have the whole WIP in 1 place.

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James

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Axe just came in! Beautiful piece of art and weaponry!!

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Missed the last pictures earlier, but I love how this turned out! Especially what you did with the antler blade guard. Cheers!

 

John

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