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Gotland-style Seax


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Greeting everyone,

 

I've been lurking on this forum for a couple years learning HUGE amounts, and I thought it was time I started contributing. This is my latest project, a gotland style seax with a few mutations/departures from the historical ones:

 

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The blade is 12" x 1 1/4 forged out of 1/4" 1084. It's a flat grind that I took down to 220 on the belt grinder, and then went from 220 (again) down to 600 grit by hand.

 

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The handle is stabilized caramelized maple. You can see in this shot where the wood got a little scorched during the caramelizing. The washers are leather and all the fittings are brass. As you can see the handle is not exactly historical because I added a bit of a guard to it. The straight handles on a lot of the nordic knives scares me no small bit, especially on a knife this size. The carving was done after stabilization, and I had hoped the acrylic would actually help with the problems of carving against the grain, but instead it just made the wood harder to carve and increased the tendency to chip and split because to wood was drier and more brittle. <_<

 

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The filework on the blade is not authentic either. But with basically no distal taper on the blade (which I understand is how the originals are) I couldn't resist that long wide spine. I did it with files, and the pointy ovals where done mostly with a carbide bit in a foredom, with gravers for clean-up. The sheath fittings are just bent sheet brass. I annealed it first, then stamped the triangle in and scraped the lines with a little scraper i made. Then I put some Brass Black in the depressions for a minutes, rinsed and sanded.

 

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So thanks for looking. I'd love any critiques - it's the only way to get better.

 

 

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Wow! What a great first post to the forum. Great looking blade Matthew. I will let the other guys with more experience offer critiques. I think its great just the way it is. The departures you made from historical accuracy are good additions in my opinion.

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Welcome Matthew, Thank you very much for adding to the forum! I love all the fine details on the sheath and the back of the blade and handle!

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nice way to introduce yourself. I am quite impressed with this. It shows a love of process and attention to detail that seems to be a part of the shared bond of us on this forum.

 

Welcome!

 

kc

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Now that is some really nice, clean work! Wow... B) And, as long as you know why it's not strictly accurate it's fine to play outside the lines. ;)

 

Welcome aboard, and keep 'em coming!

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Glad you stopped lurking, Matthew! The lack of guards is my reason for not making seaxes, (nearly lost a finger once and that was enough!) Lovely work and please show more!!! All the best,M

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Thank you all very much for your comments. My mom likes my knives, but it means more coming from this group. I have to confess that this seax is really a platform for me trying all the techniques I wanted to in one knife. I want to back off a bit on all the decorative stuff for the next seax and focus on the fundamentals. The busy-ness of this one tends to hide the mis-steps in technique.

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The busy-ness of this one tends to hide the mis-steps in technique.

 

 

You do realize you stumbled across one of the great secrets of my success with that sentence, do you not? :lol:

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Yeah, I do, Alan. I find it's the secret of success in just about everything. One of my favorite quotes is by Einstein - "Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler."

Thanks Matt. :) One of the 'problems' I have trying to do serious reproductions is that too many images from Tolkien and other fantasy works keep flooding into my head. The leather work on the sheath is probably influenced as much by watching The Beatles Yellow Submarine as a kid as it is by viking art. :blink:

Edited by MatthewBerry
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