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Dave Stephens

A Single Edged Viking Sword WIP: Florianek/Stephens Collaboration

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<p>Greetings!</p>

<p> </p>

<p>At Owen Bush's recent superlative hammer in, my friend Petr Florianek and myself decided to collaborate on a single-edge Viking sword.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>While the Summer heat of Florida makes it difficult to summon much enthusiasm for the hammer and anvil at this time of year, I've managed to make enough progress to share it with the forum.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>My job is to create the blade, while Petr will be hilting it.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>This blade shape was inspired by an old thread posted by Jake Powning back in 2010.  Jake had been scanning through "De Norske Vikingesverd" by Jan Petersen and run across this blade shape on the far right of the page.  Here's a link to the old thread: <a href="http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=16578">http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=16578</a></p>

<p> </p>

<p>jake scan.JPG</p>

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<p>Both Petr and I also really liked this blade shape. Here's my build of it so far. </p>

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<p>It is a 5 bar construction, with the edge bar constructed in a high layer/lower layer san mai type weld, with 400 layers on the outside and 1000+ layers on the inside.</p>

<p> </p>

<p><strong>Here are the four bars that will make up the top half of the blade.  20 layers each.  The top and bottom bars are straight, rotated 90 degrees, the middle two are tight alternate twists.</strong></p>

<p>IMG_1022.JPG</p>

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<p><strong>Here's the four bars being assembled with the edge bar on the bench.</strong></p>

<p>IMG_1023.JPG</p>

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<p><strong>A close up of the four top bars.</strong></p>

<p>IMG_1024.JPG</p>

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<p><strong>The bars tacked at the end and with mild retention bars forged around them.</strong></p>

<p>IMG_1030.JPG</p>

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<p><strong>Here's a short video of me welding the bars together.  You also get a shot of my Air Conditioner retention wall in the second half.  It's 92 degrees F outside, but only 74 inside with the A/C.  Not thermally efficient, but the only way I can forge in this heat.</strong></p>

 

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/LBtyy_MnSXc?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

<p> </p>

<p><strong>I'm not exactly Owen Bush when it comes to forging to shape, so it takes me a lot of adjustments and marking what needs to move where when the bar is cold.  Here's how I set up the induction forge for shape forging adjustments.  Note that the blade isn't clamped in the vise.  The vise is holding a steel plate that acts as a shelf that allows me to slide the blade smoothly through the coil without touching the sides and causing a short.</strong></p>

<p>IMG_1042.JPG</p>

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<p><strong>The blade forged to shape, refined to shape on the grinder, and normalized.</strong></p>

<p>IMG_1062.JPG</p>

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<p>No edge has been ground on the blade at this point.  Just surface ground to ensure flatness. </p>

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<p>As you can tell, I'm not attempting to re-create the attractive nose dive of this blade through an actual nose dive on hardening, but rather by forging/grinding to shape.  Therefore, to minimize hardening distortion/sabering, I'm going to harden/temper the blade at full thickness and grind cold.  A bit of a pain, but the lesser of two evils I think.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>This blade will also feature (if I can pull it off), a copper/silver wire inlay instead of the grooves that I usually use to highlight the top fuller over the twist layers.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>More soon!</p>

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<p>Thanks to Petr for agreeing to collaborate with me on this exciting project.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what he does with the hilt!</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Cheers!</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Dave</p>

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Whoo! Looks sweet, can't wait. Looking forward to seeing the pattern too

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Sweet! Dave I've been going through a bit of a bladesmithing depression since a multibar fail... Watching this will cheer me up! B)

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Go for it! this is a blade I always loved (I dig those single-edged swords, man)!

 

The Viking-esque induction forge must be great to avoid heating the shop just to make a minor adjustment. You have the best tools (toys). Mind you, I have complete respect, and only a tad of envy. I am looking forward to watching you two make this.

take care,

kc

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Sweet! Dave I've been going through a bit of a bladesmithing depression since a multibar fail... Watching this will cheer me up! B)

 

Keep at it man! You make some awesome, inspiring stuff. Back on the horse, dude!

 

Grins.

 

Dave

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Go for it! this is a blade I always loved (I dig those single-edged swords, man)!

 

The Viking-esque induction forge must be great to avoid heating the shop just to make a minor adjustment. You have the best tools (toys). Mind you, I have complete respect, and only a tad of envy. I am looking forward to watching you two make this.

take care,

kc

 

 

I almost never used my induction forge in Alaska. Now I don't know how I'd live without it.

 

It's funny: Being in a hot climate with an induction forge in an air conditioned shop makes you want to forge multi-bar stuff. Why? Because the coils don't easily allow for wide bars to be passed through them and heated efficiently, but small rods are easy.

 

Twist bars w/ the induction forge are criminally easy. You clamp the bar in your vise stand, position the coil over the twist spot, get the twist bar locked on the end of the bar, make sure everything is lined up, and just turn on the forge for about 5 seconds . . . whamo: orange heat in about a 1.5" area. Turn the twist wrench 3 times in the appropriate direction, reposition bar, repeat.

 

You should have seen me doing regular welding before I built the Ice Wall (as I call the plexiglass A/C retention wall). It looked like someone threw a bucket of water on me I was dripping so much sweat!

 

Thanks Kevin!

 

Dave

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Whoo! Looks sweet, can't wait. Looking forward to seeing the pattern too

 

Me too. The high/low layer San Mai edge is a new thing for me. I hope it looks good.

 

Thanks Luke!

 

Dave

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This is gonna be sweet!

 

I have a question about welding the twists up. Why are you leaving them round? is there any advantage to that as opposed to squaring? I've seen it done like that in a few posts before but it never really popped out to me before now

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Emiliano:

 

Actually, the twist bars aren't round on the welding edges. They are quite flat. I round the bars before twisting to reduce the gap produced by twisting square bars, then roll the twisted bars through my rolling mill just a tiny bit (too much will draw out the twists and ruin the tight star pattern we want) to create a flat surface equal to the top of the edge bars. I then grind the bars for a tight cold shut.

 

Thanks!

 

Dave

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That's awesome! I've always liked that sword, the nose dive looks really awesome. It sticks out to me as being slightly dwarvish.

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Looks great so far dave!

 

one trick for the induction I have found to avoid shorting is pack a bit of kaowool on the inside of the coil it helps retain the heat and will stop you shorting the coil.

 

Good luck on the inlay, let me know if I can be of any help on that.

MP

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Very cool Dave. I had no idea induction forges could be used like this. Makes me realize how nice it would be for brief forgings when I don't want to fire up the forge. Not to mention how you've used it.

 

As soon as I finish typing I will look into how much they cost and then shelve the idea due to the expense. :-) :-(

 

edit: yep.. shelved for now. But never know when a used one will come up I suppose..

Edited by Scott A. Roush

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Looks great so far dave!

 

one trick for the induction I have found to avoid shorting is pack a bit of kaowool on the inside of the coil it helps retain the heat and will stop you shorting the coil.

 

Good luck on the inlay, let me know if I can be of any help on that.

MP

 

Thanks Matthew. I don't like the kaowool because it snags on the edge of the steel so often it's a pain. I was told by Sam that you could use ceramic sleeves or tubes to line the inside of the coils, but I've not found a place to buy them.

 

Thanks for the offer of help on the inlay. I'm going to do a couple of test runs on some scrap steel first. If I run into trouble I'll drop you a PM. Thanks for that video you posted the other day. It really helped.

 

Dave

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Very cool Dave. I had no idea induction forges could be used like this. Makes me realize how nice it would be for brief forgings when I don't want to fire up the forge. Not to mention how you've used it.

 

As soon as I finish typing I will look into how much they cost and then shelve the idea due to the expense. :-) :-(

 

edit: yep.. shelved for now. But never know when a used one will come up I suppose..

 

Scott -- Yeah, they are kind of expensive. Also, since Grant died I'm not sure if they are still for sale. I hope mine doesn't break down, since I don't know who I'd go do for repairs now.

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Scott -- Yeah, they are kind of expensive. Also, since Grant died I'm not sure if they are still for sale. I hope mine doesn't break down, since I don't know who I'd go do for repairs now.

 

Dave.. iForgeiron has some tutorials on making them. Apparently it's within the realm of DIY IF you are electronically inclined. So.. I bet if you know somebody with the ability.. you can have it repaired. I'm going to talk to some friends about the idea of building one someday...

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Dave,

 

First off, excellent work, as always. I am super stoked to see this one come to life. I am just starting a small multi-bar knife (my first ever) so it's got me doubly intrigued. Thank God you guys document this stuff or I would never know how to do it.

 

A couple years ago I relocated from Michigan to South Carolina. The heat difference is incredible. I don't have an air-conditioned shop so I forge for about an hour before I change outfits. I typically forge an hour before work, at lunch and between 7pm and 8pm. So I go through about three shirts a day, hanging the shorts up to dry between sessions. I drink a good 32 oz of water per session as well. I like seeing what you have done to separate out the heat. I'm going to have to think about that.

 

I would love to see a video of your induction forge in operation. I've not seen one used... ever. Makes me think about building one (my uncle is a mater electrician) to help forge simple stuff without all the propane forge heat.

 

Thank for the inspiration and your dedication to furthering the trade!

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Thanks Matthew. I don't like the kaowool because it snags on the edge of the steel so often it's a pain. I was told by Sam that you could use ceramic sleeves or tubes to line the inside of the coils, but I've not found a place to buy them.

 

With the induction furnaces at work we "mud the coils". Coat them with a ceramic paste so there is a smooth wall on the inside, ceramic between each coil, and exposed coil on the outside. We then add our replaceable ceramics over that and change out as necessary (about once a week here). The mudding lasts for years. Most refractory is not electrically conductive, so whatever you have laying around for forge building would probably work. Test it out and then realize how much nicer your life is going to be! And by all means, make a couple bigger coils for the bigger stuff! Just be sure to reduce the frequency to 500-1000 Hz for the big stuff. Lower frequency has deeper penetration. I'm assuming you are running at about 1500-2000 Hz for "normal" knife geometries.

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SWEET!

 

I too am jealous of the shop toys and the A/C... ;) plus I've owed Petr a pair of blades for about five years now. :wacko:

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With the induction furnaces at work we "mud the coils". Coat them with a ceramic paste so there is a smooth wall on the inside, ceramic between each coil, and exposed coil on the outside. We then add our replaceable ceramics over that and change out as necessary (about once a week here). The mudding lasts for years. Most refractory is not electrically conductive, so whatever you have laying around for forge building would probably work. Test it out and then realize how much nicer your life is going to be! And by all means, make a couple bigger coils for the bigger stuff! Just be sure to reduce the frequency to 500-1000 Hz for the big stuff. Lower frequency has deeper penetration. I'm assuming you are running at about 1500-2000 Hz for "normal" knife geometries.

 

Thanks Jerrod.

 

I had no idea about the lower Hz for larger stuff. Frankly, I know almost nothing about this machine other than to put the steel inside the coil, push the start button and watch it get red. This helps a lot!

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Well bad news guys. A guy on my facebook page just told me he was sure that this sword was going to "fall apart within a couple months," since the "tang is welded to the core."


Dang. Just when you think you know a few things . . . .

 

:lol:

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Great stuff Dave! Larry Langdon took over the sales of the induction units, he just recently sold that part of the business to someone else. I looked long and hard about getting a 15kva machine from him, they are amazing machines, Larry was melting about 2 pounds of mild steel in a crucible in about 2 minutes, fully liquid.

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