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I just had an awesome post all written up and I was putting images in and it disappeared. So, now you all get the shorthand version.


I'm finally popping my cherry on damascus and multi-bar. I've been dying to do it and I figured I should stop being such a scaredy cat and put the hammer to the steel. I made my first forge weld earlier this summer (4th of July actually) by hammering a carbon bit into one of my axes. Then I did it to a few axes. Now, I'm back to knives. I've been really inspired by Petr Florianek's seaxes and I've been itching to to give one a go.


Here's what I did:


Bought some wrought iron from Orien M and stacked it up as a 1/4" core flanked by L6 saw blades and 1060 strip. Forge welded that into a billet, drew it out and folded it over for a 10 layer strip. I just wanted a cool stranded like core with some wrought texture so I stopped there.




Some videos of me hammering. Quite boring actually unless you like this kind of thing... and I do.



Fortunately for all of you my flipcam died after that and I didn't get any more video. However, that is me doing the first billet after I folded it. Feel free to critique technique. I make most of this up as I go along, especially since I have just my arms, hammer and anvil to make this happen. Next I drew that out a bit, fixed any apparent weld flaws and cut it into two bars (I have two builds I am using it for). One of these will be the core of this knife with a 1080 edge bar and a wrought iron spine. Which I stacked, welded the ends and lit it on fire!




Here it is after the first hammer pass on the welds. Don't worry, I made sure to weld it a few times to make it solid.




I had to make some modifications to my forge. I packed in a few more firebricks on the sides and bottom and closed off the back. Nice and hot in there.




Done forging.




Now some shaping and general grinding. You can start to see the pattern in the core.



I plan on attempting the heat treating tonight. I like to do it at night when I can see the steel color better. I plan on doing an edge quench almost as deep as the edge bar. Given this is my first time, I'm not totally sure what I should do but after reading through a ton of the multi-bar posts I feel like this should work given the smaller size of this seax. I would love to hear opinions on the matter though if anyone has one.


Oh, and here's what I was thinking for the handle and fittings should it survive the quench:




Thanks for looking/reading!


Larger pictures can be seen here: http://rashystreakers.tumblr.com/tagged/osberg%20seax

Edited by Josh A Weston
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That looks awesome! You did a fabulous job dealing with that wrought iron...was it the wagon tire, or that little piece of refined stuff I threw in? Great work, either way.

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Nice job! I'm excited to see this, you're certainly doing better than me for a first multi-bar!

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Orien - it was the wagon wheel. I was hoping for some slaggy, super texture for this anyhow. I am going to wait to use the good stuff until I get a little more experience under my belt with the pattern welding and multi-bar stuff. I do love this wrought iron though. This is my first time and it's just way cool.


Update on the blade:


Polished and ready for a vinegar bath. I will do many soaks on this, interrupting it only to remove oxidized junk then back in the bath.



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I have had it soaking all evening and it's super slow going. I think I will most likely go to a Radio Shack tomorrow and pick up some Ferric Chloride and give that a try. Dave Stephens repeatedly says to follow it up with a cold blue so I will add that to my shopping list. It would be great if by this time tomorrow I had a nicely etched blade to show off.

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I've never seen the need for cold blue on wrought iron, it has enough contrast on its own. If you do use the blue, in my opinion the best cold bluing solution is Kleenbore Black Magic, http://www.amazon.com/Kleen-Bore-Black-Magic-2OZ-60ML/dp/B0000C51WN. The Birchwood-Casey stuff always gets splotchy for me.


Nice shape, and killer rendering!

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Guys! Guys! Guys! It worked! Ferric Chloride rocks my world!

Sometimes I try something new and it backfires. Other times it sort of works. This time it worked amazingly well! Ferric chloride is the best. I popped this baby in some FrCh over dinner and presto, a beautifully etched blade. It is exactly the effect I wanted.


Mix was roughly 4:1 water ferric mix from Radio Shack

I did 10 mins then baking soda water rinse, then windex then back in for 15 rinse again and one more 15 min soak.

After the soaking I cleaned dipped in WD40 then sanded back with 100 grit then hit lightly with a buffer.


I got good depth but not too deep. It's juuuuuust right. Thanks for all the tips (from here and all over the forums - I read many posts).


Alan, you are right though, no need for the gun blue.


Now I can tape up the blade and move on to the handle.







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The handle got a little out of control. Anyone have issues with a longer seax handle. From some pictures I have seen it seems to be okay, but that may be wayward reproductions. It’s not to late for me to trim it. I am leaning toward trimming it down a bit...




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Thank you! It seems a bit odd from modern knives but I am not making a modern knife. I appreciate the feedback. I will have to incorporate some knotwork at the bottom. I have to say, I think the length is growing on me.


Started carving this morning. Maybe I will have some new pics later today.

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I would tend to disagree with the idea the handle should be long on this type of sax. The mostly straight back with curved edge makes this a Scandinavian style, and these were a different breed from the continental and British saxes that had long handles. The handles on these Scandinavian types were short in comparison to their cousins. For the really big warknives a 6" handle would not be out of place, but these smaller blades had handles that compare more with your typical modern knife, 4-5", judging from the artifacts.


Man that is some pretty wrought iron....

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Wow! This looks fantastic! Great job, man.


Oh, and about the use of gun blue for contrast: It's certainly not a necessary component. I tend to use it only on those relatively high layer blades on which I really want to emphasize the contrast. For Viking stuff (which is, at least on the twist bars, low layer I don't think it's necessary at all).


Keep at it man. Looking forward to seeing this complete!



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