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Seax WIP (lots of pics)

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Hi guys, so just for something completely new on here, i thought i'd have a go at making a seax :) i'm aiming for something reasonably accurate, but since i haven't done all that much research on them we'll see how it goes. my plan is to finish it to look like a well aged piece with lots of pitting and worn high spots, so i'm not too worried that there's scale and hammer marks.


here is the blade forged from leaf spring

forged blank.JPG


annealed, rough ground, and carved into with a sharpened concrete nail (far from an ideal graver) on top of concept sketch

rough ground and carved.JPG


view of spine trying to show tapers

spine view.JPG


end on.JPG


any tips on how to clean up the carved lines?

detail of carving.JPG


wondering if this makes any sense? i'm trying to write "saul made me" on the other side of the blade. and whether it's from the right time period?



the spine is 5.5mm at the widest point and tapers slightly towards tang and tip.


blade is roughly 210mm or 8 1/4 inches long and 29mm or 1 1/8 inches wide


any thoughts or criticism more than welcome!!


more to come, thanks for looking

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Don't worry about whether the runes are period. After all, you're using Tolkein's Angerthas, not real runes, and you're using English, and very few people are going to know that anyway. ;) (I used to take notes in high school using those runes, drove the teachers nuts! Yes, I am a nerd. :lol: )


For the grooves you can also use the folded corner of wet-or-dry sandpaper, it just takes longer than files. I'd go with Vaughn's riffler idea if you can find some.

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Cheers guys. i'll have to see if any of my small files are suitable, but i think not. i might try and make a scraping device of some kind...


i have a high speed rotary tool and carbide burrs, but last time i tried grinding a design into annealed spring steel the burrs wore out rather fast? should i be using some kind of cutting fluid?


Fair point Alan! yes i was a bit confused as to where the runes were from, and how they seemed to so conveniently translate into English... lol. i think i'll just go with Tolkein's :)

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Had a bit of spare time this evening and got the runes carved in. i'm thinking of doing an elongated triangle of simple knot work after the last rune, so that the carving takes up a similar shape to the other side. any thoughts on this?


runes carved in.JPG



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I think the added triangle will make it look a bit cramped and uneven in terms of visual balance from the left to the right. If anything I would do it at the beginning? Either way those are crazy clean! Nice job! :D

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decided to do the quench this morning so that i could set up everything else while the blade was tempering. it all seemed to be going ok and then TINK! not at all what i wanted to here.


any way heres a pic of the lovely crack



i'll continue on from here when i get around to forging another seax blade.


oh and thanks for your comment Emiliano, i think it probably would have looked too cramped

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damn... damn...damn...

it gives you a chance to practice engraving some. You can actually make a very good graver from a masonry nail. I like the wedge-shaped cut nails for larger gravers for steel.

Smaller gravers are best made from piano wire or something like it (or the round concrete nails in a pinch).


You can get very small w1 drill rod rounds from Mcmaster-Carr. They work great, too.


You probably know this, so please forgive my obsessive need to write it, but if you are new to gravers and chisels (tagane) then you need one of the sharpening guides. That will make more difference than anything else.


rifflers, or take a needle file and grind it into a scraper for cleanup.


If you want precision engraving without the cost of an airgraver, or the years of practice needed for hand graving, you can look into the Magnagraver tools. I have one, from ebay, for cheap. They work in conjunction with a low rpm, high-torque foredom flex shaft. You can get the whole setup for about $400 US. It is a small step below the Lindsay air graver systems, but only a third to a fifth the price. Seriously, these are very fine tools. Much better than the hammer hand pieces offered by dremel or foredom.


I am sure you will make a better blade next time (and this blade was a very good one)!



Edited by Kevin (The Professor)
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