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Michal Plezia

WIP pattern welded broken back seax

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Hello,


A long time ago I made a pattern welded piece of steel, and recently I started to make a blade out of it. I decided to make the broken back seax. The steel on the edge is an old file, in the middle there is a twist, the back is made from a piece of tool steel.


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The blade was differentially hardened by edge quenching in warm oil. I didn't expect the hamon to show up, but it is visible. Not as crisp as on clay and water quenched blades, but still quite interesting IMHO. There is also a pattern on the edge made of old file that looks a bit like the old iron . The structure showed up after etching in ferric chloride.


The grind is slightly convex.


Really the only thing I am not happy enough is blade thickness. I left not enough material during forging, and the thickness on the spine is circa 2,5 mm. Not much for the seax. 5 mm would be much better.


Now there is time for making the handle. I plan to use moose antler and bog oak. Much work is still ahead :)


zvvvP1c0AtQLcie.jpg

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that is a very nice blade. I would be proud to have made it, or to own it.

kc

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Nice looking seax, I like the shape.

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Michal, I am looking forward to see this beauty finished...! ;)

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Very nice work! How many layers is the twisted rod?

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Thanks for your opinion guys.

 

Very nice work! How many layers is the twisted rod?

 

Hmm I don't remember. I made the billet 1,5 years ago :)

Edited by Michal Plezia

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Nice work Michal!

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I like that a lot, the finish on the blade is really nice. Seaxes are making another comeback and it is sweet B)

 

Can't wait to see the handle finished up!

 

So is that just a single file? looks like carbon/alloy banding?

Edited by Emiliano Carrillo

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Yes, the cutting edge is made form monosteel file. I was quite surprised when the pattern appeared. IMHO It matches the papttern welded core nicely :)

 

Not much progress so far. I've decided to use bronze and moose antler. The back of the handle will also be made of antler and bronze. The parts are roughly shaped and not yet glued.

 

O7lReURtMNa5DdR.jpg

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It definitely does! And a nice bit of autohamon also! I personally like the handle as it is now, but I'm excited to see it when you add the rest!

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A small update. I've made the end plate from hammered bronze and brass nails. I've also tried some carving on the antler (my first time ever). Not 100% happy of course, but it still lokks "better than worse" IMHO :huh:;)

 

I also have a question to more experienced makers: what is a good way to darken the background of the carvig (low spots) to make the pattern more visible?

 

Some pictures:

 

VPRl6Kz8S91fYKt.jpg

 

SAWpQrrctPi0kEV.jpg

 

bn3IpkuMk8Q0bl6.jpg

Edited by Michal Plezia

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Looks good!

 

As for the carving, anything that will stain antler. Coffee, tea, pine/birch/beech tar, leather dye, ink, and so on. Rub a little into the carving (or soak it in coffee or tea) then polish it off the high spots.

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I've found that fibings leather dye works fantastic on antler. If you want a bit of reds and browns the mahogany dye is good. The dye will tend to soak in pretty evenly, so then to lighten back up the high spots, go over it with very fine steel wool to burnish / polish out the faces to a lighter color. Just remember when it comes to carvings and any art in general... if you're serious about it, you will be your own worst critic, as you'll see all the flaws rather than the whole package. I think that looks fantastic! Only artists who dont care dont see their own flaws =)

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That turned out really beautifully! I've found that potassium permanganate works really well. You can get it in powder form and then dissolve a small amount in water. Then use a cotton swab to get it in the spaces in the carving. It takes a little while but it makes a really beautiful aged brown patina that looks amazing on antler and bone.

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That looks great. Well done, man.

 

As you've already heard from others, antler is really easy to stain. I prefer strong coffee stain, but the leather dye, etc. already suggested will work too.

 

Just be aware of the porosity of the material. I've done a grip w/ Moose antler that I stained w/ coffee and I was surprised to find how deeply the coffee stain went into the material. The denser/smoother the antler, the less dye penetration you will get. If the antler is porous, then you should stain lightly if you want to sand the high ridges to get a contrast between the hills and valleys.

 

Luck!

 

Dave

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I don't like to use any kind of penetrating stain or dye on carved antler or bone, because the variances in porosity (and the different levels of residual fats on the surface) tend to give a very uneven appearance, and can completely ruin a carved piece. Instead, I use shellac on the carved area, let it cure, and polish back the high spots with fine steel wool - gives a very clean, pleasantly aged look. take a look at the spacer on this one for an idea what i mean:

 

hound seax 1.jpg

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Very nice work! As for the coloration potassium permanganate is another option, as Emiliano suggested. I used it here, essentially following Tom Sterling's methods:

 

DSC06461.JPG

Edited by Phil Ullrich

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Beautiful work! I really like the blade profile.

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Potassium permanganate worked quite well. I must definiately improve my carving skills <_< Anyway it was fun.

The moose antler has not much that annoying spongy structure inside, but it caught some dirt anyway. I don't know how prevent it. I've heard about sealing the sponge with CA glue, but it becomes dirty during grinding process.

 

Do you know any tricks to keep it clean?

 

Sorry for the quality of the pics. The sun went down before I came home...

 

DSC00722-001.JPG

 

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Edited by Michal Plezia

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I've made some progress with the scabbard.

I plan to make decorated bronze fittings. Could you recommend me any solution that gives nice brown patina on bronze?

 

DSC00908-001.JPG

 

As you can see bronze matches pink quite well ;)

 

DSC00912-001.JPG

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Knife is great. Scabbard is coming along nicely.

 

But the Snow Princess is just way too cute. Awesome picture.

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Great seax. I love the blade. For aging bronze the classic is liver of sulpher. It will give you a nice dark brown to black in the recesses.

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A method I've used on brass and copper is to clean the metal, dip in brine, then suspend over ammonia. Given time this will turn brass gray to black, and should do the same with bronze. Liver of sulfur is much quicker though.

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