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Broken Back Seax w/Bronze

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I haven't made a blade in a while because I've been learned how to do lost wax vacuum casting this year, and this is the first blade I've dressed in the results:


It's a broken back seax in 1084. The blade is a little over 19" (490mm) long, The spine is 6.5mm at the break, and tapers just a wee bit back to 5.4mm at the handle. It's 1 3/4" wide (45mm) at the break. I had wanted the blade to have a slightly straighter profile, but the tip didn't drop as much as I had figured in the quench. My guess is that's due to switching to Parks 50 for a quenchant (faster) and the inlaid runes.

Speaking of the runes...Runes2.JPG

The runes in the blade are inspired by Beagnoths seax. I cut them in before heat treat with a GraverMax, and inlaid them with Nu Gold wire (15% zinc, 85% copper) from Contenti. The runes are my near illiterate old english, which translates (I think) into: "My name is Blodlaetere. I bust asunder mail" (right side) "I rend flesh. MHB made me" (left side).

Even with an engraving machine to do the grunt work, those runes were a b!tch.


You can see in this close-up all the little gaps which were caused either my my inability to cleanly end a line, or from cutting the top corner off one side while trying to make the undercut on the other. :(

The fittings for the blade & sheath are all bronze done with lost wax casting.





And a couple WIP pictures for the curious:




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this is a beauty. I really enjoyed seeing it in person. The workmanship on the carving, the runes, and the fittings for the handle and sheath are all really top notch. Matt is doing some neat things.

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Thanks guys. I'm glad you all like it.


Ruggero, I cut the grooves and inlaid the wire before heat treat. I did not file the wires down, however. I wanted to have the extra material in case things moved during the quench. After hardening & tempering the wire was soft again so I went over it with a hammer one more time to make sure it was set well. Then I filed the excess off.


Thanks Alan - Pattern-welding is the next thing on the agenda. I just need to save a few more nickels so I can get a press from Uncle Al.

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Holy crap! That's great work, man!


Love the cast hilt and scabbard elements. The carving and leatherwork is also really nice. The runes . . . too cool.


This had to be a great, stressful, rewarding and more than anything, educational build!


Thanks for sharing!



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This is an inspiring piece of artwork you've made. There's a knife I might be making a handle and scabbard for soon and seeing this just makes me excited to get working!

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Thanks Alan - Pattern-welding is the next thing on the agenda. I just need to save a few more nickels so I can get a press from Uncle Al.



My press from Uncle Al should have been picked up by the freight company this morning and be making its way to Rhode Island, so if you want to come over and visit my shop and use it sometime, just let me know =P


I want to learn lost wax casting someday, but iv'e got to start pattern welding first =)

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Phil, I used vacuum casting equipment like the jewelers use. It's pretty spendy for a full set-up--about the same as a hydraulic press--but the results are great.


You hit the nail on the head Dave. It feels great now, but it was stressful, painful, frustrating, and I learned a huge amount. Luckily you can remelt both wax & bronze when you screw it up. Not so much with the first leather for the sheath...


Justin, I may just have to come over for a visit. And likewise you should come over and do some casting. We can yack at Matt Parkinsons Hammer-in.

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