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Dave Stephens

Powning/Stephens Collaboration: Chilblain (Huge Fantasy Sword)

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Guys:

 

Jake has some stuff going on and informs he me can't commit to finishing this project. While it's not my place to share his personal information, I will say it's nothing bad that prevents him from doing so: More of an opportunity than a problem. So, of course, I wish my brother-in-beard success in his ventures.

 

So . . . while I simply cannot hope to come anywhere near my friend's ability to hilt this blade, I can't not make a sword out of it now that it's nearly forged to shape.

 

Therefore, I will be posting a modified version of the finished sword I hope to produce soon. I will probably abandon the full-tang approach.

 

I do want to keep the barbarian theme, however. Since I don't sell my stuff, I have no problem admitting I may be stealing liberally from the design ideas of Jody Samson and the swords he made for Conan.

 

I would welcome and encourage any sketches, ideas or advice from forum members with greater artistic talent than myself. I'm not bad at making something that resembles (more or less) a design, but I'm not awesome at producing the design myself.

 

Cheers,

 

--Dave

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Guys:

 

Jake has some stuff going on and informs he me can't commit to finishing this project. While it's not my place to share his personal information, I will say it's nothing bad that prevents him from doing so: More of an opportunity than a problem. So, of course, I wish my brother-in-beard success in his ventures.

 

So . . . while I simply cannot hope to come anywhere near my friend's ability to hilt this blade, I can't not make a sword out of it now that it's nearly forged to shape.

 

Therefore, I will be posting a modified version of the finished sword I hope to produce soon. I will probably abandon the full-tang approach.

 

I do want to keep the barbarian theme, however. Since I don't sell my stuff, I have no problem admitting I may be stealing liberally from the design ideas of Jody Samson and the swords he made for Conan.

 

I would welcome and encourage any sketches, ideas or advice from forum members with greater artistic talent than myself. I'm not bad at making something that resembles (more or less) a design, but I'm not awesome at producing the design myself.

 

Cheers,

 

--Dave

I am glad to see this blade will still have life at some point. Though I am very sorry to hear that a large portion of Jake's influence will be lost. I am a huge fan of his work and following that work has greatly shaped my techniques and style. While certainly don't claim to be as skilled as either of you, I will say my strong points are carvings and castings (I learned jewelry casting before I applied it to bladesmithing) and I do all my work with the same lost wax casting technique as Jake. If it were up to me I think I could make the original sketches happen, though I would probably agree with your idea of abandoning the full-tang. Possibly a tapered tang with a rivet behind a separately carved skull insert on the pommel. I imagined the skulls caved from bone on the pommel and as a handle section and maybe a large carved antler for the portion of the crossguard that is riveted to the blade and the other portions being cast of an aged bronze. I would love to do anything I can to help so don't hesitate to ask. I think about this piece fairly often and love the steel you have made for it.

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All:

I have exciting news on this project.

My friend Petr Florianek has agreed to collaborate on finishing this sword with me.

The sword blade itself will be as planned by Jake and I.  The hilt, however, will now be finished with Petr's unmistakable style.

Here is a link to Petr's facebook post with the new hilt design. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209418259721986&set=a.10207490306084350.1073741831.1489590939&type=3

I will start a new thread on this when I have blade construction progress pictures.  The blade is being shipped to Alaska now, where I will start grinding it, and move on to heat treatment, etc. 

As most of you know, I do this craft in my off time, so my ability to schedule a completion date is contingent upon my job and how much it requires me to travel.  Assuming I have a light travel schedule for the rest of the Summer, I'm hoping to have the blade completed and on it's way to Petr by mid August (but no promises).

I'm very happy that Petr has agreed to do this collaboration with me. His design is fantastic.

Cheers!

Dave

 

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Excellent!  Too bad I can't see the new design, not being on FB. :(  No worries, I'm sure I'll see it soon enough!

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New design is not able to be viewed on FB. I get this message when following your link:

 

The link you followed may have expired, or the page may only be visible to an audience you're not in.

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Thanks, Petr!  Looks awesome!

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Wow, that is going to be awesome. I can't wait to see this as a finished piece!!

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12 hours ago, Dave Stephens said:

My friend Petr Florianek has agreed to collaborate on finishing this sword with me.

Awesome news Dave! Thank you Petr for stepping up. 

 

12 hours ago, Dave Stephens said:

I will start a new thread on this when I have blade construction progress pictures

Can't you just change the title of this one and add Forianek?

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It's alive . . . 

Almost fully forged to shape. Grinding photos to follow.  Thanks for the patient follows.

Dave

 

chilblain forging.jpg

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Awesome!  I am glad that you all are still working on it.

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I feel I should state the obvious: The tang and base of the blade that is pictured in the photo have clearly been ground to refine the shape, not just forged to shape. I just re-read my post.  I didn't mean to imply that I had forged the tang into that precise shape.  The pic was snapped as I was drawing out the blade to length, but after I had forged and then ground the base/tang.  Figured the grinder marks would make that obvious, but . . . it's the Internet . . . just in case.

Grins.  

More soon. Or . . . kinda soon. Like in a few weeks.

Dave

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14 hours ago, Wes Detrick said:

Awesome!  I am glad that you all are still working on it.

Ditto

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14 hours ago, Dave Stephens said:

I feel I should state the obvious: The tang and base of the blade that is pictured in the photo have clearly been ground to refine the shape, not just forged to shape. I just re-read my post.  I didn't mean to imply that I had forged the tang into that precise shape.  The pic was snapped as I was drawing out the blade to length, but after I had forged and then ground the base/tang.  Figured the grinder marks would make that obvious, but . . . it's the Internet . . . just in case.

Grins.  

More soon. Or . . . kinda soon. Like in a few weeks.

Dave

Man, the ultimate teaser.  I feel like I am watching Oak Island :)

 

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Drawn out to final length. 

I will straighten and normalize tomorrow.  Grind the profile and tip, and surface grind next.

I plan on heat treating at full thickness and grinding cold.  Going to be using the new vertical kiln for the first time.  Have to build a larger quench tube as the base of the blade is too wide to go into my current 4"x4" tank.

I'll do a quick grind and etch on a section to check the pattern and share it with you guys.

When I sent this photo to Petr earlier today he replied: "Haha. That's a shield too."  It is really wide.  Bit of a surfboard.

Cheers,

Dave

 

chil3.jpg

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Looking good!  When did you get the Nimba?  The last anvil shot of yours I saw featured a Vulcan.  How do they compare, in your opinion?

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Hi Alan:

I still have my Vulcan in the Florida shop.  I bought this Nimba from Shane Harvey after he decided to go 100% CNC machining and move away from bladesmithing. 

It's a great little anvil. I'd prefer to have a larger size, of course, but then I think any bladesmith with an anvil smaller than 600# is always dreaming of a bigger anvil. 

It rings really badly, however. I have to put two large magnets on it to keep it from hurting your ears. 

The pointed, flat "horn" is surprisingly useful. I find myself using it more than I suspected I would.

Thanks!

Dave

 

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Beautiful project.  Looking forward to seeing it nice and ground...

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Looking awesome! How are you managing the distal taper? Was just thinking that if you establish it 100% by grinding, it might eat into the jacket of the San Mai a bit more than you'd like. 

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20 hours ago, Collin Miller said:

Looking awesome! How are you managing the distal taper? Was just thinking that if you establish it 100% by grinding, it might eat into the jacket of the San Mai a bit more than you'd like. 

Collin:

You're right. The blade will have a lenticular distal taper, so I anticipate that the last 10-12" or so of the blade will be just the core layer. I'm hoping that will make a cool effect.  

But, as you know, you don't really know what a pattern will look like until it comes out of the etch.  It's my favorite moment in making a blade. It's either a "Oh wow! That's awesome, " or a "Ah crap," moment . . .

As Peter Johnsson says (imagine him raising his eyebrows while he says this): We shall see! 

Grins,

Dave

 

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10 hours ago, Dave Stephens said:

"...It's my favorite moment in making a blade. It's either a "Oh wow! That's awesome, " or a "Ah crap," moment . . .As Peter Johnsson says (imagine him raising his eyebrows while he says this): We shall see! "

-Hehe. Dave, you describe in a condensed manner the story of my life :-)

BTW, I would never say it aloud since I am rather superstitious (only and specifically in regards to blade making), but I think your chances of an "Oh-wow-moment" are pretty good :-)

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