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Dave Stephens

A Pair of Pattern Welded Leaf Blades: WIP

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Hi all:

 

Besides the big sword build with Jake, and my daughter's science project, here's what I've been up to.

 

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This is a pair of leaf bladed long daggers or short swords I've been working on. The longer one is a blade I made before the first Arctic Fire and have been neglecting hilting. The second is a new blade. Here are some WIP shots.

 

The longer blade is my "learn to lost wax cast (successfully)" training blade. I already nailed the skill of really screwing up lost wax casting, so I thought I'd learn the other side of that particular coin as well.

 

Shots of carving/fitting:

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Casting

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Guard cleaned up/patina applied:

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I did make a mistake on the casting. I left the vacuum on too long after I poured. This caused the finer details of the cast to become grainy. I had to clean up the carving with files, which wasn't as clean as the original.

 

And some shots of the shorter blade. This is a three bar, with 200 layer straight laminate on the edges, and Firestorm . . . or explosion . . . I dunno, whatever you call twisted crushed W's, in the center.

 

This blade will be called "The Autumn Blade." It will have a theme of the Fall and falling leaves both in the carvings and the tone. The blade has been heat colored to a straw color (around 405 degrees), so the golden hue you see on the photos is not a bad photograph.

 

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Some shots of the pattern.

 

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Some shots of forging the twisted bolster:

 

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Finally, some shots of fitting the grip:

 

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I've still got to cast the pommel on the longer blade, forge the pommel on the shorter one, and shape, carve the grip on the short one. I'll also be fabricating two ferrules for the shorter blade that I plan to acid etch w/ a leaf pattern.

 

Cheers!

 

Dave

 

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Looks fantastic Dave !!

Mind me asking what used used to Patina the guard ?

Thanks for the pics !!

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The cast guard: Liver of Sulphur.

 

The forged guard: heat of around 500 degrees F.

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Looks great, Dave.

 

You'd laugh if you saw my dentists' flask vibrator & centrifugal casting machine. ;)

 

Also love the hot stamped damascus fit. I've done that for mild steel fittings to decent effect, as long as it doesn't get stuck on the tang... D'oh! ;)

 

After the first time I made a close fitting tool like you did. ;)

Edited by J.Arthur Loose

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Looking good Dave! I can join you in the camp of having nailed screwing up casting :rolleyes: I ran through half a dozen or so copies of some hilt pieces (gravity casting like a pilgrim) before I got a serviceable one...

 

John

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Hi Dave,

 

Absolutely wonderful! Love the use of pattern weld for the smaller one's guard - how did you get that color? (oh - should have read farther)

 

On the short sword, the only thing that I would have done differently (design-wise) is given it a curved instead of straight guard - maybe even following a Bronze Age guard style with a horseshoe or "omega" cutout. I just think they are more visually interesting.

 

Steven

Edited by Steven M. Peffley

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Hi Dave,

 

Absolutely wonderful! Love the use of pattern weld for the smaller one's guard - how did you get that color? (oh - should have read farther)

 

On the short sword, the only thing that I would have done differently (design-wise) is given it a curved instead of straight guard - maybe even following a Bronze Age guard style with a horseshoe or "omega" cutout. I just think they are more visually interesting.

 

Steven

 

Hi Steven,

 

Yeah, the original design had a very complex, large fantasy guard designed by David Delegardelle which did have a curved profile. I used this design because it was simple for my first solo attempt using lost wax casting for the hilt fittings.

 

Thanks for the kind words!

Dave

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Looks great, Dave.

 

You'd laugh if you saw my dentists' flask vibrator & centrifugal casting machine. ;)

 

Also love the hot stamped damascus fit. I've done that for mild steel fittings to decent effect, as long as it doesn't get stuck on the tang... D'oh! ;)

 

After the first time I made a close fitting tool like you did. ;)

Thanks Jul!

 

The hot-stamped tang fit is my favorite way to do my least favorite part of making a blade (fitting the guard). I learned about it from (of course) Peter, who posted a WIP on a sword guard he fit in a similar way. It sounds like a huge pain in the butt to build a replica of the base of your blade to use as a stamp, but in reality because you're only grinding an inch or so of the profile, it's pretty quick. A set of calipers is key to compare the two if you want a tight fit, however.

 

Whatever your cast with, it seems to work just fine. Really digging the work out of your shop lately on Facebook. One of these days I'd love to visit your shop and learn a few jeweler's techniques.

 

Cheers.

Dave

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Dave - great work. I am a sucker for leaf blades, and for pattern welding. good to see you have the casting figured out.

 

I have taken a foray into silversmithing lately, and honestly, I think it makes me better at blade work, too. Actually, it makes one better with handles and fittings. Of course, my stuff is like a kid in first grade compared to Jul's.

 

point is, the techniques of jewelry and sculpture are something that many of us will decide to learn if we live long enough. You are going straight and quickly down that road.

 

cool.

kc

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The hobbits of the Shire will be delighted! (sorry, that was my first thought upon seeing the blades)

 

That pattern on the smaller blade is gorgeous.

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George,

 

Yes, short leaf blades always remind me of Sting from the Hobbit . . . but that's certainly not a bad thing in my book! (;

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

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Dave - great work. I am a sucker for leaf blades, and for pattern welding. good to see you have the casting figured out.

 

I have taken a foray into silversmithing lately, and honestly, I think it makes me better at blade work, too. Actually, it makes one better with handles and fittings. Of course, my stuff is like a kid in first grade compared to Jul's.

 

point is, the techniques of jewelry and sculpture are something that many of us will decide to learn if we live long enough. You are going straight and quickly down that road.

 

cool.

kc

Thanks Kevin,

 

Yup, you never run out of stuff to learn in this craft. It is one of the reasons I love it.

 

Dave

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Wow Dave! You just continue to press on!! this is great looking work. Very exciting to see you make these leaps!!

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The photo of the firestorm/explosion pattern flowing out at the fuller termination is just incredibly cool, Dave. Your photos show the same meticulous attention to detail as your blades. Thank you for sharing! :)

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Beautiful job on those Dave!

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Very high class work Dave ,,, beautiful steel !

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Hi guys:

 

I've been home for a couple of weeks and made some progress on this.

 

Unfortunately it's been way too hot to work on the project I'd really like to focus on--the collab with Jake--so I've been spending the time in the air conditioned interior of the shop working on the Autumn themed leaf blade.

 

I've decided to name this blade "Jachelt." This is the word that the Scotts use to describe a tree that has been sculpted by the wind.

 

I'll admit that I'm attempting in this piece to imitate Jim Kelso a bit. I've always greatly admired Jim's work and his blending of metal bits into exotic carved hardwoods (sorry, I don't know the Japanese names for that). I'm certainly not trying to imply that my work is even close to a master like Jim, but I think it's important to acknowledge inspirations.

 

I leave tomorrow for another two week business trip, so I'll have to push pause on this again. As you can see from the photos the blade is done. The inset leaf on the grip is copper, with a tiny soldered pin holding it in place, patinated with liver of sulpher.

 

I just finished up forming the throat and the chape of the scabbard, but they obviously need to have a patina applied to match the color of the heat colored PW guard and pommel.

 

You can see the sketched intent for the scabbard carving. The three leaves toward the throat of the scabbard will be in copper to match the one in the grip.

 

Thanks for your comments, suggestions, and criticisms.

 

Cheers,

Dave

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Nice! You're getting pretty good at hilts and scabbards, even the carving looks nice and clean.

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There is a certain hobbit appeal to this that makes me feel like reading a certain book series again.. Very nice stuff, Dave!

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Indeed! That sword/dagger/pointy thing is exactly what I picture when I think of the barrow-wight's hoard.

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Thanks guys. Yes, Tolkien-esque is something I was shooting for.

 

I'm bummed I'm on the road and can't finish that one up. The scabbard should look pretty cool when carved, etc. (assuming I don't screw it up).

 

Cheers!

 

Dave

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