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Double Twist Seax


I’ve been sneaking in some morning practice before work this week. So far this week I was able to prep some previously forged out 10 layers stacks. I twisted two 8 inch bars and stacked them between some wrought iron from old wagon wheels. Then I welded those bars with the 1095 edge bar together with a handle for ease of forging.


Next I forge welded that whole set together. That’s a fun and tricky process. The hard part is keeping the temperature consistent throughout the whole piece since the wrought iron needs to be worked at a temperature where carbon steel can burn up. However, I was able to get a good weld. I checked this by grinding out the side topography and concentrating on any potential problems. I did have to take one side pretty low for a weird twist flaw so I will have to take care not to thin that section out any further during the remainder of the process.


Once the bar is solidly welded and ground, I was able to forge the blade profile. I started with the edge profile working up to the point. This “pushes” steel up the edge into the tip which helps make it protrude further. I did do a little grinder clean up on that, more will be required soon. Next I used a handmade tool to help me forge in the tang. The tool I use sure does make it much faster to forge a tang than just using a hammer.


As you can see the pattern is starting to show a little bit through the scale and it looks pretty good. I still need to do the final profiling and straightening before I do a grind then heat treat and final grind. If I get some time this weekend I may just be able to make that happen. My fingers are crossed.


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Follow this build on my blog here.


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Dimensions:

 

7" edge

4" spine to the break

10.5" overall

1.5" at the widest point (at the break)

3/16" thick spine (I will try to retain as much of this as possible. I lost more than I wanted trying to grind out a weird twist line.)

270 grams right now

Edited by Josh A Weston
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Double Twist Seax: Heat Treat


The first shot is the blade after its final forge for straightening. This show it with the fire scale that has to be ground off during the final shaping process.


The second shot is the blade after it is rough ground. I start with an angle grinder them move to a belt at 80 grit and finish with 120. All the final profiling is done at this point and the edge is left roughly as thick as a penny or nickel.


The third shot is the blade after heat treat with just a scrub from #0000 steel wool. The pattern popped right away during heat treat. It was awesome!


The bottom four shots show the blade exactly as it looked when removed from the quench and then scrubbed at different angles.


I really felt the soul of this one as I went through this process. Building a multi-bar seax really is something special. This is my fourth multi-bar blade and I fall in love with this process the more I do it. There is something magical about it. Something beyond the science and the art and the production that I must explore further. I feel really relaxed and at peace about this blade now that it has gone through the extremes and turned out solidly. I noticed a definite mood shift during the process. I will have to repeat again to fully be aware of this shift next time. The shift took me from feeling anxious, nervous and excited to relaxed, peaceful, accomplished and powerful.


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Follow this build on my blog here.


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Nice nice nice. I love that steel.
This reminds me that I need to try again at a multibar seax. I'm about 85% sure it'll work next time. ;)

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wonderful blade. I like the first, third, and fifth handle options (just me). They all have a combination of historical influence and would lend a weighty look and feel to the blade. The design is aggressive, and I think that the handle needs to convey the same (rather than a juxtaposition of strong and delicate, but that works sometimes, too).

very nice work.

 

kc

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Kevin,

 

I think you are right. I want the handle to be just as aggressive, strong and powerful as the blade but with good balance too. I will keep sketching.

 

Alan,

 

Right on. I want this to stay in the world as a seax so there won't be any ricassos in the final implementation. Sometimes I just have to get out the ideas and take it from there. Even if they aren't right.

 

Thank you for your input. It really helps me to get to the level that I want to be.

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  • 2 weeks later...

rock on! looks like you are on to something. darn fine knife.

kc

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  • 3 weeks later...

Stórráðr by thepxsmith

The cool of fall has returned to the air.
Leaves crunch under foot.
Colors drip down like blood from the trees.
The summer raids have given way to harvest,
Arduous tasks both.
Iron and Steel dance with the rhythm of the fields,
Swaying with the breath of Nature.
Strong and stable and sharp is she with Ambitious label.

Blade: 7.25″ Wrought Iron, 1084/15N20, 1095

Handle: 4.5″ Wrought Iron, Elk Antler, Copper Pin

Overall: 11.75″

Spine: .125″ through break

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Ok, you guys are going to get more of the back story detail than my blog crowd. This was a grand adventure and a hand full of valuable lessons. I ended up with one annoying weld flaw that I couldn't grind out without thinning the blade there too much. It was due to not rounding my twist bar quite enough before twisting. This was my first twist in a blade so I am very happy with how it turned out. I spent more time sharpening this one and iI am noticing improvement. I think I might be developing an addiction to multi-bar projects. I badly need a press, my shoulder is killing me. The wrought iron veins and bolster look amazing, thanks for the wrought, Craig. That stuff is great! I am excited to launch this one out into the world. Thank you for the feedback and the urges to keep it a true seax. It ended up so nice without needing a ricasso or an altered blade geometry. Now, on to my next one and hopefully no weld flaws!

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Congratulations!

I love it. Beautiful blade and wonderfull handle. Nice carvings and proportions. I love pattern welded blades. And I agree there is something magical about this technique or maybe rather Art. There are a lot of stages recquireing full attention and concentration.

Great Work!

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