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Lee Sauder

A different way to forge sword "fullers"

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I totally agree with Connor and Alan; there will always be that "what if" if you dont try the heat treat.

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I did a test knife out of the edge steel last night, and am encouraged, so I will probably go for it. Either way, it will be a sculpture, question is whether it's a sculpture that holds an edge ;-)

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What Alan said. I'll go make an offering to the Gods for the heat treating.

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That's great! How the heat treatment came out?

 

Or if you are still before this operation I dare to suggest some advices. (It may be obvious for you, but may be useful anyway)

If you are not sure about Carbon content and/or other ingredients it's better to start with low temperature (770-790C / 1420-1455F) of blade and with high temperature of oil. If possible even as high as approx 160-200C / 320-390F. Then hold it quite a bit in oil (30-60min). Temper it high, a least 300C / 570F.

 

It should be safe for really high carbon steel, however you may not achieve an opitimum hardness, this reduses the chance to break the blade.

 

Of course it's better to do some test on small sample of steel if you still have some. Like you've already done with the knife :)

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Hey Lee, is that a 2 lb. Tom Clark?

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That's great! How the heat treatment came out?

 

Or if you are still before this operation I dare to suggest some advices. (It may be obvious for you, but may be useful anyway)

If you are not sure about Carbon content and/or other ingredients it's better to start with low temperature (770-790C / 1420-1455F) of blade and with high temperature of oil. If possible even as high as approx 160-200C / 320-390F. Then hold it quite a bit in oil (30-60min). Temper it high, a least 300C / 570F.

 

It should be safe for really high carbon steel, however you may not achieve an opitimum hardness, this reduses the chance to break the blade.

 

Of course it's better to do some test on small sample of steel if you still have some. Like you've already done with the knife :)

 

The heat treat came out great- it hardened very nicely in canola oil:

 

kitchen-1.jpg

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Hey Lee, is that a 2 lb. Tom Clark?

A little less than 2 lbs, it's a cast steel head I got from someone at an ABANA conference, but I put it on an extra handle I had that Tom he gave me with the big 5 1/2 pounder he made for me.

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Two quick pics, because I should be doing something else... here's a detail of the pattern, and you can see that the outer twist ended up narrower than the centers from the upset, though the pattern didn't particularly seem to distort. The narrowing of that outer band of chevron might not be truly diagnostic, it might have more to do with my earlier screw-ups (which I haven't described yet), but still is of interest.

 

twist-1.jpg

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Lee, is that the thing from plate 106? That is an ingenious use for the form! And with the changing radius of the curve, you can get a theoretically infinite control over the size of the fuller being scraped with it if the entire curve has a serviceable edge. Love what you're doing here!

 

John

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I love it. The blade looks great, and it's amazing how your technicques work. The way of forging and scraping (planing?) the fuller.

 

Thanks to your ideas I worked out some visions of tools for finish grinding. I don't know if it's gonna work, but I'll try. I'm thinking about ceramic "stones". My wife works with ceramics, and I asked her to "bake" such stones of firebrick clay. The bowed shaped for grinding the fuller, and the flat ones for edge bevels.

I don't know if any tools like that were ever found but clay was common and theoretically such tools could had been available.

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Interesting theory and beautiful work!

I learnt the "Sauder Upset" years ago as a way of welding two flat bars on edge. As you will know if they are too thin the bars wil buckle and fold over on themselves, and then when you try to flatten them the weld will often undo. With a little upset on the edge you can work the weld on the flat (after taking the weld on edge), using a pein to smush the scarves together. Not exactly analogous, but perhaps a precedet of sorts?

Also, pertaining to fullers, if you use a single fuller tool with the work flat on the anvil, you can turn it over and push it back from the other side to form a (sort of) equal fuller on both sides. This might be a bit violent for non-homogenous material, though?

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This just keeps getting better and better!

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This just keeps getting better and better!

Yeah buddy!

I started trying this with a couple pieces of wrought/steel twist about 2 weeks ago, but I haven't finished anything but the twists and some shaping yet.

I'm enjoying watching others work out the kinks, before I get too far into it!

Also, I haven't used WI before and forging it (and forge welding it) were quite the bear to wrestle...........

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That's it. I'm on the muther f@cker.

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Sorry, if this is a silly question, but how exactly did you forge the small lip around the center piece?

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Sorry, if this is a silly question, but how exactly did you forge the small lip around the center piece?

By hammering on the edge with a light hammer, that is, upsetting the edge.

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Ok, it's been a long sporadic trip, but I finally finished a piece by this method. I learned a lot. I have never tried to make a twisted core composite blade before... and the sculptural aspects of this thing ate up the blade aspects. Here's what I made:

 

DSCN5095.jpg

 

But now I'll talk about the blade and technical stuff. I made a lot of mistakes, meaning I learned alot-- all of them are preserved in this piece! But all those things might help us see if this matches up to historical stuff. Here's a close up of the blade and "fuller", and then I'll discuss the things I can think off at the moment, concentrating on the screw-ups.

 

close up-1.jpg

 

Mistake/Experiment #1- The core bars are 7 layers of single refined bloom (that is, bars pulled straight from the bloom.You can see that I have bad inclusions/weld failures in the core bars. I don't know if this was from inattention to my welding, excessively vigorous twisting, or that I should have refined the bars further. Probably all three, but I suspect it's mostly about inadequate refinement.

Mistake/Experiment #2- You can see the pretty serious lines at the weld between edge steel and the core. In my old blacksmith training, I was taught to crown matching surfaces to squeeze out the slag. So the edge of the edge bar was mushroomed, rather than just upset with a flat top. I didn't really notice this problem with the mild steel tests, but when I used the same technique with the softer bloom iron, I overdid it. So though those wedls are nice and solid, the very edge at the surface never closed up.

 

Mistake/Experiment #3- I did lots of fooling around with different ways to refine the fuller with just with hammer and anvil. In the course of that, I made some of those weld failures/slag inclusions in the core worse. I found the best way to refine the core right at the edge transition was with a ball end hammer, working right at that transition, with the opposite side lying flat on the anvil. Of course part of the reason I was trying to work on this was trying to close up the gap from mistake # 2.

 

Another thing- I was doing this after the edge bars were welded on, but before I beveled them out to final form. One of the things I was trying to work out was the little wrinkles in the fuller that showed up during the welding, that Jeroen noted above. But after I screwed around with that long enough to mess up some of the welds, I then forged out the bevels. and I found that THE ACT OF FORGING OUT THE BEVELED EDGES TENDED TO STRETCH EVERYTHING OUT, AND PULL OUT MOST OF THE WRINKLES! Maybe I'm dreaming here, but I think I shouldn't have worried about refining the fuller any until I had forged the edge bevels.

Anyway, that's about all I've got in me tonight-- but I should say I did heat treat and sharpen this thing. The only reason I think it's not battle-worthy is that I threaded the pommel on, but that's what the sculpture part demanded.



Edited by Lee Sauder
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Oh yes! A very important observation I forgot to mention!
The outer chevron is shorter than the inner ones, because of the upset edges-- though the angle doesn't change. I think in this case that effect is particularly dramatic because I mushroomed those edges, but it would be something to look for in the historical blades (which I haven't yet). I think this effect would be lessened if the core was two layers, as they often are.

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Beautiful work,Lee,most impressive.

In the getting as close to the sheer "wave-length" of the old artefacts,i believe that this gets you Way closer than any number of contact-wheels and roll-mills no matter what !:)

There's this organic element that is so classy in much of the old work,and i believe that these working methods of yours come closest to touching upon it....

Fantastic Hands,too,great forging altogether,much respect!

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Lee,

 

Thank you so much for this!

 

-Gabriel

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The patterning reminds me of some of the late Roman blades... Outstanding work sir!

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I think it looks awesome Lee, Especially for what you said was your first attempt at twisted iron core and fullered blade. I applaud your endeavor good sir!

 

OK. So I have been thinking a lot about this and pondering heavily on what Lee calls "mistakes" and I call "serious research."

It occurred to me that we (all of those who are trying this and even those who are just playing with or talking about the techniques) are modern age smiths attempting to recreate the blades from history using techniques before unknown to us. We are "reinventing the wheel" (or sword in this case) trying to recreate something many of us (you guys know who you are and I'm not one of you) have done fine work in recreating using modern tools and steels. However, now the attempt is to recreate the same objects using what is assumed to be the same or similar materials and tools. So the process is going to be very similar to what the early smiths encountered some 1200 years ago (forgive me if I got the time wrong). Someone had to try it (in this case Lee) and find the crux moments in the forging and refining. Now someone else (any volunteers?) will take what Lee did and the advice he has, and start the next one. This will produce more challenges and identify other parts of the manufacturing that need special attention. Eventually, the group will work the process out collectively. I just hope it doesn't take 100 years.

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