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Cherry wood and antler Damascus steel seax

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So I had made some Damascus a while back and decided to finally make a knife out of half of the billet.


I also acquired essentially a whole tree worth of cherry wood from a neighbor who was cutting it down. I'll post some pictures of the pieces i used to make the handle as well.



OAL: 11.5"

Blade: 7"

handle: 4.5"


I couldn't remember the layer count but If i remember the original billet size it's probably only about 28 layers, but I love low layer counts for a simple stack and weld pattern.


Here is the piece of cherry wood i cut my handle out of, it's a intersection burl from about the middle of the tree

. I had to saw it by hand because it was just too large and oddly shaped for my bandsaw to cut, so I ended up getting a Japanese style hand saw, I recommend even the cheapest ones, they're very easy to use and much more comfortable to use.

cherry stump.jpg


Here is half of the piece i cut off the "stump". I tell you, cherry wood is some hard stuff to cut, and it'll take a beating! Loved working with it though

cherry burl.jpg


I was going to go for scales for the handle but ended up just making a block for the handle and burning it on, it's not easy cutting cherry wood for a scale based hidden tang. I also decided to add some antler as a bolster and loved that.

damascus seax.jpg


I do all of my Damascus steel by hand, my friends that are interested usually don't have time to be my power hammers and I have no presses, treadle hammers, or power hammers.

damascus seax2.jpg


You learn a lot about how to quickly but gently move the steel when you don't have access to any "power hammers" when you want to make a billet. But I am usually able to make a decent sized billet in only a few firings of my forge (this knife was made from half of a billet) with a nice layer count (I usually don't draw it out real long and thin to then do a multi stack to decrease how many times i have to fold the steel, but I may start doing that, get a really high layer count and save some forging time.)


I had originally intended the billet to be part of a sword but I realized I didn't have the right forge to create the whole billet I wanted to make, and I also realized I needed more steel than I had at the time. Though I have recently made a longer forge that gets hotter way easier than my old brake drum forge, I am probably going to make more swords and knifes to perfect my skills before spending the time and effort on my first Damascus steel sword.


P.S. Dog faced hammers pack one hell of a punch! I forged the knife in maybe half an hour to an hour from the billet half mostly using my 2lb Dog faced hammer.


I also found that white vinegar mixed with a citrus juice (lime or lemon juice) salt and hot water makes for a really fast etchant


any thoughts?

Edited by Daniel J. Luevano

"Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy;"-Isaiah 54:16

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good advice, Alan.

nice billet and blade, and really cool handle.

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/


“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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That cherry is pretty!


But if the edge drops below the line of the handle it's not a seax. ;) What steels are in the mix?


Ah totally forgot to list that haha, and I never really understood that fact about the edge, what would this be considered then?


The steel is 1095 with 15n20.

"Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy;"-Isaiah 54:16

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