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When I'm making something I've never made before I start out with plain bar stock until I get all the forging and shaping right. I started with damascus, since I had a billet left over from last year, but I realized that I would need to figure out some forging tricks and make some tools to reproduce the complex shape of pesh kabz. 

The pesh kabz is an Indo-Persian blade made to pierce chain mail. It is long, can be straight, curved or decurve/recurve. It has a very strong point that widens to open up the links of chain mail. They have a T-shaped spine for rigidity, and a thick edge for strength, but the flats are deeply carved or fullered to make a light blade. 

 

A very good example can be found at the Met: http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/aa/original/36.25.721_002june2014.jpg

 

I forged one out before this one, but there were some burnt spots in the 1095 so it's not worth finishing (got distracted by visitors). 

 

This one I started with a 1 1/2"x1/4" bar of Aldo's 80CRV2, which forges very nicely. I started forging out the profile to get some thickness in the spine and edge. Here I've just forged some of the flat in with a spring fullering tool, and the spine is spread out into a T by forging with a light hammer and not much heat, dark orange to dull red. I can clamp the flat of the blade in a leg vise and shape the spine. This works very well once the spine is established. Yes, it looks very rough at this point! The spine and edge are a little over 3/8" at this point.

IMG_20161106_141158.jpg

Edited by Brian C Madigan
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I am SO looking foward to this. However, the pic or pics didnt upload.

Thanks for sharing with us.

kc

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The pesh kabz is a dagger form that has fascinated me for years. I too am eager to see this one.

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I guess that you got the picture problem fixed. Yes, I see where it could be a challenge but it will look great if you can pull it off. Hoping to see a finished product soon.

 

Doug

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Thanks all. I've been pulling pics from my (Android) phone via picasa. (google's old photo storage service). I get some errors from the forum when I post pictures using picasa/google urls, maybe because they're extremely long. I basically hack their url to make it work in this forum. It's even MORE difficult to get a useful url from photos.google.com.

I'll keep this WIP up to date, and back fill some missing pictures of forging steps.

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Forging edge bevels. I'm striking these with the spine on the anvil. It would help to have a cutler's anvil. I will probably make a hardy tool with a step in it that allows me to hammer the edge bevels on their sides without flattening them out. The edge bevel is a very high angle.

 

A rough grinding of the edge. I spread the flat of the blade out a bit with a hardy spring fuller.

You can see the planishing in the flat where the fuller is working.

IMG_20161106_143350.jpg

IMG_20161106_171736.jpg

Edited by Brian C Madigan

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This is a scraper I made to do the scraping. It's basically a tool holder for a lathe bit with a handle forged from bar stock. The handles and the angle of the bit makes it so all I have to do is apply some downward pressure and push/pull to make chips. It cuts well enough to throw smoking chips, especially with a bit of cutting oil. I have a few bits ground for shoulders, flats etc. I'd MUCH rather use a die grinder for this part, but this also works. Just not as fast.

IMG_20161112_143507.jpg

Edited by Brian C Madigan
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I switched to using a HSS square graver and some small files to carve the area near the point. The big scraper can't get into that tight area. Next step is to drill some holes, normalize, heat treat.

This steel is Aldo's 80CrV2 if I didn't mention it before. It's a little harder to carve than simpler steels, so I think I'll do a full anneal before doing any scraping/carving next time.

IMG_20161117_170835.jpg

Edited by Brian C Madigan
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I've been checking back in on this, because it sounds like a really interesting project, and I'd love to see the pics. All I've been seeing is circles with bars in the middle, though, and I gather I'm not the only one...

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Cant see any pictures, sry

Ditto. Sounds super-fascinating though.

 

I switched to using a HSS square graver and some small files to carve the area near the point. The big scraper can't get into that tight area. Next step is to drill some holes, normalize, heat treat.

This steel is Aldo's 80CrV2 if I didn't mention it before. It's a little harder to carve than simpler steels, so I think I'll do a full anneal before doing any scraping/carving next time.

That 80CrV2 is tough stuff. I keep trying to anneal it better, and it keeps destroying my drill bits. :D

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No pics here either. :(

 

On the annealing, Kevin Cashen gave some great tips at Ashokan this year. He was talking about 1095 and O-1, but since 80CrV2 is also a strong carbide-forming steel it ought to apply to it as well. The following is what I remember, so if and when I am wrong it's all me, don't blame Kevin!:

 

The old blacksmith anneal of heating past critical and leaving to slow cool in the forge or in a bucket of lime/ashes/vermiculite produces what is known as a lamellar anneal. This means the carbides separate into sheets, making the steel a multilayered sandwich of thin layers of soft steel and sheets of ultrahard carbides. This is what chews up your drills.

 

To get the best machinability you want a spheroidized anneal, in which the steel is a mass of soft steel with little spheroids of carbides evenly distributed. They are still little hard spots, but will just pop out of the matrix without eating your tooling. You need good heat controls for this, because the way to do it is to heat to just below critical and hold for five to ten minutes at that heat, quick cool to just below red heat, then slow cool in the forge/furnace (rates typically not more than 10 degrees F per hour), OR heat to critical, quickly drop to low red, and hold for ten hours or so, then air cool. Here are his instructions for 5160, which ought to work for 80CrV2 as well: http://www.cashenblades.com/steel/5160.html

 

Note that I don't have the equipment to do this, so I just try to hold at just below critical for a few minutes, cool to low red, hold a few minutes, and air cool. It's not the best, being more of a normalization than an anneal, but at least I can drill it. If I do the vermiculite anneal I have to soften the spots to be drilled by overtempering them with a torch. Or I just normalize the heck out of it and hope for the best!

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Thanks, Alan! A great many things suddenly make sense to me. I don't have the equipment for a proper spheroidizing anneal either, but I'll give your solution a try for for sure. If it results in drillable steel it's miles better than what I've been doing. Didn't mean to jack the thread here, apologies.

 

Still really looking forward to seeing this pesh kabz!

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the other way that spheroidal annealing is done commercially, as I understand it, is to cycle the piece multiple times just around critical (+/-c.15f), fairly rapidly, but multiple normalisations at descending temps should produce a largely spheroidal structure. If you do your last cycle at just below critical, it will serve as a super-temper to deal with any remaining lammelar structures...

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Garrrr, not sure what to do about the pictures. I can see them fine, but picasa is not sharing with other browsers well. I'm kinda hacking picasa to get the URLs, since google won't make it easy to share photos. I though that was the frigging point.. I can add a link to a gallery, but that's no fun.

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Alan, I'm going to try programming a spheroidized anneal program in my rampmaster/evenheat. I can sit a few blades in the oven in stainless foil and get them really nice and soft. It takes time, but it's much less work than scraping this stuff while it's this hard! I tried a few O1 chisels and they didn't bite at all.

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Not meaning to continue the hijack or anything, but another way to make these steels machinable without a lot of serious HT equipment, is to do a full hardening to put the carbides into solution and even them out in the structure, and then over temper to soften the steel sufficiently. So looking at Kevin's HT chart that Alan provided a link to, you would temper out at around 1300*F for a couple hours and be pretty certain of a low enough hardness to not eat your tooling.

 

Brian: Please get those pics up. I have been killing myself not Googling Pesh Kabz to find out what it is! (I have no clue)

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The pics look fixed to me! And that thing is beautiful!

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I wanted to use some of these 200+ year old bison femurs, but they need to be filled and prepped. Maybe on the next one.

I'm going to use cow bone for the scales, which I've roughed out.

I located this copper back strap with silicon bronze 3/32 pins. The pins and back strap are silver soldered to the handle (no pics yet) The scales will be secured with hidden pins. I will probably use copper for lining the scales.

Laying out some vines on the strap, but I haven't decided whether I'll engrave them or do some other kind of decoration. That will probably be left for later.

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IMG_20161129_144012.jpg

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WOW!! ...I dont remember how many hours I have spent trying to find out the construction of these type of knives and here it is.Brian please keep updating as you build along.

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