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Rafał Garbacik

ULFBERHT sword blade WIP

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Hi!

 

I want to show You my current project, it is an ulfberht sword blade, welded from 4 pieces, 2 turned 18-layers bars(50HF and S235 stell) and 2 blades(50HF steel).

At the moment the blade is fully welded and place for inscription is chiseled(2 days of chiseling, the grooves are 3mm wide and 4mm deep)

Tomorrow I'm starting to weld a bar for inscription. After matching the bar inside the grooves and welding it, it is time for forging edges and fuller. It is the hardest part for me, previously I failed at this point. The blade delaminated on edges a little after forging the fuller on dies with power hammer. Do you have some advice for me at this moment of work?

 

The chiseled inscriptions:

 

13.JPG

 

14.JPG

 

The pattern on rough forged blade (it is flat at this moment):

 

15.JPG

 

And chisels I made from NC6 steel:

 

16.JPG

 

Regards, Rafał Garbacik!

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Looking good, watching this with interest :) good luck!

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That looks great so far!

 

My advice from having failed before is make sure you use iron for the inlays! I used steel, like an idiot, and it barely moved at all. Also as far as forging the edges and fullers, I use a spring fuller to forge all my fullers and then bevel the edges by hand. I recommend normalizing the bar with the inlays before the welding of the edges and keep working hot until you are very close to being done. Other than that I can't think of anything that may help. Keep up the awesome work!

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Great stuff. Loking forward to seeing this unfold

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Thank You :)

 

Emiliano, Thanks do advice, for inlays I use a welded bar, I used it previously and it weld perfectly, without any fail failing, but it cracked during forging the blade.

 

Today's work in pictures:

 

10-layers billet of 50HF steel only

1.JPG

 

After welding and forging, bar ready to turning

2.JPG

 

The turning:

3.JPG

 

4.JPG

 

After that I forged it into square, and added 2 pieces of S235 2mm steel:

 

5.JPG

 

I welded it and forged into 3mm thick bar ready for being inlayed for inscription:

 

6.JPG

 

7.JPG

 

Now it's time for cutting and filing pieces that fit inside grooves :)

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A few pieces ready to be press inside the grooves, I do it in vise, piece after piece:

 

10.JPG

 

11.JPG

 

Ready one side:

 

12.JPG

 

Second side:

 

13.JPG

 

Now it's time for welding it :)

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Good luck, I'm planning on doing my first ulfberht in december, but I want to do some practice pieces at welding iron inlay over thanksgiving =) Looks great so far!

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Nice process shots. :)

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Photos of blade after welding:

 

14.JPG

 

15.JPG

 

Everything welds good, so now is time for the hardest part, forging everything.

I know that important is to forge in high temperature to prevent from delaminating. But what should I forge first? Edges and then fuller, or on the contrary? I don't want to damage the blade at this stage :)

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That looks great! Congratulations! Forging an Ulvberht is on the list of my plans/dreams as well. I'll be following the progress of your work.

 

If I dare to suggest that when I forge seaxes or smaller knives when all straps are welded well I can forge the blade in flat position and everything is ok. Delamination sometimes occurs when the blade billet was not welded strongly. It applies to smaller blades, but may work with sword as well.

 

When I forged sword from 1 piece of steel I noticed it's worth to leave a bit thicker edges, because they tend to get streched while forging fuller.

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Congrats on the successful welding! That looks great! I love the contrast on the letters.

 

When I do patterned swords I generally forge the fuller first and then forge the edges! Be careful with the thickness of the fuller though, I've been forging too thin recently and almost run into problems with the metal wobbling a bit. Also my inlays weren't as deep as yours, so that was a reason I forged so thin, so you should be fine! Looking forward to seeing you finish this :)

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Awesome! Congratulations, looking forward to seeing it finished

 

James

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Very very nice work, looks amazing. Buckets list updated !

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I agree with Emiliano, I usually forge fullers first. Congrats on the welds, it looks really solid and clean.

 

Luck!

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When I was on reenacting event in Ląd one elder balcksmith (Andrzej Wesołowski) told me that there is a hypotesis that the pw inlays were welded into blades without any grooves. Just gently hammered letters on the surface. He's got pretty vast knowledge abaut history of blacksmithing, but he doesn't speak English so the only way to encourage him to share it is talking in Polish.

Actually most of early swords had some inscriptions, but because of corrosion it's rarely well visible. And it suits that hypotesis, as shallow inlays could correde more quickly than the deeper would. But it's still only hypotesis....

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Hard to tell what the thickness of the welded up sword blank is, but I agree with Emiliano, start with the fuller and work out. It looks like that blank is fairly thick, and you dont want the blade to get too wide beyond what you want by forging out the bevels and then making it even wider stretching out the center while forging fullers in. You might be able to get away with a bit more grinding than others with inlayed name blades because of the depth you set the letters in, so you have less risk of grinding 'through' the letters.

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Thank you all for your advice. It helped me a lot and I forged blade successfully :)

First I forged the fuller a bit, then blades and the fuller again in high temperature. For heating I use my gas forge :)

 

In the middle of forging:

 

16.JPG

 

The die for fuller, and a stopper that let me forge a fuller only to the 3mm thickness in the middle of fuller :)

 

17.JPG

 

And ready blade:

18.JPG

 

19.JPG

 

Now I must carefully grind it and heat treat :)

 

Kris, I think it is possible, the structure of letters on original blades shows that they are forged from one piece, so, in the blade you need only a shallow hollow groove and then forge right to the shape :)

In that picture the structure of letters is easy to see

 

20.jpg

 

Regards and once again thank all of You for help :)

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So, due to that the blade was forge almost to the shape there is a small amount of material to grind off, so, to prevent lose material on fuller I first hardened the sword without grinding and now I slowly grind the fuller and then edges. I etched a little the pattern and it looks like that in this moment:

 

21.JPG

 

22.JPG

 

In the next 2 days I want to finish this project and give the blade to the customer. He made the handle and scabbard :)

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Looking wicked good !

 

What size was the stock after you welded the bars together but before inlaying the letters?

 

Based on the size of the chisels you used, it looks like it was around 10mm thick and 55mm wide before forging the fullers and bevels? Is that around right?

 

When you finish I'd love if you got final measurements for thickness in center and width, because I'm interested in just how much distortion there was of the letters.

 

Thank you!

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I forget about it :)

The thickness before welding letters and forging was 9mm thick and 35mm wide, after forging the fuller is 28mm wide, all blade is 63mm wide, after grinding the shape it must have around 58mm wide, and 5,5mm thickness in place where the inscription is :)

Now the weight is 900 gram, after finish I want to get around 750-800 gram, blade without tang is 75-76 cm long :)

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