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Two seaxes

Viktor Johansson

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I'd like to show you some of my stuff.


I've been doing this as a hobby since three years ago when I got a knife and axe course as 30-y birthday present at Erik Vargtands forge in Dalarna, Sweden. Since then I've returned to the same forge once or twice a year to forge some new stuff.


Below are two seaxes, forged from bars of pattern welded steel 1095/15N20 (ebay steel).


First seax has a heavy blade with lenticular cross section. Handle is made with bog oak, moose antler that we found on a field and some brass and bronze. I Think the style is more continental than viking? Maybie Anglo-saxon. I think I see some roman influences in the handle.


Sax1 1.jpg

Sax1 2.jpg

Sax1 3.jpg

Tang was cold-peened and you can see the edges cracked a bit. Fittings are 1 mm bronze riveted to a 2 mm brass plate that I filed to look like twisted rope or something.




Second seax is more viking inspired and has wedge shaped cross section, very thin edge and a pommel that is too heavy and gives it strange balance. Fittings are cut from copper and a big block of cast grey iron (from Scania Engine block). The grey iron was boiled in lemon juice to get the grey finish. 

If you ever work with with grey iron use lots of ventilation and take a shower after work is done. It contains about 4% carbon and creates lots of fine powdery black dust that gets in everywhere and triggers bad skin with rashes that stick for weeks etc.


Sax2 3.jpg

Sax2 1.jpg

Because of warping I had to heat treat three times. This left more burn marks on the surface and along the layers in the steel. I decided to keep a few of these for a more rough look.


Sax2 2.jpg


I am currently making my first sword of some kind of wootz. I'll make a post as soon as I sort some images..


Edited by Viktor Johansson
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Most of my stuff so far:

Princess knifeTwo seaxesCrucible steel sword (WIP)

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8 hours ago, Kris Lipinski said:

I really like the handle of the first one. You have really good sculpting skills :)

So do I @Kris. It is very nice overall but I particularly like the balance of blade shape to its length and width with the handle contours and materials/colours, which harmonises so very well with the entire knife.

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Von Gruff


The ability to do comes with doing.



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I agree with above post - the handle on the first one is quite beautiful. That is an impressive bit of adornment, and it is not, "too much." The brass/bronze and rivets on the butt cap are really nice. The steel looks good, too.

On the second one, the pommel is a little too big. It if was a lot smaller, it would look better (and as you noted, balance better). The grey iron looks nice. I don't know if you could have gotten a similar effect with mild steel, maybe? Oh well, it is still a very nice seax.

Thanks for showing them and sharing the information.

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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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Hello @Kevin, cast grey iron is a completely different kind of material compared to steel or mild steel. It is a class of cast iron, more close to raw pig iron and is packed full of non-ferrous substances mostly Carbon (3-4%) and Silicon (1-4%), but also lead, phosphorous and other stuff. You can't hot or cold work it (will crack and crumble) but it has good machinability, wear resistance and dampens vibrations making it widely used for casting engine blocks. As far as I know its the only type of cast iron that is still being used a lot by modern industry.

It does not show much in the pictures but it is very "grainy", at first look the surface looks plain grey and smooth but at a closer glance you can see little tiny grains giving nice display of reflections. This only becomes apparent after some kind of surface treatment.

I've only tested boiling in lemon extract and ferrous chloride. I didnt like the effects of ferrous chloride but lemon seems to work well to bring out the deep grey color and tiny shiny grains.

It should be easy to get some from a junk-yard if you want to experiment, but take care when drilling/filing/grinding and clean off the black powder from skin directly after you're done working to avoid triggering dermatitis.


Edit: I agree, the pommel too big! I made it before forging the blade and it became shorter then anticipated. 



Edited by Viktor Johansson

Most of my stuff so far:

Princess knifeTwo seaxesCrucible steel sword (WIP)

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