Jump to content
GEzell

The Little Bealings Project

Recommended Posts

I present to you my rendition of the seax found at Little Bealings, housed in the British museum.  The 26 5/8 inch blade is forged from 80crv2 steel.  The handle is dark stained hard maple, wrapped with nickel silver and brass wire.

The sheath is speculative, as there are no Saxon langsax sheaths that have survived, and very few langsax sheaths at all.  I wanted it to be true to the artifacts yet distinctly Saxon in character.  The fittings are bronze and include a baldric for carry.  The chape was cast by Matthew Berry of Hopkins Forge.

This is the largest seax I have finished.

IMG_20181003_141924393.jpg

IMG_20181003_141911851.jpg

IMG_20181003_141942938.jpg

IMG_20181003_142008473_HDR.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely done.

What are the biggest challenges in doing a piece so big, other than the sheer length?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice!  How long is the handle and is it a through tang or a hidden tang?  Also, is the wire wrapping to reinforce the handle or is it just decoration?

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You nailed the blade shape, and I think the rest as well.  I bet holding it makes you realize you could take an arm off in one swing, long brokenbacks are particularly vicious to wield!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Tim Jackson said:

Nicely done.

What are the biggest challenges in doing a piece so big, other than the sheer length?

Thanks!  The biggest challenge is heat-treating and tempering a piece this size, I built a dedicated heat-treating furnace for this purpose.  Forging, grinding, and sanding are all complicated by the size though.

10 hours ago, Doug Lester said:

Very nice!  How long is the handle and is it a through tang or a hidden tang?  Also, is the wire wrapping to reinforce the handle or is it just decoration?

Doug

Thanks!  The handle is approximately 10 inches long.  The tang is a blind hidden tang, just as it was on the original.  It's also over 6" long and quite wide... The wire wrap serves as decoration, helps to keep the handle from splitting, and adds a surprising amount of weight to the handle, helping the balance.

6 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

You nailed the blade shape, and I think the rest as well.  I bet holding it makes you realize you could take an arm off in one swing, long brokenbacks are particularly vicious to wield!

Thanks!  I was unable to resist testing it on the shrubbery, and it bit me pretty good while I was sanding the blade... It wants to cut and cut deeply, or poke deep holes in things... I kept it as close to the original as I could, and was pleasantly surprised at how good it balances and feels in the hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is really an awesome blade and sheath.

How thick is the blade if I may ask?

I think I would retreat if my opponent drew a blade like that, something really sinister about the shape of these large saxes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, one of the things that draws me to this blade is it's extremely aggressive profile.  The blade is between 7 and 8mm thick, with no distal taper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw this on your FB page George, and it is fantastic.  I hope one of these days I get to see your stuff in person.  I would greatly enjoy that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is so pointy! I love it! Even though blades don't have power by themselves, this one really looks like it does.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/7/2018 at 11:55 AM, GEzell said:

The tang is a blind hidden tang, just as it was on the original.  It's also over 6" long and quite wide... The wire wrap serves as decoration, helps to keep the handle from splitting, and adds a surprising amount of weight to the handle, helping the balance.

GEzell that is a fantastic langsax! I love the elegance and deadliness it exudes!

I do have a question though, with such a wide tang what keeps the wood from just splitting? is it just the wire? and wouldn't it be a better idea to have a thinner width-wise tang?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Caleb Budd said:

GEzell that is a fantastic langsax! I love the elegance and deadliness it exudes!

I do have a question though, with such a wide tang what keeps the wood from just splitting? is it just the wire? and wouldn't it be a better idea to have a thinner width-wise tang?

A katana has a similar tang about the same width and proportions.  The wire wrap at the mouth of the handle serves as a ferrule.  I used J Loose's method with the wire, the ends enter the tang cavity and are bent over with the tang serving as a wedge to hold the ends in place... It would be quite difficult to remove now without a lot of persistence.  Hard maple is also an extremely strong wood, that being my primary reason for using it (good looking is secondary).  With the tang notched and bedded into the handle with g-flex, the tang and the wood work together as a unit, each supporting the other.

This is another blade I might try to replicate, as you can see the tang is quite massive, even more so than this one.

703857_10200255362926686_767936835_o.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GEzell thank you for explaining that so simply! Also yes the tang on that other blade is huge! Almost to where I don't know where the transition is :blink:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are also finds of hilts with a leather cover glued on, and even with textile between the wood and leather. Aside from additional grip, this also reinforces the grip. There's no telling if this was done a lot, since usually only the inner part of the hilt attached to the tang is preserved. For horn grips you don't really need that, as it's much stronger. 

P.s. I didn't comment on this seax yet, but a really incredible piece George!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely would not want to be on the angry end of this! Beautiful work, thanks for sharing.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love this piece - it came out great!  What catches my eye the most iare your junctions where the guttering, the band, and the ring all come together (the last picture). They are are a wonderful design executed so cleanly.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×