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Rob Toneguzzo

WIP A Seax at Last

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Hi All,

Inspired by the great smiths work on this forum I have for a long long time wanted and dreamed of making a pattern welded seax but I have always talked myself out of it.
I made excuses like I don’t have a power hammer and my forge is too small and may not get hot enough, I don’t even have the right steel and a host of other cop outs.

Well last year I was sent some 15n20 and 1075 by an old friend who hoped to give me a nudge to give it a go.

So I made a 12 layer alternating stack and fired the forge. 
I maxed out my single burner forge and adjusted the flow to what I hoped was the right atmosphere and set the weld.

As often happens life gets in the way of an epic project and my billet sat aside and gained rust. I was not even sure that the welds were set properly.

It was forgotten......


I let my forge run cold while I went into the wild places taking wildlife photos and painting .Only occasionally lighting the fire to make the odd knife or axe for my camping and bushcraft needs.

Well about 8 months back I became inspired again and looked for my billet but it was not there....I could not find it anywhere....it was lost and once again....forgotten.

 

Fate is a funny thing and last week I found my billet...with the lawnmower....turns out my son had been playing with it, fighting some unseen enemy before he was distracted by something and left it to be overgrown by the lawn....once again forgotten. 
 

Anyhow I cleaned it up and saw that the welds were good. I then vowed that I would see this project through no matter what...no more excuses and if I fail I will fail without excuses and then try again until I succeed.

And so this story continues......

 

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Edited by Rob Toneguzzo

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I Then set to work with a cut down 8lb sledge hammer to draw out the billet to about half inch square.
My bones ache!

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Edited by Rob Toneguzzo

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I then twisted and twisted and forged it square. Now what to stack it with.

 

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I have a friend who is a decorative blacksmith and he gave me some iron which will be the spine of the billet. I have some 1080 which Will be the cutting edge and I stacked the billet.
 

I am a very substandard arc welder and finally managed to tack the stack only to realise that I stacked it the wrong way and put my twist on the edge instead of the middle. Lucky the only one to hear my cussing was my shop dog Jock.

 

I then composed myself and re welded it properly with the twist in the middle and once again fired the forge and set the welds.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Rob Toneguzzo
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This has taken me days to get to this stage. Way more work than I imagined. I am being over careful and just need to relax.

Anyhow I cleaned the billet and the welds look so far so good.

I got Jock to look over it and I have approval to continue.

 

 

 

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That looks like a lot of work...........also a lot of fun, Rob.  Can't wait to get my forge completed so I can give it a try myself someday.

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Sweet! 

If going for a broken back, pre clip that tip more acutely than 45°. I would go for maybe 30-35°. Forge out a preform before you forge the bevels. Remember, thickest at the break in spine, tapering in either direction both in profile and distal. I forge the tang shoulder on the spine side as part of the preform, then bevel the blade all the way until you get to where you want the tang step on the blade side sort of making a temporary choil, from there you start to draw the tang out in both directions and eventually flatten and bevel it to follow the bevel of the blade. This process keeps the tang centered and the pattern flowing nicely. 

 

Sorry if you didnt need the advice, but I really hope this works out for you! 

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At least your forge gremlin has a name.  I looked for my bevel guide for a couple of years off and on and finally gave up on it.  One day I was searching for something in an old student's desk that is pretty much a catchall of tools and such looking for something else and there it was staring me right in the face.  It wasn't like I hadn't dug through that drawer many times before looking for the bevel guide.  Not knowing what else to do, I blamed the cats.

 

Stupid stories aside, that looks like it's coming along well.  Take Zeb's advice on the distal and proximal tapers from the peak of the clip.  Hope you will be posting the finished product soon.

 

My compliments to Jock.  He does good quality control.

 

Doug

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Having been the sledge monkey on a couple of projects like this I feel your pain Rob, it's looking really tidy though and will be well worth it in the end.

 

Look forward to seeing how it progresses!

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I need to steal that Emoji, Clifford. :lol:  That's what I spend most of my time doing...........waiting, lurking and learning.

Edited by Chris Christenberry
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I shamelessly stole it from another site I frequent so have at it !!......................:D

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I'm too "tech illiterate" to accomplish that.  But I like the Emoji.

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21 minutes ago, Chris Christenberry said:

I'm too "tech illiterate" to accomplish that.  But I like the Emoji.

 

Hover your mouse over it, right click, a menu will come up.  Chose (left click on) "copy image", then go to your new post and right click, then select "paste."  .gif

Once you've got it you can save it anywhere, so you can repeat at your leisure. B)

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Thanks everyone for the feedback and I really appreciate the advice Zeb. I like that emoji too Clifford and Doug....I was the cats for sure.

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

 

Hover your mouse over it, right click, a menu will come up.  Chose (left click on) "copy image", then go to your new post and right click, then select "paste."  .gif

Once you've got it you can save it anywhere, so you can repeat at your leisure. B)

 

Well, Duh, that's embarrassing!

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Robb, That pic of you twisting that bar is worthy of making one of those inspirational posters with the word "determination" on it.

I love stories like this one.

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3 hours ago, Joshua States said:

That pic of you twisting that bar is worthy of making one of those inspirational posters with the word "determination" on it.

 

Had to go back and look, was not disappointed :lol:

 

Those welds look great, Rob. Looking forward to more progress. 

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Well I forged out the blade today and was annoyed at how timid I was compared to my usual forging with mono steel 

blades. I kept having visions of delamination and was over cautious but in the end I got the rough blade forged up. In any case I am happy I have made it this far. Still not set on the profile but don’t have too much material to play with so here it is at this time. 

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It looks pretty seaxy to me! The next one I would cut a little more off the tip. But this one still fits some of the blades of the time. If you dont like it though, there's no shame in grinding the break a little bit further toward the handle. 

I posted a pic. The bottom two profiles seem to be what people tried to replicate most. The finer specimens all bear this shape. You still have enough steel to play a little with it. 

 

Great job man! 

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Edited by Zeb Camper
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Thanks Zeb I really appreciate your input mate. There are just so many seax types it has blown my mind and I thank you for the reference images too.

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I think it looks fine as is.  The way the twist core and spine line up on the tip might look a bit off if you reprofiled it to move the break rearwards.  But that's just me. B)

 

As long as you don't put a ricasso or guard on it I'm happy!

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I like the way this is going.  Lots of work involved!

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