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Rob Toneguzzo

WIP A Seax at Last

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Well when I got home from work I decided tonight was the night for the quench.
 

I knew this was a pinnacle point that decides if this steel was going to finally be a blade or yet another addition to my Graveyard Of

Broken Dreams.

 

I did my final clean up of the blade and prepared it for the moment of truth.
 

I had actually stayed awake at night stressing over this (I am sure I am not the only one who has done this)

 

Anyhow I decided there was no point in holding off any longer and prolonging  my agony. 
 

I waited for the sun to set and after dinner I walked alone to the forge.

 

I did my 3 normalising cycles and then said a prayer and quenched in oil. It was a good quench.

 

Now I can relax and enjoy sanding through the grits knowing this will be a Seax.

 

Of a cool note when I was normalising the blade the twist pattern was so very visible. It was so amazing to see and it was the first time I got a preview of the pattern.  I took a photo but it did not do it justice.

 

Anyhow I am feeling very happy right now and am enjoying a big glass of single malt while the blade is tempering (and my family is sleeping) but I would like to thank all who have taken an interest in this thread and offered comments and advice. It really is a huge motivator and I feel honoured to be able to share it with you all.

 

 

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That's going to be a really "sharp" blade.  (no pun intended, mate.)  I can see why you have been stressing over this blade.  But now it's "full steam ahead".  Looks great.

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Ya nailed it mate !!..............:D

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Oh, now that's going to be pretty! :o

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Thanks for the comments all. 
 

I looked for some Ferric Chloride but the electronics store now sells Ammonium Persulphate instead. I will by some Ferric online but would really appreciate advice on any alternatives that you have used and are happy with the results.

 

Now to the sandpaper

Edited by Rob Toneguzzo

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5 minutes ago, Rob Toneguzzo said:

Thanks for the comments all. 
 

I looked for some Ferric Chloride but the electronics store now sells Ammonium Persulphate instead. I will by some Ferric online but would really appreciate advice on any alternatives that you have used and are happy with the results.

Dude! That looks great. I had no doubt that this would survive the quench and live on. Are there any swimming pool supply houses or big box home improvement stores? You can get muriatic acid (a form of HCl acid) from them. I think Alan Longmire has a method of making FeCl by dissolving steel wool in HCl.

 

You could also just etch with the Muriatic and them add the black with either coffee etch or gun bluing.

Edited by Joshua States
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This is a very attractive blade! 

If you can get muriatic acid, and dissolve all the steel wool in it you can, then SLOWLY add hydrogen peroxide it creates ferric chloride. Theres a YouTube video on it somewhere. Muriatic is nasty stuff thoug, people etch concrete with it. I think its diluted hydrochloric. Wea.... 

 

Josh! You beat me to it!

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Josh and Zeb are right, except I didn't invent it. ;)  oh, and I see no reason to add peroxide.  Hydrochloric/muriatic acid "killed" with iron is ferric chloride.  Adding H2O2 just dilutes it and adds an extra corrosive oxygen atom.  

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I'm sorry I missed this so far, but you are doing great work! The shape and pattern are right on. You can get some interesting results by changing the proportion of your bars in the billet. For instance making the edge bar closer to half of the full width of the blade and making the iron spine and twist the same width, or even making the iron spine less wide than the twist. It can make the pattern appear 'finer' and lets the edge bar make the blade appear wider. Not that you did anything wrong by a long shot! Just me musing on pattern layup. I have found a lot of smiths are very lazy with their twist patterns and have twisted bars drawn out to several to mess their length and no longer resemble twists at all! Looking at the original artifacts you can see all of the shapes and patterns are made with exactitude and purpose, which is something you showed here. 
 

again, great work :) and I can't wait to see the rest! Any plans for the grip? 

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Josh, Zeb and Alan Thanks for the advice on the Muriatic Acid and Iron. I can get this and will give it a go.  . Do you guys have a preference as to what grit you sand to before etch? I have it at 400 now.

 

Emiliano, I really appreciate the reply and your feedback and advice on pattern lay up. I can see how this can get very addictive . I was thinking of a smallish metal collar and local hardwood with some kind of carving though I am open to any suggestions etc on handle length and cross section (and anything else for that matter).

 

Raymond the blade is almost done just have to etch, Thanks for the suggestion of etches too. My family already think I have gone a bit mad with my obsessive work on this project and I fear if they caught me urinating on the blade it would be too much for them.

I still have a fair bit to go as I want to do a nice grip and sheath and I found that once I started some research into the subject I burst something in my brain....

 

Edited by Rob Toneguzzo
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I just caught this build as well and am glad I got caught up - the blade looks awesome!

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@Emiliano Carrillo, It might be worth mention; I think with a few broken backs they may have also used a tapered edge bar. One that gets wider toward the tip. I'm not studied enough to tell you the find place of the two, but the one with the wolf's tooth pattern, and the one shaped like it that had herringbone and thin border strips. You probably know which ones I'm talking about. I dont know of any other way to recreate those. 

 

Rob! Welcome to the rabbit-hole! 

The way you paint, you should be a fine Carver. Just take your time. Little chips make a big pile. Remember to keep the motif Anglo-Saxon! You've got my hands itching for another broken back! 

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19 hours ago, Rob Toneguzzo said:

Do you guys have a preference as to what grit you sand to before etch? I have it at 400 now.

400 is typically where I etch my PW steel. Sometimes I will go to 600, but I just don't see any reason to go above that. (although some guys do)

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3 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

400 is typically where I etch my PW steel. Sometimes I will go to 600, but I just don't see any reason to go above that. (although some guys do)

 

Same here.  

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Thanks guys. 400 it is.

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On 10/24/2019 at 4:09 PM, Raymond Richard said:

Is it done yet? Guess you could give vinegar a try. In a pinch urine will also etch. 

What have you been drinking do get it to do that Raymond? :D

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I thought that urine was a traditional agent to acid brown steel and iron parts or to set a rust base for acid bluing.  It's the first time I've read of it being used for etching.  But then muratic acid can etch and brown.

 

Doug

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Was away at the big City (big city for me anyway) of Melbourne for the last 3 days. 3 days was Enough for me. I was itching to get back to my reality and my blade.

 

While I was away I gave great Deal of  thought to the handle design. In my research I found the Anglo Saxon Staffordshire Hoard and found my needed inspiration from the artifacts found there.  I have decided I will base my artwork for the handle from that. Sketches to come.

 

Anyhow I got my ingredients for my Ferric Chloride etch and have occupied my day with chemical witchery and think I have created something somewhere close.

 

I think I may have diluted the solution too much as I think the etch is a bit too light.
 

Do you think the pattern should be bold or subtle?


photos not the best as I have run out of day.

 
I used 100% Acid from the bottle to dissolve steel wool but diluted the finished solution with distilled water by 25%

 

perhaps I should make another solution and not dilute it.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Rob Toneguzzo
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History says subtle (not black and silver). The fiery bunch around here tend to do what looks best. It's really up to you. I like a moderate amount of contrast. I dont leave any black oxides. 

 

Could you soak in your solution for longer? A weaker solution usually turns out better. Watch the stronger stuff etch around a rag fiber! :blink:

 

Edit: it etches hardened steel more agressivly. Not sure where you are in the process. 

Edited by Zeb Camper

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Hi Zeb,

Thanks for the reply, I will try etching for a bit longer and see how that goes. At the very least I will be happy but I would like a bit more contrast. Will take some better pics in the daylight...things always look better in the daylight haha

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I like the subtle look, how long and how many times have you etched?  For serious contrast I do four or five 10 to 20 minute etches, wiping off the oxides in between.  That creates enough topography to make the bright layers pop.  You can alao try the coffee etch...

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The subtlety is nice, but meself I like it just a bit darker, age patina would probably do that.

Everyone is gonna have a different take on it though and it looks great  !! ................................B)

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