Jump to content
Andrew W

Two Christmas seaxes, from bloom

Recommended Posts

To celebrate my Christmas time off, I forged two seaxes from bloom (iron and steel).

 

81171797_457870245116951_4918363171741237248_o (1).jpg

 

I smelted the steel (right, in the photo above) back in March from powdered hematite ore ("Spanish Red"). I helped Mark Green and Daniel Cauble make the iron (left, above) at an SCA event in October, using Mark's "easy ore" (NC limonite).

 

Mark and I, feeding charcoal and ore into the smelting furnace:

 

80784594_457870701783572_8788096566196961280_o.jpg

 

First, I had to compact the iron bloom into a bar:

 

After doing the same to the steel, I forge welded the two together into a billet for the two blades:

 

80636914_456049628632346_7385117560196300800_o.jpg

 

80626232_456049548632354_6677852625410457600_o.jpg

 

81148788_457870281783614_8616101177739706368_o.jpg

 

I decided to copy two 6-7th century seaxes from a cemetery at Finglesham, Kent (UK):

 

80888505_457870201783622_5084037296051716096_o.jpg

 

I cut the billet in half and forged the blades (also, a chef's knife from 1075):

 

80315777_456049618632347_3746554423896178688_o.jpg

 

Lots of grinding...

 

80991634_457870341783608_3823971153572003840_o.jpg

 

...and ready to harden! Water got them hard enough to skate a file on the first try, so I didn't have to resort to brine this time.

 

They came out blessedly straight, which is never guaranteed with bloomery steel.

 

80281343_457870138450295_7055133358828814336_o.jpg

 

And the patterns started to show!

 

80990041_457870165116959_2098754757240815616_o.jpg

 

9 hours of hand sanding later (up to 1500), they're ready for a ferric bath.

 

81711033_459530608284248_6432824874317643776_o.jpg

 

Etched:

 

80859151_459530638284245_4373973846475145216_o.jpg


For the handles, I used horn (like the originals).

 

81072360_461148758122433_5518119530305421312_o.jpg

 

80807294_461148824789093_7932221081455165440_o.jpg

 

And, finished!

 

81353024_461229028114406_6205636896953991168_o.jpg

 

The seax on the left is 35cm long; on the right 37cm.

 

I set the iron perpendicular to the blade's edge when I welded the billet, so the folds show as stripes on the sides of the blade's spine:

 

81481031_461228894781086_5631980543546490880_o.jpg

 

81149930_461229198114389_6627095556604821504_o.jpg

 

80820765_461229124781063_5829134252695879680_o.jpg

Edited by Andrew W
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow that’s a great effort. Wonderful grain in the steel too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously nice! It's like looking at a surviving example from a thousand years ago. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I meant to ask, where'd you get that horn?  I've had a heck of a time finding horn that's not black.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are awesome Andrew. I especially like the one without the break. 

What kind of horn is that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is Asian buffalo. There's a horn seller on Etsy who will do custom sizes, and I talked him into listing 13cm long x 3cm diameter rolls. He should turn up if you do a search, I can't remember his shop name off-hand.

Crazy Crow sells 4" lengths, which is where I usually get it for normal-sized knives.

Edited by Andrew W
  • 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

×
×
  • Create New...