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James Simonds

Art deco seax

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Posted (edited)

I recently posted an Anglo saxon style seax blade that i had fitted and finished. This time its a blade that I forged myself, 3 bar construction (random, pinstripe, twist). the blade style isn't historical, it is my own design, and the handle isnt historical either, it is in art deco style.

 

I expect the aesthetics to be divisive, but i like the fact that this is, as far as i can tell, a fairly original style. I haven't seen anyone make this style of layered handle although these days very little is truly original, i'm sure someone some where has done this before!

 

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The concept was a sort of spread of sunrays, a theme common in art deco. the bolster and the three layers all theoretically meet at a single point above the blade (although the eagle eyed will notice the brass layer is a bit misaligned, so they dont. that was due to covering a mistake in cutting.). The layers are solid fine silver for the bolster, brass, nickel silver and then copper. again the gold/silver/copper combo is typical for that art style. the buttcap is also solid fine silver and slightly domed.


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The handle started off with these components.

 

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The layers are all solid, all the way through, and the tang as forged was no way near long enough to go through the entire handle, as would be necessary to make this construction strong enough. I also dont own a welder, and in the middle of the pandemic, i didnt have access to a welder. so, i had to do something quite wierd to give the handle sufficient internal strength and support. i had to make a pinned tang extension.

 

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Constructing the handle like this meant gluing in two stages. first the bolster and 4 successive layers, then, the pin joint and the rest of the layers excluding the butt cap. complex as hell. how i wish i could have just welded an extension!

 

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Anyway, it worked, and all is well that ends well. I love the clean, geometric look. the wood has polished up really well, and the metal stripes are lovely. I filed a channel into the bolster because it was too blocky, and i'm happy with that last minute addition but other than that, i managed to stay faithful to the origional concept.

 

So now i have two seaxes, very different styles, and all i can do is think how would i do a third one. Is this an illness?

 

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Edited by James Simonds
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Very well done!  Thanks for sharing the problem solving too.

Those are 2 beautiful blades.

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Fantastic.  Is the wood on the art deco one walnut?  And I assume that's it's some sort of burl on the other one?

 

Doug

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That thing is beautiful. Really like that you used a different metal for each spacer, but man that handle must have been a nightmare to assemble. I have enough trouble doing even the simplest handle, can't imagine ever trying something that difficult.

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Doug Lester said:

Fantastic.  Is the wood on the art deco one walnut?  And I assume that's it's some sort of burl on the other one?

 

Doug


The wood 'might' be black walnut but i also think its too hard to be walnut, it might be some sort of tropical hardwood, honestly i don't know. i had it on the shelf for years. For this i wanted something very dark and with clean, simple, straight figure, to give good contrast to the metal. The other one is black ash burl, and it is such a lovely bit of timber. look at it all oiled up and fresh.

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4 hours ago, Chadd S. said:

That thing is beautiful. Really like that you used a different metal for each spacer, but man that handle must have been a nightmare to assemble. I have enough trouble doing even the simplest handle, can't imagine ever trying something that difficult.

 


Thank you Chadd. It was a total nightmare to assemble, I would never do it again without a solid through tang. having to make a pinjoint and then put that massive bar of Bronze through it and glue it up in stages was just too mad, really hard to get right. and i didnt get it 100% right, there is a band of glue visible next to the silver nickel on the 'unphotographed' side. Its not thick, but its there and its annoying.

Anyway, learned a lot by doing it.

Edited by James Simonds

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