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More Hearth Steel

Aiden CC

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On 9/7/2022 at 9:19 AM, Alan Longmire said:

This continues to be an excellent thread!  Thanks for updating it.  B)

Thank you! I've been trying to post daily on Instagram, I think some folks here might enjoy that #seax is quite popular there these days. It has been a challenge with 0-3 bladesmithing sessions per week, but it does mean I have a lot of pictures and I wanted to make a point of continuing to post here. It's nice to have a place where content more than a day or two old still gets seen by people who might care about it! Anyways, on to the work from the past few days.



The left is a knife inspired by iron age finds I saw in the Danish national museum when I went there with my (very patient) partner on a recent vacation. The right is a short Viking Age inspired knife that I intend to handle and sheath with some puukko like features. Both are made from leftover scraps from the narrow sax I made too large because when an archaeologist says a "blade" is 45 cm long, they mean that the blade and tang are 45 cm long together :rolleyes:



I started making hearth steel because back in 2020 when I made a tanto for the KITH I wanted to be able to do some different things with the hamon. Now after a bit of dabbling, I have a few blades that really are digging into that style. Both are kobuse with the 12 fold material and anchor chain. At the spine there's a lot of iron, but the steel gets thicker and the iron gets thinner down towards the edge.



Here they are at the sunobe stage. In the left picture there is a sheet steel kata with a ~10" blade and the right is a quick test blade I whipped up out of W2 based on a (very beat up) sunobi tanto I bought a few years ago. These have taper in width and thickness, and after the photo I cut a reverse tip into each so the hearth steel flows with the edge and has god steel at the tip. 



Both are hira zukuri (no ridge on the blade) which made turning the sunobe into a blade pretty straightforward. I did the math for these, and used the weight of my W2 test blade, and I was suspicious at first, but I was able to get adequately sized blanks for two large tanto out of 700 g of hearth steel, which was nice as quite a bit of time went into that material! That's all for now, I may have time to grind and heat treat these tomorrow, or it may be a while yet.



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