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Hearth Steel Seaxes WIP


Aiden CC

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After a few months away from the shop, I’m back at it until the New Year! I’m currently in the process of re-lining my forge (honestly amazed the initial lining lasted so long) so starting on forging will have to wait until a bit while it drys enough to fire up. 
 

In the past I’ve done raised inlay soft metal work for non-knife projects, but I decided to get geared up to do the flush inlay you see in some seax blades. I have some HSS gravers coming to try out, but to start I did a quick practice with my kinko chisels. 
 

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Here is a piece of copper wire placed in the groove. I used a V-chisel then raised a lip with the same pushers I use for raised inlay. I tried out a straight line with a slight dogleg to try out curves.
 

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Turned out fairly well for a 10 minute test, though I obviously have a way to go. The test piece is a blade I quenched in August to make a replica of the sax from Sweden with the carved handle, which is unfortunately riddled with cracks. 

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  • 1 month later...

Lots of work on these from the past few months, as well as the beginnings a a few long-term projects I brought to Denmark to work on when I have some time. 

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My fist try at herringbone inlay. The wire was too big but it actually worked out mostly ok. I still need to work on the ends of the channels though. 
 

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A few failed blade blanks. When I began the edge bevel, some cracks opened up an I unfortunately had to scrap these. 
 

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I decided to try out forging the body and edge to a near-finished condition before welding, which actually worked fairly well. Some of the edges are from a new billet, and the rest are odds and ends I’ve saved for a while. You can see a sneak peak at the patterns in the steel in the heat treated blades. 
 

 

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Last week I had a multi-day push to get a bunch of finish grinding done. The 20+ blades included those four seax blades along with a broadsax blade that had been sitting around after heat treatment in August. 
 

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Here they are fitted to handle blanks. I decided to use true boxwood, a boxwood relative, and horn for these handles. 

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Looking great Aiden.

 

On 1/1/2024 at 8:53 PM, Aiden CC said:

decided to try out forging the body and edge to a near-finished condition before welding,

Can you explain this so my tiny brain understands it? Because right now I am picturing forge welding a finished edge bar (with bevels) onto a finished body bar and I'm in cognitive denial.

Edited by Joshua States

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

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17 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Looking great Aiden.

 

Can you explain this so my tiny brain understands it? Because right now I am picturing forge welding a finished edge bar (with bevels) onto a finished body bar and I'm in cognitive denial.

The main aspect was beveling the body, to reduce the width of the weld line and let me pre-bend the edge bar to match the profile. I've found that if a batch of hearth steel is prone to hot shortness, everything will be great right up to the point where the edge tries to curve while being beveled, but is constrained by the thick wrought iron it is welded to. I don't actually think any of this material was prone to hot-shortness, but things seemed to work out well with this approach.

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