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Viking Sword Project - Design inputs/ pending WIP


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Hey all,

Long time since I last posted here, and a (mercifully much shorter) long time since my day job and the hot summer have given me a chance to be in the shop. 

 

Well, I'm taking a vacation next week and starting a big personal project on Saturday to celebrate: A Pattern-Welded Viking Sword!

The structure of the blade will be historically accurate, though I'm taking liberties with the pattern.

 

The plan: my 30.5" long, 2" wide blade (tapers to ~75%) will be constructed from 5 billets - a central crushed W's billet and 4 twisted (2 clockwise, 2 counter), which I will ladder to expose the W's and produce opposing whirlpool twists.
 

The part I really want feedback on (Sanity Test Please), is my plan to cut a V into the end of the billet and forge-weld shut, so that the twists mate at the point - am I being too ambitious/making too many problems?

 

Apologies for the bad drawing, paper is not my best medium of expression

20220805_105312.jpg

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Cool project!

 

As long as your bars are all the same width from one side to the other, the fishmouth weld should work.  It all depends on how accurately you do the cut if the bars are the same widths.  

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The fishmouth weld is not that difficult to do. The trick is making sure the inside sides of the V are the same length. Some folks say to curve the inside edges, but I don't think that's necessary and it increases the chances that the lengths will differ. A few years ago, I posted the process I use somewhere on the forum.
 

This is the first one I did. and the process has worked for me every time on blades large and small.

“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

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the input on the fishmouth weld, guys!

 

Project got delayed due to a death in the family, but it actually gave me time to think about the design, and question if there was a better way to arrange the pattern.

 

So, which do you guys think will look better? The 5 bar billet I originally proposed, or a 6 bar billet with the crushed w's on the edge and the twists in the middle?

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Aesthetically speacking, I think the herringbone twisted core with crushed W's on the edge bars would look best.

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“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

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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Posted (edited)

Thanks guys - I was leaning that way, and don't know why I didn't plan to do it that way in the first place. I'm really looking forward to getting this project rolling (I had another delay getting started last weekend, as there was no propane to be found in my town *the horror*).

I'm planning it as an heirloom piece, using a beautiful piece of brownheart for the handle (only block of it I've ever found) that I've been saving for years, plus teaching myself to engrave so I can do bronze inlays (gold's not in the budget, and I think bronze will stand out visually better than silver) on the guards.

I've spent a lot of time researching leading up to this project, boning up on blade typologies and hilt types (I'm going with a late Geibig Type 2c blade with about 75-70% taper and Petersen Type V hilt). The thing that has surprised me the most is how narrow the cross section is on these blades - typically under 1/4" (~0.236") at the forte - I'm planning to forge to 3/8" and grind down to .250, and keep it there unless it throws off the balance.

Edited by Jacob Cashion
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Depending on the type, they can be up to 5/16" at the lower guard, but to generally taper to less than 3/16" by the middle, 1/8" or a bit less just behind the point.  They are a little clunky and point-heavy, especially the earlier ones from ca. 700-850 AD, as they were meant to split shields and armor.  They are not fencing weapons by any means.  The later ones, ca. 950-1050, have a lot more taper, both in width and distally, and balance more like what you'd expect a single-handed sword to feel like.  A type 2 is still going to be point-heavy, but not as much as a cheap modern replica.  Balance point should be around 6.75 to 7.5" from the lower guard when complete.  Overall weight around 2.5-3 pounds.  There are outliers that weight up to four pounds, but they aren't very common and handle like a felling axe.  Don't use a heavy pommel to try and balance it.  Pommel weight is to move the nodes of vibration, not the point of balance.  

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Thanks Alan! You are an incredible font of information, as always, and really appreciate the input - the books I've read haven't provided info on thickness at the guard and don't specify where within the forte they took the measurements

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