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Wolf's Tooth Spear Update

It's been a while since I have updated the blog on my quest to construct a wolf's tooth spear. Here is the latest series of experiments. The basic approach is to take a bar of high-carbon tool steel and split it in the middle either with a bandsaw or by using a hot chisel. The drawback of the hot chisel is that it creates cuts that are not square. It requires the steel to be squared up afterwards with a file.

To create teeth in the high-carbon steel, I am using a double up chisel in which the cutting edge of the chisel points is about 1/8in apart. I do one pass in which each pair of teeth gets a couple hammer blows and then do another pass to square the teeth back up. Adjacent teeth tend to move a little bit when the next set of teeth is being created. The result looks as follows:

Afterwards, I forge wrought iron in a 3/8in square bar that is hot forged into the teeth. This can either happen with a hammer and a helper or by using a hydraulic press. The wrought iron needs to be hot and squishy. This creates matching impressions in the wrought iron. After cleaning up with a wire brush, the pieces are fit into each other and forge welded. This process needs to be done carefully since I don't want to draw out the steel. Here is one side after forge welding:

The resulting pattern looks very similar to original finds. Although the mono steel does not show any forging lines, the grain in the wrought iron, clearly shows the process:

Now, it's time to forge the spear for real.

The Bookshelf Project

What does creating a bookshelf have to do with blacksmithing? Watch the video to find out. This was a weekend project and it started by creating a scrolling jig that we used to forge many many identical scrolls.

After this project is done, it's back to crucible steel and knife making.

From Wrought Iron to Crucible Steel Knife

We converted wrought iron from old wagon tires into steel for a knife. To make steel, carbon needs to be added to the iron. We accomplish this by melting the iron in a crucible together with charcoal and special alloys. Wrought iron starts melting at around 2,800°F (1,538°C). The alloying elements came from O1 (Chromium) and H13 (Molybdenum). The total charge of the crucible was around 2000 grams. To be precise, we added 2006g wrought iron, 30g charcoal and 75g (O1/H13).

The firing time was pretty quick; around 30 minutes to get to temperature and then ramping it down for 60 minutes. The crucible cooled in the furnace for about 12 hours. We took it out at around 250F. Unfortunately, there were a lot of gas bubbles in the glass as well as in the steel. The carbon content was also lower than planned, maybe around 0.6% rather than the 1.5% we were aiming for. However, it forged very nicely and showed great carbides.

The experiment will likely show up as Forge Diaries: Episode 8 or as Wootz: Episode 6. Stay tuned.

Forge Diaries: Ep. 6.5: Update on Wolf's Tooth Patterns

While I am still experimenting with how to achieve different kinds of Wolf's Tooth patterns, I thought a quick video update might be in order. This video does not show any process but highlights some of the experiments I have conducted lately. This includes high tech 3d modeling to create bronze guards for a dagger:

Update on the Pattern-Welded Spear

I mentioned the spearhead from Rovaniemi, Marikkovaara before. It combines twists and tooth-like patterns and the pattern welding is superbly executed. I continue to experiment with recreating it and just completed another experiment. Here are some in-progress photos.

The two pictures on the right show the assembled core of wrought iron and the twisted bar bend to match its shape. The first step in welding the two pieces together is to create a solid weld at the tip. The other photos show the next step in assembling the spear as well as the pattern right after heat-treating by quenching in oil. The final result can be seen at the top left. This includes forge-welding a socket and attaching it, too.

Bronze Fittings for Wolf's Tooth Dagger

The upper guard and pommel finally arrived. The molds were printed wax which were then cast in bronze. The designs are celtic dog patterns from a book by Aidan Meehan. The fittings for this dagger are now complete now and I need to figure out how to finish the hilt. The options are a simple wooden hilt potentially with some carved patterns or a wooden core wrapped in leather.