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Pattern-Welded Seax


In my quest to forge another double-edged viking-age sword, I have been experimenting with a serpent pattern. As part of my experimentation, I forged the the seax shown in the picture. It's over all length is 21.5 in, with a 16.5 in long blade and 5in long handle. It's a 7 bar construction. The cutting edge and back are W1. The two twisted bars are 11-layers of 15n20 and 1095. The serpent itself is an 11-layer straight laminate of 15n20 and 1095 backed by two bars of mild steel. As the picture shows the pattern came out quite nicely and the overall shape of the blade is quite pleasing. The next project is going to take the serpent pattern to a double-edged sword. We will see how that goes.
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Forging a Composite Viking-age Sword

The video shows forging a pattern-welded Viking-age sword consisting of a 5-bar construction based on dimensions from a find in Norway. The video shows squaring up the rods and how I bundle the five bars (3 twisted core and 2 edge) into a sword-like object and then forge weld it. Instead of employing a wrap around edge, I am cutting a V into the tip that is forge-welded back together.

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Pattern-Welded Kurzsax

KurzSax
This knife is a multi-bar construction with W1 for the cutting edge and 1095 and 15n20 for the twisted rods. It is inspired by early Viking-age finds from Norway. The guard and pommel are made from brass and embossed with a triangle design. The handle is made from bok oak used in the defensive ring wall of the Viking-age Haithabu settlement in Northern Germany.

The knife was created as the result of an accident. While working on the rods for a Langsax, I twisted too hard and a piece of the rod sheared off. Fortunately, that piece was long enough to suffice for a Kurzsax. The blade is about 7.5in long and then handle measures 5.5in for a total of 13in. The knife features a scandi grind and is very sharp. There is no secondary bevel on the edge.
Categories: Hacking
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Folding Steel

Folded SteelWhen examining a traditionally forged Japanese sword, the steel structure (hada) often looks like wood grain. This structure is a result of folding and forge welding tamahagane. To simulate such hada without using expensive tamahagane, I took 24in of 1in diameter steel cable and forge welded it into a single piece of steel. That steel was then folded 7 times with some surface manipulation and then forged into a small wakizashi. The picture shows the tang after the scale was removed, polished and then lightly etched to show the grain. The steel structure seems similar to mokume hada. Now, I just need to find the time to shape, heat treat, polish and mount the sword. Expect progress pictures as work permits - probably in a few months.
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Cable Tantos

Cable TantoAlthough, I have made various attempts at forging knives, this tanto is the first knife I have completed. It's a shinogi-zukuri tanto with choji hamon. The steel was made from forge-welded high carbon cable. Originally, this was supposed to become a wakizashi, but due to a bad hammer blow when forging the sunobe, I had to fold it over and no longer had enough steel for a longer blade. As a result, the blade is only about 9in long. The habaki was made from brazed copper and the shira-saya was carved from a popular blank.


Cable TantosThe picture to the left shows two more cable tantos in various stages of progress. The top one had some rough grinding done to it whereas the bottom one is straight from the forge. Only about 10% of the time is actually spent forging the blades. The rest of time is spent grinding, polishing and working on the habaki as well as on the saya and everything else.

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Forging a Wakizashi

WakizashiI just finished taking the 5-day basic forging class taught by Michael Bell at Dragonfly Forge. The wakizashi in the picture is the result of it. The blade is about 18in long and was forged from forge-welded cable. The forge welding of the cable conducted by Michael and his son Gabriel took the better half of the first day. Afterward, the steel was forged into a sunobe which has the basic taper for the tang and point of the sword. We then forged in the ji and the shinogi ji. The remainder of the time was spent grinding in preparation for heat treatment. Before the clay was applied, we draw filed the blade so that all file marks were parallel with the edge rather than the perpendicular marks left by the belt grinder. Applying the clay was a three step process; a light coating of the whole blade, applying the ashi lines, and then coating everything that should remain soft. You can see the ashi and where the clay was applied on the middle picture. After heat treating, the blade took on a nice curve and it was back to the grinder. During the last day there was a little bit of time to polish on stones which showed hints of some very wild hamon as well as some mune yaki. The whole class was a great experience.
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