Introduction: Hand Forged Cthulhu Cutlass
This bladesmithing project is advanced, and contains a number of steps and techniques. Many of the techniques are worthy of their own Instructable. My goal here is to provide an overview of the entire project.
Step 1: Cutting the Steel Bar and Guard Material
This is the 5160 flat bar stock and 16 gauge mild steel guard material. The 5160 has been cut close to final size and the mild steel is close to it's final profile.
Step 2: The Forged Blade
Here the blade has been forged to shape, including the edge bevels. I used 2.5 and 4 pound hammers, a 125 pound anvil, as well as a hydraulic forging press. I used large flat dies on the press to maintain the blade's flatness and straightness during the forging process.
Step 3: Rough Grinding
Here the blade has been rough ground with a 60 grit belt on a KMG grinder equipped with a flat platen.
Step 4: Blade Hardening and Finishing, Starting the Fittings
Here the blade has been hardened and finish ground.
I hardened the blade by heating it in a 22.5" computer controlled Evenheat oven and quenching in a commercial quench oil. The blade was then tempered.
The bevels were ground to 120 grit, and then soaked in ferric chloride to remove the forge scale and to create a gray patina. The blade flats were left "as forged". I then wire wheeled the entire blade, giving it a glossy, gun-metal gray finish.
The guard was shaped by using an oak die, and refined by cold forging with a light hammer on the horn of my anvil. It was then cold blued in a selenium / phosphoric acid solution.
The white oak handle has been roughed out and drilled through.
I tapped an octagonal piece of mild steel to serve as a temporary nut to hold everything in place for the final final fitting. There was a lot of assembly / disassembly while everything was fit up.
Step 5: Cup Guard, Handle, and Copper Kraken
Here the cup guard has been fitted with an ostrich leg skin overlay and leather bolster on top, and stingray skin on the inside.
The oak handle has been torch scorched and stabilized under a vacuum with wood hardener. I use two part marine grade epoxy putty to fit the tang hole perfectly to the tang.
The hilt assembly is then temporarily assembled for fitting and adjustments.
In the last picture there is a copper fitting depicting a deeply etched kraken. I used a masking process and ferric chloride soak to make it.
Step 6: Wooden Scabbard
This is fairly self explanatory. I cut the 1/4" poplar on a band saw, used wood glue, and clamped it up.
Step 7: Sintered Bronze Cthulhu Head
I made this bronze Cthulhu head by pressing a mixture of bronze powder, methylcellulose, and water into a silicone mold, allowing it to dry, and then firing it, sintering the bronze powder into solid bronze. It is attached to the leather backer with contact cement and two screws.
Step 8: The Eye of the Kraken
Here the scabbard has been sanded and stained.
This kraken eye was made by mounting a glass cabochon on a printed eye graphic, mounting that on leather, and covering it with an ostrich leg skin eyelid.