This instructable is from a tutorial on my website:
For more information about me and my work and links to my blog please visit my website:
Step 1: The Design
working with a customer then I use the feedback from these sketches to refine the design.
The Final sketches for this project include the profile view and a full-scale rendering of the hilt
Step 2: Forging the blade
The invocation for this piece is writen in the modified Aglo-Saxon Futhark and reads:
Forged in the cunning fire, honor and duty to inspire.
If you have any questions about this please visit the philosophy page on my website:
For most of my forging I use a 6 lb. hammer
In this case the blade is 15" long and 2" wide.
Step 13: Filing
and close to the final dimension I want.
a file I slowly shave the blade down till the marks are gone. I repeat this until
the edge and spine are true, and the faces are flat.
Step 18: Sanding
or steel sanding blocks.
This insures that all the marks from the previous grit are taken out at each step and
prevents nasty surprises from showing up later on.
one can see the high and low spots.
I derw while sighting down it. the straight ones are the ones I'll use as I sand.
sanding lines run along the edge to avoid stress risers during the heat treatment. At this
point I make sure the dimensions of the tang are the way I want them, and adjust if need be.
Step 25: Stress riser
reduces the chances of a blade snaping off at the hilt. It also reduces stress during
the heat treating process.
Step 26: Heat treating
First, I normalize 3+ times (bring the blade up to the critical temperature then let it air cool).
Normalizing relieves the stresses put into the blade during forging, filing, and sanding.
Then, I bring the blade up to temperature, about 1600F for this steel. Bringing it up a
bit hotter than needed allows me to get the blade to the quenching tank at the right temp.
Next, the blade is plunged into 450F oil and allowed to cool fully to that temp.
Once the blade is at 450F it is semi-plastic and can be molded by a gloved hand.
As the blade cools it "sings" making a shimmering noise as the martinsite crystals form
and the blade reached its hardend state. Finally, the blade is given 3 one-hour heat cycles
at 475F. This converts more of the steel to martinsite, and releives the stress of the quench.
*A side note: I lost three blades in the HT (heat treatment). Also, a blade of these dimensions
will develop a forward curve during the HT so the final blade was forged with a backwards curve
Step 27: Testing the blade
At this point I test the blade by flexing it and chopping with it. For this one I choose to cut a
through a 2" x 4".
Step 28: Polishing
Starting with 150gt. I use 220gt, 400gt, 600gt, 800gt, and 1000gt which brings the blade
to a good finish. As before I use alternating diagonal and lengthwise strokes with each
afterwards with 1000gt polishing it lenthwise. In the corner you can see the pile of
used sand paper.
Step 30: The Hilt
The reason for roughing out the hilt pieces is to get an idea of what the balance of
the piece is like. At this point I make any ajustments needed to change the balance
to what I want it to be.
sword pointing down). Here is the bottom of the lower guard with the inlet for the tang
finished. I use the same method to inlet both the upper and lower guards.
can cause stress on the top of the tang (the weakest part of the sword) during an impact,
nor is too loose desirable for obvious reasons.
the first side before I trace the second side, I clamp the two sides to gether and
mark the edges of the openings on the second side, then trace the tang being careful to
align the tang with the marks at the top and bottom of the grip.
out to the edges.
along the joint. I use the tang to make sure that the grip pieces stay aligned as the
clamps are tightened, it also keeps the inlet clear as the the eccess glue is squeezed out.
It is important to remove the tang before the glue sets.
use a hack saw to cut blank off the bar. I then cut off the four corners.
and file the sides round.
picture I have drilled the first rivit hole and will drill the second one through the
corresponding hole in the upperguard, using the pin for alignment.
the tang. I hollow out the pommel by drilling and chisling, this provides clearance for the
tang as well as improving the balance of the sword.
Step 57: Engraving
with a pen. Then I chisle it out. After the basic pattern is cut I chisle in the details.
Once I've finished cutting the lines I file off the burrs and sand to 220gt.
Step 60: Carving
1/4" flat chisle, 3/16" round gouge, 3/16" flat chisle, 1/8" flat chisle, 1/16" flat chisle,
chisle tipped pick, point and outside chisle pick. 80% of the carving on this piece was
done with the 1/16 chisle.
the outline with chisles.
I need to take more out. Once everything is smooth I begin the detail work.
left is textured using a 1/8" chisle in the norse chip carving style. The other three
beasts are textured with lines using wood burning techniques.
Step 66: Mounting
to seal the hilt and keep mosture from getting between the guards and the blade. Mounting
the blade must be done quickly to avoid having the epoxy set before all the components are on
and the tang is peened. The sequence of mounting the blade is, first the lowerguard is
mounted and sealed with epoxy, the tang inlet in the grip is coated with epoxy and is
placed on the tang, the pommel rivets are placed in the upper guard which is sealed
and placed on top of the grip, and the tang is peened over on it. Peening the tang on
a piece like this where the rivets must be in place is a rather trying task.
the tang peened over on it. The pommel is sealed and hammered on to the rivets which are then
cut about 1/8" above the pommel and peened into the counter sunk holes. the last picture shows
the rivets peened, then the rivets are filed down flush with the pommel and polished to match.
You can see pictures of the finished Seax and read the specs. by ckicking on the link below.
Here is an independent rreview of this piece: