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Wherein Ben explains some of the processes he uses. This instructable is from a tutorial on my website: www.seekyee.com/Bladesmithing/the%20process/t...
Once I have decided to make a piece I begin by making several rough sketches. If I am working with a customer then I use the feedback from these sketc...
When I begin forging a major piece I write a invocation, on the floor of the shop. The invocation for this piece is writen in the modified Aglo-Saxon ...
The steel I used for this seax is 1095 3/16x1 1/4" bar stock. For most of my forging I use a 6 lb. hammer
I mark the important demensions on the anvil so I can check the blade while I'm forging it. In this case the blade is 15" long and 2" wide.
I begin forging by shaping the tip
Then I draw out the bevels on the edge
Here you can see how I work the bevels back along the edge a little at a time.
Here the blade has been rough forged.
Next I cut the blade from the billet.
I use a roofing hatchet and a 3 lb. hammer to do the cutting.
Then I draw out the tang , refine the shape, and straighten the blade.
Here is the blade after I've finished the forging process.
Once the blade is forged to my liking I begin the filing process by defining the profile.
Then I take the fire scale off using an old farrier's rasp, as the scale is very hard on files.
I continue working the faces of the blade with the rasp until they are relatively flat and close to the final dimension I want.
I sight down the blade and mark the high spots with a felt tip pen. Then using a file I slowly shave the blade down till the marks are gone. I repeat ...
Another method I use to true up the sides is to use the tool pictured above like a wood plane.
After filing, I beging the polishing process using 150gt sand paper and hardwood or steel sanding blocks.
I change direction each time I change from filing to sanding or between grits of sand paper. This insures that all the marks from the previous grit ar...
By holding the blade at an angle and looking at the reflection of a straight edge in it one can see the high and low spots.
I mark the high spots on the blade with a felt tip marker. The sqiggly lines are the ones I derw while sighting down it. the straight ones are the one...
After finishing with the rough sanding I polish the blade to 220gt. always making sure the sanding lines run along the edge to avoid stress risers dur...
I use a paper towel and packing tape shroud to protect the blade.
I seal the shroud with scotch tape to prevent grit from getting in and causing scratches
Using curves insted of sharp corners at the junction of the tang and blade greatly reduces the chances of a blade snaping off at the hilt. It also red...
For most of my pieces I use a marquench. This is the process I use for marquenching. First, I normalize 3+ times (bring the blade up to the critical t...
After I finish the tempering process I grind the edge and polish the blade back to 150gt. At this point I test the blade by flexing it and chopping wi...
Once I am satisfied with the blades performance, I continue polishing it using sandpaper. Starting with 150gt. I use 220gt, 400gt, 600gt, 800gt, and 1...
I leave the blade with 1000gt diagonal scraches while I make the hilt and will finish it afterwards with 1000gt polishing it lenthwise. In the corner ...
This part of the Instructable is in cronological order rather then by individual pieces. The reason for roughing out the hilt pieces is to get an idea...
The first step in making the hilt is the lower guard (hilts are always described with the sword pointing down). Here is the bottom of the lower guard ...
It is important when fitting the lower guard to the blade not to have it too tight as that can cause stress on the top of the tang (the weakest part o...
Here is the lower guard fitted to the tang.
This seax has a solid Afican Blackwood grip. First I cut the blank slightly over size.
Then saw the blank in half.
I flatten the insides of the grip using 150gt sand paper on a flat steel suface.
I trace the tang on the inside of the grip. To ensure that the two sides match I inlet the first side before I trace the second side, I clamp the two...
I do the inleting using chisles, Carving out the center part fist then carefully working out to the edges.
Here is the grip after the inlet is complete.
When I glue the two halves of the grip together I use two clamps to give even pressure along the joint. I use the tang to make sure that the grip piec...
The guards for this piece are made of 1018 steel, I mark the bar using a V-graver, and use a hack saw to cut blank off the bar. I then cut off the fou...
I mark the guard and drill out most of the material from the inlet.
Using a jeweler's saw and asorted files I shape the inlet for the tang.
Here is the finished inlet.
Here is the upper guard in place on the tang.
Next I use files to shape the guard. Then I drill the holes for the pommel rivets. and file the sides round.
Here is the grip after the side profile has been cut.
Next I rasp the corners off the grip.
Here is the bottom of the grip after rasping the corners.
I begin working on the pommel once I have an idea how the balance needs to change. In this picture I have drilled the first rivit hole and will drill ...
The primary function of the pommel is to balance the weapon by adding weight to the end of the tang. I hollow out the pommel by drilling and chisling...
Next I file the pommel to mach the upper guard.
Then I begin to shape the pommel with a hack-saw and files.
Here is the pommel after having been rounded and sanding with 150gt.
Now that I have all the guards roughed out I can shape the grip using chisles, rasps.
I mark the basic pattern on the steel with a pencil and one it is correct I go over it with a pen. Then I chisle it out. After the basic pattern is cu...
Here are the guards after engraving.
I check the fit of the hilt components and refine the grip if need be.
The tools I use for carving are top to bottom: 1/4" flat chisle, 3/16" round gouge, 3/16" flat chisle, 1/8" flat chisle, 1/16" flat chisle, chisle tip...
I draw the design out on the piece in pencil then go over the lines with a pen, then cut in the outline with chisles.
Then chop out the back ground.
Here the background has been cut out and the under-over patterns on the beasts have been defined
After I've finished the rough carving I use steel wool to smooth the surfaces and see where I need to take more out. Once everything is smooth I begin...
On this piece I used two different methods to cut the fine details, the beast on the left is textured using a 1/8" chisle in the norse chip carving st...
I use traditional methods to mount the blade except that I use epoxy rather then pitch to seal the hilt and keep mosture from getting between the guar...
These three images show the riveting on of the pommel. The first shows the upper guard with the tang peened over on it. The pommel is sealed and hamme...
There you have it, I hope that you enjoyed seeing how I work. You can see pictures of the finished Seax and read the specs. by ckicking on the link be...
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