Wherein Ben endeavors to explain one of his methods for inlaying non-ferrous metals into steel for knives and swords.

Step 1: Layout

The first step is to mark the pattern on the steel. I like to do the layout in pencil.
Then I go over it in pen.
Looks amazing!
You could use the runic alphabet from LORD OF THE RINGS.
 called elvish writing 
<p>It's not elvish. The dwarven alphabet is based on Futhark, but the elven alphabet looks more like the Islamic alphabet and something else, I don't remember what. The writing on the One Ring is in the elvish alphabet.</p>
&nbsp;you mean the messed up writing stuff, like what is on the ring?
It is not actually an elvish script, but the historical type of writing the the Anglo-Saxons.
J.R.R. Tolkein was a University Professor, so he probably used the historically correct Futhark.
Tolkien's dwarf runes are based on the original Futhark but have several differences.
I used a modified Anglo-Saxon Futhark.<br />
are you doing the way they did it with the uthbert sword?
are you doing the way they did it with the uthbert sword?
<p>Love it, cant wait to try!</p>
<p>Beautiful. Have you ever considered trying the old fashion gilding process?</p>
<p>one word - epic!</p>
Oh I have another question as well. I read all the comments and you said that your inlay is quite strong but have ever thought about running this through a draw plate mechanism to further force the inlay and provide a consistent and solid driving force? Or do you think this would be to much pressure and might actually drive the blade metal out of shape. I only ask because the hammering might not be consistent. I understand that you have many years of talent to compensate for irregularities but for someone less talented a drawing ight help smooth things out. Oh and one more when you undercut for the small circles do you use a graver for that and just loop the inside of the hole or how do you do that one? <br>sorry for so many questions but I a enthralled with this and am very curious.
A draw plate would strip the inlay out. You MIGHT be able to use a roller mill, or a press but hammering is most likely the best (and it's traditional).
I did mean roller mean roller mill, not draw plate, so thank you for that. Because now that I looked at it a draw plate is for wire. But thank you for all the answers.
The small circles are undercut with a graver.
This is so Awesome. I mean this it. My question to you is have you ever heat treated the inlay, and if you did do you use borax or some sort of rosin to permanently bond the two metals? Or would this cause to much thermal expansion. I ask because I have seen tutorials where you inlay the metal by fusing the layers by melting the metals. But that might melt your detail, so I can see where that might not be good. But my question still stands can you fuse the metals.
The non-ferrous inlay would melt at the HT temp. You are talking about a steel or iron inlay like the &quot;Ulfbert&quot; swords.
I just went to the Viking museum in Lofoten, Norway, this morning and this looks like the real thing. Great craftmanship!
I went onto your website and saw some of your work. It was incredible! But how did you make dwarven head seax blade look blue like that?
i would really like to learn this language even if it is dead<br>
Hehe luckily for you it's not a language. You don't learn how to speak runes, you learn how to transcribe into runes. Kind of like how we spell japanese words out in english, our alphabet is phonetic. Runes are an alphabet, and super easy to learn. I write in them all the time. This is the younger futhark I think, and the most commonly used. I use the elder futhark. This is the website I used to learn runes with :) (Without the spaces.)<br><br>ht tp : // runes . info / rune piece 07 . ht m
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Ben, at what point in the process did you do the inlay?&nbsp; I mean in relation to the rough grind, quenching, tempering, final grind/polishing, and sharpening.&nbsp; It looks like the blade has already been rough-shaped and taken to maybe a 200-grit finish, so I would guess sometime after the rough grind.&nbsp; And regarding that point, whichever it is, is that a pretty standard process for you, to inlay at that point in the process, or is there sometimes a reason to vary it?&nbsp; Thanks!<br />
you have to do the heat treating first or you will melt out the inlay. You have to do a differential heat treat so the the area to be engraved needs to be relatively soft. <br><br>It needs to be polished out to about 220gt and its final dimensions.
Actually, to simplify, did you do the wire inlays before or after heat-treating?<br />
After, and you have to do a differential heat treat.<br />
f,i,r,s, f,r,e,n,d,s first freinds?<br />
fierce friend.&nbsp; Anglo-Saxon Futhark. There is no &quot;s&quot; on the end.<br />
hmmmmm i see, what is that letter?<br />
it isn't a &quot;letter&quot; just a detail to balance out the chevrons in front of the runes.<br />
i ment this the sowilo<br />
Truely amazing man, I'm glad I&nbsp;added you to my favorites. I bought a video on engraving with gravers just a bit ago, and this will be a nice addition to my knowledge base. <br />
Awesome work Ben, just beautiful.&nbsp; Now I&nbsp;want to do this on my seaxs.&nbsp; The broken back design really makes it look better too.&nbsp; This method will be much better than the chemical etch and leafing I&nbsp;planned to do.&nbsp; Thanks!<br /> <br /> Rob<br />
I'm glage you found it useful.<br />
Are you using Elder Futhark, or a different alphabet? I'm having trouble identifying the fourth rune (sohwilo?). I can read the runes, but not translate. I get:<br/><br/>Fehu, Isa, Raido, (sowilo?) - space- Fehu, Raido, Ehwaz, Nauthiz, Dagaz, and then what looks like a backwards Kenaz.<br/><br/>Fears Frand = Fierce Friend? <br/><br/>If you're trying to write in English, then that's my guess- if not, then I'll be glad ot hear the answer.<br/>
it says fire friend
you left out the 4th rune, sowilo. It does indeed say Fierce Friend, which is the author's website.
It's not Elder Futhark, but it is very simmilar.
I almost yelled "THIEF!" until I saw it was Ben Potter, from the BladeSmith forums. :) Good tutorial though. :)
The sword says Fire Friend?, what kind of alphabet is that?
that my friend is the elder futhark the same runes used by the vikings themselves
How exactly does it stay in? Other than that, BEAUTIFUL job, it looks amazing. How well would that work on a kukri blade 1/4 thick? -PKT
The wires stay in place because of the under-cut in the channels. similar to dove tails in wood working. This kind of inlay, while not traditional for a kukri would work, as long as it is made in the traditional manner with a differential tempered blade. The traditional Nepalese kukri is tempered by pouring water over the edge and not on the back of the blade.
I just can't get over the braid effect from the twists. So obvious, once thought of. But I doubt I would have thought of it in, say, 1000 years. Another surprise is that trinity knot. I was predicting it would be ungainly at best, and, more likely, dorky. I guess that 15 years honed your vision a little bit. Very pretty. Thanks for this window into the process!
This is very beautiful. Nice work.
how well does this inlay stand up to use and abuse? I'd imagine its fine for a blade that is more of a display piece (what I imagine this is) but it seems that for something that's seeing more wear and tear (someone mentioned a hammer earlier) that such delicate engraving would work its way out over time. although I'd imagine repair work probably isn't too much of an issue. amazing work either way though with a range of decorative uses beyond just those for a seax. well photographed and documented too. cool stuff!
Actual the inlay is VERY strong, short of bending the blade to the breaking point or gouging the silver and copper out it is pretty much there for ever. There are many blades from the viking age where the inlay has out lasted the steel. This piece (as are all my pieces) is fully functional and will stand up to hard use.

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Bio: I am a full-time bladesmith working in the Celto-Norse style.
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