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

Step 1: Layout

Picture of 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.
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jackowens3 months ago
Looks amazing!
thepelton6 years ago
You could use the runic alphabet from LORD OF THE RINGS.
 called elvish writing 

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.

 you mean the messed up writing stuff, like what is on the ring?
ben potter (author)  red-king3 years ago
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.
ben potter (author)  thepelton3 years ago
Tolkien's dwarf runes are based on the original Futhark but have several differences.
ben potter (author)  thepelton5 years ago
I used a modified Anglo-Saxon Futhark.
are you doing the way they did it with the uthbert sword?
are you doing the way they did it with the uthbert sword?
sir_ghattas8 months ago

Love it, cant wait to try!

Beautiful. Have you ever considered trying the old fashion gilding process?

Eldalote1 year ago

one word - epic!

MrE2 years ago
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?
sorry for so many questions but I a enthralled with this and am very curious.
ben potter (author)  MrE2 years ago
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).
MrE ben potter2 years ago
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.
ben potter (author)  MrE2 years ago
The small circles are undercut with a graver.
MrE2 years ago
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.
ben potter (author)  MrE2 years ago
The non-ferrous inlay would melt at the HT temp. You are talking about a steel or iron inlay like the "Ulfbert" swords.
elizruge2 years ago
I just went to the Viking museum in Lofoten, Norway, this morning and this looks like the real thing. Great craftmanship!
Zephyr6552 years ago
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?
zombeastly4 years ago
i would really like to learn this language even if it is dead
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.)

ht tp : // runes . info / rune piece 07 . ht m
Raynor355 years ago
Ben, at what point in the process did you do the inlay?  I mean in relation to the rough grind, quenching, tempering, final grind/polishing, and sharpening.  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.  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?  Thanks!
ben potter (author)  Raynor354 years ago
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.

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?
ben potter (author)  Raynor355 years ago
After, and you have to do a differential heat treat.
skimmo5 years ago
f,i,r,s, f,r,e,n,d,s first freinds?
ben potter (author)  skimmo5 years ago
fierce friend.  Anglo-Saxon Futhark. There is no "s" on the end.
hmmmmm i see, what is that letter?
ben potter (author)  skimmo5 years ago
it isn't a "letter" just a detail to balance out the chevrons in front of the runes.
i ment this the sowilo
MatrixRage5 years ago
Truely amazing man, I'm glad I 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.
strumbot5 years ago
Awesome work Ben, just beautiful.  Now I want to do this on my seaxs.  The broken back design really makes it look better too.  This method will be much better than the chemical etch and leafing I planned to do.  Thanks!

ben potter (author)  strumbot5 years ago
I'm glage you found it useful.
imbignate6 years ago
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:

Fehu, Isa, Raido, (sowilo?) - space- Fehu, Raido, Ehwaz, Nauthiz, Dagaz, and then what looks like a backwards Kenaz.

Fears Frand = Fierce Friend?

If you're trying to write in English, then that's my guess- if not, then I'll be glad ot hear the answer.
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.
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