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Doug Ayen

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Partizan [Jun. 9th, 2003|06:43 pm]
Doug Ayen
For those of you who noticed, I took off a couple of weeks from knifemaking due to intensive job interviews -- and it paid off, I now have a job. Qwest has decided to hire me, I should be getting the details tomorrow.

Having gotten the interviews behind me, and feeling free to get dirty and burnt, I started a new project (yes, I know, I have something like six projects going. Deal.) I'm making a partizan, a kind of ceremonial polearm. It is shaped sort of like a spear, but below the edged part there is traditionally some decoration. Given that the local barony has its birthday in a couple of weeks, I decided to see if I could incorporate one of the baronial symbols into the weapon.

To do this, I needed a piece of steel with a pointy bit about a foot long and 2 - 2.5 inches wide, and a wider area, about 5" wide and 6" long, below that. To get this effect, I took a piece of 2.5" wide, 1/4" thick, 18"long 5160, cleaned off the mill scale on one side for 10", scored it and doubled it over on itself, giving me 5" of double-thick material to work with. The welding was a bit troublesome, but I got it to take. At least, it hasn't fallen apart so far.

I worked the extra-thick material first, using a spring fuller on the Little Giant power hammer(a spring fuller is a tool with a long U-shaped spring, in this case about 16" doubled up, with two pieces of half-round steel welded onto it such that the curves of the steel meet. This creates a pinching action that compresses, and hence streaches out the the material between them in line with the pieces of half-round.) Starting about an inch from the end, I was able to widen the material to about 4" wide using the fuller, then took it out to 5" using the flat dies, thus removing the marks from the fuller work.

Since I knew I would be doing a lot of edge beveling, I've taken my texturing/drawing/not-in-very-good-condition die and ground in a bevel into one edge. This should assist me in forging in bevels and drawing out edges. So far, it seems to work.

SAFETY TIP: when working with a power hammer, you want the most secure grip possible on the work. To this end, before working with this piece of steel on the power hammer, I first forged in a stub that fit exactly into a pair of box-ended tongs. This let me control the work with great ease and security, as nobody likes having a 5-lb piece of yellow-hot steel flying around.

Having made my 5" x 6" area, I started working on the tang of the partizan. I originally planned on making a socket for it, but my research shows that it was far more common for these to have a stick tang forced into a metal collar on the shaft of the weapon. This is a bit of a win, as I suck at making sockets, but I had kinda wanted the practice. Maybe next time.

For some reason, while reducing the end of the blade down to the tang-shape, it started forming into weird shape, sort of like an "M" on the end of the piece. I'll be forging this down to a more regular shape before proceding.

About this time my arms were giving out, and I also ran out of propane. I decided this was a sign, and closed up shop.

Next steps: finishing the tang, and probably welding on a bit of an extension, then forging the bevels onto the tip. This should only take an hour or two, then I think this piece will be done with the forging.

--doug ayen

[User Picture]From: kimberlogic
2003-06-09 04:01 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the job, babe!


This sounds really interesting - I like reading about your forging and such.
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[User Picture]From: pookfreak
2003-06-09 04:03 pm (UTC)
Happy Happy Day!

Congrats babe :)
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[User Picture]From: rmd
2003-06-09 04:10 pm (UTC)
woohoo! a job *and* getting covered with soot!
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[User Picture]From: madbodger
2003-06-09 05:21 pm (UTC)

mmmm power hammer

This was the most reasonable way to put a wider bit on the end? Cool.
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[User Picture]From: blackanvil
2003-06-09 06:13 pm (UTC)
Pretty much. If I'd had wider material on hand, I could have just cut out what I wanted, but in the old days, you used what you had on hand, and it's very traditional to just weld up material then draw it out. Admitedly, it takes a while, the welding and drawing out took a bit more than an hour, and I ended up with some burns on the back of my right hand where some molten flux went into my glove, but it worked.

Next time, if I know I'm going to be doing this sort of thing, I think I'll cheat and just order some 6" wide stock. still, it's kinda nice to look at this and know that my welding and smithing skills are up to this level now.

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From: (Anonymous)
2003-06-10 08:20 am (UTC)

From Wife-of-Carl

The partizan project sounds really cool, and congratulations on the job!

Stephanie found a tube of toothpaste, are you missing yours?
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[User Picture]From: journal_saurus
2003-06-11 05:46 pm (UTC)


Doug, congrats on the new job! I'm sorry if this means that you won't be able to work in the shop as much.
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