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Doug Ayen

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open workshop/frankish seax [Dec. 21st, 2002|12:00 pm]
Doug Ayen
Well, no one showed up for today's open workshop. I got quite a bit of work done anyway, though.

In a previous workshop session, I had made a billet of alternating wrought iron and a primitive steel made by carburizing wrought iron -- this is for what I hope will be a very authentic style Frankish seax, much like one I've seen in a book of knives.

Today, I worked on the billet, drawing it out in preparation for the final fold (This will be the fourth fold, so I will have 5x2x2x2x2=80 layers. This should be enough for a good pattern, not so much that the layers all blend together. I had some problems working the billet, as wrought iron and it's derivatives need to be worked at a very high temperature or else they delaminate. After some re-welding of the delaminations, though, it turned out very solid.

Next step on this part, which will be the core, will be to do the final fold & weld, then forge it into a rod and twist. As long as I keep the temperature in the right range, it should go well.

As well, I started the new billet that will be the edge, this will be just carburized wrought iron.

Final assembly should happen after xmas -- I'll take the twisted rod, cut it into three pieces, and try to arrange them so that they form a herringbone pattern. I'll take the edge material, and grind & forge it so I get a wave pattern in the steel, then wire it and the core up & weld -- this will be the most complicated forge well I'll have attempted to date. When (if) this works, I should be able to forge it to shape, grind, polish, and etch, and I'll have a pattern welded seax. Bronze fittings and a bone or wood handle should complete it.

Guessimate on total time spent on this -- probably about 4 hours so far, with another 10 to come.

-- doug ayen