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Doug Ayen

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Today's session [Jan. 25th, 2003|01:38 pm]
Doug Ayen
Started a bit early, got the core all welded up and ground even. I think I'm getting the hang of this forge welding stuff, at least for pattern welding.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that handedness counted for the final pattern in the piece, so I had twisted the rod the same way for the whole length. This means that all three pieces of the core are twisted the same way -- therefore no herringbone pattern. I could have done up one more piece and gotten the pretty pattern, but decided that I'd done enough on this, and that the all-going-the-same-way look would look fine. If I do another one, however, I'll remember this.

The edge bar had welded up fine -- the extra carbon lowers the fusion point, so it's even easier to weld than the normal wrought iron. After squaring it up and grinding off the slag, I wired it up to the core -- since I had quite a bit extra of the carburized, I left the extended bit on for use as a tang. There's a bit of what looks like unwelded layering right at the tang end, so when I go back to the workshop I'll flux and weld that bit again, then work that down so the tang bit is centered, then start working on the blade.

The billet currently is about a centimeter thick, and about 10 cm long, about 3 cm wide. The final dimensions I'm looking for are about .5cm thick at the spine where it meets the tang, tapering to just a millimeter or so near the tip, about 4 cm wide at the base of the blade, and we'll see how long that works out to. I'll probably do this this afternoon.

If I can get that final forging done today, then I can start grinding -- probably have that done tomorrow. By Tuesday I may have a knife to show off with! Oh, wait, then there's the fittings -- the piece I'm basing this off of has a bronze guard and buttcap, probably another few hours work. I'm thinking of using cherry or oak for the handle.

Still, it should be done shortly. Cool. Now, if only I can keep hitting the workshop for a few hours each day . . .

Afternoon update:
Got the forging done, knocked the scale and slag off, looks pretty good -- a couple of annoying cold shuts, but nothing where it will show, I think. Time to take my blank and figure out what the final look will be!

Fortunately, the piece I'm basing this off of is, well, "partial." As in partially there -- the entire tip (thinnest part of the blade, of course) had rusted off. So, I'm going to improvise a bit, based on what I know of the other historical seax knives and (of course) the blade blank I forged out.