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I Forge Iron

Raymond Sauvage

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About Raymond Sauvage

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  • Location
    Trondheim Norway
  • Interests
    Archaeology, blacksmithing, my children, litterature
  1. I guess fullering the area between the face part and the handle hole wil gives you more material to draw out wider cheeks. This enables increesed surface contact area between the handle and the shaft.
  2. Did you shut of the main gas valve at the tank? For safety reasons you should always close the valve at the tank. The gas lines needle valve, magnethic valves and hoses may not be designed to take the full pressure over time, when a valve is closed upstrem from the regulator.
  3. I have seen lots of viking spear in my job as an archaeologist. The museum i work for has all prehistoric and medieval finds from the middle part of norway, and I recently worked with the finds catalouge. My guess our collections contain 800-1000 viking era spearheads (along with 800 swords and 1200 axes). Most spearheads have forgewelded sockets. Maybe 5-10 % have none-forgewelded sockets, mainly throwing spears and simpler types.
  4. I have seen many medieval and earlier tongs during my studies. The reins cross-section varies but most are sqareish with some chamfering of the corners for comfort. In others had rounded cross-section at the ends. No need to make the whole of the rains round when you only grip the ends.
  5. Wrouht has a tendency to split along the grain. With wrought iron it was more usual to make the eye by folding and forgewelding. However wrought welds up nicely, and it should be no problem to forgeweld the crack back together.
  6. The problem is not flux damaging the firebrick. The dense firebrick in the floor of the Diamondback forges stands up to the flux (the dense firebrick is used as a floor on top of the soft firebrick lining). So the problem is to avoid getting old flux stuck on workpiecec when not forgewelding. Igues i wil try to get some kind of sacrificial sheet.
  7. Since i´m not alowed to burn coal where i live, i curently use a Diamondback two burner welding forge. I´m very satisfied with the performance of the forge. However after a while there is a buildup of slagg and old flux on the forge floor (dense firebrick), which sticks to everything i put inside the forge. I use some kind of scraper to scrape out most of the flux, but this do not remove everythng. My solution at the moment is to place some flat bar on the forge floor. Does anybody haver other solutions to this problem?
  8. Just a not about the smiths using smaller hammers. I have written my MA in archaeology about viking age forging equipment fram the midle part of Norway. I have examined over 30 grave finds with forging tools. The heaviest hammer was 450 gram. Some heavier hammers exist from south of Norway (Bygland) and from Mästermyr. Most hammers for forging range from 300 gram to about 500. The lightest hammer i documented was 45 gram, which i do not think was intended for forging. Also evidence points to the smith working in a sitting possition, making it dificult to use larger hammers efficiently. Most fo
  9. Thanks for the comments and compliments. I absolutly agrea that it's posible to use a smaler anvil to make an axe using sliting and drifting techniques. Hoever using a 450 gram (15-16 oz) hammer is quite dificult. Looking at the archaeological record, most iron and steel tools, weapons and objects fram the viking area was made using forgeweldin,g to build up larger dimensjons from smaler sections. The only weapons i know of, that was forged out of one piece is arowheads, which are quite small. Making axes by forgewelding the eye seems to be the most usual method up until the mechanization a
  10. This week having some time to spare, i did some work at the shop making a smal bearded axe, trying out athentic viking age techniques. The purpose of the forging was to try out some hypothesises i have made after examining and documenting several early vking age axes at the archeological museum where i work. Picture 1: The main body of the axe was made of two pieces 20x8 mm mild steel, the larger section (180 mm long) was folded to a U-shape. A smaler section was tapered to a chisel shape, folded onto iself and fagotwelded, making a wedge shaped piece. Picture 2: The wedge was placed in
  11. Like Thomas Powers said, two two smaller bellows was propably in common use aroud the 10th century and prior. Several iconographic descriptions shows two smaler bellows used for forging, in addition to the carvings from Hyllestad (12th century), two single action bellows is shown the Sigurd runic inscriptions and pictures at Ramsundberg, Södermanland in Sweden, dating to the tenth century. There are almoust no finds of bellows and bellow parts from this period. We have several tuyeres made from sopestone from 7th-10th century graves together with other forging tools. Theese tuyeres have a fu
  12. A simple radiocarbon dating sample from the handle would easily tell the age. <0,1 grams is enough theese days. Of course creationists tend to dismiss radiocarbon dating ...
  13. I have also experienced hard spots in hot rolled mild steel here in Norway. I gues the steel economy is international so we get the same steel all over the world. I have typical run in to problems when teaching students to forge arowheads. When finished forging they usualy quench the workpiece in the slack tube from yellow heat (eaven though I tell them to lett it air cool). Later when they grind and files the profile and bevels on the arow head blade, they run into hard spots that can't be filed. What hapends is that some spots in the steel hardens when quenching in the slack tube. This prove
  14. OK, I did not find a way to upload the file on to the downloads cathegory, so here is my MA thesis as an atachment. Raymond MA_thesis_Rsauvage.pdf
  15. I have been puzzeled about axes with round shaft holes also. Many of the axes from the Migratonal period seems to have a round shaft hole. Round shaft holes should not be very stable without any form of eternal stropping or somthing. Anyway, archaeologists tend to interprete everything they don´t quite understand as symbolic, military or ritual ... Most of the axes with a wraped and welded shaft hole seems to have a more squareish shape, a much more practical shape for shafting. I have seen several axes using the same welding technique as in your picture. I have also seen examples where the
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