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About basher

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    Bladesmith and Blacksmith.

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  • Location
    london UK
  • Interests
    Pattern welding , swords and other pointys , Power hammers and all things hot and squishy .
  1. Seax Question

    definitely not...trying to forge the complicated geometry of a seax is anything but simple and requires a pretty strict set of procedures to get the shape.....It wont happen by happy accident.
  2. What rpm is the hammer running at Dan? I have run mechanical hammers (Goliath) from as little as 1 hp but that’s for a 240 rpm 60lb hammer, 3hp is better 5 better still.Faster would need more it a fast cutlers hammer? I would be inclined to get a new motor. Are you limited to 13 amp single phase as you will need more than that for either an inverter or new 3 hp motor.
  3. Its a strange steel, I made some test blades from it laminated with pure iron cladding (along with some 145C with same treatment) 4 or 5 years ago and could not get the blades to "not chip" using a brass rod test, tempered at 220 and then 250C. so I kept them and have had great use from them. In practice they do not chip at all in a kitchen environment. I would play around with edge geometry (which makes a huge difference to chipping or not) and tempering temperature to see if you can get a result you are happy with.
  4. Dwarven hunting knife

    Well I think that proves my point! sometimes it is much more about the words than the steel!
  5. Dwarven hunting knife

    Ah, I can understand why! but in many ways its more a "lord of the rings thread" than it is about a knife. If anything the knife is just the excuse for going all "LOTR" I would disagree that the writing is speil, any more than the pattern welding or carving. They are all part of the creative process and as much a part of the knife as the steel..There is a core functionality to any knife, it needs to cut , be strong enough for its function and have good balanced and proportion. All these things are a given, but they are also part of the story of the piece. I would be naive If i thought that people were interested in the knives I make from a purely functional point of view. So I see the aesthetic of the piece and the underlying story as being as important a function of the knife as it being able to cut. The story is part of the function of the knife (the final owners relationship will most likely not be bases on the pure function of the blade) and the function is part of the story....The knife must live up to the reality of its claims...the " realness " of the knife will affect the relationship between owner and knife. If its not real its not believable.... But its not for everyone, but thats the beauty of making one off pieces...For all the effort involved, I really only need to find one person who likes the knife enough..........
  6. Dwarven hunting knife

    As we look Back it is always hard to tell if such a knife was made for a Dwarven Hero or for a Hero of Men, often these details are lost in the mists of time and imagination. Either way this is a stout stedfast and robust knife (certainly Dwarven made) perfect for heroic undertakings, expeditions in search of gold and adventures beyond the realms of men. “If hunting Warg, or tracking Dragons,a stout knife is always a benefit. Keen of edge , a true stroke struck will not be repelled by the stoutest hide. But after the adventuring is done and mead is flowing. When the fire is sizzling with aromas , the hunters legacy roasting….Then tales are told and knives passed around the hall, adornment , edge and jewel reflected glittering in the firelight. The deeds of the day become bigger , wolves become wargs and tall tales become legends. The knife blade is made by me and the handle, sheath and all the other lovley bits are made by Petr Florianek (Gullinbursti) ( This 12” bladed knife is forged from 4 bars of patternweld, there is wrought iron on the spine and 2 bars of 5 layer twisted steel. The edge is 300 layers of folded damascus steel, the swirls in the pattern showing the multitude of hammer striked used to forge the blade. The knife adorned with carved brass and antler, silver and garnet. Fierce beasts are carved into the handle and a Dragon writhes carved amidst the brass and garnets.
  7. I was completely captured by working the hot metal, still am (25 years later). Luckily I was OK at it quite quickly which helps!!!
  8. Anvil rebound video

    I think its more akin to wine tasting .....line up 4 blocks of identical looking material, hardened steel, unhardened steel, mild steel and cast iron. get people to forge on them (no hammer bouncing) and see which they prefer....with wine a lot of it is about the purchase experience (preset disposition of the qualities ) not taste.....I think its probably the same with anvils. I have hard and soft anvils cast steel ,forge welded and mild steel lumps, they all forge just fine. I like some more than others....
  9. Try a sub critical anneal, or more specifically a very high temper .Taking the piece to below critical, dull red and still magnetic a couple of times. I find it works much better than a "blacksmiths " anneal. a full spheroidal anneal is often quite a rigmarole and needs to have controlled slow cooling (computerised oven) to do properly.
  10. How do I keep a fuller straight?

    I would be pretty wary of thinking that you can use a sen easily on modern steel, I have tried and its a very hard thing to get to work. they are a tool designed to cut soft metal. If I did not have a selection of grinders then an angle grinder and some practice would be thee way i would approach it.
  11. How do I keep a fuller straight?

    Viking swords have very shallow wide fullers in them closer to a 8" diameter . in reality they are very rarely a radius at all and are often flat bottomed...There is good evidence that a lot of them were scraped in rather than forged, some of the pattern welded oned show a decent deptrh of material removal in the patterns.
  12. I have done it this way, I now buy my borax anhydrous, its simpler.
  13. One mistake I see people do when working out their shop rates is to assume they are doing productive paying work for 8 hours a day or for 5 days a week...The other is to limit yourself to a survival wage. I was certainly guilty of this for a long time. As a skilled individual you need to be able to generate a "good" living, craftsmen have a habit of keeping them selves poor. I tend to work on a day rate with the idea that I need to generate more than that day rate, sometimes a lot more...I work on £500 a day inc VAT (around $700) for a 9 to 5 day and this is comparable (some a little higher) to the professional American smiths I know and successful professionally in the uk . In some areas with cheap housing and living it could easily be less in some it would have to be a lot more! The hourly or day rate is useful so you can judge your time and the worth of your hours or days work against a fixed price point, ie is this worth making. it allows you to find things that match both your market rate and hourly rate. I have had a little read through this thread. they are some simple facts about most smiths, they are obsessed with what they do...and will happily run non viable businesses for years driven by this passion. The trick if there is any is to try and make it pay off. you literally have to forge your own luck!
  14. Seax Question

    From my POV having documented a few original seax it is pretty clear (to me) that the form is a stylistic one. The fact that the broken back shape exists on seax with blade lengths of 2inch up to great big woppers that are as big as big swords, would lead me to this conclusion. The shape and material distribution of the seax would lend its self to a medium to big knife, with the majority of the mass at the broken back , in the position to put it behind the point of impact (giving a chop quite like an axe). Often the blades taper in all directions from the broken back, this again puts the thickest part of the blade where it is also widest. There is also the Very useful pointy point. The larger seax possibly performing the job of a war sword, made fro the chaos of battle where the daintiness of a thin sword would be surpassed by the brutality (and ruggedness) or a large seax. The majority of seax ar predominantly made of wrought iron with small amounts of steel at the edge, I think this is probably why some of them are so thick. The uniformity of this shape through a range of sizes makes me feel that the seax has symbolic element to its form. either as a homage to someone / something (in other words a fashion statement, if the king has a silly looking knife then so must I..) or as symbol of someones region, clan or culture... The shape of a 2" broken back seax makes less sensefrom a p[ractical POV unless you are keeping to a defined form of some kind. As you travel around Europe knife shapes change from region to region, sometimes with good functional reason and sometimes to define one group of people as opposed to another. I find the seax fascinating...At first they seem to be an ugly knife ,but upon closer looking are very elegant with their own set of stylistic rules. The seax reminds me a lot of the Japanese aesthetic....but at a different place and time. I feel an affinity to the seax as a knife with a temporal connection to the past on this little island I live on.
  15. Iron Hand , a single edged norse sword.

    Thanks for the Kind words, I will be re approaching this theme in 2018...