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Canadian_Krazer

How do I keep a fuller straight?

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Yes it's called experience. It also helps to have help in the shop and not try to do it all by yourself.  No historical blacksmith's shop would only have 1 guy in it! So if you had two people holding the blade and you swinging the hammer it would be a lot easier! 

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You can also start the fuller channels with the steel cold.  Find the mid point on the blade where you want the fuller to start and where you want it to end.  Scribe a straight line between those two points.  Then either shallow grind or chisel (rounded,  not sharp and steep) on that line so that when the steel is hot you can feel it on your fuller tool.  Once you get the fuller path set straight just heat, beat, and repeat until you get the depth you desire.

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A lot of folks use a tool like that to set the initial fuller and scrape the fuller cold with a fixture to the final dimensions.  Google fuller scraper and you should find some pictures.

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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.

 

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4 hours ago, CMS3900 said:

A lot of folks use a tool like that to set the initial fuller and scrape the fuller cold with a fixture to the final dimensions.  Google fuller scraper and you should find some pictures.

 

2 hours ago, basher said:

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.

 

Where would you buy a scraper?

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You may want to research "sen"  which is a Japanese version; however the sword blade won't balk at cross culturalism .

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1 hour ago, Canadian_Krazer said:

Where would you buy a scraper?

I don't know of anywhere to buy one off hand. Most are in-house made and a lot of the ones I have seen use a carbide tipped lathe bit for the cutter, profiled to what kind of fuller your looking for.

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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.

 

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It may also be helpful to include your particular shop's contents and what your experience is in making swords, or machining and forging generally.   

If you're looking for a really refined finished product but aren't confident in your ability to hand forge it you'll likely need to machine it. But if you're looking for a refined product at all, and are really new to smithing, a Viking sword isn't the right level project to do. That's an incredibly involved project that will likely require specialized equipment you wont have somewhere in the project, be it a forge that can heat the whole sword or a tank to quench it. 

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Except you NEVER need a forge that can heat the whole length at one time... passing it through the hotspot will work.  Or you can dig a trench forge for the pre-quench heat. Heating too much of the blade at one time is a typical blunder in beginning swordmaking.

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My overall point wasn't about blunders in beginning sword making, it was about sword making being a blunder for a beginning blacksmith. But i can sure see what you mean about overheating a blank. My knowledge of sword quenching goes just a bit past what i've seen on Forge in fire, so it's incredibly elementary, but don't you at the time of quench need a uniform heat for the entire cutting edge? I can sure see a trench forge working well for that, with a minimal pricetag to boot. I've pointed people towards that design before on other sites when they're looking for the "try out blacksmithing this weekend" experience. Stick of rebar, sledgehammer head, black pipe, hairdryer, hand hammer. and away u go. 

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There are methods of getting a good heat over the entire length using traditional sized forges.  They tend to take more time and a bit of skill helps...The classic beginner mistake in swordmaking is making a huge forge that is expensive to run and actually damages the steel not actively being worked. (Making swords that are way too heavy, making swords with the grip not at a harmonic node and making swords with slick grips are some others. Building in stress risers and making them from an alloy not suitable are gimmes)

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3 hours ago, basher said:

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.

I tried making a sen and using it on my first blade. It was not a success. 

Nice to know it wasn’t solely my lack of experience and skill!

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And for blades that don't have parallel edges you can center and clamp them to a piece of wood or something else that does have parallel edges and use that for the guide.

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Based on what’s you described, I wanted to share a video of a guy (Slavik Telly) that does some great stock removal projects. In this video, 

which is part 2 of 2, he drills a depth for the fuller and files the fuller. If you want to do precise work and haven’t forged a fuller, this may be a great approach and may be something to consider. You may want to forge it and if so, you can disregard this share. But at least it gives you a visual of how someone creates a fuller with removal and it turns out pretty good. Good luck. Share pics when you get the project going. Sounds like fun!

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