Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Seax-inspired short sword


Recommended Posts

I agreed to make a large knife for a coworker, and a second for his father for Christmas. A seax was desired, so I began researching them. The more I read, the more I felt the seax should be a short sword. If my understanding is adequate, the sword decided upon and produced is a 9th century Anglo-Saxon seax-inspired blade. American 5160 @ .25in thick was the starting point. The blade was forged, re-annealed, ground a bit, heat-cycled x3, and heat-treated (quench was done in warmed veg oil 130ish°). The pseudo fuller was cut on our big verticle mill. The guard and pommel were shaped out of a (very expensive) .75in thick piece of brass stock. These two pieces were powder-coated black chrome, and the raw brass stripes were turned in my ancient lathe. I cut and stabilized the ebony. This got chopped for the brass flourishes and shaped on the tang. The tang extends into the pommel. The "customer" (only charge coworkers for materials/consumables) wanted a black color scheme, so the brass stripes were just for visual happiness for me mostly. Epoxy was applied, and final sanding was done. Chrome buffer was used on all parts including blade, which was final sanded to 2000. Aim for the blade was 56 hardness after temper, so it should be very robust. I dont remember what the final blade length was.. I want to say a touch over 20inches. I am happy with the distal taper and the blade profile. I am mostly happy with the ebony, and moderately happyish with my grinding. I am disappointed in how the join of the ebony and brass pieces turned out. I am also disappointed in my strategy during polishing close to my powder-coating. Overall I am happy with the product, but will not make another sword for a long while... unless someone agrees to pay a large sum of money, I will then. This was super high stress, and very unforgiving compared to a knife. Making sure it is safe to use in the hands of a quasi lunatic like my friend and coworker was the main factor. I am confident in my heat-treat and blade geometry, so I rated it as safe to use on organic material. This blade represents my accumulated skill to date, and forced some growth. Now I am going to make the customer matching knives for he and his father. Thanks for looking, pictures to come.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice results; perhaps some deep deep red spaces for the ebony to brass transitions?

Definitely a langseax, to me the  tang looks a bit small; I hope it was left unhardened or tempered way back, look at the seax of Beagnoth in wikipedia for an example of a 10th century tang.  I am also not a fan of a mirror polish for a seax. I think a slightly matte finish would work for the blade with that beautiful ebony.  However I would be proud to display that on my wall!

(As for the rating:  they will start with watermelons but end up with picnic tables in my experience...)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely lang seax! Did you intend to show off how mirror-like the polish is by all the kitchen(?) reflections in the photos?  I'd photograph a blade like that on freshly mown grass back ground. It provides a naturally soft focus and a color that shows off the brass. That's just me though, took too many photography classes in the day. 

Well done to the max.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

T.Powers, your suggestion is helpful. I did not think of that. The tang is approximately 6in long, maybe 6.5in.. I don't remember. I was actually a little confused about the appropriate length. It was tempered past the blues/purples. 

Frosty San, I wish I would have thought of the grass!!! That's brilliant. The white tile I thought would help the eye see the lines better. Thank you both for your kind words; to be validated by fine smiths is greatly rewarding.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's just a photography class trick.  I pass it on often, the pro photographers are probably gnashing their teeth.

It's been a long, long, time since anybody attached the "San" honorific to my name, I'm blushing. 

Domo Arigato.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So hold the point of focus so that little yellow flowers are thirty feet behind it? It's rare enough to find grass that's green instead of yellow here.. I suppose I could sneak onto a well-to-do's lawn and quickly start taking pictures of a sword :blink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Adjusting the f stop on the lens will create an out of focus background. The little circles of light and color you see in the background of a photo are called bokeh. Anyway depth of field means how much of the picture is in focus from near to far. Shallow depth of field means that the area in crisp focus is shallow. Say as an example from the front of the lens to five feet away from the lens is in crisp focus and then things start to look "dreamy"  or diffuse. 

Pnut

Link to post
Share on other sites

Any mirror or reflective surface can easily be controlled by giving it a clean, generic, surface to reflect.  Light gray is a good color choice for this as it is not white, bright, or distracting to the rest of the information in the photograph. 

One of the most convenient backgrounds for photography of products is a large sheet of cardboard.  Generic medium brown, and hides all sorts of shop clutter. It gives the camera only the subject to focus on.  Be sure to check that the camera did focus on the subject and not try to focus on the background.  Always choose a clean uncluttered background or make one available.  A piece of wrinkle free yard square of cloth does not take up much room and has many advantages.  Put box or other support for the product on a table and cover it with the cloth.  The product in the photograph is then supported and presented to the viewer with no clutter.

Throwing the background out of focus can be done with f/stops or with selective focus distance.  Large f/stop openings work well when combined with short camera to subject distances.  That is when the camera recognizes and actually focuses on the subject. 

With any photograph you are trying to convey information.  Only show the viewer what you want them to see.  Show it in such a way that the viewers eye goes to the subject and does not wonder around trying to find other things in the photo. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

f/stops are easy.  Each larger number is 2x the open area of the lens and twice the open area of the number of the one before it. 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16 which means you 2x the amount of light going through the lens.  The shutter speeds are 1/2 the time length of the one time before it, 1/15, 1/30, 1,60. 1/125 of a second etc or 1/2 the amount of light coming through the lens.  Once you grasp onto that concept, you can then learn how and when to use each.  Buildings do not move, so a slow shutter speed is ok.  Cars move rather fast so to stop the car on film (and not get a blur) you will need a fast shutter speed.   By choosing a slow(ish) shutter speed and tracking the camera with the car, (moving both the camera and the car together)  the car will be in focus and the background will be blurred. 

Photography is just painting with light.  Remember that and the rest is easy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...