Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Seax handles


Recommended Posts

Good evening,

Getting ready to do a broken-back seax out of a big file with my kid and had a question. I'm not as into knives, but I'm taking a brief break from aluminum...because I want to and definitely not because I'm frustrated with the way the last casting pattern turned out... My oversized 13-year-old (6'2" - Yeesh!) has taken an interest making pointy things, spearheads, knives and the like, and I felt he should be encouraged to do...well almost anything not involving screen time.

I've got him most of the way through a socket on a psuedo-celtic spearhead, and I'm comfortable with that, having made a few, but it's been a hot minute since I did any blades that weren't for woodworking, and I'm not sure about some of the historical details of the seax. It's easier to find modern versions online than the museum pieces by far and go figure the handles are long gone on those.

Looking at what I could find here and online - they appear to be a relatively wide but tapered hidden tang, with broken-back knives having the tangs sometimes off-center. No pins, not peened over and maybe glued in traditionally? Is that right? Does it hold up in use? I also went down a rabbit-hole of a forum where some were arguing about beveling the tangs - mine were usually pretty flat for knives, or sometimes a tapered square cross-section, which seemed to stay in fine on tools.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of the historical seaxs I have seen has a fairly broad hidden tang.  Some had a pommel secured by peening over the end of the tang.  When I have made them I made a brass spacer the same size as the grip between the blade and the grip (NOT a guard).  They often had a fuller (sometimes just a chisel line) near the spine.

Also, lots of medical spear heads were tanged, not socketed, probably because they were faster and cheaper to make.

Yes, early adolescent boys can shoot up very fast.  When I was 14 I had all athe height I had now (6'2") and weighed about 120 pounds.  My son was much the same way.  My experience is that coordiantion lags behind growth.  I was always the tall, gangly kid that got picked last for sports.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George is on point, as usual.  So many different versions of a seax are available.  Typically the modern full tang blades with clip points (and ricassos, plunge grinds...) that people call seaxs are only loosely based on the historical originals.  For a 13 year old, who may be more influenced in his design work by video game versions than historical references, I wouldn't be overly concerned with accuracy.  I can tell you that the trapezoidal tang crossection makes it rather difficult to fit a spacer/bolster (as I have done on some of the ones I've made).

Presumably you have already seen this:

Ancient-Blades-A.jpg

For what it is worth, I was also one of those who shot up to 6'-2" by age 13 and had a similar experience to George's as well.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way I fit the handle on the last seax I made which had a trapezoidal tang was to inlet a blank of wood (oak IIRC) and then clamped and glued (epoxy) another piece of wood to the inletted piece.  Then, I shaped it on the belt sander and stained it.  I fastened it to the tang and bolster with epoxy.

GNM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm digging the Type III Frankish - this one is more for me after the spear is finished. I'm knocking that out tomorrow and maybe the handle and will probably start on the seax  Sorry I took so long to respond; they laid off all the investigators in my company so I spent a bit not working followed by moving to 1099 contractor status, which lacks job security, but I've been making up for lost ground with all the hours I can eat. Taking tomorrow off though...mostly.

Johnny isn't too bad, he's good at sports if he can turn the ADHD down long enough. If you could hook him up to a spitjack and a magneto you could power most of Western Washington. Think chihuahua on meth duck taped to an ant pile having a bad day level hyper. He's started to enjoy sports though rather than rebel against them and if he doesn't gain too much weight as he ages he's got the makings for a great sprinter. Kenny, his older brother is about an inch and a half behind but is a fairly dedicated runner; he's 15 and been placing against serious runners at the local races.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent a little time looking into seax(s) and discovered the word is Old old French and besides being the origin of Saxon, means knife. Seems all the different types are names for knives. I figure you can make what you want and call it what you like. 

Can't make a joke about an ADHD child so I'll say a word with higher for him and family.

Frosty The Lucky. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both of my brothers in law (my late wife, Martha's brothers) were ADHD as children but have pretty much grown out of it as adults.  They are both attorneys. They are both somewhat socially awkward/introverted but are good guys.

One of Martha's stories about them was that when she was 14 (1968) and her brothers younger her father took a sabbatical year (he was a college professor) to do historical research in Germany.  They flew from Honolulu to Germany.  Their doctor had suggested giving the kids benedryl to make them sleep on the flight.  That worked fine with Martha but it had the reverse effect on her brothers (possibly because of their ADHD) and it made them even more hyper.  I guess it was a LONG flight for her parents.

Good luck with your son.  It is not an easy row to hoe for either you or him but it is a situation that can be managed.

GNM

 

Link to comment
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...