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Michael Ekelmann




Location: Seattle Metro Area, USA
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 5:54 am    Post subject: Reshaping a cheap Viking sword         Reply with quote

Greetings all,
I have a cheap Viking sword like this one, but without a scabbard. It has an extremely heavy blade and a welded rat tail tang. I'd like to make it lighter and have a tang as part of the blade, rather than welded on. Would you use a belt grinder to shape the blade and make the new tang? Or should I just hang it on the wall and called it decoritve art?

“Men prefer to fight with swords, so they can see each other's eyes!" Sean Connery as Mulay Hamid El Raisuli in The Wind and the Lion
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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 6:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The first sword I ever bought was one that looked just like this. The blade on mine is of mediocre quality at best. It became one of my first cutlering projects, I did with it pretty much as you describe and still have it but would not really call it functional. Despite a few hours worth of grinding extra meat off the blade, and shortening it to make a new tang, it is still too heavy and the steel is rather soft, it may not even be hardened. I even went to the trouble to deepen the fuller with a file because it was so uneven it began to disppear in spots while I was grinding. All in all it was a good practice piece and it was the nicest sword I had at the time, but it will never be more than a decorative sword.
I bought mine a good 15 years ago, from a flea market, so it may not be the same as yours even though it looked pretty much identical. Quality control with these import pieces can be quite random also so my experience may not apply to your sword.
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well not a belt grinder, but an angle grinder with a cut off wheel should do the trick. you can get most for under 30 bucks and the blades are less than 5 a piece. i would try that route. be careful not to goto fast at once there could be a temper issue (i'm not up on all that so someone else will have to help you)

be careful. angle grinder is very dangerous do to its design. if your not good with tools don't use it. you can prob find one one that is if your not. lots of sparks and flying little bits of metal. gloves, eye protection and plenty of room for flying sparks is the key. make sure to scratch awl your design and have the blade firmly vised or else it will move causing issues.

just be careful with the angle grinder.

good luck
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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 551

PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck Russell wrote:
well not a belt grinder, but an angle grinder with a cut off wheel should do the trick. you can get most for under 30 bucks and the blades are less than 5 a piece. i would try that route. be careful not to goto fast at once there could be a temper issue (i'm not up on all that so someone else will have to help you)

be careful. angle grinder is very dangerous do to its design. if your not good with tools don't use it. you can prob find one one that is if your not. lots of sparks and flying little bits of metal. gloves, eye protection and plenty of room for flying sparks is the key. make sure to scratch awl your design and have the blade firmly vised or else it will move causing issues.

just be careful with the angle grinder.

good luck


Why not a belt grinder? These are genreally what are used by knife makers and many sword makers.
Even the 100$ woodworking belt sanders (stationary type, not the hand-held units) will work though they are not ideal. I used one of these for several years and still do when I want a wide, flat grind.
Angle grinders tend to spin very fast, 9000 to 15,000 rpm is pretty typical. This causes a lot of heat buildup very quickly, a slower-turning belt grinder is often a much better tool for working on heat-treated blades and can offer better precision and a better finish. Angle grinders can be and are used by some but the heat must be mitigated, especially when the edges of a blade start to get thin, they can heat up in a matter of a few seconds.
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like the Viking Spirit Sword as shown here: http://www.trueswords.com/viking-spirit-sword...017a03e85d

I bought this one as one of my first swords. Assuming you have the same one or near enough as to make no difference, do not do a lot of cutting with it. The one I had was poorly tempered, if at all, and had or developed cracks right at the sweet spot. As far as modifying it goes, the idea has crossed my mind more than once to use it as a test bed for things I want to do to my better swords later. However, I haven't done anything yet so don't have anything to add on that front.

See here for my first post concerning the Viking Spirit Sword: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=[/url]
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Bruno Giordan





Joined: 28 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 10:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Likely a very poor alloy , plus a welded rat tang.

Nothing to do, it could ever break and likely you won't get an hardenable blade.

Nevertheless you could use it as a test for schooling yourself in making blades. But any flat bar of decent spring steel from a junkyard, or better, a leaf spring, could yield you a real blade if you happened to be born a blademaker ...

At this point I would just salvage the pommel and cross for such blade, after a bit of filing.

Idea
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Robert Subiaga Jr.





Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 39

PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 12:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had one of these many years ago, and would concur that you definitely should not try to fix it believing it can be a safely functional cutting sword. But a lot of SLOs need not be just decoration or destroyed; they can be cut down to knives or often made into a long-tanged polearm meant for thrusting.

That's what I did with my piece like this. No more than the last twelve inches protruding, the rest drilled so as to fit riveted in a sandwiched handle and then sinew-wrapped. Very strong construction for a spear. Even the poor quality and softness of the steel became an advantage, as it could take a wicked edge even though it might not keep it long. But perfect for a thrusting weapon to cause a lot of damage--which proved itself when I gave it to a friend who used it and loved it on many succesful hunts for boar.

Starting in a hollowed log of wood—some thousand miles up a river, with an infinitesimal prospect of returning! I ask myself "Why?" and the only echo is "damned fool!...the Devil drives...
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This sword is good for display only. I have one, which hangs on my wall, and have handled and examined many of them. In fact, I took the photograph that you included in your post. As was mentioned by most of those who responded, this sword is not heat treated and will bend, break and/or crack. It looks good but that is as far as it goes and the price point indicates what it is. It would not be a good project blade for you.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Michael Ekelmann




Location: Seattle Metro Area, USA
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri 01 May, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies everyone. I'll keep it as a SLO and a memento of my trip to Mont St Michel. I think I picked up the sword for around the equivalent of 35 USD.
“Men prefer to fight with swords, so they can see each other's eyes!" Sean Connery as Mulay Hamid El Raisuli in The Wind and the Lion
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