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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,494

PostPosted: Thu 01 Oct, 2009 1:57 am    Post subject: Instant seax project         Reply with quote

Take one antique single-edged heavy knife with a broken point, cut off, and ...

Instant seax!

Blade: 34 cm
Total length: 48 cm
Spine: 10 mm - 8.3 mm at start of cut.
Weight: 750 g
Blade section: triangular

Original is Chinese, and has had a serious encounter with a buffing wheel or suchlike. Now shorter by just under 1.5 cm. Old point curved up sharply, tip was bent, with a crack at the base of the bend.

Edge is much harder than the body, as I found when cutting. Hacksaw wouldn't cut the last cm, and my file barely bit. Body was easy to cut, and easily marked by vise-grip pliers.

I might file (or maybe grind) up to another 3-5 mm off the cut - I left some margin for error.

The harder, and much less instant, part will be making a good sheath.



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seax.jpg
Instant seax
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Stephane Rabier




Location: Brittany
Joined: 13 Nov 2006

Posts: 104

PostPosted: Thu 01 Oct, 2009 4:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Timo,
it's funny I was just thinking about doing the same thing.
I've got an old butcher knife (Sheffield style) found on a flea market for about 50c. and cleaned as it was all covered with rust.
I was thinking cutting the "bowie" tip from the back of the blade to the edge. The steel looks very hard too and I guess I'll have to heat it to sherry red to remove the tempering before I reshape the blade then I temper it back.
I've already tempered some little springs but never a 12" blade and I'm not sure I could do it properly.

Another concern is about the age of that kitchen knife, its historical value...and its price: I've seen some antique butcher knives being sold for a lot of euros and I fear it just could lost its value if I reshape it Blush
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,494

PostPosted: Fri 02 Oct, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some would say it's desecration of antiques, but I don't have any problem with this if one starts with non-sacred antiques. This was actually my second attempt - the first long knife was nice enough to keep intact, so I kept it as is (longer, thinner, and nice handling with lots of distal taper, and also a lot more attractive as is). The one I cut had a really ugly point (as well as it being cracked).

As for loss of monetary value, perhaps the best thing to do with a valuable antique butcher's knife is to sell it and buy a good reproduction seax. But old butcher's knives at flea markets, ebay, etc, don't usually go for very much.

The historical accuracy downsides could be a thin blade and a flat-sided handle, and the practical downside would be a very hard blade. De-tempering/re-tempering takes it from being an easy, few-tools project, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I plan to polish and etch the cut surface on my offcut to see if I can see how the maker did the edge.
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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

Posts: 253

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sir-I like the blade as is, and I really would'nt fool with the differential tempering,because the original smith was obviously an expert. I would like to know about the tempering process if you can figure out what it was, as I am interested in mid-eastern and oriental tempering.For example,I would like to know how the Turkish smiths tempered the Yatagan. It was the favorite back-up weapon of the Janisaries, and most were made by Turk smiths, as other mid-eastern peoples didn't use it much. You will find really fancy ones, like Suliman the Magnificents Yatagan in the Topkapi Museum that were made by Persian smiths, but these were made to order for nobility, and were not the plain G,I, Yatagans carried by every Janissary.
Ja68ms
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