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Dustin R. Reagan





Joined: 09 May 2006

Posts: 264

PostPosted: Fri 13 Aug, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Recent broken back seax         Reply with quote

Finally finished a seax i've been working on for awhile.

22.5" overall
14.5" blade
1/4" thick at base of blade

forged steel ("Aldo's" 1084) blade with visible quench line(s)
Mahogany handle
Water Buffalo bolster & end-cap
Copper inlay in blade & fittings
Copper pins in end-cap

Blade & handle were hand-rubbed up to 2000 grit. Blade was then *very lightly* etched and rubbed to bring out the quench line.






This is the first time i've attempted inlay in either steel or horn, and i'm relatively happy with how it came out. There are a few noticeable flaws in the blade inlay, where i put a few deep scratches into the blade along the inlay channel, but I feel confident in my abilities to minimize this sort of thing in my next attempt.

Concerning the blade shape: I'm quite happy with the base-to-broken-back "reverse" taper (which is lacking in many repro ductions i'v seen). Furthermore, I'm happy that I was able to avoid the point droop (which results in a tiny amount of recurve) i see in a lot of reproduction oil-quenched seax, but have never seen in any historical examples. However, next time I attempt to reproduce this style of seax, I'd like to include a more distinct curved belly, as seen in most historical pieces of this type.

Although broken back seax with such exaggerated taper to the point are not the norm, there are extant examples:


Thanks,
Dustin



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seax_lighter.jpg
a lighter for scale

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seax2.jpg


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long_point_seax.jpg

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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Aug, 2010 5:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Historical or not -- I LIKE it! Good job!
David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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Matt Corbin




Location: U.S.A.
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Aug, 2010 7:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin,

That is VERY nicely done!! Thanks for sharing.

“This was the age of heroes, some legendary, some historical . . . the misty borderland of history where fact and legend mingle.”
- R. Ewart Oakeshott
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 13 Aug, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I rather like it as well.

That's an interesting take on the handle design. This is always tricky because history has left us so little to work on. It's hard to know what direction to go.
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Matthew Stagmer
Industry Professional



Location: Maryland, USA
Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posts: 473

PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice. I have some of that steel from Aldo. Been trying to think of what I should make. Now I have some good ideas. Thanks for sharing.
Matthew Stagmer
Maker of custom and production weaponry
www.BaltimoreKnife.com
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Dustin R. Reagan





Joined: 09 May 2006

Posts: 264

PostPosted: Mon 16 Aug, 2010 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments.

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
That's an interesting take on the handle design. This is always tricky because history has left us so little to work on. It's hard to know what direction to go.


Yeah, I agonized over handle design for a bit, but then just decided to go foremost for something ergonomically useful from the point of view of using a mid-size seax like this as both a tool and a weapon. With this style of long, almost haft-like grip, you are able to choke way up on it and use it for whittling (shaving tinder, for example) or food prep tasks, grip it in the middle in a very comfortable ice-pick grip, or grip it near the back for a very secure, locked in grip for fast, yet strong slashing blows. Aesthetically, since, as you say, not much is left of broken-back seax hilts, I decided on something minimal, yet plausible (all organic fittings).

Matthew Stagmer wrote:
Nice. I have some of that steel from Aldo.


It's good stuff. It's not quite as active as something like the W's or 1095, but you can still get some nice hamon activity out of it if you are into that sort of thing. My advice is to austentize on the lower side rather than the higher (around 1480 - 1490F ) if you are going for any sort of hamon-like activity. Tempering at 420F has given me the best edge stability with this steel for knife-length blades.

I was a little worried about using this steel for even larger blades, but after reading a bit more about it and then actually making and testing/abusing a big 34" 'maciejowski chopper' (pics posted soon, if i can ever finish the handle), I'm convinced this steel is suitable for sword length blades as well.

Thanks for looking,
Dustin
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William M




Location: Buckinghamshire , England
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PostPosted: Mon 16 Aug, 2010 12:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Incredible work, I really like it.

This is the exact seax that I plan to make a replica of when I go on a blade smithing course.
I really want to play with some inlay too, but have not yet decided on a design yet.
Also the handle is very nice, I am impressed. Happy
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Matthew Stagmer
Industry Professional



Location: Maryland, USA
Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posts: 473

PostPosted: Mon 16 Aug, 2010 2:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin R. Reagan wrote:


Matthew Stagmer wrote:
Nice. I have some of that steel from Aldo.


It's good stuff. It's not quite as active as something like the W's or 1095, but you can still get some nice hamon activity out of it if you are into that sort of thing. My advice is to austentize on the lower side rather than the higher (around 1480 - 1490F ) if you are going for any sort of hamon-like activity. Tempering at 420F has given me the best edge stability with this steel for knife-length blades.

I was a little worried about using this steel for even larger blades, but after reading a bit more about it and then actually making and testing/abusing a big 34" 'maciejowski chopper' (pics posted soon, if i can ever finish the handle), I'm convinced this steel is suitable for sword length blades as well.

Thanks for looking,
Dustin


Thanks for the advice Dustin. I think I will give it a try. Been wanting to try it out. A hug seax with a hamon might just be the trick. I did a giant broke back a few years ago out of some 4140 with wrought fittings that had a bold hamon but I was never happy with it. I would like to give it another stab. I will drop ya a PM when I get started. Thanks again.

Oh and I forgot...nice knife!

Matthew Stagmer
Maker of custom and production weaponry
www.BaltimoreKnife.com
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 16 Aug, 2010 3:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William M wrote:
Incredible work, I really like it.

This is the exact seax that I plan to make a replica of when I go on a blade smithing course.
I really want to play with some inlay too, but have not yet decided on a design yet.
Also the handle is very nice, I am impressed. Happy


Well if you are interested in making a replica/reproduction of the historic example in the pic. you need to know that this particiular seax is only about 5 inches long. It's general blade shape may be seen as a sort of pattern for larger seaxes as it does follow the general shape of the broken back seax weapon.

I was, and still may be, interested in having this particular seax made in it's true diminutive size and sharing the same inlay design (which is found on both sides). It would be an expensive little trinket, that's for sure! I bet such a project would be stunning! Along with weapons I do enjoy repros. of eating and utility knives. Wink
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Dustin R. Reagan





Joined: 09 May 2006

Posts: 264

PostPosted: Mon 16 Aug, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:


Well if you are interested in making a replica/reproduction of the historic example in the pic. you need to know that this particiular seax is only about 5 inches long. It's general blade shape may be seen as a sort of pattern for larger seaxes as it does follow the general shape of the broken back seax weapon.

I was, and still may be, interested in having this particular seax made in it's true diminutive size and sharing the same inlay design (which is found on both sides). It would be an expensive little trinket, that's for sure! I bet such a project would be stunning! Along with weapons I do enjoy repros. of eating and utility knives. Wink


Interesting! I wasn't aware of the dimensions of this seax. Do you have any other info on this, aside from the length? Is it 5" in total, or blade length? I may have to try this out, as I have been looking for a small knife pattern that I liked to try my hand at a wrought iron back with steel edge composite (or perhaps a sanmai style construction, with steel in the center). This looks like just the ticket!

Thanks,
Dustin
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 16 Aug, 2010 8:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin R. Reagan wrote:
Jeremy V. Krause wrote:


Well if you are interested in making a replica/reproduction of the historic example in the pic. you need to know that this particiular seax is only about 5 inches long. It's general blade shape may be seen as a sort of pattern for larger seaxes as it does follow the general shape of the broken back seax weapon.

I was, and still may be, interested in having this particular seax made in it's true diminutive size and sharing the same inlay design (which is found on both sides). It would be an expensive little trinket, that's for sure! I bet such a project would be stunning! Along with weapons I do enjoy repros. of eating and utility knives. Wink


Interesting! I wasn't aware of the dimensions of this seax. Do you have any other info on this, aside from the length? Is it 5" in total, or blade length? I may have to try this out, as I have been looking for a small knife pattern that I liked to try my hand at a wrought iron back with steel edge composite (or perhaps a sanmai style construction, with steel in the center). This looks like just the ticket!

Thanks,
Dustin


Yep- it's a small one. THe blade is approx 12 cm. or 5 inches. I don't know how long the seax is including tang. This would certainly make for some delicate inlay work. I was told this measurement by a fellow forumite. That's all I have so no info. on the thickness either, unfortunately.
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