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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 7:00 am    Post subject: Recreating the North Arhus Farm Single Edged Viking Sword         Reply with quote

Hi all…

I have been intrigued by the single edged Viking sword found on the Arhus Farm in Norway since I saw pictures of it in Ian Pierce’s “Swords of the Viking Age.” It may be the only single edge Viking sword ever found with a pattern welded blade. About six years ago I convinced Vladimir Cervenka into building a replica of this sword for me. This sword was not meant to be an exact replica of the Arhus Farm find. There are some differences, such as an H pommel instead of the C pommel on the original. If you have not seen this Cervenka sword, I have reviewed it here.

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_cerv_vikse.html

ks



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00...VIK.C.1edg.L92bl76w50g94ArhusF.Norway9th.KHMN.SVA.jpg
North Arhus Farm find preserved in the Kulturhistorisk (Cultural History) Museum, Oslo Norway. Image compiled from "Swords of the Viking Age" by Ian Pierce

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00..Cervenka.All.jpg
Arhus Farm Recreation by Vladimir Cervenka

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00.Cervenka.Hilt.jpg
Arhus Farm Recreation by Vladimir Cervenka

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since the review, I have been doing some changes. I reshaped the upper and lower guard and pommel… mainly making the width of the pommel smaller. I also cut in twisted copper wire between the pommel and upper guard. Then I browned the hilt components with cold browning solution and polished with steel wool.

The Turkish Knot ferrules were replaced with copper and bronze wire shaped with my Dremel tool to look like an engraved metal plate ferrule. The twisted wire grip was also sanded down and blued to make it appear it had been well worn over the years. This is the look I try to achieve… the look of an heirloom weapon that has been through at least one lifetime of burnishing in use and periodic care. For instance on the hilt I have identified pressure points when the sword is griped or as the hand would naturally lay upon the hilt as it hangs at its owners side. In these areas, I have done a little extra grinding and polishing.

ks



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01...ArhusPom.jpg
Vladimir Cervenka Single Edged Viking Sword Pommel

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01..ArhusPom.jpg
Vladimir Cervenka Single Edged Viking Sword Pommel

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01.ArhusF.Rep.Hilt,,.jpg
Vladimir Cervenka Single Edged Viking Sword Hilt

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02...ArhusF.RepHiltSide.jpg
Vladimir Cervenka Single Edged Viking Sword Hilt

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02..ArhusF.Rep.Hilt.jpg
Vladimir Cervenka Single Edged Viking Sword Hilt

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02.ArhusF.Hilt.jpg
Vladimir Cervenka Single Edged Viking Sword Hilt

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03...ArhusF.HiltSide.jpg
Vladimir Cervenka Single Edged Viking Sword Hilt

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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Posts: 820

PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I kept the blade profile shape much the same. However, I did file down the spine a bit from the COP to the tip to give a slight drop to the point seen on many of the single edged Viking originals such as the Arhus Farm find. Most of the reshaping of the blade occurred in the fuller. I did a good bit of grinding in the top of the fuller to take it right up to the spine.

Once the fullers were shaped, I began to experiment with ways of duplicating the surface phenomena (topography and the slight discolorations) of pattern welding.

When I started the process, I was not trying to replicate the patterns of the Arhus Farm pattern welding. I wanted to do a chevron like pattern instead. My first attempts were with small pools of warm vinegar trying to generate the pattern in the deep etched lines along the outer edge of the vinegar. However it was too fluid for very good control. It created and interesting patterns, but not anything like the look of true pattern welding. Also I didn’t like the look of a chevron pattern on a single edged blade. So I sanded it all off. Sad

On my next attempt I used mustard. It etched like vinegar but was thick and sticky enough to draw or blot patterns with it. I started with the innermost circle of the concentric circles, layering each drop of mustard, allowing each drop to cut along the edges before the next drop of mustard was placed over it to cut the next concentric circle. If the mustard was warm, it cut even better, especially along the edges. So I put warm mustard on the blade in concentric rings to try and duplicate a pattern similar to torsion pattern welding. This time the pattern was not chevron (imitating billets twisted in opposite directions). This time I moved a little closer to the Arhus Farm find in that the twist patterns on both “billets” were in the same direction. The look of the etch was a little more convincing, but was still not satisfactory to me. Plus warm mustard made the house smell really strange. Razz So… I sanded it all down. Cry

ks



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05..ArhusF.MustardEtch.jpg
Cervenka Single Edged Viking Sword after vinegar etch

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05.ArhusF.RefinedLayeredMustar.jpg
Cervenka Single Edged Viking Sword after mustard etch

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

Spotlight topics: 6
Posts: 820

PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At this point I moved out of the “kitchen” and made my way to Radio Shack to get some ferric chloride. First I put down a resist (barrier to the etchant) of permanent ink drawn on the blade with an ultra thin point Sharpie. As before, I was not trying to duplicate the Arhus Farm find pattern, but drew a very regular pattern similar to billets twisted in the same direction and laid side by side. I taped off the areas I was not etching with scotch tape and worked on each side of the fuller… each “billet,” …one at a time. With the Sharpie resist, I had much more control over the details of the pattern. It looked much more like true pattern welding, and had the topography and discoloration I wanted. So I took the time to do both sides of the blade. At this point I thought I was finally finished. Big Grin Eek!

ks



 Attachment: 116.42 KB
06.ArhusF.FC.etchWithMustardAc.jpg
Cervenka Viking Sword after first ferric chloride etch

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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Posts: 820

PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 7:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was happy with the technique, but the pattern was just too darn even. It just didn’t have the organic look of the Arhus Farm find. It was about this time that I found another picture of the Arhus Farm find. I was able to enlarge the image to begin to get a better idea of what (I thought) was the other side of the blade from that shown in “Swords of the Viking Age,” by Ian Pierce. Since then I am convinced that one of the pictures of the pattern welding in Pierce’s book has been reversed. But at the time, I thought I had images of portions of both sides. It was either this discovery or my growing dissatisfaction (or both together), that led me to take up the coarse sandpaper and, once again, sand away all my work. Eek! Both fullers were sanded smooth. Cry

With the better images of the details of the Arhus Farm find’s pattern welding, I decided to try and duplicate the actual pattern of the original (or at least the parts exposed).

Since this time even better images have been made available on this excellent website:

http://www.vikverir.no/ressurser.html

I have posted some compiled images of closer views of the patterns in the Arhus Farm find.


I started near the forte and, as I looked closely at the images and try to draw the patterns, I began to notice how irregular the width of the billets and what I interpreted as the twist pattern reversing every few inches, especially in the billet closest to the edge. As I began to draw these patterns it looked a little too organic. It does not show up that clearly in pictures of the corroded blade at a distance but on a clean blade these features looked a little too obvious to my eye. So I sat the sword aside for awhile until I was more certain about the pattern. I wanted "organic," but not too organic. Not too even.

Maybe something with a theme. Eek! Big Grin Wink

ks



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07....ArhusFarm.Devergenses.jpg
Detail of Arhus Farm find. Image modified from VIKVERIR website linked above

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07....VIK.C.1edg.L92bl76w50g94ArhusF.Norway9th.KHMN.Vik...jpg
Mosaic of images of Arhus Farm find. Image modified from VIKVERIR website linked above

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 7:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The “theme” came to me when I noticed that the billet nearest the edge at the tip of the Arhus Farm find looks like teeth… It is fascinating that grinding into the twisted billet to form distal taper (or thinning of the blade) produces a surface pattern that looks like teeth in an open mouth. I mean, it is the part of the sword that “bites.” Wink

And the strait untwisted layers at the very tip-end could be a tongue or fire coming out of the mouth. To top it all off, up the blade on the Arhus Farm find, there is a section where two of the large “blood eddy” like circles come together on either side of the two billets and looks like a big eye. Eek!

ks



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07...langseax.jpg
Image of sword on display in Oslo that allowed me to enlarge and begin to see the patterns

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08....ReverseTwist.jpg
Forte with reverse twist in the lower billet

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08..TheEye.jpg
Do you see the big "eye"? Arhus Farm find on disply in the Cultural History Museum, Oslo Norway

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08.VIK.C.1edg.L92teeth...jpg
Do you see the teeth in the lower billet near the tip? Imabe compiled from "Swords of the Viking Age" by Ian Pierce

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So once again, I began inking the fullers with surface patterns similar to the Arhus Farm find... This time with the theme of producing a “Fire Worm.” I felt this was appropriate considering that hidden zoomorphic forms are a long standing tradition in the European Iron Age art design. This time I wanted an organic look but not too organic. I wanted patterns similar to the Arhus Farm find but a little more regular, but not too regular.

In the first few attempts at etching, I tried to etch each “billet” separately using scotch tape to isolate each “billet” form. The problem was that the edge of the scotch tape was too straight. It also produced a deep etched line along the boundary. It did appear to be a weld line, but when the billet on the other side of the fuller was etched this line got larger and deeper. In the latter attempts to try and deepen the topography of the etch, I produced the patterns over the whole fuller and etched it all at once. With this the line between the billet was not as pronounced. Also etching the whole fuller at one time seemed to produce a deeper etch, maybe because of the large amount of etchant used to fill the duct tape reservoir I created around the blade.

I made a reservoir out of duct tape around the blade and filled it with warm ferric chloride. After about 15 minutes I took the blade out and washed it with Windex. Then I sanded the high parts of the etching very lightly with dulled extra fine emery cloth.

ks



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09.DuctTapeResevoir.TipClose.jpg
Close-up of tip with "teeth" in the duct tape reservoir.

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10.DuctTapeResevoirClose.jpg
Blade center in duct tape reservoir.

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11.DuctTapeResevoir.jpg
Duct tape reservoir and set up for warming the ferric choride.

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16.DuctTapeResevoirFull.jpg
Reservoir filled with ferric chloride. Allowed to set for 15 minutes.

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18.AfterEtchingBeforeCleaning.jpg
Blade after taken out of ferric chloride and sprayed with windex... before cleaning.

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 8:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some pictures of the finished project...

ks



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20.ArhusF.All.Tilt....jpg


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21.ArhusF.Replica..jpg


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22.ArhusFarmWormObl.jpg


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23.ArhusFarmWorm.jpg


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28.ArhusF.TipReverse.jpg


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30.ArhusF.TipObverse.jpg


Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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Posts: 820

PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 8:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Throughout the inking with resist and etching process I learned a few things… such as:

1. One layer of Sharpie ink is not enough. The etchant eats through the ink too quickly. So apply two or three layers of Sharpie ink. This means drawing the pattern and then going over it again.

2. Use a toothpick to clean up the edges of the pattern, especially in areas of very fine lines. Move the tooth pick in your fingers to find where the wood grain will cut away the ink best.

3. Etchant cuts better when warm 110 to 140 degrees.

4. Less than five minutes in the etchant does not cut very deep more than 15 minutes and the sharpie ink begins to wear away.

5. Make sure the blade is polished very smoothly before you begin drawing the pattern, because any scratch will grow deeper and more obvious with the etching.

6. When drawing patterns, don’t make everything too even. One of the nice things about this technique is that you can make any pattern you want. You could even recreate very specific original pattern welded patterns if you had pictures of them.

7. Make the “weld” line between billets a little wavy and not perfectly straight.

8. Don’t make the edge of the pattern welding follow the fuller edge perfectly but let it wander in and out of the fuller a little in places.


Now a few more pictures of the finished blade.

take care,

ks



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31.ArhusF.BladeForte.jpg


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35.ArhusF.PatternWeld.jpg


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36.ArHusF.Spine..jpg


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41.ArhusF.AllObliq.jpg


Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks like it must have taken you a huge amount of time! But the result is beautiful! Congratulations! Surprised
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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fantastic, great work Kirk! Nice job sticking with it until you got the result you wanted. I'm sure it was frustrating having to re-do things that many times, but I think the result was worth it.
Dan
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Carl W.




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk - Thank you for sharing! Your how-to's always get bookmarked. Thanks for spine pic. Questions...

The Vladimir Cervenka blade was not pattern welded? Didn't find it stated in review & I can't get review enlargements to work. Just trying to clarify - you created the entire pw effect on a monosteel blade?

You said scotch tape per billet method didn't work too good, but then what did you use instead to achieve the (fainter) weld lines? (fwiw I also vote for wavy imperfect lines.)

I think I understand you do one side at a time. How do you protect the other side (especially if its done)?

When you're done with this (or your "pw gladius") do you ever cut with? How does/would your deep etching hold up to cutting & cleaning up?

Gutsy making big changes to such a nice sword. Well done! Thanks again.


Last edited by Carl W. on Tue 14 Dec, 2010 9:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
It looks like it must have taken you a huge amount of time! But the result is beautiful! Congratulations! Surprised


Hi Luka...

Thanks!

Yeah... took alot of time, but, for me, it is relaxing after a day of having to do so many different things at a time to come home and just focus on doing one thing.... very therapeutic.

take care

ks

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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Posts: 820

PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Dickinson wrote:
Fantastic, great work Kirk! Nice job sticking with it until you got the result you wanted. I'm sure it was frustrating having to re-do things that many times, but I think the result was worth it.
Dan


Hey Dan...

Thanks for the encouragement. I think it was worth it also and I am satisfied with the results... at least for today... I think. I might try and... no... {must remain strong}

It is finished...

possibly Wink

ks

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Impressive and very attractive work and the results look very very real: Which I guess is the point or it wouldn't be worth doing.

I tend to like using lemon juice but I also like mustard as it's more controllable and doesn't flow randomly as much.

Your project are always fascinating to follow. Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Carl W. wrote:
Kirk - Thank you for sharing! Your how-to's always get bookmarked. Thanks for spine pic. Questions...

The Vladimir Cervenka blade was not pattern welded? Didn't find it stated in review & I can't get review enlargements to work. Just trying to clarify - you created the entire pw effect on a monosteel blade?

You said scotch tape per billet method didn't work too good, but then what did you use instead to achieve the (fainter) weld lines? (fwiw I also vote for wavy imperfect lines.)

When you're done with this (or your "pw gladius") do you ever cut with? How does/would your deep etching hold up to cutting & cleaning up?

Gutsy making big changes to such a nice sword. Well done! Thanks again.



Hi Carl...

Thanks for the kind words.

And great questions!

The major goal of the project was to find a way to produce a pattern-weld surface effect on a mono-steel blade.

Vlad's blade was not pattern welded. He can do pattern welding, but I'm not sure if he has worked up to sword size blades yet. Vlad did age the blade with an acid treatment that gave some character to the surface of the steel.

When I used the scotch tape, it put down a very straight weld line that remained through the whole project. In the second etch, I did not use the scotch tape but inked over the design on the whole fuller at once. On the edge "billet" I just covered the whole edge with ink. You can see all of this on the images I posted before the etch.

Here is the link to a Gladius I did during this whole process.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ht=gladius

It gives more info and shows how I etched one side at a time with the scotch tape.

On the next blade I will not use scotch tape at all. I will probably just use the ultra-fine Sharpie and draw the "weld" line very faintly down the blade making it a little wavy and then draw the patterns to this line. Once I have finished inking the blade, just before the etch, I will take the toothpick and clear any places where the line showed where the un-inked "eddies" matched across the "weld" line. This is to be sure that it did not show as a raised area (rather than a etched line) after the etch. (not sure if that is clear) I just don't want the weld line to show as clearly as it does in the current project.

I have not cut with the Gladius as it it some kind of zinc alloy and it is not sharp because I use it as part of my teaching collection.

Now, the Cervenka Viking sword is very very sharp... dangerously sharp. There is just something about the brutal nature of this sword's design and the way the blade just pulls forward when you hold it... I "wants" to cut. Eek! As a matter of fact, I was out in the back yard taking pictures for this thread and noticed an offending branch hanging a little to low... I could hear the sword wispering to me... It just had to be cut. Wink I started with tip cuts and gradually worked down the blade closer to the forte. You could really feel the difference as you reached the middle of the blade. The extra mass behind the edge really began to bite deepter into the wood. In one quick action it went though the branch, like it was warm butter and sliced a big chunk of bark off the side of the tree.

So it is a great cutting sword. It cleaned up very easily and showed no wear to the pattern welding surface. However, that being said, after I did the cutting it brought to mind that the blade would have been etched at the manufacturer and then throughout its life, at the COP, there probably would be more wear across the pattern welded surface topology. So I got out the emery cloth and polished the pattern welding in the COP a little more than the rest of the blade. (It would be interesting to see if this feature is recognizable on original finds.)

I hope my attempt to find an inexpensive way to make a monosteel blade look pattern welded is not seen as disrespecting the amount of time and skill needed to produce a pattern welded blade. I have tremendous respect for these artists. Somethimes I have pipedreams of becomeing such a bladesmith. It is just that I do not have the time, skill-set and equipment to make a pattern welded blade or the money (with four kids at home) to commission pattern welded blades. And, to tell the truth, even if I did, I would have trouble going out and cutting with such an expensive blade. This method allows me to make the surface phenomena of a pattern welded blade and though it takes time.. not as much time as actually making the blade. Also, as mentioned above, if gives complete control over the pattern that appears. And I really like the theme idea... I even have a project in mind of a pattern weld that looks like viking ships...

hope this all makes sense... if not, let me know and I will give it another try.

take care

ks



 Attachment: 139.33 KB
04.FinalCutSkinnedTree.jpg


Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Matt Corbin




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:


The major goal of the project was to find a way to produce a pattern-weld surface effect on a mono-steel blade.

Vlad's blade was not pattern welded.



Holy crap!!!! Eek!

That is one of the better "pattern welded" patterns I've seen. I got about half way through your posts just looking at the pictures before it dawned on me that this was a mono-steel blade. i guess maybe I should have been focusing more on the words rather than the pretty pictures Big Grin I had no idea this was possible on a mono-steel blade. Outstanding work.

If I ever get brave enough I may have to try this on some of my swords.

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David Huggins




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 1:23 pm    Post subject: viking swordfrom Arhus Farm         Reply with quote

Bravo!

best wishes
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Nils Anderssen




Location: Drammen, Norway
Joined: 08 Dec 2005

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a fantastic piece of work Big Grin

I realy like that you put so much time into making it look realistic, with all its imperfections... done the right way Big Grin
It is something that is realy hard to do, and most people don't get it right...
Also... it means to go against our modern symetrical and "perfect" visual rules/guidelines... which needs some guts Happy

For a better picture of the Arhus sword (15mb):
http://www.vikverir.no/ressurser/extreme_hd_swords/sword_5.jpg
This was original ment to be for a later update of Vikverirs museum gallery, and I am sorry that I did not post it earlier. I gues the sword ha been cleaned by the musem since it does not have any rust on it.

Also thanks for the in depth description of your experience with it Happy
I realy have to try that out one day (a blunt wma/re-enactment sword?)...

Nils
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Michael Harley




Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Magnificent work, truly astounding.
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