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J Helmes
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Location: Lanark Highlands Ontario Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 12:39 pm    Post subject: Introduction and 8th cent norwegian inspiration         Reply with quote

Hello, this is my first post in the makers and manufacturers forum My name is Jeff Helmes and I have been Blacksmithing and Bladesmithing since 2003. I am currently doing work that is period based primarily from the dark ages. I endeavor to make items that are highly historically influenced and try whenever possible to capture the spirit of the age.

Here is a sword that I recently finished. It is a composite pattern welded "viking" sword.. The blade is made from shear steel (a form of carburised wrought iron) and wrought iron .The hilt is wrought iron and is inlayed with copper. The handle is made from made from carved african black wood and the scabbard is carved european beech african blackwood and tooled leather. This sword was inspired by an eighth century norwegian find.

All comments and criticisms are welcome. Cheers Jeff Helmes.





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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is absolutely beautiful and awesome! And I like the choice of materials. Are you doing this for sale?
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J Helmes
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep it's for sale. It's not on my page yet as I only get brief and occasional time on the internet. So updates can take a few days. Thanks for the compliment. Cheers Jeff Helmes.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think your work here is beautiful.

The only critique I have is with the knotwork on the grip. It is just MHO but knotwork seems so overdone- it's on everything.

I love your use of shear steel and wrought iron. A closer look at the steel/iron of the blade edge would be great as it would be nice to see the sheen of your shear stel.
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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fantastic work, I love it! The only thing I don't like is the same gripe I have with many Viking repro's...the longer than historical grip length. Not only does it make the hilt proportions look slightly "off" but it changes the way the sword should be used (and if you're going to be a stickler for accuracy, the use of African blackwood...especially when you've gone so far as even to use sheer steel). Otherwise tremendous job, keep up the great work, and I look forward to seeing more from you,
Dan
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello fellow Ontarian; I've often bemoaned the lack of quality sword-makers in our province, but no more. Your work is beautiful.

I'm gonna agree/disagree with Dan's comment in the sense that 1) yes the grip length is longer than typical, but 2) its still within outer historical limits if one looks through 'Swords of the Viking Age'. Personally I would also rather have a shorter handle that favors the handshake grip, but on the other hand you haven't violated any laws of history to feel bad about.

You mention a web page - can you provide us with the link?

-JD
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
You mention a web page - can you provide us with the link?


The link to his site is in his profile and at the bottom of every one of his posts.


.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ohhhh, visit THAT web. Idea OK, so I'm oblivious to things right in from of my face - my wife and my secretary have known this for years, now everyone knows. Thanks Nathan.
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Matt Corbin




PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 9:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeff,

Welcome to myArmoury. I've often admired your work over on Don Fogg's forums and now I can here too Wink

Oh, and the sword looks amazing.

“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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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 9:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice. The inlay looks really well done. I like the grip as it is, even if it is on the long side. I would like to see a more traditional scabbard for this one. The pattern welding looks really nice too. I look forward to seeing more of your work!
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 11:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh yes, I would definitely choose a native european wood for the grip.
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J Helmes
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Dec, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the replies and the imput regarding my work.

Jeremy V. Krause- at this time I don't have a camera (or the photographic skills) capable of capturing the surface of the steel properly. The steel for this particular sword came from salvaged buggy springs. It is very clean apart from a fine fine spread of tiny inclusions and some discoloring during the etch. I have recently just made a large batch of my own steel in preperation for my next sword. the surface of which is considerably different having a subtle watering. I had hoped that the springs would have a similar effect, but I guess they made them really well back then.

Dan Dickinson- thank you dan. The handle if I recall correctly is slightly under 10 cm. Which is longer than many swords but not out of the ball park yet. I have often wondered if tangs didn't grow shorter with handle replairs. I could potentially see a handle cracking under fierce use especially if the tang was welded on iron or unhardened , and bent in combat. I could also see partially gripping the pomel could increase the strain on the tang itself. Granted if this was a regular problem i'm sure that someone would have sorted that out at sometime. I understand that a two piece handle of split wood with a leather wrap could be applied , but I don't know much about what glues they had available at the time. Also i'm not an expert on these things but i'd be interested in learning more about the hilts and their use sometime.

J.D. Crawford- Cheers Ontario.

Tim Lison- I've had a hard time finding images of period scabbards. Ontario is very short in supply of northern European artifacts. Do you know of some resource available that has some pictures or a description perhaps?

Jeremy V. Krause- Could you possibly recommend some woods used for this purpose? Again I have no real acess to the real things.

Thanks again for the compliments and the critiques on my work. I will take the sugestions into consideration for my next sword. Cheers Jeff Helmes
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J Helmes
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PostPosted: Fri 31 Dec, 2010 1:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am asking $5000. plus shipping Canadian for this sword.

Thanks Jeff Helmes.
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Fri 31 Dec, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeff-

Have a look at this thread concerning scabbards...

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...hlight=arn
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J Helmes
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Lison wrote:
Jeff-

Have a look at this thread concerning scabbards...

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...hlight=arn



Excelent! thanks 's for pointing me in the right direction Tim I appreciate it. Cheers Jeff
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J Helmes
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Jan, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've just lowered the price of the above mentioned sword to $4350 can. having just had a conversation with my acountant about applicable taxes.

Thanks, Jeff
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J Helmes
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Jun, 2011 5:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This sword is still available.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Jun, 2011 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The blade and inlaid hilt pieces are amazing! The handle with it's knotwork is also very nice of course, though I favor single wire grips. I'm sure you could do those with the same flair too.

Anyway, being sort of broke I can't buy it, but it's a dream. Wink

Tell us more about the shear steel carburization process you use. I know one can make wrought iron into steel by heating and increasing carbon content, before or after forging, either making it a solid steel welded edge or a surface steeling. Both with similar end results. I suppose the pattern weld might suffer from post forging carburizing, so welded edge is more likely in this case?

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Stephen Curtin




PostPosted: Mon 20 Jun, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jeff, stunning work, hope to see more from you here in the future.
Éirinn go Brách
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 7:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Jeff,

Would it be possible to get some of the vital statistics on the piece? Weight, balance point, width, length and that sort of thing? Or did you already do that and I just missed it?

Thanks!

TRITONWORKS Custom Scabbards
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