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Robert Leach




Location: Manistee, Michigan
Joined: 03 Jan 2014

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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jan, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: Seax blade cross-section         Reply with quote

Greetings all.

New to the Forum; lovely place! I have a question about a project I'm starting. I'm looking to grind a broken-backed seax and am wondering about the cross-sectional shape of the blade. It's hard to tell from pictures. Is it a straight taper from spine to edge? Or is it a convex grind?

Thanks for any assistance.

Robert
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jan, 2014 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Robert,
being insomniac on a saturday night I thought I'd take the opportunity to welcome you to the forum.

We have a lot of seax-enthusiasts on the forum so I'm sure you'll be flooded with replies on this one shortly. These knives leave no one impartial and we've had quite a renaissance of super high quality reproductions by some very talented smiths and craftsmen in the last few years.

*EDIT, see Peters comment below, they're all single wedge cross section*
For starters they're basically flat ground as a simple long wedge, like the Classic Pukha (though the modern style pukha isn't like that).
*EDIT no 2: Note Peters image with a light appleseed shape though, some are like that and not really flat*
See the Beagnoth seax for instance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seax_of_Beagnoth

Here's a good local therad showing some cross section of brokenbacks (a little bit into the thread).
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=91185

(Posted originally by Jeff Pringle)

Note that there are also other point types for seaxes with a daggerlike or curved edge and straight back Point. These all have wedge cross section too.
Like this:

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


Last edited by Johan Gemvik on Wed 08 Jan, 2014 2:23 am; edited 7 times in total
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Peter Johnsson
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Location: Storvreta, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jan, 2014 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum!

I have made a point of studying saxes wherever I have had the opportunity to take a closer look and have documented a number of these.
I would say they are all made with a variation on a common theme: a cross section that tapers from the back towards the edge with the edge itself being shaped with an apple seed cross section.

I must respectfully disagree with what Johan writes in the previous post. I have yet to see a single seax that has flat parallel cross section with a separate or blended in edge bevel.

There is often a rather discreet distal taper (reduction in thickness towards the point). Sometimes it is so discreet it seems to be lacking completely (but you can often see a very small amount if you use a caliper to measure it out). In some cases the distal taper is reversed so that the blade grows thicker towards its widest part and then grows thinner again (you can find this on some broken back seaxes).



 Attachment: 9.77 KB
Edges2.png
The second from the top shows the cross section of a big broken back seax taken where it is at its widest.
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jan, 2014 4:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter, so the Beagnoth for instance has the same typical wedge from back to edge cross section as I've seen in the non-brokenback seaxes then? It's just the modern repros that get this wrong and the photos straight on that can fool the eye?

I confess the triangle cross-section has a speciall appeal for me and if it's universal for all seaxes this is great!

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jan, 2014 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:
Peter, so the Beagnoth for instance has the same typical wedge from back to edge cross section as I've seen in the non-brokenback seaxes then? It's just the modern repros that get this wrong and the photos straight on that can fool the eye?

I confess the triangle cross-section has a speciall appeal for me and if it's universal for all seaxes this is great!


I have not documented the Beagnoth seax, but I have studied it many times visiting the British Museum making sketches and notes.

Attached below is a photo by Jeroen Zuiderwijk that clearly shows the curvature of the surface of the blade. This is very much in line with other seaxes: a variation of the same type.



 Attachment: 106.47 KB
07170093.jpg


 Attachment: 2.21 KB
BeagnothSection.png
An estimation of the Beagnoth seax cross section
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Robert Leach




Location: Manistee, Michigan
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jan, 2014 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

I think I'll start out with a simple little convex grind--this will be a utility knife for my personal use. I'll post pictures when I get her done.

Robert
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Chris Father





Joined: 06 Jan 2014

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jan, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Leach wrote:
Thanks for the replies.

I think I'll start out with a simple little convex grind--this will be a utility knife for my personal use. I'll post pictures when I get her done.

Robert


Hi, I am curious to see the finished product? I know you just posted today but come back when you get the chance!
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Ryan Renfro




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jan, 2014 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've handled the Beagnoth Seax and Peter's estimation of the cross section is not far off. I remember being quite surprised at how thick it remained even at the fuller, so if anything it might be wider in the middle than in the drawing above. Owen and Tod got a better look at it than I did, so maybe they'll have a better recollection. Was there any curvature at all behind the fuller, guys, or is the back part of the blade more or less flat?
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jan, 2014 12:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Ryan said I handled the seax recently and did not specifically notice whether the blade thinned again above the fuller and I must confess if I had noticed this I would assume it would stick in my mind.

However what I did notice is that the blade was a very definite convex grind with an apple seed edge - very distinct.

I wil have a look at my photos and see if any show this.

Tod

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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jan, 2014 1:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps more like this?


 Attachment: 2.03 KB
BeagnothSection2.png

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