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Kirstine Schoene




Location: Queensland, Australia
Joined: 20 Dec 2016

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 01 Feb, 2017 7:57 pm    Post subject: A couple of questions on sword making...         Reply with quote

Hello folks!

I'm tossing around the idea if making my own blade. I plan on going the stock removal route but I have next to zero experience with steel. In the past I've made a few knife handles and currently I'm modding one of my swords as a test run.

Does anyone know any heat treaters in Australia that will do a blade? I'm happy enough to go international with it if there are zero alternatives.

I have 2 angle grinders, a drill, a bench grinder, loads of sandpaper and a few hand files. Is that adequate?

Thanks.
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David Hohl




Location: Oregon
Joined: 07 Feb 2011

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Wed 01 Feb, 2017 8:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had success with shops that make custom truck springs. It's usually a lot cheaper if you let them just put the sword in with one of their other jobs, instead of doing a run just for the sword.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Feb, 2017 11:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as hand tools go, that's about par with what I have. I've made blades with less. A good bench vise is a must-have. And with stock removal, ---a barrel full of elbow grease. Wink .....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Paul Mullins





Joined: 22 May 2006

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Thu 02 Feb, 2017 5:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can obtain a piece of steel that is already heated treated and go from there. Just be careful about overheating and removing the temper.
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Andrew Gill





Joined: 19 Feb 2015

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri 03 Feb, 2017 3:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not very experienced, and strictly an amateur, but I can give the following advice.

1). Start small - make at least one little knife, preferrably more, then slightly bigger daggers, then work up to short swords, and finally the bigger ones. That way your mistakes won't be as expensive in terms of time spent and materials wasted. Also not as disheartening.

2) It is quite possible to do the heat-treat yourself with wood charcoal or gas, but it is obviously not as reliable (especially for your first projects - with practise you get better). Again, this is a good reason to work on something small to start with. Check what quenchant to use; generally some sort of oil will work well. Water is usually not a good idea.

3). Leaf spring stock is a great material (many professional swordmakers swear by it). Other sources of usable steel are old lawnmower blades (which can sometimes be obtained for free, and are great for smaller projects) and apparently also old used saw blades from large rotary and band saws of the sort used at a sawmill. Old files can work for shorter knives, but may be to brittle for larger blades.

4). As others have said you have enough tools to get started, though I'd recommend getting an old-fashioned hand hacksaw with a few good quality fine blades if you don't have one (much more precise than an angle-grinder for small cuts). Unless you have increadibly steady hands and/or lots of practise, go easy with the power grinders; hand files give a lot more control than an angle-grinder and aren't as slow as you might think.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Fri 03 Feb, 2017 8:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as the steel goes: It's not THAT expensive to just buy a few bars of high carbon steel. And honestly, this has some benefits versus random leaf springs or lawnmower blades out of a junkyard or whatever.
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Leo Todeschini
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Feb, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would echo the thought of start small and get bigger.

That said a sword blade will be doable, mainly if you are not too worried about how straight it is, but there are so many things to cover that it would cover reams of pages.

A spring temper is generally too soft for a modern sword blade, but it will still make a damn fine sword and has the advantage that you will be able to straighten out the bends you will inevitably get during treating with a vice,some goggles and some bravery. So for sword blade one, a spring temper place will be fine.

I would have a look at instructables and amazing as I think this forum is in so many ways, there are better ones for your question and my start point would be Don Foggs forum or here in the UK, British Blades and I am sure there will be Australian equivalents.

Good luck

Tod

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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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Posts: 385

PostPosted: Fri 03 Feb, 2017 8:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig from manning imperial does heat treats for blades made by other smiths, might try him. A word of caution though, I don't know about Queensland, but Victoria (and I believe N.S.W.) have very *very* tight restrictions on sword manufacturing, to the point that in Vic you need a special dispensation from the police commissioner. Might want to check out the specific legalities first.
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Kirstine Schoene




Location: Queensland, Australia
Joined: 20 Dec 2016

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2017 10:50 am    Post subject: Thanks!         Reply with quote

Thanks for the info folks. Big Grin
I originally planned on going out and buying some 1060, which I probably will still do.
I forgot to mention that I do have two hacksaws lying around(both in dore need of new blades), one of those (I haven't checked, but possibly propane) blowtorchy things, as well as 2 bench mounted vices. Before I do anything, I will be modelling it all on autodesk fusion and checking if its legal.
To be honest, my main concern initially was the heat treating, not so much my ability. Skills can be worked on and honed, laws and heat treating availability don't tend to change.
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