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Owen Bush
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Location: london
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PostPosted: Fri 31 Aug, 2007 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rob Miller wrote:
Hi Steve.
I work from billet stock in Damascus,this is forged and ground,prior to heat treatment and the etching.faults can be very subtle, not really noticeable until the acid etching,the first billet had a number of small inclusions which 'weep' after the acid treatment,this means that the blade is to all intents and purposes ruined,with only a couple of small sections that can be redeemed for small projects.
it is an expensive material to use,and disappointing when it goes wrong,but thats one 'challenges' of the Custom maker.


Rob that must be a real PITA to have to discard a whole blade such as that ,Do you do a long (a few hours)soak in a warm neatralising alkaline solution (bicarbonate of soda) after etching as this can stop acid weeping out of inclusions .
that sword is one of the finest that I have seen in a long while I realy love the whole handle castings amazing work .

forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Rob Miller
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PostPosted: Fri 31 Aug, 2007 3:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Owen,
I have been trying in vain to contact you for some months now,your webpage doesnt work and i can find no way to get in touch...so,how fortunate!please mail me through my site .
as to the sword,yes i use bicarbonate but these inclusions were deep and didnt become apparent until after the etch,a real shame,but as you know,this can happen.I will bear in mind that you need a long soak though,i normally put in for about half an hour.
saw your thread about your courses,i hope we can talk soon.
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Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 6:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Laurie W wrote:
Very beautiful! I would love to see your interpetation of it's scabbard and mounts (considering none were found....at least I do not think so)

Quote:
The sword was found in a grave near the village of Suontaka, Finland. In the grave there were some other weapons and a female skeleton in an armour. The grave and the remains have been dated to about 1000 ad. The remains were found while digging routes for water lines back in 1968.


"From Viking to Crusader" has a photograph of this sword along with a few other pieces found in this grave. But the description says nothing about the female skeleton was dressed in armour! I wonder what is meant by that (bits of mail?) Another source, just says
Quote:
From Suontaka and Pahnainmäki, Häme in Finland were found two richly furnished female graves from the Viking period with two swords placed at their feet. Giving archaeological support to the Sagas describing the independent character of Finnish women who were fatal to Swedish Kings.


But these two were not the only female graves found with weapons in them. Which lends credence to what few literary accounts of "Warrior Women" (i.e. Saxo, sagas) mentioning them. But that would be going outside of this thread.


I'm real interested in this grave site, I have read a lot about other female graves with weapons in this period back to the Iron age and before, from Scandinavia and the Baltic to Ireland and down into Scythian / Saromatian territory in Central Asia, but can find almost nothing about these two very interesting finds in Finland. Almost as mysterious as the Finns themselves. Can anyone provide more information (hopefully not in Finnish) about these finds?

Perhaps we should start a new thread.

J

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 6:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
Perhaps we should start a new thread.

J


That's a good plan. Happy

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Chris Boatcallie





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PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I absolutely love this sword. I am getting really excited about getting my own from you. I should be getting to within a few months on the waiting list for one. Look forward to seeing a similiar one up close. Great work!
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Dan MacDonald




Location: Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Oct, 2008 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rob , thats not the first sword you've made that I thought was just stunning,
but you just keep getting better. How I wish I had your talent. Congratulations on a superb weapon that is also a piece of art.


...Dan MacDonald
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Mikko Moilanen




Location: Turku, Finland
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Oct, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all,

This Finnish sword has been discussed in many topics. As I have studied this particular sword (among others) for my doctoral thesis, I present some details of it here.

First of all the hilt. All three parts are hollow bronze. According to its colour, the alloy is nearer to bronze than copper or brass, although no accurate analyses have been taken. The thickness of the wall of the pommel can be measured, and it is between 1 and 1.5 millimetres. There exists a radiograph of the hilt, which clearly shows that all parts are hollow, and that the tang goes all the way through the pommel, and is peened on top of it.

The overall weight of the sword is only 922 grams. Not only the hollow hilt is light, but also the blade. Although the greatest width of the blade is 5.8 cms, it is only 3.5 millimetres thick near the hilt, and tapers to circa 3 mm near the corroded tip. Of course these measures are taken from the recent condition of the blade, but still it is relatively well preserved, considering that the fuller can be clearly defined and measured. The fullers are also very wide, circa 3.3 centimeters near the hilt. The balance point is about 14 centimeters from the lower guard, so the sword handles quite well.

It is interesting to note that the blade is inlayed. On the other side of the blade there are letters NIOIN with cross potents at the beginning and at the end of the inscription. The other side says NMIN, again between cross potents. It is speculated that both these letter combinations could be some variants of IN NOMINE DOMINI, but one never knows. The inlays seem to be not pattern-welded, but plain steel. Steel here means that the carbon content of the inlays seems to be a bit greater than that of the blade, or the surface of the fuller to be more precise. The inlays are visible both in radiographs and with bare eyes, although the lighting must be good. The inlays cannot be well seen in the exhibition of the National Museum of Finland, because the swords are displayed in very dim light there. Otherwise the blade looks like homogeneous steel, although laminating is a quite possible alternative.

-Mikko Moilanen



 Attachment: 53.14 KB
A line drawing of the sword and the outlines of its inlays. [ Download ]
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Lee O'Hagan




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Oct, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mikko,
Thankyou for the additional info,
would you be able to say if the fittings or more specifically the handle were filled (pitch or cutlers resin) or dressed around a wood(material)pattern ? or completely hollow?

If you have the time,
could you start a thread mentioning the other swords in your thesis,more so if you have similer info or pictures,
i'm sure many of us would appreciate it, Cool
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Mikko Moilanen




Location: Turku, Finland
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Oct, 2008 2:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The parts of the hilts seem completely hollow. No organic remains can be seen inside them. Only thing one might look for is clay from lost-wax casting. I can't be sure, though, if something would remain inside the hollow fittings in very small quantities. It would need more detailed analyses. I am currently concentrating on blade inlays and pattern-welding, and I do not have enough time for hilt studies too. Maybe some day...

I have not yet published other pictures of the swords I have studied. Mainly I have been studying swords with iron inlays (that is iron, steel or pattern-welded inlays), and these I have drawn in a similar manner as presented above. In addition, I have made detailed drawings of the inlays. I intend to publish all documentation in my future doctoral thesis. So far I have documented over seventy inlaid blades from only a third of the Finnish material. I may start a thread about Finnish swords after I have completed the study of Finnish material. At least I would present the variations within the material with some examples. The number of my drawings is far too great to be completely presented here.
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Lee O'Hagan




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PostPosted: Sun 12 Oct, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Mikko,
with the parts being hollow and the lightness of the sword,although made for a woman,do you believe this to be a full on working sword or more in line with a ceremonial sword,?

I'l look forward to the Finnish sword thread you start,and hopefully a link to anywhere you post or we can read your thesis,(english translation)?
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Mikko Moilanen




Location: Turku, Finland
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Oct, 2008 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is impossible to say, how the sword was originally used. Of course the hollow hilt is not very durable, when it receives a strike from another blade etc., but the overall feeling of the sword strongly suggests that it was made for use too. The whole sword is remarkably easy and accurate to use. An analysis of the blade material, its construction and heat-treatments would give some advice, how the blade itself would have performed in battle. Then must be noted that the blade and the hilt were not necessarily made to be assembled together. The blade could be imported while the hilt could be made locally.

Yes, this sword has been suggested to have belonged to a woman. Originally it was interpreted to be a part of a woman's grave, but in reality, the sword was found on the edge of the grave from partially mixed soil. It is safer to call it as a 'stray find', because it was not clearly connected with any grave. Perhaps it was originally from another, destroyed grave. All this does not mean that the sword was not from a woman's grave, it just cannot be securely stated.

I will publish my thesis in English. Hopefully within few years...
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Lee O'Hagan




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PostPosted: Sun 12 Oct, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Mikko,
Big Grin
I'l look fiorward to the future publishing,years isnt so bad,patience maketh the man Wink Cool good luck with the work.
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