Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Knife forging course with Owen Bush *Pic heavy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, England
    Posts
    2,771

    Smile Knife forging course with Owen Bush *Pic heavy

    Hey all,

    Just thought I would share my experience with the knife smithing course I recently went to, hosted by Owen Bush at his forge in Kent. There were 4 other students on the course.
    It was really quite cold and everything was covered in frost all day so I quite enjoyed heating myself up by the forge but sadly the forge work only took about a third of the time, although by the time I had finished both blades my arms were seriously low on energy and I could get about two or three hits in between heats!

    The course was for 3 days, and we all got stuck in within an hour after quickly sketching out our designs on the anvil and learning how to operate the forges and how to shape the steel.

    The forge had 3 working coal forges and two gas forges. I personally much preferred the coal forges as the gas forges were too slow although they did heat up the blades nice and evenly where as the coal forges had a tendency to burn the tip if you were not careful due to the heat being much more intense and not being able to see the blade when buried in the coal.

    I decided to make a seax as my first blade and to also give it a hamon. I was terrified that the hamon process might crack the blade, but luckily the oil quench was gentle. The blade is currently in a rough polish so it is really hard to photograph the hamon, but it is there. For the second blade I used a different steel, I forget the name but it was really tough to forge but was very easy to grind, which was good due to the unusual shape.

    The course was intense with many of us willing to work the way through lunch as the 3 days was barely enough time. I think though that my designs may
    had been a bit too ambitious as I was the most pressed for time and was franticly working on the blades while everybody were packing up and driving back home on the
    last day.

    I learned a lot through the course, especially the heat Treatment and normalisation processes, which was new to me. I would like to go again for the week long sword
    course and perhaps one of the hammerin's as I really enjoyed myself.

    I can highly recommend the course to anybody here, as it really is something different to being a collector who critiques blades, to knowing how to make one and all the work that it entails. You do not need to have any experience in either working a forge or anything about blade.

    I think if I were to go again, I would probably make another seax and a bushcraft knife.

    My Forge



    Everybodys blades together on the last day.




    Working the seax



    Hammering out the tip



    Seax starting to take shape!



    Seax with a clipped tang



    Bit more heating



    Drawing the tang out a bit



    Looking good with a decent tang



    Took an angle grinder to the blade to get rid of the top layer


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, England
    Posts
    2,771
    Some more pics.............

    After the first run with the belt sander



    Next up was some filing



    Looking good!



    Some work on the second blade





    Quenching!!! OOOHH ow


    Tada!


    Both blades all "finished".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, England
    Posts
    2,771
    Next up is to polish them up some more, and maybe etch the seax or give it some Japanese finger stones.

    The seax will have a wooden handle of some sort, though im not really sure on what to make as historical examples are very rare.
    For the bottom knife I have bought some slabs of black horn, which will be plated on either side. Also I heat treated the tang so it would be soft as I plan to do some decorative filework, which will show inbetween the horn. I may also blue the blade.

  4. #4
    Hi William,

    Nice job on the blades, particularly for someone with little (I presume?) experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by william.m View Post
    Next up is to polish them up some more, and maybe etch the seax or give it some Japanese finger stones.

    The seax will have a wooden handle of some sort, though im not really sure on what to make as historical examples are very rare.
    There's actually quite a lot of information on brokenback sax hilts. Most comes from scabbards, which were designed to enclose most of the hilt, and were moulded around them, showing the shape and size. Usually the hilt part of the scabbard is about the same length as the blade part. There's also pictorial evidence showing similar long hilts. And of course there's the so-called hunting knife of Charlemagne, which has the complete hilt preserved. So there's three different kind of sources pointing to the same hilt design.

    I'm currently working on a sax that's incorporating all the evidence on blade and hilt shape.
    http://1501bc.com/files/sax_in_progress.jpg
    The hilt is boxwood, based on the only sax I know on which the wood remains have been identified (though with some uncertainty). The hilt needs to be replaced though, as it developed a large crack after I shaped it.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •