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Seax & Falcatta
Forging Ancient Small Swords

If you have a headache or sensitive ears, turn the sound down.

Ishmael is working on putting his own weapon shop of Ishtar together up in the Rockies.

The mechanical hammer scares the primate out of me. I did forge a sword as a a boy, from a 1/4 thick steel fence post, flattened out on a coal fire I banked in a pit in the woods of Western PA, where I found a coal deposit. I used a hack saw to cut a six inch point.

I bent the back end to form an eight inch handle, wrapped it with a rag and tape.

The blade had a riser one end and a fuller on the other and was ugly, but broad, 4 inches wide.

I sharpened the blade with a grinder and then files using a vice in my father's work shop.

It could cleave through 16 inches of 18 gauge steel, 12 inches of 1/2 inch carpet, and four inches of 3/4 inch plywood, and somehow only went through one of the bones in that guy's forearm, although it did crush the other. He was a big dude, six foot and 260 pounds, and his forearm wasn't pinned as he was using it to block my Number One to the neck. The problem was the riser getting caught on the ulna while it was crushing the radial, which caused me to have to drag it out.

The Seax knife is a quintessential ancient sword type as is the falcata [also known as an ensis, kopish or khopish] that were ideal for use with shields. The hilts are not guarded, but serve an ergonomic function and also help protect against the foe's shield face and boss breaking the sword hand.

Good luck with that weapon shop, Ishmael.

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Add Comment
La ManoApril 5, 2017 3:43 PM UTC

Beautiful, watching all that skilled hand work turning a lump of steel into a perfect weapon.

Not many people in the world can do this kind of thing, not any more. Maybe there never were many.
BaruchKApril 4, 2017 9:11 AM UTC

Good stuff.

I'm working on a Ron Reil burner and backyard furnace myself, more for casting.