Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ben Potter describes and show how he makes custom blades....

Each piece begins as an idea, which is then transferred to paper as a rough sketch.
Next I order the materials, taking care when selecting the individual pieces of wood,
bone, horn etc. to ensure that the color, texture and grain will contribute to the overall
lines and feel of the piece.

The first step in forging is to make the billet, either mono-steel, one solid piece of one
type of steel, or composite construction, welded up out of several different types of steel.
Once the billet is finished I begin forging to shape by drawing it out to the proper length
and thickness to begin the tang. Next I draw the tang out and forge the bevel or bevels on
the blade,then straighten the blade and normalize (heating to non-magnetic heat and letting
it air cool). Once the blade is cool, I file the edge profile.

After forging I file the profile, faces of the blade, bevels, and tang to shape. Then polish
the the blade to 150gt. Heat treating requires the blade to be heated up to the critical point
and rapidly cooled by quenching it in oil. Then thermo cycling it three times to reduce stress
and complete martensite conversion. Then test the blade by cutting and or chopping, and
polish it.

The hilt components are make by forging and fileing the guards and pommel to shape
engraving, inlaying, and carving any decoration in to them and inleting the tang. Grips are
inlet for the tang by hand, shaped, and carved. I peen all my through tangs for greater
strength and athenticity. For two piece upperguard-pommels I use the Norse method
of riveting.


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