Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Norse Axe Making Tutorial

Starting at the end of September, there has been an extremely interesting (and useful!) set of submissions and discussions on Don Fogg's Bladesmith's Forum. For those who don't know about this, The Forum is one of the older and most significant discussions on the web related to all facets of bladesmithing. It includes topics of both modern and historic methods - even a section on the growing area of iron smelting for knife work.

Jim Austin
has contributed an excellent photo essay and description of creating a Viking Age combat style axe, working with Jeff Pringle. You can follow the series starting : Viking Axe Tutorial

'Split Eye' prepared to lap over peen and weld
Image by Jim Austin - direct from the Tutorial

What is presented is a third option for forming the eye and peen for Viking Age axes. I have described my own work using the 'punch and drift' method in earlier postings (best to just search for 'Viking Axe'). The method more typical for Settlement era is the 'fold and weld' (sometimes called 'bow tie').

Working from detailed descriptions of a number of Viking Age axes, the method illustrated involves starting with a heavy block of metal, then slitting open the back end into a Y shape. The two individual arms are then contoured to form the 'ears' typical of many Norse axes. The two free ends are then curved in and lapped over, then welded to form the eye and peen.

Jim has presented the method in several descriptive postings. Each series contains a number of clear, step by step black and white images like the one copied above. He has included the specialized tools used as well. Jeff has contributed a good amount of his collected research, including artifact drawings taken from various (hard to find!) specialist publications.

Taken with the various contributions from others, the Viking Axe Tutorial is an excellent piece of work!

1 comment:

STAG said...

Wow, what a great shot!!


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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