The Serpent in the Sword: Part 4 - Interlude

Uploaded by mintwart on 21.07.2012

It's been a while since the last update. Although, I have not been completely idle, there is
not a lot of actual progress to report.
The blade is still too thick at the tip and needs to loose more weight.
Ideally, the blade would weigh around 800 grams but I stopped after I got the weight
down to 925 grams.
I was too afraid that I would end up destroying the tip if I removed more metal.
After reaching the desired weight, the blade was ready for polishing. I cleaned up the
fuller with fine grit belt and then sanded everything
by hand.
I started with 320 grit sand paper and worked myself up to 400 and then to 600.
To polish the fuller, I made a wood block in the radius of the fuller to which I attached
the sand paper.
The main work then was to remove all the scratches which were particularly difficult to remove
right at the edge of the fuller. And took a lot of
time and a lot of sand paper.
After the blade was completed polished, it was time for etching it in ferric chloride.
To get an even etch, it's important to remove all the oils
from the blade. First, I wipe the blade down with windex,
then with grease remover and finally clean it again with water.
Then I put the blade into a tube filled with ferric chloride and leave it there for about
10 minutes.
When removing the blade, the pattern is easily visible. To achieve a nice finish, I rub the
blade down with steel wool and then afterwards with metal
After inspecting the blade, I decided to put it back into the acid for another ten minutes.
This will result in a somewhat deeper etch. This means
the blade has to be degreased again, using the same steps
as before.
For the final finish which is not shown in the video, I mix red iron oxide with oil and rub
the whole blade down. The result can be seen in the
following picture.
The wavey pattern on the edge is the result of differential hardening which often appears
with shallow hardening steel. Sometimes called
I spent most of the weekends in the past months, learning how to inlay copper and silver into
the guard and pommel. I also traveled to Europe
where I visited several different museum.
The museums in Nürnberg, Rothenburg and Haithabu all had Viking-age swords on display. As shown
in the pictures, there is a large variety in
decoration using many different techniques. Especially,
Haithabu had many examples of bi-metal inlays which I am tying to replicate.
All of which I hope to show in the next video.