Gjermundbu helmet....

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Gjermundbu helmet....

Postby Mark Griffin » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:17 pm

Had one made but have a question.....

http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=28262

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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Gjermundbu helmet....

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:30 am

Allegedly, treating the iron work with a nitrate rich mixture when it is heated and hammered is supposed to turn it a brown colour. I seem to recall that some swords were heated with bones to achjieve this. It is supposed to help ward of rust. Alternatively, blue the ironwork to make the silver stand out.


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Mark Griffin
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Re: Gjermundbu helmet....

Postby Mark Griffin » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:41 am

Thanks Neil,

Not sure that blueing is a pre late medieval technique? Trouble is, there not a great deal of evidence of that kind of stuff. The bone info is interesting, is that in a paper, or some saga somewhere?


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Re: Gjermundbu helmet....

Postby Medicus Matt » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:05 am

The subject of heating iron with bone-coal and charcoal is something I looked into last year and it's fascinating not just from a metalurgical point of view but also because of the insight it gives us into the aura of mystery which surrounded the smithy. Using human 'bone-coal' it would be possible (in the beliefs of the time) to imbue a sword with the spirit of a king or a great warrior, or a totemic animal.

It's a method of increasing the carbon content of iron which is well known to many traditional smiths and was certainly being used in the early 20th century. Research carried out by Terje Gansum established that the bone remains found in some LRI/early medieval forges in Sweden had been used in this process.
Iron which is carbonised in this fasion is a darker grey than soft iron, which would provide a better contrast to silver (much as it provides a contrast in pattern welded blades). It doesn't go brown though.

You may be able to find a copy of Gansum's paper ("Role The Bones - From Iron to Steel") online but, if not, I've got a pdf of it that I can send you if you're interested.


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Mark Griffin
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Re: Gjermundbu helmet....

Postby Mark Griffin » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:12 am

Thanks for that Matt, sounds interesting. I'll have a look online for the paper, both Jeff and I would be interested. Unfortunately I don't have any old kings bones (although going by current archeological trends a look under the local car park should sort that) but I do have the remains of last sundays roast. Maybe I can imbue my new sword with the spirit of lady cluck, giver of eggs, bringer of feathers.


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.


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