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Socketed axe 2

Original
 
Found: Netherlands
Age: late bronze age

Model
 
The model used to make the mould is made from clay and sand.

Mould
 
The mould is made from fired clay and sand. It exists of two halves and a core. This core also forms the casting opening, where the bronze flows in to the mould through channels in the core.

Casting result
 
The casting was an absolute success! This is by far my best casting result sofar, and also the heaviest object I've cast. The core and filling still has to be removed, but I'd estimate the axe is at least 500 gram. Before the mould was bound together, the core was heated well, so that the bronze would not cool down fast and block the channels. The axe is made from an alloy with around 10% tin, and a small percentage of lead to make the bronze more liquid. 

Finishing
 
The casting feed and flash have been removed, and the core has also been hacked out of the socket using a bronze awl. The cutting edge of the axe is still very thick, about 4mm. So this will have to be thinned down with hammering, and regular annealing. 

Finished axe
 
After many hours of grinding, the axe is finished. Sharpening of the cutting edge took the most time. When hardening, I accidentally hit a small crack, so I could only thin down the edge further by grinding. The axe is still somewhat rough in comparisson with the originals of this type, but that's more due to the quality of the casting surface.

Hafted axe
 
The haft is made from a hazel branch with side branch. I first used my other socketed axe to roughly bring the haft into shape. I then used my bronze knife to further finish the haft, and finally used my "sand file" to sand the ends and knots smooth. The haft has been treatened with boiled lineoil. This makes the wood more durable, makes it attract less dirt and gives it a nice look. Whether this was done in the bronze age is not certain. A blank wooden haft works very well too, and making lineoil isn't easy. But lineseed was available in large quantities from growing flax, so it is possible. The axehead is fixed to the haft using rawhide. The complete axe including haft weighs about 900 gram, and feels quite solid. So it's quite capable of cutting some proper sized trees with it. And it's quite a nice looking axe as well, with lots of showing-off potential:)