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  • Writer's pictureWill

Working with true iron

When working with true iron, it's a good idea to test each piece to know its limits (not something you need to worry about with modern mild steel!)

These are new iron bars that I hadn't used before, and the best way to see what it's capable of is to forge it into some of the more technically demanding arrowhead forms.

The first one is the classic needle bodkin, a Type 7. Easy as pie in mild steel, but in iron the long narrow tip often splits and delaminates.

The other type of arrowhead that is always a challenge in true iron is the broad head - a Type 14 in this case. The constant bending, splitting and manipulation of the bar stock is usually a sure fire way to end up with crumbling sections of iron!

This particular batch of iron performed incredibly well, with no splitting, cracking or falling apart. It etches with a delicate, refined pattern and can now be used for some high-status replicas of blades and tools, and iron copies of extant arrowheads.

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