I have made a bit of progress with my Viking Axe project. I made my first attempt at inlay, and learnt a lot on the way:
On the sides the inlay came out quite nicely, the annealed copper was fairly easy to hammer into the grooves. I used the ball pein on the back of my workhorse hammer, but next time I think I will also use a rounded punch to give really fine control over how the metal deforms. Another thing I think will help is choosing the right gauge of wire, the one I used was a tad thin and it was harder to get to to fill the entirety of the groove.
The really hard bit was continuing the inlay around the edge of the axe and into the eye, it seemed to have a mind of its own and it was firmly set on not binding to the graved lines. I think that in areas like this I need to go much deeper with the graving and roughen the surface with a hacksaw blade.
I have started to smooth down the branch I want to use for the handle, I don’t remember what tree it came from but it has a lovely pale dense grain that I think will carve just below the head, maybe some knotwork? I cant wait to get going on this again!