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Christopher Finneman




Location: Sartell Minnesota
Joined: 20 Mar 2006

Posts: 159

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar, 2010 5:00 pm    Post subject: How does one make a recess in a sword guard and make a grip?         Reply with quote

Hello there

Besides casting them which I have not the tools to do it. How does one DIY person make a guard for a sword with a recess cut in it ? Most swords I see have them does anyone know why this is?
Also for a grip. Does one go with making one side where the blade will fit in and the other side that will just sit flat over the blade and opposite side of the grip? I apologize if this is all unclear but I did a grip before and just came apart at the seam if the seam was in the middle of the tangs thickness.
Any help would help
Thanks
Christopher

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Jim Mearkle




Location: Colonie, NY
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar, 2010 5:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ye Olde Gaffer has a tutorial on making grips:

http://www.yeoldegaffers.com/project_grip.asp

Jim
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B. Stark
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar, 2010 9:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The recess for the sword shoulders was usually done hot. It could be possible to cut it in cold with chisels but it would likely be a little more hellish of an experience to do so. The easiest was is with a forge, hammer, drift-punch, and a drift suggessting the crossection of the sword @ the shoulders.

As to the why, I could only surmise that it was another element designed to support the whole structure of the sword.

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Christopher Finneman




Location: Sartell Minnesota
Joined: 20 Mar 2006

Posts: 159

PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2010 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I ask cause I got a bunch of albion sword blanks and would like to make guards for them and most sowrds I see have the guards recessed so the blade goes in slightly for a snug fit. And yes Ive tryed chiseling and also trieds drillin but seem to always make it to big.
Does anyone know if CNC'ing would be able to do this cheaply if I supply the drawing and metal.? Or is it just trial and error till I get it right.?
Id have a black smith help me but there isnt none around.
Also is there any drill bits made to carve away metal? Ive just been using a file and drill bit and man is it tedious.
As for the grips I got them all made.

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Ken Nelson




Location: central Wisconsin, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2010 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lot of guard fitting is trial and error. It is very easy to take out too much metal. When I do, I generally toss the guard to the side, and maybe it can be used for a thicker blade later on.

If I was to fit a guard to a blade that is 3/16 thick, I would drill it out with a series of 7/32" holes, and then carve out the webs between the holes with a 1/8" carbide burr in a dremmel tool until I got close, then finish with hand files. The recesses can also be carved out with a dremmel and burr.

I know there are a few knifemakers near the twin cities, but I cannot remember which ones right now, I may be able to get a short list at the Badger knife Showthis weekend. I will also offer you this: I will be running the blacksmith shop at the Chippewa Renaissance Faire starting Memorial Day Weekend. If you would like to visit the faire, I can show you step by step how to fit a guard, at least the way I do it, there are other ways too.

"Live and learn, or you don't live long" L. Long
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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
The main reason I can think of is that most swords have rounded shoulders. A tang that meets the blade in a T shape creates a stress area. A simple rectangular cut in a guard will not slide all the way up to the blade (see illustration). The easiest way to cut a proper tang slit is with a dremel. It is a six step process.
I. Drill and cut a rectangle into the guard.
II. Slide it as far up as you can, note what makes it stick
III. Cut that area with the dremel.
IV. Once it is all the way up to the blade/tang joint trace the blade shape with a marker onto the guard.
V. Cut this traced area out.
VI. Clean it all up with needle files.
Hope this was of some use.
Cheers,
Hadrian



 Attachment: 130.17 KB
A rounded blade shoulder, and a rectangularly slit guard. [ Download ]

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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 383

PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2010 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is the dremel bit I use: http://www.hobbylinc.com/gr/dub/dub353.jpg
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hadrian Coffin wrote:
Hello,
The main reason I can think of is that most swords have rounded shoulders. A tang that meets the blade in a T shape creates a stress area. A simple rectangular cut in a guard will not slide all the way up to the blade (see illustration). The easiest way to cut a proper tang slit is with a dremel. It is a six step process.
I. Drill and cut a rectangle into the guard.
II. Slide it as far up as you can, note what makes it stick
III. Cut that area with the dremel.
IV. Once it is all the way up to the blade/tang joint trace the blade shape with a marker onto the guard.
V. Cut this traced area out.
VI. Clean it all up with needle files.
Hope this was of some use.
Cheers,
Hadrian


Yeah my AT 1435 showed a little light when backlit as the shoulder of the blade was flush but not recessed partially into the face of the guard. Now since this was a finished sword drilling the hole fro the tang wasn't an issue but to recess the blade just a bit so that no light would show I used IV, V and VI using a file to cut at a diagonal angle into the pre-existing tang hole.

Going nice and easy the angled slot eventually was deep enough at the corners of the blade shoulder for the blade to be recessed by maybe 1/16" of an inch. The slanted slot did extend slightly wider than the blade at the guard.

If one looks at even an Albion the slots are not precision cut and my work was actually closer fitting ! This is not a negative as period tang and guard slots seem to have been fairly " gappy " as well historically.

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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 26 Mar, 2010 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean, this is probably a stupid question that I'll regret asking but what is/are the IV, V, and VI that you are referring to?

Couldn't small gaps be filled with that metallic two part epoxy that I can't remember the the name of right now? Yeah, I'm having a senior moment!

You said, "Yeah my AT 1435 showed a little light when backlit as the shoulder of the blade was flush but not recessed partially into the face of the guard. Now since this was a finished sword drilling the hole fro the tang wasn't an issue but to recess the blade just a bit so that no light would show I used IV, V and VI using a file to cut at a diagonal angle into the pre-existing tang hole."
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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 26 Mar, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ken,

I believe Jean is referring to Hadrian's post (2 posts above Jean's) in which Hadrian lists 6 steps to fitting a guard to a blade. If I understand correctly, Jean is saying that he did steps 4–6 in Hadrian's list. Hope that helps! Big Grin

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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 26 Mar, 2010 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK then ! It WAS a stupid question! Thanks Nathan, it makes sense now. Hmmm...when you're fitting something like that when you get to the final stages you can run a pencil lead or some other colorant on one piece and then fit them together as far as they will go and then disassemble them. The colorant will rub off on the other piece and allow you to see where the pieces are touching and need to be fitted
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Liam O'Malley




Location: New JErsey
Joined: 17 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: Fri 26 Mar, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

machinist would be your best bet imho, unless you have a milling machine. failing that, drill press and dremel, but that will take a while and not be particularly stunning unless you already know what your doing.

machinists won't be cheap, but you'd have to ask one for a quote to get an accurate answer.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Mar, 2010 6:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ken Speed wrote:
Jean, this is probably a stupid question that I'll regret asking but what is/are the IV, V, and VI that you are referring to?

Couldn't small gaps be filled with that metallic two part epoxy that I can't remember the the name of right now? Yeah, I'm having a senior moment!

You said, "Yeah my AT 1435 showed a little light when backlit as the shoulder of the blade was flush but not recessed partially into the face of the guard. Now since this was a finished sword drilling the hole fro the tang wasn't an issue but to recess the blade just a bit so that no light would show I used IV, V and VI using a file to cut at a diagonal angle into the pre-existing tang hole."


Oh, I was referring to the previous post that had a series of steps in making the whole for the tang and a groove for the blade shoulders to partially inlet the blade.

Nathan Gillelan explained it accurately. Wink Laughing Out Loud One difference is that I did it all carefully and slowly with a file rather than using a dremel. A dremel with a cutting wheel would do it quicker but with more risk of messing it up by going to deep or cutting a longer slot by accident by losing control of the cutting wheel.

One could fill the gap with liquid steel or steel epoxy i.e. epoxy that has powdered metal in it to give it a silvery colour.

Personally I don't find this to be needed unless the gap is really big or ugly/rough.

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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Mar, 2010 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello again,
When using the dremel the trick is to go very slowly, only a little bit at a time. The first time I used this method I got near perfect results...so not particularly tricky. Using a colorant is also helpful (as was already stated), I have found a black permanent marker works best for me. One thing you could add is pewter solder into the recess, I have not seen any documentation of this historically...but also haven't looked particularly hard. I have tried this before and it is a bit difficult, but gives a very flush finish. I would guess this would not have been done as it is not entirely necessary, and would add cost. Frankly most historical swords have a fair gap here; the Schloss Erbach sword is one I remember having a particularly large recess. However, there are also many swords that fit so tightly you couldn't slide a piece of paper in between the blade and the guard. Variety does not seem to have been frowned upon historically.
Cheers,
Hadrian

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