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Bruce Tordoff
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Joined: 13 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 14 Mar, 2010 6:56 pm    Post subject: My New migration period sword         Reply with quote

Hi All, my first post as a maker and manufacturer, so be gentle with me!
This is my latest sword (and scabbard), now just to explain, I don't makes swords full time, like Patrick Barta or Peter Johnsson, in fact most of the commissions I've done, have been through word of mouth or within my own re-enactment group. We had an invite to the Stoke museum displaying the Staffordshire Anglo Saxon hoard and I urgently needed a 6th 7th C sword so I quickly 'knocked one up'. It is loosely based on Patrick Barta's "Bildso" replica, although without the pommel deign. I didn't have time to carve the wax for casting or chip carve the bronze.
The sandwich 'filling' in the crossguards is Whale tooth, which a friend gave me, it had been sat in their garden for a couple of years then in a box in the attic.
The 'Dummy' rivet heads on the tops and bottoms of the guards are steel, fashioned to shape in my drill, held in a vice like a basic lathe. then a four inch nail is peened through at both ends and ground and polished.

The cross guard sandwich plates are brass, separate plates of concentric oval/leaf shapes.

I normally make the blades my self from EN45 spring steel, but I was out of stock and in a rush so I re used an old blade I had kicking around. Not quite as wide a blade as I would have liked for this period, but it is acceptable.
The scabbard is thin leather over wood, with 'cording' done with Gas welding rod, set into grooves cut into the scabbard.
The 'slider' is of the same design as the Valsgarde 7 one, however, it is carved from Indian water Buffalo horn. Yes, I know they weren't too common in Anglo Saxon England in the 6th or 7th C but, it could have been imported.

The Baldric I made myself, with the 3 way suspension carved from 6mm Brass plate in A Vendel design, the same design is used for the strap end, The buckle is one by Dave Roper, a Finglesham replica. the lower scabbard buckle is an experiment in faux cloisonne using that Polyglass resin with a red dye to look like Garnet. The buckle itself is not cast, just carved from 6mm Brass plate.
I know the finish could of been a bit neater, but I have neither the space, equipment or patience to do a better job. This I hope will change eventually!
Cheers,
Bruce



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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Mar, 2010 8:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a gorgeous sword. How about a few more pics? Maybe a full length shot or two...
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 14 Mar, 2010 10:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Lison wrote:
This is a gorgeous sword. How about a few more pics? Maybe a full length shot or two...


I agree and more pics would be appreciated, the grip in close up looks very elegant in proportion and design as well in the contrast in the different grip materials.

More decoration might have been an interesting option but I sort of like it because of it's clean lines and decoration might have been distracting.

What kind of wood is the handle ? It looks really nice. Cool

It would also be good to see the blade. Wink Big Grin

As Tim said gorgeous sword and in not just " being gentle " with you as the work is impressive. Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Petr Florianek
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 1:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

its very nice sword! i like it!
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Bruce Tordoff
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Joined: 13 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you guys for your kind words, As I said, I didn't make the blade unfortunately, so I didn't photograph it. But here are some other pics from different angles. One thing that annoyed me slightly about my construction is (and its not really apparent in the pics) is that the pommel is offset to one side, not sure why, but I guess I must of marked it up wrong somewhere. But hey ho, we live and learn. But as a relative 'beginner' it is nice to have positive feedback from my peers.
Cheers,
Bruce



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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a beautiful sword.

I like the different coloration in the grip, not something you see very often.

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Bruce Tordoff
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 8:43 am    Post subject: my new migration period sword         Reply with quote

Yes about the grip, Jean, you asked what its made from, its rosewood. I had a couple of pieces left in my stash, one had the light oak looking bit running through it, so I thought that would look nice as a grip. In fact its been earmarked for one for a while.

Obviously as you may have noticed the blade is a combat blunt, however I won't be using this one for combat. Mainly because the blade I 'recycled' had had the tang broken off at the blade shoulders. So I electric welded another tang onto it, I used Spring steel, I wish I hadn't because its a b*tch to peen. the secondary reason is I don't want any undue impacts on the bottom of the lower guard, I don't want to smash the Whale tooth. I was lucky to get hold of this piece, but I would imagine its like rocking horse doo doo to aquire generally. Plus using rare organic items like this can be a bone of contention to some, (pun, definately intended).

As I mentioned before if time had not been a major factor, I fully intended to do the pommel the same as the Patrick Barta one I based it on. But I do not have facilities to cast bronze myself yet, so I have to 'farm' out any casting work. One of the guys from my group wants me to do him a second Migration period spatha. I'm looking forward to doing that. Every time I do a new piece of work I apply the lessons learned previously and try and avoid repeating mistakes. Since I started re-enactment 6 years ago, I am now making stuff that I would of never of dreamed of making. So when my workshop (garage) gets bigger and I invest in more tools, and my desire for better results forces me to be more methodical and patient, then hopefully I can start selling on the world stage.
But, thanks for making me feel at home on this forum, it really is nice to have a place to be nerdy about the stuff one loves,
without boring the 'other half' to death.

Bruce
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Stuart Thompson




Location: Walton-on-the-Naze
Joined: 15 Feb 2010

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PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

WOW! It's beautiful..I have an urge to hold it Razz (thats what she said! ha!)

Honestly this is the perfect example to anyone that says a weapon cannot be art, because it is a weapon but stands out, it's perfect. Major kudos my friend Happy
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Ville Vinje




Location: Uppsala
Joined: 20 Apr 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 19 Mar, 2010 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful work Bruce!
I'm looking foreward too see it in person when you come here =)

Is that an old Paul Binns blade you got there?
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Mar, 2010 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sweet sword and scabbard. Migration era has a special part in my heart when it comes to swords.
I especially liked that you have the strap divider and the angling strap wraparound with a buckle as I'm working on my viking sword belt and although I'm using different buckles the setup is the same.

I'm intrigued that the rivets for the crossguard plates look like iron. Are they? I'm planning on making a migration era sword for a friend of mine when I'm done with all of my ongoing projects and I was wondering what rivet type to use. Iron rivets I've got plenty though, and horn plates and leather. I could make something similar to this sword. It's great how just a few pictures like these can inspire. Wink


Can we have some pictures with the blade fully drawn too?

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Bruce Tordoff
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Mar, 2010 9:13 am    Post subject: my new migration period sword         Reply with quote

Ville and Johan,
Thanks for your kind words, Ville we are still working on our plans for the Uppsala trip, so you will get to see the sword, and Perhaps Johan you will also get the opportunity to meet us as we are planning on visiting the SHM as well.

Anyway, yes, the 'rivets' are steel, not Iron, They are dummy rivet heads, with a hole drilled through the middle and a cut down 4 inch nail peened over at each end. I would have done these from Bronze or Brass but I didn't have any suitable bar stock with which to do them, so I used some steel bar. I had to turn the domes and the flange from one piece using my electric drill as a rudimentary 'lathe',
I am making a replica of the Vendel 1 'ringsword' which also has the 'dummy' rivet heads, (at least that what they look like in the pictures), I can't imagine one could actually peen a rivet head that large, into that shape, without it being a major pain in the
backside. This time I will be having them cast in solid silver and using silver rod as the rivet shaft.
Anyway here is an illustration of the rivet head construction.

Pictures of the sword 'drawn' will follow soon.

Cheers guys,

Bruce



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Grzegorz Kulig
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Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Mar, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Bruce.
This is Gracjana & Greg. You know that we don't have time to write on forum, but this time we just had to! Happy

Congratulation! You have done very, very good job, Sir! We really like the sword! Big Grin We can't wait to see next projects by Bruce. Happy

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Stefan Hanson




Location: stockholm sweden
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Mar, 2010 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Bruce !

That is a fine piece of work. Very convincing migration aestectics. you have a good eye for proportions and finishes and ornament. Keep up the good work and Beowulf will soon invite you to join his band of brothers !

P.s I tryed to take pics for you of Vendel grips but they are to far away in the exhibition so pictures became bad. Hope you could get better pics directly from SHM.

Stefan in Stockholm Sweden
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