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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject: Making a 14thC eating knife         Reply with quote

Hi All,

as a request from a client I am posting another 'making of' thread and this time it is for an eating knife, so a little different for myArmoury, but bread and butter work for me.

There was a fairly open brief to make a nice knife within a certain budget, but with the proviso that it used pure silver and shear steel (made by Owen Bush) in its construction and that it be 'early'. My client interest period lies earlier than the 14thC but interesting and pretty eating knives are very few beyond the 14th and so it would have been too difficult to make something without being too speculative.

During the 13thC eating knives started to be made in a scale tang construction rather than the whittlle tang of previous times and this opened up new possibilities for decoration and the introduction of new styles - the 14thC embraced this totally and was a real century of experimentation in all sorts of new shapes and decoration.

I put together a composite of various elements of different knives from the London area and from the 14thC but with an early bias, as if the maker had not been quite able to let go of the previous century, particularly in the blade shape. It is very 14th in that it is bellied and the point is not too acute, but a little 13th in that the blade narrows again toward the handle slightly.

The bolsters are 14th and similar ones appear often. The cap is of a form I have not done before, but it appealed to me, especially the pyramid button. It was my decision to sit it like a diamond; but why not? I have rivetted and soldered the elements on - this was not abnormal.

The scales are bone, again very normal and there is silver pin inlay work. Pin inlay is quite common, silver less so.

The motto 'be merie' was on one half of a knife, the other scale is missing - maybe it said 'drink and be merie' ? Who knows, but as it stands I like the sentiment of 'be merie'. There are worse codes to live by. I also liked the flourish at the end on the e.

The other side is simply some scroll work and some pins around the rivets.

I hope you like the progress pics.

Regards

Tod



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Last edited by Leo Todeschini on Tue 25 Jan, 2011 12:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

and another tranche

There is a small part of local delamination in the billet, which shows here, but is far, far less severe than it appears in the pictures.

Tod



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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan, 2011 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do so love when makers take the time to document their work and share it with us in this way. It actually inspires me to start making "stuff" again.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan, 2011 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will be the proud owner of this beauty,

I can't wait. As Tod said I gave quite a bit of latitude as I wanted to be surprised and I really like what Tod has come up with.

The bone and silver combination is really attractive.

Thanks for putting this up on the site Tod!
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Jan, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have made the scabbard and based on many in 'Knives and Scabbards'

It is really a very simple thing, the scabbard is hung from a thong on the rear and the decoration of incised lines in a cross hatched style is very similay to many examples and true to form it has some space filling decoration on the rear of a lesser complexity than the front - basically some incised parallel lines. which I have just realised I have not photographed.

Again the front is divided into a top and bottom panel set within borders - which is a again very true to type.

I have just recieved a colour from Jeremy so will post again the finished item in due course.

regards


Tod



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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Jan, 2011 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow Tod!

I wanted a knife with plenty of detailed work and you have really outdone yourself! The sheath is lovely and matched the knife well.

I am really looking forward to seeing the shear steel in person. THis is my second non-weapon in a row.

I will, however be getting an early medieval mace from Tod's foundry. I'm curious about how a relatively "lighter" mace like this will handle compared to the A&A Iderian mace which is a real monster.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Wed 26 Jan, 2011 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Wow Tod!

I wanted a knife with plenty of detailed work and you have really outdone yourself! The sheath is lovely and matched the knife well.

I am really looking forward to seeing the shear steel in person. THis is my second non-weapon in a row.

I will, however be getting an early medieval mace from Tod's foundry. I'm curious about how a relatively "lighter" mace like this will handle compared to the A&A Iderian mace which is a real monster.



Lovely knife and congratulations to Tod for his fine work and to Jeremy for letting Tod do his thing without any micromanagement. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

Lighter maces: I bought a number of brass mace heads to use as walking stick heads and used as originally intended as maces I would say that they are fast and would be very effective against someone just protected by maille.

I have the A&A Iberian mace and it does have a lot of mass in comparison and probably a better helm " denter ".

But the A&A Spiked mace is the " Nuclear bomb " of maces and should be able to cave in most armour and very scary against unarmoured body parts since the spikes would act the same way as animal claws I think if they just grazed the surface of unprotected body parts.

Heavy and maybe slow but if well protected with armour or with a shield this wouldn't be a problem I think.
I also think that there would be a lot more than primitive bashing possible with such a mace as it can be used to block with the steel shaft, hit with the but end and get in really close and nasty using it as a very short staff.

Anyway, it's almost like halfswording with the mace, mixed in with baton and wrestling techniques Wink Laughing Out Loud

( With a little imagination there is so much more one can do with a mace than just swinging it down hard on something I think. Wink Razz ).

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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 28 Jan, 2011 9:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scale and detail that Tod achieves here is really cool,

I have recently grown found of pieces that feature a rather high amount of decorative/elements executed on a small relative are area.

While seeking a complete and beautifully exected "minimalist" form is also important to me and my collection interests, I want some pieces in my collection to capture some of that almost "busy" impression seen on original pieces. Busy isn't really the right word, but I want to emphasize the, often, contrasting ieas of beauty between the modern and historical aesthetic.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well here it is all done and I hope you like it.

Jeremy made a good point about decoration, with eating knife scabbards and usually the hilts pretty much the whole thing was decorated and the concept of 'minamalism' wasn't really around - that would just mean you were poor and you wouldn't want to advertise that.

A nice little knife to make - thank you Jeremy.

Tod



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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2011 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love it Tod!

You made an excelent choice on the particular reddish dye you applied.

(I previously stated that a reddish sheath would look nice)

Of course I am biased, but this has to be among the most attractive reproduction eating knives I have seen. Happy


Last edited by Jeremy V. Krause on Wed 02 Feb, 2011 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Benjamin Rial




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PostPosted: Wed 02 Feb, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful work Tod! Your pieces always have a very period look about them. I can't quite describe it. Well done sir!
"The only thing new in this world is the history we don't know."-Pres. Harry S. Truman

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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2011 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

Unfortunately, this great knife plus a Tod's Foundry mace are unaccounted for in the limbo of the USPS mail system. Tod and I are crossing our fingers that my package arrives. Really, a big pain in the neck for Tod and myself. No tracking information available. . . . . Mad Mad
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2011 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Hi everyone,

Unfortunately, this great knife plus a Tod's Foundry mace are unaccounted for in the limbo of the USPS mail system. Tod and I are crossing our fingers that my package arrives. Really, a big pain in the neck for Tod and myself. No tracking information available. . . . . Mad Mad


That's unfortunate. On the bright side, there's no US Mail delivery service today in recognition of President's Day. Hopefully that accounts for some of the delay.

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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Feb, 2011 11:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hurrah!

The knife has arrived which is great news for all concerned and I would ask Jeremy to voice his opinions in due course.

From my point of view it is very annoying that Royal Mail offers a service that will track it until it gets to the USPS and lets me know when it has been signed for but the part in between I have no information for. Each country is different and I will for instance get full information for Europe or Canada.

Anyway panic over and safely delivered.

Regards

Tod

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Wed 23 Feb, 2011 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Hurrah!

The knife has arrived which is great news for all concerned and I would ask Jeremy to voice his opinions in due course.

From my point of view it is very annoying that Royal Mail offers a service that will track it until it gets to the USPS and lets me know when it has been signed for but the part in between I have no information for. Each country is different and I will for instance get full information for Europe or Canada.

Anyway panic over and safely delivered.

Regards

Tod


Yes I can say the same for shipping between Canada and the USA depending on the " service " chosen because some of the lower cost options stop tracking when it crosses over into Canada, so one should check with the shipper if the shipping method chosen gives full tracking after the package has been handed off to the other country's postal service.

Leo sent me a book a while back and the tracking worked fine.

The tracking seems to have improved because before, after lets say leaving the USA, the tracking on the USPS site stopped giving information, but if one went to the Canada Post site using the same tracking number one could continue following the progress of the package. Lately the tracking information seems available from the postal services of both the USA and Canada.

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Feb, 2011 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like it Tod, that is going to look so nice in a few years time. when hands and food have done there work.
forging soul into steel .

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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Wed 23 Feb, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yea, Tod and I were quite relieved when the package arrived!

And now to my impressions regarding my new eating knife.

This is an exquisite knife with a gentle and substantial heft carried through in the stout blade, substantial tang, and rock solid construction. Though it is "just" an eating knife and not a weapon, holding it one has a feeling of confidence and weighty pressence in the hand.

Weilding this I really know that I can take on that roasted half chicken. One might even say this knife isn't so much "battle-ready" as "ready-for-dinner." Wink

The handle decorations and form have that same elegant but imprecise aesthetic of Tod's work. The silver cap, bolster, and pin-inlay really give a "flashy" impression placing this as a tool for a more well-to-do fellow of the 14th. c.

The shear steel blade provided by Owen Bush has an attractive texture and character, clearly showing that this blade is not comprised of modern steel but shows the effort and attention of a historically constructed blade. I really don't have the knowledge to identify this steel as the highest quality shear steel but I can certainly say that it is beautiful. I have the highest confidence in this blade though, trusting in the skill of Mr. Bush.

As usual with Tod's sheaths, but especially in this case- we have a beautifully designed and executed design. Somehow Tod has covered vearly the entire surface with detail without making the sheath look "busy".

So with liitle customer guidance on my part with this project I have been provided with a top-notch historically-inspired implement.

With the current thread regarding the customer/craftsman relationship I want to point out that Tod excels in the customer service department. The only way it could be better is if I lived in the UK and could discuss projects over the phone!

I will try to put up more pics in the coming days.
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