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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject: Ear dagger repro in progress         Reply with quote

Yes Jean; here it comes!

This will be another 'making of' thread at the special request of myArmoury regular Jean Thibodeau.

Jean gave me about as open a brief as you could wish for, which was for an ear dagger. Jean asked for my opinion as to suitable specifications. We both seemed to be thinking along similar lines and so after a single mail pretty much nailed down the detail that was important to him and the rest will evolve during the project.

The dagger will be in many respects an unremarkable piece in that it is not a copy of a specific piece but will composite elements that were common to the style. It will have a hollow ground blade with an assymetrical ricasso, a very heavy blade section (about 8-9mm in this piece), a straight tang that has handle scales that protrude each side, and an enlarged 'pommel' that sits between the ears.

I have not got round to thinking too heavily about the scales or the scabbard yet, but the scabbard will again be fairly normal. Ear dagger scabbards were quite unusual in that they were often almost circular in section and so do not match the blade form like most scabbards do.

The progress pictures I have here show the basic blocking out of the blade profile, the handle holes having been drilled and the end of the tang having been upset to thicken it to allow the pommel section to be formed (some additional steel was added to bulk it out). The bevels were roughed out to remove some material and show approximately where they will go and I laid in the grooves on the top of the pommel.

The next step will be to heat treat the blade and finish the grind.

I hope you find it interesting.

Tod



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blank roughed out

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tang area reduced and holes drilled

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'pommel' area upset and pommel formed

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bevels roughed in

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side view

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pommel grooves laid on and polished

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Ryan A. Currier





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PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 5:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been waiting for this! It looks good so far. Big Grin
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, looking good so far and a nice surprise as I was thinking it would be a month more before the project start.

Leo did send me a head-up P.M. that he was starting the project and the documenting of it and I did complement him on being so proactive in communicating with me and this is really appreciated by me.

Just the detailing/file work on the pommel even at this early stage is very promising for a great Eared Dagger in spite of Leo's modest claims about it. Wink Big Grin Cool

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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 7:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These thread are so much fub.

I'm almost surprised we don't see more of them.

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Dan P




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Ear dagger repro in progress         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:

The dagger will be in many respects an unremarkable piece

Please forgive my skepticism Tod but every time you put up one of these 'in progress' posts it always ends up looking really remarkable.
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Ryan A. Currier





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PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2011 9:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, modesty seems to come natural to some folks. I've never had much luck with it myself, but then I'm not possessing of any great talent either. So I suppose I've just never had much use for it? Ha! I'll never forget the chuckle I got out of him calling his/mine/our cinquedea's mosaic pins a "modest attempt" or something like that. I can't remember exactly what words or phrase was used, but then I don't have a talent for remembering details. Razz

Regardless of all that... Please keep up with the pictures and updates! I love these ear daggers, as I do all weapons Italian, really... So thanks!
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Ben Anbeek
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2011 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

really like the upset with the grooves.
can't wait to see more

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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2011 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks all. And thanks Dan P. What I really meant by 'unremarkable' was that it would not be an unusual piece; thanks for the compliment though.

I made some more progress today.

The first step today was to cut the discs for the ears and set them into position. They are secured onto the tang using two pins that are soldered into the tang and will at a later stage get rivetted down onto the ears, but for the moment everything is just getting sized up.

The ears are then marked to show which areas must stay flat, to sit well against the tang and which areas will get rounded off. The ears are then rounded off and the decorative studs that will hold the ear plates on are placed into position.

The next stage was to heat treat the blade, followed by the hollow grind to the blade faces.

Finally I decided to add some secondary fullers to the ricasso. This is in fact where I have strayed away from 'unremarkable' . I have seen this on an ear dagger but it is by no means common and is something I have wanted to try for the last couple of ear daggers I have made, but just haven't got round to.

Everything got polished up and sharpened and that is where it got left for today

Tod



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ear discs marked up and pins soldered in place

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ear discs are rounded off

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decorative studs

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hollow grind to blade faces and grinds to ricasso

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a full length picture so far

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2011 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow...so it's pretty easy, then? Laughing Out Loud

Your in-progress threads shed light on so many aspects of these weapons. It's like attending a master class.

-Sean

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OUUUUUUUUUUU ! Nice, love the fullers, great idea.

Also, echo the sentiment that this is educational about how these daggers where put together and sort of explains why these would tend to be a " noble's " or rich person's personal weapon showing of his wealth and good taste.

The deep hollow grind is also attractive and dramatic and is exactly the kind of thing I really like.

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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Impressive work so far!
Congratulations!!!

Do you know....I have never seen before the Western-European ear-dagger from so close range and its real construction was quite unknown for me.
That's why I have always tried to connect it with the construction of the classic Balkan ear-daggers - the kara-kulak and ak-kulak. The names are in Turkish and literally mean "black ears" and "white ears" respectively, depending on the material, used for the grips - black horn or white bone, while the form of the blade is common.

The following pictures are posted with kindly permission of Mr. Evgeny Penchev - their author and good friend of mine, who is also the owner of this particular kara-kulak

* full


** hilt close


*** hilt up


**** hilt down


As you see, this construction is absolutely different. Here on the Balkans, the ears are formed from the scales of the grip with no additional plates. The dimensions of the ears vary within broad boundaries (these particularly are of modest size). The same construction is used in the yathagan hilts also.

Thank you so much for sharing with us this knowledge.

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Luke Zechman




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That blade is stunning! I love the way the light catches it there in that photograph. The light really shows the geometry well. I have been curious about ear dagger s for a while now. I somehow imagine that the space at the end would a great place to plant the web between your pointer and thumb while driving it home. Was this just a fashion, or did it serve a function?
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luke Zechman wrote
Quote:
That blade is stunning! I love the way the light catches it there in that photograph. The light really shows the geometry well. I have been curious about ear dagger s for a while now. I somehow imagine that the space at the end would a great place to plant the web between your pointer and thumb while driving it home. Was this just a fashion, or did it serve a function?


Thanks Luke. The handles on these daggers are quite small and so you have you have to hook your thumb over the top between the ears and so this of course provides a very strong and supported grip.

I got diverted for a couple of days by a powder horn, but I made some more progress today. I have posted this up on www.facebook.com/todsstuff for the curious.

Most ear daggers have a wierd ring part of the handle just behind the blade and this one is no exception, so I made two channels of brass and bonded in horn. I then bonded these to a piece of wood the same thickness as the tang and turned a cylindrical form, split the wood away and this leaves the two handle parts.

I also cut out and shaped two horn discs for the ears. I have made these assymetrical so that the top of the ear tapers more gently than the bottomfrom the rivet to the edge and the spiral rivets are also not quite central and the ears not quite circular. These aspects are all quite subtle in the pictures, but again are all quite usual.

With luck I will work some more on this tomorrow.

I hope you like the progress.

Regards

Tod



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ear horn plates blocked out

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ear horn plates rough finished

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front disc channels

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horn bonded in

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ears in position and handle disc block ready for turning

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discs and ears in position

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discs and ears in position 2

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar, 2011 2:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

WOW ! Getting better and better each time Leo posts and updates. Happy Cool

Not your basic peasant's dagger. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Just in passing I think that Leo produces work of great quality that look and feel very much like they where made in period as opposed looking modern made. ( Small planned in imperfections are period consistent ).

Value/price is very much a bargain and one can tell that Leo doesn't just do this work as a job and puts in a lot of heart and feeling into his work and loves what he does.

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Bryce Felperin




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PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar, 2011 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:


Most ear daggers have a wierd ring part of the handle just behind the blade and this one is no exception, so I made two channels of brass and bonded in horn. I then bonded these to a piece of wood the same thickness as the tang and turned a cylindrical form, split the wood away and this leaves the two handle parts.

Tod


From what I can see from the pictures I figure the "weird ring part" probably serves as an anchor for either the little finger to rest in when gripping the dagger in an ice-pick grip (with the thumb over the top between the ears), or for the index finger when holding it in a low hand-shake grip (with your thumb in that handy indentation on the side of the blade). That's what the ergonomics of the blade tell me at least. I'd have to handle one to be sure.

If I'm right the pros would be a very secure hold and control of the dagger in either grip. The cons would be that it would be difficult to change grips between ice-pick and handshake in the middle of a fight, which from my dagger training and fights is often required in a fight. Probably not too big a problem if you are committed to the attack with the grip you choose and its a quick fight.

At least those are my impressions.

Thanks for the pictures, I look very much forward to seeing the pictures of the completed dagger. I'm pretty sure I'll have to commit myself to having you make me one in the future as well. :-)
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar, 2011 10:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bryce Felperin wrote:
[The cons would be that it would be difficult to change grips between ice-pick and handshake in the middle of a fight, which from my dagger training and fights is often required in a fight. Probably not too big a problem if you are committed to the attack with the grip you choose and its a quick fight.

At least those are my impressions.

Thanks for the pictures, I look very much forward to seeing the pictures of the completed dagger. I'm pretty sure I'll have to commit myself to having you make me one in the future as well. :-)


Interesting point but one would have to handle it to be sure if it's difficult or not to change grips as there might be ways to use the ears to advantage but I'm only guessing, but I guess I can find out when I have it.

With a more conventional dagger or knife I can easily pivot/rotate the blade from normal to ice pic grip due to years of practice but with some knives it is made more difficult depending on the knife's handle and COG.

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Julien M




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PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2011 4:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Again, this thread is a real treat Leo...

Would the below be the or one of the pieces you have based your ear dagger on? the fueller layout and what I can see from the hilt furniture seems to be fairly close.

Looking forward to see more!

Julien

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PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2011 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:
Again, this thread is a real treat Leo...

Would the below be the or one of the pieces you have based your ear dagger on? the fueller layout and what I can see from the hilt furniture seems to be fairly close.

Looking forward to see more!

Julien


Actually looking at that photo I'm more convinced of my grip analysis I posted in the previous thread. I also think the ears also allowed you to protect the thumb as it overlapped the top of the grip as well as provided alignment for the ice pick grip. I am really liking this thread too...this dagger gives me all kinds of "ideas" on how to use these daggers in combat and how the form provides a lot of function and ergonomics as well as just decoration. I'll definitely have to get one of these in the near future!
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Outstanding, thank you for taking the time for your write-up and photos!
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2011 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:
Would the below be the or one of the pieces you have based your ear dagger on? the fueller layout and what I can see from the hilt furniture seems to be fairly close.


That looks quite different to me in that the ears are attached with the protruding "lugs" as opposed to secondary pins. Tod's has the secondary pins that attach the ears to the tang. Both methods can be found historically.

I know you are also talking about the blade configuration, but I wanted to point out the hilt differences. I'll also note that the blade geometry--particularly the offset ricasso and fuller arrangement--can be found following some common themes historically.

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