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Michael B.
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Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Sun 09 Oct, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: A&A modified Alpine Dagger         Reply with quote

I really fell for Arms & Armor's Alpine Dagger when I stopped by their shop last year. When I was planning my wedding with my wife, she really wanted me to include something arms or armour related in the ceremony or reception since it's such a huge hobby of mine. She got a little freaked out when I mentioned a sword for the cake cutting, so instead scaled it back to a dagger, she could handle that. The Alpine Dagger that Arms and Armor makes is from northern Italy, second half of the 15th century. We know for a fact that her family was originally from northern Italy during that time, and migrated north into Switzerland about 20 years later in 1510. So the dagger design has some nice history that we can match with family geography. I liked the wood handle on Arms & Armor's design, but also wanted something that gave it a tie to Alaska, where we live, and really love. Ivory was sometimes used for grips so I opted to put that on the dagger. The ivory is walrus ivory from the bering sea, legally collected by Alaskan natives. I am really please how the whole piece turned out, and it worked wonderfully in the ceremony, and will see duty on my belt during demonstrations and fair time. Here's some photos of my wonderful dagger from the folks at Arms and Armor.




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Michael Bergstrom
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Ian S LaSpina




Location: Virginia, US
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PostPosted: Sun 09 Oct, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The ivory grip looks exceptional. Really makes it a unique and stand-out piece. Love it!
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Sun 09 Oct, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very elegant Michael,

I like it quite a bit!
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Lewis Ballard




Location: Houston, TX
Joined: 27 Dec 2009

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Sun 09 Oct, 2011 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is always something special about a custom project; that is inherent in the nature of the beast. This takes it a step beyond that. It is not merely a custom project, but a custom project that is directly relevant to your new family. (Allow me to step away from the Historical Arms Talk for a moment and congratulate you on your wedding!)

That's a very nice looking dagger. Being from A&A, I well imagine that it's looks reflect its quality. That it ties together where you are (Alaska), with your wife's heritage (going back to 16th century Italy), coupled with your arms and armor (so to speak!) interests, makes it even better.

Many happy returns!
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Mon 10 Oct, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you know a wedding knife must be a more common thing than what i knew of, i actually had someone approach me for the same thing a few years ago. a couple of fiends of mine wanted a knife to cut their wedding cake with. at first they wanted just their names engraved on the face of the blade, but i went a little overboard and inlayed their names (with some correspondence with Ben Potter for some guidance was well) in brass and a little copper accent.

due to the length of their names and my novice blade making ability the thing came out like a chopper more than a cake cutter. i'ma kinda refraining from putting up a pic of it right here because i wanted to commend Lewis' cool one of a kind blade and share my own experience with specially made wedding knives.

the walrus ivory really sets it apart the bight brass and blade are just in balance with each other. it looks like something turn of the century, almost like a sailor's knife without the scrimshaw.
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David Martin




Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Joined: 11 Apr 2005

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Mon 10 Oct, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a stunningly beautiful dagger. One question though: I read on the A&A site that the guard and pommel are made of bronze. I recall reading somewhere that if you put steel and bronze together, the bronze will encourage oxidation in the steel.

The context in which I read about this was revolver frames. I noted that they make revolver frames from brass and asked why not make them from bronze, which would potentially be stronger and less resistant to dings & scratches. I was told that the bronze would cause the steel to rust.

Can someone verify or refute this?

"When war-gods meet to match their might,
who can tell the bravest born?
Many a hero never made a hole
in another man's breast."

- Sigurd, The Lay of Fafnir
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well actually bronze and brass was an interchange term up until about the 19th century (anyone can correct me if i'm wrong about this.

bronze 9 parts copper 1 part tin

brass 8 parts copper 1 part tin 1 part zinc

those are the basic components for copper and bronze (i may not have got them right). there are other alloys that you can use to made different kinds of bronze that age differently. there's phosphoric bronze (which remains bright but dulls to red) and silicon bronze (which you see jake powing use on his mounts)

i'm not really a red smith but i classify bronze by the exclusion of zinc. zinc is a nasty little metal it acts as a magnet for corrosive materials in the surrounding environment. for example zinc blocks are used on ocean ships to counter act the corrosion of the salt water by electrolysis. but that is zinc alone not combined with the other alloys. zinc in a powered form or heated to its melting point in a big quantity is also not i good idea - it excites your immune system into over drive and wears it out - so when you actually get sick, you can't fight it off.

i've never actually seen (over my short life of 30 years) brasses of bronzes causing oxidation to other metals. i would almost say that it's cheeper to make gun frames (receivers) out of steel rather than bronzes. steel alloys are cheeper than bronze or brass (especially bronze) and tempered correctly is much stronger than both alloys. so naturally once steel became more available to gun makers they just dropped off from using bronzes. it may also stain from the gun power depending on what is being used (black powder ect)

now i do mean steel, cast iron for guns was not a good idea so the most of early fire arms were made of bronzes. iron under stress of internal expansion is like a grenade unless it's breach walls are really thick, where as bronze has a high melting point due to it's copper content and is resistance to those internal expansion stresses.

hopefully i haven't given too much misinformation but this is only a tab bit of what i know about red metals, i haven't looked into them a lot i try to work mostly with iron alloys. i'm sure that if i'm incorrect someone will follow up and correct me thats got more knowledge with the alloys than what i do.
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David Martin




Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Joined: 11 Apr 2005

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, Daniel, for taking the time to explain this. I'll have to give serious consideration to the Alpine Dagger, as I think it is beautiful.

Now I'm also wondering about a bronze Bisley frame for one of my Rugers.

"When war-gods meet to match their might,
who can tell the bravest born?
Many a hero never made a hole
in another man's breast."

- Sigurd, The Lay of Fafnir
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