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Michael Pikula
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Location: Madison, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: A few new finished pieces from Michaels Smithy         Reply with quote

Over the past few weeks, there have been a few long brewing commissions that I've finished up that I wanted to share. The first one pictured is another version of the lost Oakeshott sword. I learned quite a few things from the first sword, and I wanted to revisit the design and blade type and make a few changes. This one is about an inch shorter, about .2" narrower at the base, and with a touch more profile taper at the tip. I changed the distal taper a bit, leaving a bit more mass at the base, and adding just a hair more mass at the prime cutting area and the tip. Also the edges have just a touch more meat behind them, but still sharp without any extra meat or dead weight. The blade is a little stiffer, but still dances in the hand and is very controllable. Lastly the pommel on this one is more like the original, nice an flat Happy

Length overall: 37.6"
Blade Length: 31.1"
Blade width at guard: 2.8"
Weight : 2lb 7oz
Point of balance: 6.5" forward of guard
Point of rotation and forward node: 21.5" forward of guard



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Michael Pikula
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Location: Madison, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Second I completed a pattern welded viking sword that has two twisted bars in the core, arranged in a chevron pattern. This was a project that I had in the works for a long long time and learned a great deal about how to properly weld and construct edges to the core. I probably had about 4 attempts of developing a good system of getting a good solid weld at the tip, but once I figured it out... Happy

The customer wanted inlay on the hilt, and I wasn't getting the results that I wanted, so after some messages Jeff Helmes agreed to do the inlay work. For the design, inspiration was drawn from an example at the Met, and I think Jeff did a great job!

Here are some specs on the sword:
Length overall: 37"
Blade Length: 30.75"
Blade width at guard: 2"
Weight : 2lb 10oz
Point of Balance: 3” forward of guard
Point of rotation and forward node: 20.5" forward of guard



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Last edited by Michael Pikula on Fri 28 Oct, 2011 10:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Michael Pikula
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Location: Madison, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 3:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lastly, I had a request to make a seax that was similar to one of the langseax that I had on my webpage, except to engrave some runes on the blade. I think the engraving turned out really good and opens the door for other possible engraving projects.


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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Outstanding.... Pictures as well. Eek!

Something got stuck in my eye after seeing trees reflection in the blade.
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M. Livermore





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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The pattern welded viking sword is simply wonderful.
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Jeff A. Arbogast





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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 5:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! A truly beautiful viking sword. I really like the pattern-welded blades. Very well executed inlay too.
A man's nose is his castle-and his finger is a mighty sword that he may wield UNHINDERED!
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 6:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glorious! Wow. Those are great Michael! I love the re-do of the big XIII. That thing is a beast! The viking sword is great too. As always, great stuff!
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Benjamin Rial




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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 10:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very beautiful work sir! Your work on the "lost Oakeshott" swords is very exciting and nice to see realized in steel.
"The only thing new in this world is the history we don't know."-Pres. Harry S. Truman

www.forgedintime.com

Vel Arte, Vel Marte
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Matthew Stagmer
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct, 2011 5:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to say that I have handled a ton of modern made swords made by many different makers in my time and so far Michael Pikula's pieces have been my favorite in hand. His attention to detail is outstanding and his swords just feel leathal in hand.

Michael I like all three. Of course the viking grabs my eye the most. Killer job on the termination of the core and Jeff did a fantastic job on the inlay.

And you are right, the engraving on the seax is super crisp. Looks great!

Matthew Stagmer
Maker of custom and production weaponry
www.BaltimoreKnife.com
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Matt Corbin




PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct, 2011 6:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful blades as always. I think yours is some of the cleanest pattern welding I've ever seen.
“This was the age of heroes, some legendary, some historical . . . the misty borderland of history where fact and legend mingle.”
- R. Ewart Oakeshott
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Dan P




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PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct, 2011 8:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just gets better and better every time Michael posts something new.
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W. Knight




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PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct, 2011 8:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mr. Pikula,

The pattern welded viking sword is stunning. I find myself admiring the photos of the pattern welded swords you have done more and more each time I see a new one. I'm quite impressed with how you seem to have already mastered the art of pattern welding, when in the photos of you I've seen, you look so young! Happy

I do wish you had the specs on this sword! Personally, I like a very stout, quite hefty sword when of the middle ages' earlier purely cutting design styles. (I'm of average build, no Arnold Schwarzenegger, by any means, and I find the heavier swords pack more of a punch in my hands) Just out of curiosity, do you know a ballpark estimate of this sword's wieght?
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Richard Furrer
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct, 2011 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well done Michael on some rather complicated projects...and to Jeff on the hilt as well.

Ric

Ric Furrer
Sturgeon Bay, WI
www.doorcountyforgeworks.com
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J Helmes
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Micheal, It was really great getting a chance to work with you on the viking sword. I am glad to see it together. Your work is excelent!

I am looking forward to trying my hand at another hilt soon.

Cheers Jeff
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct, 2011 8:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sister sword to my lost Oakeshotts looks great and the " improvements " do sound good to me, although there is nothing wrong with my version the new one builds on the knowledge acquired from making the first one in giving the edges just a touch more " beef " supporting the edges and a little less flexibility.

Since my sword's edges survived the slight mishap of hitting a steel chinning bar by accident and showing no signs of any impact I assume that this new one has a slightly increased margin of " robustness " of the edges.

Being one inch shorter in the blade probably is one other reason for being just a little more rigid plus the few thousands of an inch more blade thickness.

I like the new pommel being closer to the original but not necessarily more than the curved and tapering towards the peen thickness of the pommel on mine: The aesthetics are not something so much of anything being better, but every difference gives a uniqueness to any two closely alike swords.

In hand, if I could see and hold both side by side, who knows which one I would have decided to buy but I think it would have been a difficult choice decided mostly by feel and handling than by aesthetics that are both excellent.

Your, folded steel work look flawless and is very impressive but unfortunately I don't think I could afford to buy one unless I restrained myself from buying anything else for a year ( Hard to do by the way: Not buying other things Wink Laughing Out Loud ).

But your work is really up there in the very high HIGH end and I hope that people realize how much of a bargain even your most expensive pieces are ! I feel lucky to have ordered a few custom weapons and spears and this sword before too many people start to realize that there are very few who can even make work that equals yours, and fewer still that exceed it.

Aesthetics are certainly up there, but also your swords and other weapons are designed and made as if they where to be depended on to survive in a real fight ! Some other makers are known for making performance swords but tend to more modern interpretations of period sword while you seem to be able to combine the " material " and design qualities of the current technology and the geometries and aesthetics that are very close to period swords in handling.

Oh, the inlay work on the Viking Sword is also outstanding and congratulations to Jeff Helmes also.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Michael Pikula
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PostPosted: Sat 22 Oct, 2011 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much for all the comments and feedback, I truly appreciate it Happy especially on the pattern welding since it has been one of the initial driving factors for me to get into the craft and keep pushing my skill set.

Mr Knight, I don't recall the exact weight off hand, but I know it was somewhere in the 2lb 6-10oz range, or fairly close. I recall the blade being nicely neutral in the hand and very responsive to any movement.
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G Ezell
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Oct, 2011 6:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those are some insanely tight twists on the viking.... beautiful work sir!
" I have found that it is very often the case that if you state some absolute rule of history, there will be an example, however extremely unusual, to break it."
Gabriel Lebec

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Rusty Thomas




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Oct, 2011 12:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am looking very forward to getting the XIIIb in my hands. I will of course post my impressions on it here. To say that I am pleased by the way it turned out so far would be an understatement. Jean, in the interest of continuing growth and education on this forum you should send me your "Pikula XIIIb" so I can compare and contrast them. I will of course return it to you well oiled and in the exact condition I received it in Big Grin Razz...eventually!
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Tue 25 Oct, 2011 6:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rusty Thomas wrote:
I am looking very forward to getting the XIIIb in my hands. I will of course post my impressions on it here. To say that I am pleased by the way it turned out so far would be an understatement. Jean, in the interest of continuing growth and education on this forum you should send me your "Pikula XIIIb" so I can compare and contrast them. I will of course return it to you well oiled and in the exact condition I received it in Big Grin Razz...eventually!


Or Michael could send me yours and I would " eventually " forward it to you. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool

But seriously, I look forward to your reactions to it and if confirm mine or in what ways they might differ in small detail because I'm certain you will be pleased and surprised as I was when I finally had mine in hand. Cool

Are you getting a basic scabbard made for it by Michael or looking into having a scabbard made more locally to you ?

Brian K. would certainly be a good choice for a high end scabbard, but it might be a longer wait before you get your sword depending on the length of his production cue.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Michael Pikula
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Oct, 2011 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting idea guys! I think that doing a side by side comparison of these two swords would be very informative and provide a nice platform to compare and contrast some design elements.

I have wanted to make a series of 5-6 swords, all identical to the eye but build one like a wall hanger, then progressively improve design elements until the final sword feels and behaves the way a sword should. But then again it would be an educational project and would have to be part of an informative setting and I don't get the opportunity to talk or explain what is really going on with a sword and its properties first hand so I doubt that I'd invest the time in such a series.
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