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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
Joined: 27 Jan 2011

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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jan, 2012 3:27 pm    Post subject: First sword - 'Errant'         Reply with quote

This is my first full length sword and my most challenging project to date.. that has succeeded. I wanted to make something rooted in historical accuracy in terms of construction and profile but also invoked the romance and fantasy of a knight-errant or mercenary man-at-arms during the Hundred Years war. The profile is based on Oakshott type VXIII. The blade is 30.75" and forged 1/4" Aldo 1075. It is 3/16" thick at the guard with distal taper making for a very thin, flexible blade. It is 2" wide at the guard... less than MOST swords of this type, but not all :-). The POB is 4" from the guard. Total weight is 2.5 pounds. There is an ebony spacer between the maple handle. The maple is wrapped in Whitetail deer rawhide, leather risers and hemp. The guard and pommel are forged from the very slaggy, phosphoric wrought iron that comes from an abandoned grain elevator on Lake Superior. The blade is 150 grit hand rubbed to give a 'draw file' look and heavily antiqued. You can see a hamon if you look carefully through the etching.









[img] http://www.bigrockforge.com/blog/wp-content/u....jpg[/img]



The forging and construction can be seen here: http://www.bigrockforge.com/blog/?p=328

A video of testing and cutting can be seen here... (you can fast forward through my son testing his tomahawk):

http://youtu.be/YypUleRF2_E

Thanks for looking and let me know if you have any questions. I'm still very new to this sort of bladesmithing, but it is a direction that I want to pursue.

The sword was made for an upcoming show (Little Rock, Arkansas) but is technically available as long as I can have it at the show.

I'm currently making a wood core scabbard with deer rawhide and based partly on Peter Johnsson's laced belt plans.

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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Ian S LaSpina




PostPosted: Fri 06 Jan, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really love the rustic style that you pursued with this sword. You really captured the look of a 'working' sword, it doesn't have that dolled-up show piece look, I love it! Keep 'em coming!
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Mike Capanelli




Location: Whitestone, NY
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jan, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to know: What's the price going to be when it becomes available?
Winter is coming
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jan, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks folks.

I should add... that some elements on this are not completely finished. The pommel is still something I'm thinking about for example.

With the deer rawhide (to match the grip), laced belt scabbard.. This will probably go for somewhere in the $1200 range... with the caveat that I can take it to the Little Rock show Feb 28, 29 and delivery it immediately afterwards.

This was so much fun to make.. I beg somebody to give me an excuse for another go at a project like this. And just so people know.. I'm not absolutely wedded to doing rustic and/or fantasy pieces. That is the direction I tend to go when I make non-commissioned blades, but right now I really want to learn sword craft.

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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Bryan W.





Joined: 27 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jan, 2012 5:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:
I really love the rustic style that you pursued with this sword. You really captured the look of a 'working' sword, it doesn't have that dolled-up show piece look, I love it! Keep 'em coming!


I was going to say something like this...even use the word "rustic" but looks like someone beat me to it.

Stuff like this makes me want to learn a craft like that.

I do agree with you that the pommel needs work potentially as does how it fits with the base of that otherwise cool looking grip.
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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jan, 2012 9:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, Scott, that sword is beautiful. I wouldn't change a thing. I love the slight asymmetries, the slim section of the hilt, the level of texture... It shows the hand of its maker without looking contrived. I look forward to seeing more! I would like to see your aesthetics applied to a messer!

Nice photography, too, here and on your websites. Worth a look for anyone interested in that art as well.
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2012 2:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Eric. You nailed what I was trying to do.. 'hand of the maker'.

Yes a messer would be fun. I think many makers have been inspired by Peter Johnsson's recent messer WIP video.

I have an intense interest in rapiers right now too.. and am taking a shot at wrought iron ring hilt for a practice blade. But.. honestly.. the rustic look would be inappropriate. I think 'relic' might be a better idea.

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2012 3:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And the seed is now planted for a messer:

"the Grosse Messer hails from central and northern Europe where, in far off days of old, noblemen and peasants alike relied on it to protect hearth and home from the ravages of brigands."

I'm thinking a peasant's messer made by the village blacksmith is in order... :-)

(edit: from further research, it seems doubtful that the actual messer sword would have been used and owned by the peasantry... but now I've discovered bauernwehrs... I really like the lines of those knives!)

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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David Clark





Joined: 10 Feb 2009

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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2012 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ye gods that is gorgeous. And since everybody else already beat me to commenting on the 'rustic' look, I would like to compliment you on excellent taste on picking out the photo op background. A lot of people don't take the time to look for a proper back piece, but your effort goes a long way to making your already incredible blade take on a higher level of appeal.
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the kind response to my sword and photography David. I very much enjoy walking through the woods with a sword and camera.

I forgot to add this detail picture:


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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2012 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott,
I think the bauernwehr is a fine idea. They have an elegant simplicity that is hard to deny. Bear in mind tho that the messer came in a lot of sizes and that the grosse messer is at the extreme end. Not everybody could justify the cost or the legal/status implications of packing around the long two-handed examples. But the village blacksmith probably made plenty of the shorter, single hand messers - like a late medieval Germanic version of the Bowie knife - for his customers. Just in case you need help justifying that messer.

Thanks for posting that close-up of the cross- something about your photography reminds me of the still photography done by the Lord of the Rings productions... warm, a little ethereal, lots of texture...
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for that Eric.... I was looking for justification. :-) And I've been googling messers all morning to learn more. If you have anything you can point me to... I would be obliged.

I love the use of the rustic/peasant look.. but I really only want to use it in an appropriate way. Like I said earlier.. a rapier? No. But I'm also into the 'relic' look that can be applied to blades that historically had a higher end level of craftsmanship. Its fun to take THOSE and give them a taste of 'just recovered from the River Thames'. :-)

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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Benjamin Rial




Location: Northern Minnesota
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2012 9:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Scott.
Wow! Excellent work my friend.
I really like the workmanlike quality of it. Some people use the excuse of "rustic" or "tribal" or "frontier" for poor workmanship but that is so obviously NOT the case with you. Having had the privilege of seeing some of Scott's work in person I can say without reservation that his workmanship is first class. The aging and "patination" (is that a real word??) is an further proof of your skill.
Job well done buddy. Can't wait to see what you come up with next.

"The only thing new in this world is the history we don't know."-Pres. Harry S. Truman

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Josh S





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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jan, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Like several others have already said, I *love* the look you've accomplished with this piece. Especially that last close-up photo; it's hard to believe that crossguard is iron at all, it's so grainy it looks like wood(and that is awesome). I also really like the use of hemp cord in the grip; you don't see much of that on the market. I had one sword a while ago that had a simple cord-wrap grip, no leather; it was a pretty crappy sword in every other way(a bend set into the blade's tip, the pommel was screw-on, the grip was of circular cross-section...), but the cord wrapping made it by far the most secure grip I've ever experienced on a sword.
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 4:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Ben... I was thinking of you a lot when I was making this sword and almost called you to get some advice on heat treat.

Josh... the wood grain in iron is actually called wood grain.. mokume by the Japanese. It is caused by the manufacture of poorly (less expensive) refined iron. All those layers you see are from folding the blooms of iron and trapping bits of silica (often sand) that was being used for flux. The more refined wrought iron (often from Sweden) doesn't show this effect. I love the poorly refined stuff.. but it is very hard to forge as it just falls apart on you even when worked very hot.

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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Anders Backlund




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like it. It's funny, but the worn look makes it more interesting then if it had just been pristine yet plain sword. Like a sort of reverse-decoration, I suppose. Nice general design too. It's actually giving me a few ideas, even.

The only thing that bothers me is that the hilt looks misaligned with the blade. That sort of thing always irks me.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Doug Landers




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott, bravo! What an amazing job you did. Looking forward to seeing more from you. I just checked out your knives too. Amazing work and I love the rustic look, I am a huge fan of it.
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks again folks...

The misalignment that you are seeing is from the fact that I haven't committed to how I want the pommel shaped. It's just a little more robust on one side and grinding it to a center line will take care of that I believe. I should have waited on publishing the photos until the pommel is finalized.. but I was really looking forward to folk's feedback first.

Thanks again and am excited to get started on another project soon.

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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William P




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PostPosted: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 1:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

this thinking is mostly due to the hilt wrapping and slightly asymmetrical gaurd, but to me it speaks of being improvised , and made in one heck of a hurry with no time to finish the little details
its like the man was going to make a more highly made sword , but all of a sudden he hears of an attack so the second hes done the bare basics to make it not a complete brick to wield, he hastily hands it to someone to use and then gets hammering on a sword just like it to arm a town
it kind of reminds me of the munitions grade armour worn during the renaissance.
that 'hastily rushed and improvised' look funnily enough i LIKE in this sword.
if i had more money i would definately consider commissioning a sword like this.
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Jan, 2012 3:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William... Thank you for your comments. You bring up something that I think of often when I do historically inspired pieces... repair. When I do 'rustic' or 'primitive' style handles that are supposed to have the 'used' look... I often think about little elements that add to the idea that the piece was repaired after being damaged. Rawhide... due to it's elasticity when wet and how tough it is when it dries.. was an incredible repair material. That is kind of what I had in mind with this fighter:


http://www.bigrockforge.com
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