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what would you choose to do if you had antler and holly for handle material
1- go with the original idea in octogonal shape (either one of the two with steel spacers)
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
2- go with a straight handle with steel spacers
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
3- go for a octogonal holly handle with if possible antler spacers
58%
 58%  [ 10 ]
4-same as #3 but in straight or slightly tapered shape
23%
 23%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 17

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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jul, 2013 10:32 am    Post subject: handle making and choices         Reply with quote

ok so today i recieved my handle materials, a 5'' holly turning blank and a antler.

the antler has a curve but i read somewhere that you can straighten it by soaking in boiling water (for 1 hour), room temperature water (for several weeks) or by soaking it in vinagar for the same amount of time than with the water.

now that i know that it's nto really a problem BUT seeing those pieces of material made me think about some handle configurations and i would have to make a choice when i get to it so i thougt why not make a poll!

if anyone have some advice for this feel free to comment i'd be happy to get all the help i can have.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,229

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jul, 2013 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The 3 sounds nice. But what are the blade and fittings?
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jul, 2013 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
The 3 sounds nice. But what are the blade and fittings?


the fittings are the one in that topic http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=28350

and the blade is from a DSA squire

it will not be an historical project but still will be nice to work on.
also the handle will be 4 9/16'' long which according to hurstwic is still historical for a viking sword
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jul, 2013 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

just made a rough sketch of one of the ideas (#3) since i'm not good with textures i did what i could and i added some carvings to the handle (not really the prettiest but when done it will look better since i did it fast...

it's just an idea and far from the final sketch



 Attachment: 57.88 KB
handle design first try.jpg

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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jul, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would go with the wood with antler spacers. A dark stain on the wood with polished antler spacers would have a nice contrast. That's just me, though........ Big Grin ......McM
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jul, 2013 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
I would go with the wood with antler spacers. A dark stain on the wood with polished antler spacers would have a nice contrast. That's just me, though........ Big Grin ......McM


octogonal or rounded (oval)?
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jul, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd do a wide oval shape.....hourglass in form, with a fairly big antler center spacer, and wood on either end and smaller antler spacers between the grip/guard and grip /pommel. I hope you can invision what I'm talking about......I would send you a hand -drawn pic, but I'm kinda computer-illiterate. Gotta get some pic-posting lessons....and a camera. Laughing Out Loud ........But, like I said, I think the contrast would look great.......especially with those cool looking fittings!......McM
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sat 06 Jul, 2013 7:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you'll have a small added benefit with the octagonal over oval with your grip. not to mention that i think it just looks more interesting.

one of my first project involved an bearded axe - i cut the haft into an octagon and noticed how impossible it was for someone to twist the haft in my hands with a relatively light grip in comparison to just having it round.
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 8:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thanks for the replies so far, it really helps.

now i've got an idea, i know i can straighten an antler by soaking it but is it possible to shape it like you want by soaking it and put it in a vice or other press devices to make a wider and thinner antler while keeping all the antler ''intact'' (no filing or sanding) ?

for example starting from this


to this


i never worked antler before so before begining i have to learn the more i can so i can understand more the reactions of the material under stresses like this. if it is doable, then i might be able to make everything like i wanted originally... (since i would have to file or sand i would need to make a very thin handle in term of width which doesn't feel right to me)

by the way the drawings are only for antler shape altering, i'll probably file the octogonal shape afterwards (hoping to remove really little material)
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Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 10:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could press it in the same way as you strengthen it. But the final shape will still need a file & sandpaper. The question is if you want to retain the "natural" antler texture (which is nice on knifes), or a polished one (which is, in my opinion, better for swords).
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Tue 09 Jul, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the thing i'm wondering is if i have enough diameter to do anything with it, i'm asking myself this question more and more...
maybe my first idea will be the one i'll do after all...
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Fri 02 Aug, 2013 2:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Exclamation UPDATE Exclamation : i made a poplar handle because i really wanted to swing this sword this summer, it is straight and octogonal (the shape isn't perfect since it is my first handle and there is no risers or spacers whatsoever) all that is left is to wait for the varnish to dry (i'm using acrylic crystal urethane floor varnish).

will post some picture of the mounted sword when all is dry and well (thinking of getting some bateries this weekend for the camera)
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Mon 30 Sep, 2013 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ok! so i've hit a wall with my handle (been a while i know...) the handle is too bulky and is also off set so i have to make another one, but before i make it i wanted to know more about the sandwich method since i'm tired of carving the channel (call me lazy here Laughing Out Loud ) i came across this website a while ago ( http://www.yeoldegaffers.com/project_grip.asp ) and i was wondering about the middle slabs in the design. more precisely the direction of the wood grain, does it really matter? i mean if i can just take a plank and cut a portion of the width as the thickness, for example take a 3'' wide plank and take only 1/4 of an inch because it is the tang's thickness, i would be very happy (and less puzzled because i don't have the tools to plane and stuff

also is there someone who could help me with the width of the handle so it will not look bulky and ''wrong'' ? i still have that holly block but it will take a lot of time to shape it let alone make small planks with it (don't have a bench saw anymore unfortunately so i would have to do it by hand... )


it's really frustrating because i planned to train with that sword this summer but couldn't at all and probably won't be able this fall either...

thanks in advance for any help provided, the help will be appreciated.
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