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Radovan Geist

Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
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Posts: 399

PostPosted: Mon 16 Dec, 2013 1:55 am    Post subject: DIY: a bunch of blades         Reply with quote

last few weeks I´ve been busy cutting and shaping a bunch of blades. Until now I worked mostly on shorter pieces - knives and a couple of daggers. This time I decided to give it a try with longer ones. So here it goes. All are made from spring-steel (N 14260) and are now heading-off for hardening and tempering (after taking pictures, I´ve polished both longer blades a little more, but unfortunately did not take pictures).

A: It´s a 6.5 cm wide, 58 cm long (including the tang) blade which will be used for a short Swiss sword. I was inspired largely by a piece sold recently on one online auction, but I deliberately made a few things differently: blade has a lenticular cross-section, rather than diamond (I did it purely as my personal preference, plus lenticular profile has been used on historical pieces), and it is app. 1.5 cm narrower (here I was limited by material available). It is 5 mm thick, thinning down to some 3 mm in the last third. It is made blunt as it will be used for stage-fencing, So I was limited in removing the weight, but in the end it weights slightly above 500 g, which is fine I think.

B: This one is for a baselard, similar to one I posted some time back. It it 50 cm long, 5 cm wide, and 5mm thick, thinning down progressively in the last third. It has a diamond cross-section and is made sharp. It weights some 450 g, so it will make a sturdy and substantial dagger, which could be used for cutting as a short sword.

C: This one will be used for a landsknecht messer/sword, inspired by an original I´ve posted here recently( Following the original, it is 86 cm long and 3 cm wide near the tang, narrowing down to 2 cm near the point. It has three fullers, two extending nearly to a point, and the one closest to the edge ending near the middle of the blade. Following an advice of Mr Johnsson (in the thread linked above), I tried to create a distal taper which would make this blade quick and responsive (given its length and the fact, that it will not be balanced by a pommel). So it is 5 mm thick at the base, keeping this thickness for some 15 cm, and then thinning down to 3 mm around the half of its length (in fact, that is the reason why the third fuller "disappears"), and then thinning to some 1.5 mm close to the tip.
Working on the blade, I was really surprised how its dynamics were changing. At the beginning it really felt like a proverbial "brick on stick", after removing a lot of material by making distal taper and fullers, it starts to feel much lively. I am limited by the fact that I decided to make it blunt (sword will be used for stage fencing), but I managed to push its weight close to 700 g. I´m curious how it would feel once I assemble the whole sword.

D: This one is for a executioner´s sword, modeled after some originals from end-16th, early 17th century (later on I have drilled three holes near the tip, as seen on several originals). It is 100 cm long, 5 cm wide and 5mm thick. It has a lenticular cross-section and is made blunt (again, we are planning to use it in our group for some stage performances). I did not find any info on distal tapers for these swords, but I suppose it needs to thin down only close to the tip. So the whole blade is 4 mm thick, thinning down to 2 mm only some 10 cm from the "point".

Now, as I wrote above, all blades are going to be heat-treated by a professional company. I will keep my fingers crossed all goes well... And then, in January / February I may start finishing them. All in all, it has been an interesting experience so-far. I´ve made some observations that may sound trivial for professional sword-makers, but were really interesting for a complete amateur like myself.

As usually, any suggestions and comments are welcome!

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