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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Dec, 2013 4:04 pm    Post subject: An Attempt on Quillon Dagger: From a Fresco to the Dagger         Reply with quote

As the idea to add all five basic types of daggers to my collection has at least half-of-year of history, I had long-lasting doubts what Quillon-dagger I exactly want.

Recently, while making some Skype-chat with an old friend of mine, he pointed my attention on an old fresco (dated middle of the 14th C.) of St. Procopius - one of a few frescos on the Balkans, where someone could see short-bladed weapon (regardless knife or dagger).



This dagger almost immediately took my attention - elegant, beautiful weapon, but mainly - quite unique. The hilt is undoubtfully a hilt of a quillon dagger - straigth cross-guard (if you look carefully - with spherical terminals) and most likely - spherical pommel of Type R (which BTW was an wide-spread type in the Byzantine-influenced world). The blade itself is very interesting too - this is not a sword-shaped blade, this is something very, very different. The upper edge is straight while the other - convex. And if I could speculate - this blade bears some resemblance with the old-fashioned (for the time the frecso was made) seax designs.
Well .... it's quite a challenge for me to do this blade. And as I know only the basic proportions, everything else has to be made only by "feeling".

Here I started with more traditional for me step - the blank was cut from 65G leaf-spring steel



I have no pictures from the next step - forging of the cutting edges, but I can say this was good experience for me.
Here I check the alignment of the edges at the end



and the whole blade is ready


"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Dec, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And the progress with the quillon-dagger.
Again, after some normalization the blade was stripped off from the black oxides by a hand-drill and steel wire-brush. And all excessive metal was removed by cutting and grinding; the shape and dimensions were "calibrated".



And again, I learned many things fron this blade.
Its length should be 295 mm, the width at guard - 35 mm. After forging I was quite surprise to see length of about 330 mm and width of 42. I really expected some increase, but didn't anticipated such. This gave me some clue that for future projects I need some 5 - 10% lesser blanks, but this of course in regard of 5 - 10% thicker ones.

The rest of the work was pretty much the same as on baselard - mainly grinding using a belt-grinder.
The blade after the first, initial pass with grit #40 - although I have really A LOT black spots, dents and imperfections, the matters here are better, compared with the baselard.



The third pass on the belt-grinder with grit #40



And the blade after the pass with grit #60



Now both blades go for heat-treatment.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Harry Marinakis




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jan, 2014 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't wait to see your progress with this blade!
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Feb, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although my initial idea was to work in paralel on both daggers, I have the strange feeling I'm dropping behind with the quillon dagger. Well, this feeling could be a result from the more complex hilt.

And the progress with the blade is similar with the baselard

* after the heat-treatment - the blade was stripped-off from black oxides



** results from the sanding - after grits #120 and some stones and sanding paper up to #600 respectively





*** and the final result after polishing





Honestly, I really like the result - this is one of the best-polished blades of mine.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Feb, 2014 4:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And the progress with the hilt:

* in the very beginning I just drilled the holes in the brass hexagon - I will file and fit the slot latter; the piece for the pommel is bronze



** some lathe-work - I proudly present my very first attempt (and I think - good try) to make sphere on this machine



Well, the terminals are not quite symetrical (one on the left is more elongated), but please, have mercy - really first try. Plus - this would give some feeling of the hand-work.

*** closer to the right terminal



**** and after some grinding, filing and more lathe-work - the guard and the pommel were roughly shaped



Although I was strongly asured by a lathe-operator with 40+ years of experience that "this is impossible, boy", the pommel was succesfully cut "between two cones". Well, I need some re-shaping to get better sphere.

***** finally - both scales for the grip; the grip making method is the same as previously shown in the "German Type XVa c.1400" thread - rounding on lathe, cutting in halves and thinning to appropriate size. The wood here is beech


"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Feb, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some good progress with this weapon, made recently - I feel the end of this project is near the horizon Wink

* after some more grinding, filing, sanding and polishing the guard is ready, the pommel looks more like an apple rather than an onion



Note that the terminals will be sanded and polished after the peening, as the pommel too - it's not easy to work on these round surfaces while not immobilized firmly

** some test fit - the tang is rounded and shaped in order to accomodate the pommel



*** the guard and pommel in place







Interestingly, this unusual shape of the blade gives an impression the guard is not perpendicular. I would asure you everything is OK

**** and finally - as I had some problems with mounting of the guard (the slot has been cut a bit bigger, but big enough to f#^k up the firm and tight mount), I immobilized it with wedges - another method I think is historically correct


"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Isaac H.




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Feb, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, Boris! This piece is turning out to be very eye- catching. The gaurd has an especially nice side profile. Am I to understand that the pommel is turned from bronze, while the guard is made of brass? Why did you choose two different metals? Can't wait to see this one finished.
Wounds of flesh a surgeons skill may heal...

But wounded honor is only cured with steel.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good ,to build him up.
Romans 15:1-2
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Feb, 2014 7:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would suggest removing the word “attempt” from your title. Wink

It’s coming along very nicely Boris! Happy

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Kai Lawson




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Feb, 2014 7:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As we've come to expect, this is work of the high quality. I really like the sense of proportions and the lines of this piece.
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Feb, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, guys!

# Isaac
You've understood this correctly - the guard and pommel were made from two different alloys.

There was no any special reason to do them in such way.
When I was making them, the work was going under "full speed". Finishing the guard and moving on the pommel, I just found I didn't have piece of brass with the appropriate size (diameter of 30 mm and length of about 30-35). So, I had a choice - either to stop working, drive through half of the city to get to the warehouse I usually buy from, just to buy such small piece; or to use this bronze which I found in the bucket. Well, I chose the second option.
Apart from this, we could see enough historical pieces with similar combinations - for example, steel guard and bronze pommel. As our ancestors were quite clever while utilizing ALL they have in reach, such combinations might have been indeed far from rare.
So, although not intentional, I show such plausible combination here - brass/latten guard and bronze pommel.


# Scott
Actually, the word “attempt” in the title doesn't mean that I'm trying (making an attempt) to do something.
Here, as in the Baselard thread, it bears the meaning of an attempt to make a weapon without having exact historical specimen available. As you see, here we have only a fresco and nothing more, and I'm in a quest to make this fresco alive.
Such is with the baselard - I'm trying to create a weapon, which bears the style and features of the originals, while not being a replica of an exact specimen.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Sat 22 Feb, 2014 3:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The tang after being hot-peened





Here, I used rivet block for the first time - till now, all my hot-peening was done directly on the pommel. The block itself was simple nut - filed-off from its thread, rounded and slightly re-shaped.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Mar, 2014 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now, I had to assemble the grip of this dagger.

The scales were chiseled to the form of the tang and clipped at the top in a broad V-shape, matching the guard.



Several minutes later they were glued with epoxy and clamped to the rest of the dagger



At the end the grip was bound and glued with heavy hemp thread





As a whole - all process was something done before. The only interesting moment was how to protect the surface of the bottom "horn" of the guard from the epoxy when gluing the thread. To do this, I used a couple of small pieces of adhesive tape, aplied on the "horns". The tape very effectivelly denied the access of the epoxy to the metal surfaces beneath. When the epoxy dried-off, I just cut these parts of the thread, which covered the guard and removed the tape.


"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 02 Mar, 2014 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful work and impressive in your knowledge and expertise in using machine and hand tools and " Eyeballing " the proportions: Any small asymmetries are consistent with period aesthetics.

For epoxy I usually have a baby-wipes soaked in rubbing alcohol that I use to wipe of any squeezed out epoxy on other surfaces I don't want epoxy to gum up the surface.

The alcohol isn't a perfect solvent for epoxy but if used before it has set or hardened it does make rubbing it off a lot easier for me.

Epoxy on hands and tools being transferred all over the place can be annoying as one often has to use ones hands to make small adjustments in positioning and avoiding getting some on one's fingers is something I never manage to accomplish ......... so the rubbing alcohol also helps in cleaning my hands before I touch anything else like tool handles etc ....

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
.......Epoxy on hands and tools being transferred all over the place can be annoying as one often has to use ones hands to make small adjustments in positioning and avoiding getting some on one's fingers is something I never manage to accomplish .......


Oooh, don't tell me....Wink - this is the only thing, I don't like in epoxy.

Usually, I use cotton rags, well-soaked in nitrocellulose lacquer thinner to clean the detail as well as possible - with the first rag removing the big drops, while with second, third and so cleaning as much as I can.
The results are very good, only some health hazards, typical for using such thinner, remains. Well, when working in ventilated areas it's not great concern at all.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At the end, I sanded and polished the pommel and terminals, and glued the leather over the grip. After trimming I've got this as a result









Thus, the dagger is already finished as a weapon. What I need to do is the scabbard.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 8:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful work as usual Boris! Happy

How does it feel in your hand?

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Isaac H.




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Mar, 2014 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice end product ! That slightly upswept look is most intriuging .
Wounds of flesh a surgeons skill may heal...

But wounded honor is only cured with steel.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good ,to build him up.
Romans 15:1-2
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Boris Bedrosov
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Location: Bourgas, Bulgaria
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Mar, 2014 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, guys!

# Scott
You know, feeling of a weapon could be something very personal.
But anyway, this dagger feels in a way I've always thought a good-made weapon should feel - to follow the hand, NOT to lead it. It's just excelent - both in attack and defence.
And is even better when gripped in "thumb over blade" manner - I feel it really as a natural extention of my arm.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Sun 04 May, 2014 6:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't been here for a long time, but this not means the work on both project was canceled.

With the dagger itself already finished, I made some progress with the scabbard
Both halves glued with PVA glue, shaped and sanded



The chape was made from brass tube with appropriate diameter, split opened at one side and worked over a steel die. At the end the opening was brazed closed



The raisers mounted



and the chape sanded and polished



Finally, test arrangement of the whole scabbard


"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Sun 04 May, 2014 6:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And at the end the scabbard was ready





Here, the leather was first cut and sewn (the seam is barely visible on the left of the second picture); after that soaked in water and then drawn over the core. As the raiser were glued with PVA glue ( Mad ) I was forced to change them with new, this time glued with moment glue, which was much more resistent to water.
The chape was glued with epoxy.

I still don't have clear idea about the suspension I want (just several somewhat obscured ones), but hope I will figure this problem out soon.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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