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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jan, 2014 4:14 am    Post subject: Tod/English cutler Rondel dagger kit         Reply with quote

A few years back I contacted Tod to purchase one of his Rondel dagger kits.

These English cutler kits are extremely good value for money, and contain all you need to put together your knife, including instructions.

I had a specific project in mind, so I sent him a picture of the dagger I wanted to make (below), asking Leo if he would tweak the content of his kit. I asked for a suitable blade, some thick brass for the top and lower Rondels. I also asked if he could provide a handle that would be close to the chosen design, and even for a bit of brass tube that would fit the lower part.
Tod was kind enough to accommodate all my annoying requests, but said he could not help with regards to the brass tubing.

Yet it was not long until I received the below:
A nice, long & thick blade (5mm thick at the blade shoulders - granted, the original dagger features a blade that is likely much thicker than this and likely triangular in section, but I'm not looking for a carbon copy - just something in the style of...), a piece of leather to wrap a scabbard (fit to the size of your blade which is not the case in the pic below Happy ), a rounded and tapering wooden handle perfect for my purpose, a needle, some thread so bind the scabbard, and behold...an expected freebie: a brazed cylinder of brass to dress the handle lower part.

All this for little more than the original kit price tag.

So to sum things up I was very happy with this purchase, and Tod was extremely nice to deal with. I highly recommend that option if you able to manage a project like that. Tod certainly makes this as easy as possible, as gathering all this stuff is time consuming. His explanations are also really clear and simple to follow...So I let it aside thinking I'd come back to it shortly, and forgot about it while focusing on sword projects for the past 4 years.

Now it's time to put this thing together and I have just begun.

Cleaned of the brazing on the brass tube. It looked rough when I received it, but after a few passes on a grinder, the weld is impossible to notice..really neat brasing job. Sanded the bottom of the handle to allow a tight fit. Filed the inside of the handle (was already drilled) to be able to fit the blade in roughly.

that's one hour, and I'm already close to a functional knife. In fact it is so pointy and sharp that I will make a scabbard leather core asap, as it scares the hell out of me.

More coming soon (shaping the lower rondel - the upper one I'm not so sure now, having seen Fabrice Cognot's dagger and looked closely into books, the upper one should be a thin sheet folded down the handle, so will likely do it that way).
J



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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,066

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jan, 2014 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Has anyone seen this dagger before by the way? Any insights or pictures showing other views (upper and lower rondels?)

Problem is that most rondels are photographed that way (front view), so it does not tell me much on the shaping & decorating style of the rondels...

I have ideas and examples for the upper one, I plan to etch something on the top.

For the lower one, not so inspired. Flowery design, not so much. Little arches going all round with a hole in the middle of each is a possibility, something repeating the pattern of the brass fitting of the handle...

Advises and pictures welcome!

Cheers,

J
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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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Posts: 483

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jan, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is a very interesting piece. Like a ballock/rondel hybrid, with no 'balls'
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Leo Todeschini
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Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jan, 2014 4:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Julien,

Judging from your previous work you will do something very accomplished with the kit and I am looking forward to seeing the result.

The top has been crimped over and so is made from thin sheet, so the decoration is most likely to be either figurative and repousse or pounced and geometric.; but unlikely to be etched I am afraid.


That said that was historically what would have been done in this situation, however there is no reason not to etch it. Email me to discuss if you want.

Tod

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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,066

PostPosted: Thu 16 Jan, 2014 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cheers Tod. I will likely have some questions down the road for sure.

Well what do you know! I first found this dagger in a book (Hermann Historica highlights) but managed to dig it from their website.

I now got all the info I need, with a good view of the lower ronder at least (no luck with the engraving on the top though)...and guess what, everything I expected about this dagger was wrong, mainly the shape of the rondel, which is in fact a rectangle rounded on one side. Definitely a more original piece than anticipated.

"A Medieval dagger

late 14th/early 15th century. In excavated condition, with slender tapering blade of flattened diamond section changing in the middle to flattened hexagonal section in two stages, short ricasso and struck with a series of marks on both sides, flat brass guard of rectangular form rounded over the outer side, the lower edges decorated with bevelled notches and the inner face engraved, rootwood grip swelling to form a flattened pommel, and fitted with engraved brass sleeve about the base and later brass pommel cap decorated with the figure of St. Catherine. Length 30.8 cm."




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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jan, 2014 2:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice find, Julien! I had remembered seeing it but for the life of me couldn't remember where. I thought it was in a book, not online. Awesome.
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