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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2014 8:09 am    Post subject: Project: Sword for a child         Reply with quote

My niece is turning 10 years old this week, and felt that she was ready to own a sword. I'm not a fan of fantasy swords, but Arya Stark's "Needle" in Game of Thrones seemed like a very appropriate inspiration. Like the better fantasy pieces, it takes some inspiration from historical weapons and appears to be a serviceable weapon. I have taken that idea rather than the actual prop.

I was not able to linger over details on this piece due to time constraints, but I really like the thing. It balances about 2" below the cross and feels just like a tiny-but-dangerous sword, which is the idea, of course. I clipped the standard practice epee blade back to the place where the V section becomes a solid triangle-shape. It's blunt, but not quite as blunt as the stock bated blade. What I'm left with is a very attractive setup for this simple hilt (cheap, too, at about $30 shipped). It feels great!

This is the first rapier scabbard I've made and I found it to be no more or less challenging than any others I've worked on. Even the very strange blade section and very thick ricasso of half-moon section presented no great problem. The scabbard is not bulky and it holds the blade perfectly. The sword will not fall out when inverted, but releases with a slight pull and draws without binding anywhere. Chamois on the scabbard, thin calf on the grip. I didn't have time to properly burnish and polish the scabbard, unfortunately. The knot is primarily fantasy, but is inspired by an historical suspension method. It's positioned here to balance the sword at a 45 degree angle and can be slid up or down the scabbard as needed. I positioned the stop riser without testing the balance. It's where it would be for a full-size sword but a bit high for this one. It would suspend the sword vertically, which would be fine for me but would drag in that mode on a 10 year old.

Edward Lee provided the Hanwei pommel for this project.

Mark Millman provided additional blade options I decided to reserve for a project for my son.

Julien Mesenge provided the grip leather.

The cross is cut from a discarded test tub stand that was HEAVILY rusted. I didn't fuss over the finish, as you can tell. This was the most challenging component because the lower part of the epee tang is small and square. I drilled a round hole and slowly filed it to square, fitting as I worked. I inletted the lower part of the cross as a seat for the robust ricasso. As you can see, the blade is just slightly wider than that inlet. To get it flush, I would need to file another few mm from that area. Again, there was no time or inclination to be that fussy.

The grip is poplar. It's a good fit to the strange tang (which become a threaded rod about 2 inches above the square section. I wrapped the cross in sandpaper and sanded the shape of the cross into the base of the grip to prevent the grip from turning as it wears. The pommel is threaded, so the whole thing is held together by compression.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 199

PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2014 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really nice!

It calls to mind the old movie swords of the Danny Kaye and Errol Flynn era. I would have loved that when I was a kid!

Seek Honor before Wealth,
Truth before Honor,
God Before all
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,315

PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wowzer! Uncles are great. The sword I made for I made for *my* daughter was pipe insulation! Of course, I knew I'd be the one getting whacked with it...

Lovely work! And Happy Birthday to your lucky neice!

Matthew
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2014 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Haha! I should note that she lives FAR away. The epee should bend pretty well with accidental pokes but even a stock fencing blade could destroy an eye. She has been properly warned, of course.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2014 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicely done, sir! I've been trying to get into the "crazy uncle bearing swords" gig for a while now, but my sister has been a tough one to wear down. Maybe this Christmas...

That's a sweet little sword. It would have made my year to have been given something like that at 10. Happy

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,911

PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2014 1:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I neglected to show the full blade earlier. Here it is, undressed, in a shot that also shows the fit of the scabbard core.


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flneedle2.gif


-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2014 7:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's rather nice and as long as she realizes that although it's sort of a toy it still has to be taken seriously and not used without a lot of control and common sense ..... also if her little friends might get their hands on it they might not be as responsible or smart as she is, so it shouldn't be left where some visiting kid can get their hands on it without supervision.

My parents let me play with real knives or pocket knives at a young age ( !0 years old and up mostly ) and I also was doing some carving and DIY project making some of my own toys as a kid ..... but I still have some scars on my thumb made by using a saw that skipped out of a saw cut to cut me instead of the wood I was working on .... Laughing Out Loud

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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