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Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
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Posts: 358

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 12:40 am    Post subject: DIY: crab-hilt dagger         Reply with quote

I have started this project already last autumn, but finished it (well, not fully) only last weekend.
For a long time I have been intrigued by crab-hilts - both daggers and rapiers. Before embarking on a more difficult path (rapier), Iīve decided to make a dagger, with a simple side-ring (crab-hilt daggers also had trapezoid plate-guards, or a full hilts, similar to those on rapiers).
The blade was made with a bunch of others (http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=29410&highlight=) and sent for a professional heat-treatment last autumn. After receiving it, I have first smoothed-out the hammer marks, and polished it to satin finish with sand papers. (picture 1)
The hilt has a "sandwich construction", secured by welding and rivets - picture 2 shows it before riveting.
The ring was cut from an iron tube with sufficient diameter and 4mm thick walls, and it was welded to the hilt - picture 3.
After that the quillons were bent, cleaned and did some file-work - thatīs picture 4.
I tried to heat-blue the quillons, but I had only a gas torch at hand and unfortunately it did not come out very well - picture 5 (itīs shown with a pommel, which was later replaced).



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Radovan Geist




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

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 1:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

...and the second part:

Grip was made from a piece of hard-wood (probably a red beech - picture 6), formed by a rasp and sand papers. The handle is "squarish" in cross-section, so I have decided to replace the original pommel (shown on one of previous pictures). The new one was cut from a piece of mild steel with a hexagonal cross-section, narrowing towards the top.

After some cleaning and finishing, the final piece is shown on last three pictures. However, I would take it as semi-final, because I still plan to heat-blue the hilt and the pommel (I have used a threaded tang, so it could be dissembled). And of course, I will to the scabbard, because I plan to use this dagger in stage-fencing.

Any comments and suggestions are welcome.



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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: 05 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really nice! I have always liked these crab hilt guards. This came out well. I do have to say that I like the round pommel better, the square one is nice, but I think the round one helps to accentuate the curves of the guard. Do you have plans to leather wrap the grip?
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Radovan Geist




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

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 11:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hm, good point on the pommel, Tim. I still may change my mind...Happy
leather wrap: I was not thinking about that, but it might be a good idea. I have to think about it and look around for some thin but strong leather. It will have to be black, as Iīve already started to make a scabbard from black leather.
In any case, I managed to get to some bits of more interesting wood from a friend of mine, whoīs making furniture. If I donīt go for the leather, I will surely replace the grip, using a darker wood. I will surely post the pictures.
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Julien M




Location: London
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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Posts: 1,059

PostPosted: Wed 25 Jun, 2014 1:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great work Radovan, your willingness to undertake complex designs is very inspiring!
The dagger looks really good. Are you going to wire wrap the grip?
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Radovan Geist




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

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Wed 25 Jun, 2014 10:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you, Julien:)
No wire-wrap planned. I will go either for a leather wrap, or a wooden grip (but from a different, darker wood - pear, cherry, or some dark wood I got from a friend of mine, but could not identify).
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
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Reading list: 6 books

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Jun, 2014 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, wire wrap would be cool! However you decide to finish it, it will be nice.
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Radovan Geist




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

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Sun 12 Oct, 2014 10:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did not have much time to work on my project lately, as I was busy around our house and garden. Besides working on some ongoing stuff, I have only finished another crab-gilt dagger for a friend from out re-enact. group. She had asked for a different hilt design, with plate instead of a ring. This time, the quillons were shaped from a single bar of mild steel.

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures from the process as my cell-phone with camera broke down. However, hereīs the result.



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