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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2015 7:29 am    Post subject: WIP - XIVish arming sword         Reply with quote

Hello everybody

before you're all going: "hey, don't you have another XVIIIb to finish?", let me explain. I thought it would be nice to not only have two rather similar XVIIIb to show in Solingen but something entirely else as well. I still had an old blade lying around and the client who will get the other XVIIIb graciously allowed me to finish it before getting to his sword again.

So, here's a sneak peak at the XIV arming sword I'm working on now. This blade used to a be a bastard sword blade with a thin spot in the upper third. The only way to fix it was to shorten and regrind it. This is the result. Blade length is 29". Since the blade is a "save", it's not a typical XIV (lacks the broad base and that fuller also gets rather narrow at the end) but it should be a neat sword anyway. Blade weight is 670g right now and it will still loose a good deal at the tang. Will be a wonderfully agile and handy little cutter. The thin and smooth lenticular cross section and very keen edges aid in that, too.

Excuse the shoddy pics, I just snapped them real quick while I took a break from all that hand sanding. A necessary evil. I also let the blade develop some rust while it was sitting in my "old-blades-bin", a perfect way to create more work for myself.







Btw, that pommel is an old one I just put on the tang for the pic. The finished sword will have a slightly different one.

Thanks for looking and stay tuned for updates!

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Kai Lawson




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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2015 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks a touch XII-ish to me as well. Good looking sword--any rough plans for grip styles or colors?
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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J. Helm




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2015 7:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reminds me of the Albion Solingen blade which the review on this website refers to it be being somewhere between XII and XIV. I dig it!
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2015 9:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments! Unfortunately it seems like there will be no XIV. One slip with the angle grinder and there we go, nice big fat divot in the fuller. I haven't tried yet but I don't think I can fix it. And I'm not going to finish the blade like this, that's just unacceptable for me. I know you want pics now but I don't think it's very visible in photographs, one needs to look from the right angle. Then it's glaring obvious though.

I don't know, that blade must be cursed or something... I bet if I try to turn it into a dagger it will refuse that too. I'll probably still try it. Not now though, now I need a drink.

I'm very much open to suggestions regarding a suitable dagger design with the upper half of the blade... never thought much about medieval daggers so I got some research to do and would be thankful for pointers.

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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2015 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Options, options:





I really like the Swiss Degen but I'm still debating whether or not that handle could be comfortable. I know, thousands of Swiss probably aren't wrong but still...

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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2015 3:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This might be a good compromise... not quite the iconic form but my hand will probably like it better...


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Hector A.





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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2015 11:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lukas MG wrote:
This might be a good compromise... not quite the iconic form but my hand will probably like it better...



Sad to hear your having so much trouble with this one Lukas, don't worry i'm sure it won't refuse to become a dagger Wink Courage!
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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2015 12:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just wait a couple of posts, and the poor man will post pics of plans for a pricker ;-)
There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2015 2:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I sure hope not because I'm really liking this:


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M. Livermore





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PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2015 5:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like it too, and I hope you go that way. Your documentation of the construction process is always so clear and well photographed. I have learned a lot from your posts, and really appreciate them. I would like to undertake a similar hilt project soon, and having your work as a reference would be great.
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2015 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks. I'm glad this is of help to someone! If you're planning something similar, check out Boris Bodrosov's DIY baselard hilt - thread for some very good in progress pics as well.

It's actually pretty ingenious to have the tang fullered, practically the same amount of strength yet much lighter (I-beam principle). Only problem is, I need round stock at the end for peening. So I got creative: Took 5mm round stock, cut a 1cm long slot lengthwise, tweaked it a little to fit the fullered tang, hammered it on and welded it in place. Two normalizing cycles and some clean up later, we have this. The added plus is that the round stock being mild steel, will be a bit easier to peen. Seeing that I'm going to have to do a cold peen, that's a benefit for sure.

From now on, it'll be all hand sanding so I do believe I'm not going to screw up again. Not to tempt Murphy but I'm optimistic Wink

You can see that I did a paper mock-up of the grip. To my surprise and relief, it feels quite comfortable in hand.






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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2015 11:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Blade is finished, or almost. It sits at 400 grit now and isn't quite sharp but already edged. Final polish to 1000 grit and sharpening will be done once the hilt is finished and ready for mounting.
You can see the block of wood that I will use to craft the grip. Should go very nicely with the polished steel parts.

Blades are hard to photograph but I hope you can get an impression of the smooth lenticular geometry. Beautiful and deadly Big Grin

This is where I'll leave the piece at for now. I'll return to it in a few weeks once time allows.








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Tim Harris
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2015 9:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lukas, that looks an elegant solution to a potentially heart-breaking problem. I particularly like your idea for the pein.
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2015 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Tim!

The metal parts of the hilt are finished (except polish and some work on the ends but that will have to wait until the wood part is done).






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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Jul, 2015 2:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

very nice work Lukas. I like corss-sections and finishing work with surface - very smooth and clean. also the fittings made very precisly. looking forward too see the final effect Happy
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Aug, 2015 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Maciej!!

Grip is rough shaped, the hole for the tang pre-drilled and then burned through. Now all parts of the grip are being glued together. Once the glue has set, I will give the grip its final shape and glue it to the tang, followed by peening.
It's hard to see with all the epoxy but steel and wood aren't directly in contact, there is some decorative banding in between. Once polished it should look very nice Wink






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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2015 2:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Swiss Degen is finished, thankfully without further problems. This piece has been quite frustrating in the making sometimes but I can definetively live with this final rendering. And it never hurts to be reminded that there is still much to learn and improve So let‘s call it a happy ending Wink



Final stats:

Overall length: 53.5cm (21“)
Blade length: 40cm (15.7“)
Blade width at the hilt: 4cm (1.6“)
PoB: 8cm (3.1“)
weight: 340g (0.7lbs)

About this piece: I feel it‘s right on the border between dagger and short sword. The typical medieval dagger over-hand grip (ice-pick grip) is still possible but it feels somewhat awkward and I much prefer holding the blade point up. Might be a personal thing. Certainly however, many of the typical rondel-techniques with gripping the blade for disarming, etc don‘t work with it because of the wide and razor sharp blade. I think the best way to use this is point up in the hammer grip, delivering thrusts from below or curving in from the side, as well as short cuts and slices. Here the grip shape offers a very firm grasp, perfect for this style of attack.



Though the blade is quite thin (starts with a bit under 4mm at the base, the result of having originally been the upper half of a sword blade), it is plenty stiff enough for thrusts into soft targets. The very sharp tip aids in parting soft targets as well. I have found thin, somewhat acute yet very sharp tips more effective at penetrating multiple layers of clothing than a thick needle point. It is clear however that neither this blade‘s point design nor its stiffness is suited for thrusts into hard targets. If we see the blade in its historical context in the early 16th century, that might not be such a bad thing though. Armor was on the decline and being the side arm of a Swiss mercenary, such a blade might very well have encountered more fancy clothing than mail or steel plates. Certainly would have done the job in a drunken brawl Wink

To my surprise (and relief), the iconic grip shape is very comfortable. I had thought it would restrict hand movement quite a bit but in fact, extending the blade in a hand-shake grip is easily done with the narrow upper bar smoothly gliding along the heel of the hand. This makes cutting very comfortable and though I don‘t think it was done much back then, the weapon feels quite „fency“ when held in such a manner, with the thumb resting behind the front bar.





In general I expect the Degen to have been used in the hammer grip. This sacrifices reach but on such a short weapon inteded for close quarters that doesn‘t seem problematic. If the other guy is right there on top of you, reach is of no concern and it feels very natural to cut and slice close to the body using the hammer grip. The Degen actually has a good bit of blade presence (if you want to call it that) and the keen edge really bites aggressively.
I might post a cutting video later, once the grip has been soaking long enough in boiled linseed oil (took it out the bath for the pics).

Thanks for reading!




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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2015 11:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, I finally got my own maker's mark and this is the first blade I signed. Since I usually don't forge my blades, I can't hot stamp the mark and have to etch it. To my great relief it looks quite good.
The design is based on the rod of Asclepius, which symbolizes medicine and healing. As I am soon finishing med school, it seems quite fitting. The sword part should be obvious Wink

The mark appears black except in direct sunlight where it gleams brightly for some reason. My cheap camera fails at correctly depicting the mark close up, these two pics are the best I got right now. I hope to get a better picture some other time






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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Aug, 2015 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Got to shoot a short cutting vid with the Swiss Degen. This thing is an immense fun to use Big Grin It's basically a 1 foot long razor that can also thrust. What I'm doing probably isn't close to the way they used it back then but I just can't hide my time doing Kali Silat. If you mix that with sport fencing and HEMA, this is what you get:

https://youtu.be/srpUSUdK09k

Only light targets for now but I will cut mats with it quite soon. I'll update then...

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Julien M




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Aug, 2015 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm surprised I'm the first to comment on this. Great work all around, and very nice finish! You are cruising Lukas Happy
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