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Artur Zima




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Apr 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri 10 Mar, 2017 12:56 pm    Post subject: Fulham Gladius Modification         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

Recently I have purchased my first sword - Deepeeka's Fulham Legionary Gladius. I bought it with an idea in mind of modifying it since I've always wanted to do a bit of wood working, it seemed like a good idea to make my own hilt components. I've had very little experience in this field, so I'd like to make this post and share with you my learning experience, progress as well as ask for your advice or any suggestions you might have.

Here's how far I got so far:

I've looked at a number of historical gladii as well as some modern reproductions and decided on a design for the hilt. I made a blueprint to help me keep the right proportions and measurements. For the materials I decided to go with American walnut for the guard and the pommel and English holly for the handle.

I started the process with the handle, as for some reason I thought it would be the easiest part. I cut a rough chunk off of the holly block and then went on to filing. I used both flat and half-round files as well as a set of fairly small files to get the sharpness of the edges.

Everything I've done so far was made by hand since I don't have any power tools, so the result is not 100% perfect but I'm fairly happy with it considering it's my first time doing this sort of thing.







Let me know what you think and feel free to give any tips or advice, it'll be much appreciated! Next, I'm going to have a go at the guard, wish me luck, cheers!
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
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Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Fri 10 Mar, 2017 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lookin' good! I agree with your choices of wood completely. That will look great! Big Grin ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Harry Beck




Location: pgh pa
Joined: 23 Feb 2005

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri 10 Mar, 2017 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

that looks great.
Dude, if you ever shoot me with a .25acp...... and i find out about it, I'll kick yer ass!
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Fisher Lobdell




Location: Kansas city
Joined: 03 Nov 2016
Reading list: 14 books

Posts: 65

PostPosted: Fri 10 Mar, 2017 10:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The handle is expertly shaped, Big Grin so be carful drilling it! And do you have a metal part that goes between the blade and the wood guard? As that is an important part.Wink
1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Absence of evidence is not necessarily the evedence of
Absence. Ewart Oakeshotte.
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Sat 11 Mar, 2017 12:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd say you are off to an excellent start. Great & sound design - and given how neat your set up is, I have no doubt the finished result will be great.

You might find the below of interest - I documented this gladius grip years ago.
One thing I'd find tricky is to size these components properly - as I suspect most deepeeka are slightly too bulky and oversized.
Would be great to see the blade next to the handle.

The below tracing will give you appropriate dimensions (mm). As you can see it's rather delicate in hand.
An interesting shot of the inside too.

Best,
J

edit: also if you haven't already, I'd recommend a look at the excellent project by Luke here: (very close to your own design!)

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=195827



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Artur Zima




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Apr 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat 11 Mar, 2017 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for your kind comments, really appreciate it!

As for the metal part, I do have a small sheet of brass that's about 0.9 mm thick.I haven't decided yet whether I want to simply mount it flat against the guard or have it set into a recess.

Thank you Julien for sharing the images, really interesting to see actual dimensions! It was quite tricky to decide on the size of the components. In the end, I tried to stay somewhat close to what is currently there, which I think works okay. My design ended up being around 1 cm shorter than the original. Below are some pictures of the handle next to the sword.

And thanks for sharing Luke's post, I've seen it before. It's really awesome, it actually made me want to modify my gladius.

Also, I've got a question, which I hope one of you will be able to help with. I'm about to start the work on the guard and I was wondering about the direction of the grain I should follow. Below are images of 2 setups, which I think could work. Is there a right way of doing this, or does it even matter? As I said I'm pretty new to this, so I'm still a bit unsure.

Cheers!





Last edited by Artur Zima on Sat 11 Mar, 2017 9:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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J. Douglas




PostPosted: Sat 11 Mar, 2017 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks great, seems like it will make a great hilt! Big Grin
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Viktor Johansson




Location: Stockholm
Joined: 27 Apr 2009
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Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat 11 Mar, 2017 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking sweet! I'm thinking about doing something similar with an old Albion Mainz type Gladius.
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Lukas MG
Industry Professional



Location: Germany
Joined: 23 Feb 2010

Posts: 317

PostPosted: Sat 11 Mar, 2017 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good work, looking very clean.

What you should have done though is drill all necessary tang holes before doing any (finer) shaping. In case you mess up the drilling (off-center, etc) you can sometimes correct when there's enough material left or at least not have done much work in vain.

Naturally, that means the very first step needs to be taking the old hilt off. Otherwise you won't be able to measure the tang size.

I highly suggest you dismount the gladius before doing any further shaping of the hilt components.

Custom sword maker:

http://www.lukasmaestlegoer.com
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sat 11 Mar, 2017 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm curious about the guard and pommel, where did you get the designs from?
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Artur Zima




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Apr 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat 11 Mar, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies!

Lukas, I agree, I probably should have drilled the holes first but I didn't have access to a drill. I'm going to get some help with that and use a press drill, so hopefully it will go smoothly. I'm going to dissemble the sword next, make rough shapes and drill the holes before refining them.

Joe, the design was inspired by an ivory hilt in the British Museum and Albion Tiberius. The blueprints were then drawn by me.

Anyone has any advice about the wood grain direction question?

Cheers!
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sat 11 Mar, 2017 9:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Artur Zima wrote:

Joe, the design was inspired by an ivory hilt in the British Museum and Albion Tiberius. The blueprints were then drawn by me.

Cheers!


Do you mean the "Segontium Sword" with an Ivory Hilt? That's a very interesting sword as it's not typical based on the what we have found so far. I wish there was more information available online.

I've always liked the Albion Tiberius, I have an Augustus, but I've always wondered where their design for the pommel came from. Kris Cutlery and Del Tin offer Roman swords with generally similar hilts, and since I like that style I have both.

Good luck and I can't wait to see how it all turns out.
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Lukas MG
Industry Professional



Location: Germany
Joined: 23 Feb 2010

Posts: 317

PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 4:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would probably go with nr 2 concerning the grain orientation. The grain going lengthwise visually fits to the general "direction". Blades are polished lengthwise, too.

Theoretical downside may be that the wood could possibly split a bit easier that way. But that's a big "possibly".

Custom sword maker:

http://www.lukasmaestlegoer.com
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Artur Zima




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Apr 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe A wrote:
Do you mean the "Segontium Sword" with an Ivory Hilt?

No, it wasn't Segontium Sword. I can't really find a name of the one I was looking at (I don't think it has one to be honest), but here's a photo of it:



Lukas, thanks for your advice, I'll start blocking it out soon!
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Artur Zima wrote:
Joe A wrote:
Do you mean the "Segontium Sword" with an Ivory Hilt?

No, it wasn't Segontium Sword. I can't really find a name of the one I was looking at (I don't think it has one to be honest), but here's a photo of it:

Lukas, thanks for your advice, I'll start blocking it out soon!


Of course, thanks for posting that pic!
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Artur Zima




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Apr 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat 24 Jun, 2017 4:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey everyone,

It's been a while since my last post. I've been fairly busy and I had to put the project on hold for a while. However, I've made some progress and I wanted to share it with you all.

Once I finished the handle I disassembled the hilt to measure the tang. After taking it apart I wasn't exactly pleased with the assembly of the components.The brass plate was glued to the sword itself and the thick layer of glue that was left on the sword was a real pain to remove. I used a stanley knife and tried to remove it bit by bit as it was really tough and and stuck pretty well to the metal.



After cleaning up the sword and taking all the measurements I went on to drill the tang holes in the handle as well as the rough blocks of walnut that have become the guard and the pommel.



To shape the guard and the pommel I got a disc and belt sander to make the work a bit easier. It was a little tricky to get used to but once I got into it, it became a really useful tool in the process. After sanding the pieces into shape on the sander I finished them off with files and sandpaper. In order to make the inset for the brass plate I used a knife to mark the outlines of the plate and a small chisel to carve it out.

Once the pieces were polished to 1000 grit I applied 3 layers of boiled linseed oil, which made the wood a lot darker and enhanced the grain significantly.



For the brass plate I used a 0.9 mm sheet of brass and cut it to shape with a piercing saw. Unfortunately the thread at the bottom of the tang is a bit thicker than the top of the tang so the hole will be visible but I tried to keep it minimal.



All the pieces are now ready to be assembled. I will post some pictures of the complete sword soon, but in the meantime feel free to share your thoughts, opinions or questions. Thanks for looking!
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Artur Zima




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Apr 2016

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jun, 2017 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

As promised here I are some pictures of the sword with the assembled hilt. It was a lot of fun working on this project and I learnt quite a bit. I'm definitely going to continue learning more about woodworking and who knows maybe I'll make another hilt...

Anyway, let me know what you think and thanks for looking!










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Nicholas Windell




Location: Schuylkill Haven, PA
Joined: 12 Dec 2015

Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jun, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks great, huge improvement!
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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 482

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jun, 2017 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow--that is a significant improvement. Well done. Your wood choices look marvelous.
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,065

PostPosted: Mon 26 Jun, 2017 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Top notch, very dedicated work - a pro would not do better!
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