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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Sun 04 Feb, 2018 8:04 am    Post subject: Messer 2.0         Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Next attempt at a Messer... as you may recall, my last one developed a severe forward curve during heat treatment. On this one I left the front edge thicker, hopefully that does the job. If not, I will have to counter-bend the next one. If this one curves forward, I'll probably hilt is a Messer just the same, there are historical examples of exactly that. But I'm definitively hoping it'll stay straight!

The guard was a major pain to make, the tapering slot had me cursing more than once. Soooo much hand-filing... The Nagel on the other hand was quickly and easily made. Not sure yet if I will fire-blacken the fittings or not.

This Messer was designed in cooperation with Oskar ter Mors, a real Messer-enthusiast Wink We're trying to make this the "ideal" sharp Messer for most historical sources.

Hope you like it...




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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Feb, 2018 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The blade looks excellent, but that guard and nagel looks like they took a hell of a lot of effort on your part. Bravo, Sir...Bravo. Wink ....McM
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 04 Feb, 2018 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks really fantastic! The shaping of the blade in particular stands out.
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Victor R.




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Feb, 2018 7:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really look forward to seeing this one in all its glory. Have you decided on the scales, yet?
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Oskar Gessler




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Feb, 2018 2:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, this looks more than promising.
Very nice proportions.
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Feb, 2018 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies, I'm gald you like where this is going.

As for the scales, I haven't decided on which wood to use. I have, however, decided to pre-curve the blade after all. Talked to some makers with more experience in doing long single-edged blades and I reckon pre-curving is the way to go.

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Michael Beeching




PostPosted: Tue 06 Feb, 2018 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps you should be daring and not use wood at all - what about stag antler. What about stag antler with silver spacers?

Big Grin
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Victor R.




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PostPosted: Tue 06 Feb, 2018 8:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Beeching wrote:
Perhaps you should be daring and not use wood at all - what about stag antler. What about stag antler with silver spacers?

Big Grin


I was actually musing on horn with bronze pins, maybe some copper or bronze spacers and copper inlay on a pair of incised lines near each of the terminal ends of the cross. Big Grin Cool

Not sure it's a very nice thing, though, to do such musing about another man's project. Laughing Out Loud
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Feb, 2018 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm actually not a big fan of stag antler. Also, it is very hard to get any of usable size these days.

I have some nice yew, apple and pear wood. Together with brass tubes for pins, any of these woods will make for a great looking handle. Just need to decide which one Wink

Btw, I don't at all mind your musings!

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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Apr, 2018 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The heat treatment was successful, the thicker edge plus the counter bending made it work. Very happy with that! Here is the blade next to a XVIII arming sword I'm working on.


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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Apr, 2018 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More progress... The blade is now ground to final shape, the guard fitted and drilled to accept the Nagel. Work on the handle scales has also begun.

The messer has started to come alive in hand. All current components together weigh 860g, the final weight won't be far off from that.
I must say, I'm really excited with how this piece is coming together Wink

I still haven't decided what finish to give the guard and pommel cap... I'm tempted to blacken them as I did on the Bowie. Or I might try some forced antiquing, I've been wanting to try Walter Sorrell's method. Or a plain, honest satin finish? Hmm...






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Victor R.




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PostPosted: Fri 13 Apr, 2018 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't tell whether the guard has finishing marks, or if it is of wrought or a composite steel. If it is one of the latter, then a nice acid etch to bring out the pattern and a good polish would look terrific - at least to my eye.
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Apr, 2018 9:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The guard is modern steel, not wrought. Maybe for the next one Wink
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Alex Indman




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Apr, 2018 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lukas MG wrote:

I still haven't decided what finish to give the guard and pommel cap... I'm tempted to blacken them as I did on the Bowie. Or I might try some forced antiquing, I've been wanting to try Walter Sorrell's method. Or a plain, honest satin finish? Hmm...


Hi Lukas,

I was considering the very same question for my current hobby project of very similar handle construction (happens to be in just about the same state of progress as yours). My conclusion was that I can't properly blacken a guard of this type as the reverse side will have be filed/sanded to clean up after peening the nagel in place. That would of course destroy any surface finish around the end of nagel. After assembly you can't really use heat bluing as that would damage blade's temper. Chemical ("wipe on" kind) bluing could be done, but it is in general an inferior finish and it would be very hard to avoid getting some of the bluing solution on the blade near guard.
Have you found a way around this problem? So far I am planning to leave my guard/pommel satin finished.


BTW, I love the shape of your blade and guard. Very clean lines, not too plain and not too ornamental, just right.

Alex.
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2018 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's the tricky part, yes.

I think that it would be possible to peen the Nagel without having to do much filing or sanding, so the finish of the guard should remain intact. The peen would be standing proud and not be blended in but I tend to prefer that anyway. The peen itself can be heat blued, with a concentrated flame only a small portion of the blade would be heated up and in that area, loss of hardness isn't a concern. Likewise, you can apply cold blue (gun blue) precisely to just the peened end with a small sponge or brush.

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Alex Indman




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2018 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I see, your plan is to leave the peen standing proud and so clean that it won't require filing to finish. I don't quite trust my skills to achieve that (and don't leave any hammer marks on surrounding surface). Besides I would prefer to have the peen blended in as much as possible. So it's satin finish for me, definitely.

Alex.
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2018 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's finished. As you see, I decided to go with a satin finish after all...



The Langes Messer was a very popular weapon in 15th century Germanic regions, due to its handiness often used as a sidearm and though nowadays often associated with people from lower classes of society, it was in fact carried by members of nobility as well. There are several surviving fencing manuals concerning the use of the Langes Messer and it is quite a popular weapon in modern HEMA.
From a swordmaker‘s view, Messer are very interesting weapon dynamically. They are self-reliant in the way that they don‘t really need pommels, they balance themselves out largely by careful mass distribution in the blade and the (wide) tang. They also are quite complex to make and a lot of time is spent carefully fitting all parts together.

Stats:
Overall length: 84,5cm
Blade length: 66cm
Blade width at base: 4cm
PoB: 13,5cm
CoP: ca 48cm
Weight: 830g

As is obvious from the stats, this is a light and compact weapon. The Messer does have a good amount of blade presence but it never feels unwieldy. It flows and turns effortlessly through cuts and thrusts, with a pleasant forward pull in the hand, inviting to be moved. The point can be controlled easily and tracks well.
By design, this weapon has every characteristic of a very capable cutter: a wide, thin and slightly curved blade with a long single bevel and acute edges. It is also a surprisingly good thruster. Because of its short length and the single-edged design with a blunt spine, the blade is quite stiff, despite its thinness. The clip point and sharpened false edge make for a very acute point that easily penetrates soft targets and allow for techniques that utilise the short edge, an important aspect of Messer fencing. While Messer probably were most common in civilian settings, they did also see use in military contexts. To reflect this and enable use against harder targets (armor for example) the point, though slender, is quite robust.






The hilt assembly is typical for Lange Messer, featuring a short guard, pierced by the Nagel, and scales riveted to the full tang. The pommel cap is peened over a peen block. Overall one of the most secure and durable hilt constructions.

Aesthetically, the Messer gives the impression of an unadorned, very much business-oriented piece of equipment. I had considered adding file-work but decided not to and let the in my eyes quite organic and flowing shapes speak for themselves, with slight accentuation by brass elements. 
Messer, more than most other sword designs, have a certain viciousness to them. At least to my eyes... They are elegant, very thoughfully designed weapons but while a slender XVIIIb longsword manages to hide its martial purpose behind a slim, innocent seaming facade, the Messer cannot be mistaken for anything but a brutally efficient killing instrument. I might perhaps liken it to a big cat like a panther... even just harmlessly sitting somewhere, there always is a certain feeling of imminent danger.

I hope you like it! Cheers and thanks for looking Wink




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Alex Indman




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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2018 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks great!

One detail that surprised me is the use of peen block on top of butt cap. I had an impression that they were never used on messers. At least can't remember seeing any pictures of original messers with this part present.

Alex.
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2018 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think you are right that this would have been an unusual feature. I would call it artistic license Wink
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