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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Apr, 2005 7:27 am    Post subject: My New Dirk/Dudgeon         Reply with quote

Don't laugh! It's my first attempt at knifemaking. I made many mistakes, none of which were fatal and most of which are concealed by the antiquing (notice the botched peening). I can’t call this piece historically accurate because I’ve seen nothing exactly like it in the historical record. On the other hand, it does feature some historically accurate/plausible elements. So it wouldn’t be quite right to say that this is a fantasy piece. Since this is a common problem with replica arms and armour, I’ll suggest a new category—speculative. As a speculative piece, this dagger is my answer to the question “Assuming the dudgeon and dirk overlapped to some degree, what might a transitional type or hybrid look like?” This approach leaves room for imagination but requires research and concern for plausibility.

The challenge: I had to work with a medium length, double-edged blade of diamond cross-section AND keep the piece reasonably within my main period of interest—1550-1650. That pointed to dudgeon daggers of the first half of the 17th c., some of which had blades of this description, although these seem to have been much narrower than the one I used. My blade is closer to the width of later Scottish dirks, but those blades tend to be single-edged. So, I created a compromise design closer to dudgeon than dirk, but with some features of both. Blade and overall length seem to be more appropriate for a dudgeon. Like many early dirks, the curved base of the hilt does not have a metal plate between wood and blade.

Blade: Windlass Steelcrafts
Hilt, Assembly, Finish: Sean Flynt
OA Length: 12.75"
Grip (not including ballocks): 3.75"
Ballocks: 1"
Price: $18 (that's not a typo–this blade was approx. $15 shipped (see Atlanta Cutlery). A few more dollars covered the poplar for the hilt.

Photos (the last one shows where I think this piece might fit in with similar dudgeons of ca. 1600-1650):



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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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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Apr, 2005 8:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean-

Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud

Just kidding. Actually, it's quite nice! I like the term "speculative", actually. It's definitely not just a "woke up from a wicked fever and this is what came to my mind" piece, rather you spent considerable time looking at what did exist, and make something akin to them.

I don't see any issue with the blade, though. Are you referring to grinding marks, waves and ripples, or what? The patina really adds good character as well, by the way.

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Wed 13 Apr, 2005 8:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean,

Looks good to me.....

Would hate to "speculate" what my first attempt at making a knife would be.....somewhere betwen a household butter knife & some twisted remains from Hiroshima. Eek!

Bill

Roanoke Sword Guilde

roanokeswordguilde@live.com
"I was born for this" - Joan of Arc
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Apr, 2005 8:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks! No, the blade was flawless right out of the box. Very well made and finished. I originally intended to leave it that way but a ridiculous encounter with a hardwood stump in my first peening attempt (and my subsequent efforts to chisel and drill it free) left some deep gouges and scratches. I filed out almost all of those, but that ruined my original plan. So I just sanded the blade and antiqued it in the usual manner. Ditto for the hilt. Perfect until the stump, then beat up and cracked a bit. Cleaning that up made some of the facets a bit irregular, but, again, that just adds to the antique effect. I bought two of these blades, and I know I can do a much better job next time.
-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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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Apr, 2005 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it looks good.
I'm making a dirk myself right now and it's not as easy as one might think (sigh)...

Cheers,
Henrik

Constant and true.
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E.B. Erickson
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Location: Thailand
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Apr, 2005 6:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Sean,
I think your dagger looks great in it's antiqued mode!

--ElJay
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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Sun 17 Apr, 2005 7:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean, looks very good for a first attempt - a lot better than my first Laughing Out Loud ! Your antiquing is well done, as usual, and might I suggest a little more rounding of the grip next time around; a little more oval in cross section would accent the ballocks maybe a bit better.

I'm going to see Matt today. I'll let him know you got dagger version 1.5 finished!
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Apr, 2005 7:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean,

Better than my firt try, as well. I have found that securing the blade to peen the tang is one of the most problematic moments of assembly, so I sympathize with your stump encounter. The one thing I might suggest for the next try is that the washer with a rather plain peen job on the tang makes it look more modern. You might want to get or make a rivet set (basically a dished block or bar that makes the peened end of the tang nice and round). I would personally use a little more material in the peen (I don't know if you cut it short, or if my plan would require a shorter grip), and then file some kind of design into the peened end. I suspect that it would be a really easy way to take a little attention away from the washer, thus making whole thing feel just a little nicer.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Apr, 2005 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it has a very authentic "common man" kind of appearance.

Good job Sean!

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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