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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Finger ring hilt - work in progressDIY Project Reply to topic
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M. Adair Orr





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Sun 25 Oct, 2015 6:22 pm    Post subject: Finger ring hilt - work in progress         Reply with quote

I thought I would share this furniture for comments. I know little of handling a sword. I'm interested only in trying to capture the flavor of swords from the first half of the 16th century. I've made this piece for a windlass blade from the 15th century longsword.

I've included two photos of my hand gripping the sword. I have no idea if my grasp represents anything near a historical posture. I've always been curious about the function of the 'inboard' falling side ring than joins the finger ring. I realized that in order to make this properly, one must understand the function better than I do. I don't see a lot of consistency in original pieces, but this angle is a very difficult thing to see in most photographs. I have seen many examples in museums, but not since deciding to create an example.

I suspect it has a very specific function particular to a school of swordsmanship. Winding moves or what have you. I would appreciate an explanation of this simple development from the double side ring. I'd also appreciate any critique of the contour that I have chosen. It may or may not be too late to change it. This piece is still in a rough file stage and there is a long ways to go. A little bit of heat might be able to correct anything I've done that is grievously wrong.









Cheers,

Adair
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 5:55 pm    Post subject: Finger ring hilt - work in progress         Reply with quote


Are those white lines tapes?
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M. Adair Orr





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, I've been trying to lay out the lines for filing in helical roping. The tape is a helpful guide. I just realized how visually distracting that might be to someone else eyes.
-Adair
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 559

PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2015 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks great, looking forward to seeing the complete sword!
'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Andrew Gill





Joined: 19 Feb 2015

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Tue 27 Oct, 2015 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a finger-ring above the cross on the alexandria sword in the Royal Armouries, and that is from about 1432 (so somebody had been wrapping their index finger over the cross and wanted to avoid losing it, 100 years before your sword's period of use). Winding is specific to the Lichtenauer tradition from Germany, and the finger-ring in its various forms is seen on italian swords too (that is, swords from areas where the various italian schools predominated). I suspect that it mainly just provides slightly better blade control, particularly in thrusts. I presume that you already know that thumbing the blade (as you are doing) is used in certain recognised techniques from that period, and that the side-rings also very effectively stop the opponent's blade from cutting your fingers when you parry (particularly if, like me, you keep moving your hands too high up the grip towards the cross.

Regarding the spiral groove you want to cut into the cross: when I've done this sort of thing, I usually just marked a few points at regular intervals to give an idea of the pitch, and did it freehand with needle files. I managed to get a pretty even-pitched spiral this way (although that was on a quillon of more or less constant cross-section, which makes matters much easier, and perhaps I'm also not enough of a perfectionist).
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M. Adair Orr





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu 05 Nov, 2015 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've not had much time to work on this over the past couple weeks. I did manage to decide how I wanted the spiral roping to look and have roughted that in. I realize I need a new set of riffler files to finish this off. I have discovered that nice riffler files will cost me dearly.



-Adair
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Fri 27 Nov, 2015 4:36 pm    Post subject: Finger ring hilt - work in progress         Reply with quote

I wonder if this finger ring hilt is complete by now.
“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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M. Adair Orr





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2016 7:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This project has sat for some time. I made the pommel recently (have shared that process on a concurrent thread). I'm pleased with how the furniture looks together. I have to make a new wood grip and I absolutely dread doing the leather for the grip. That is not a skill I'm interested in learning. Anyway, I thought I would update the status and maybe six months from now this will be done. I'm debating how to finish the steel. I'd like an antiqued look, but I'll have to experiment some.

On a side topic: how does one fit a scabbard to a sword like this. I'd never be able to fit the scabbard under the finger ring.

-A.



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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2016 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Adair Orr wrote:


On a side topic: how does one fit a scabbard to a sword like this. I'd never be able to fit the scabbard under the finger ring.

-A.


Here are a couple of scabbards for XIX's with finger rings - not quite the same, as your ring is much wider.



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Albion Doge scabbard

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Armart XIX scabbard
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M. Adair Orr





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2020 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could no longer stand this project hanging out in the shop.
I tried very hard to get some leather folks to do the grip wrap for me but there were no takers. I finally bought what was needed, cleared a worbench and learned to fiddle with leather a bit.
I'm still working out the patina of the steel components, but the grip is on and all hilt components are seated. Here are my takeaways:

[list]
I did not anticipate the right amount of buildup created by an underwrap of hemp twine and leather. I wish I would have skipped the underwrap.
I had trouble with the abrupt waist of the grip. I had to cut a small dart to make it work.
I probably should have soaked the leather longer to make it more plyant.
I folded the leather over at the pommel and crossguard. I think this detail is very nice, but I need a better way to feather the overlap. My solution was just to cut a notch to receive the overlap.
[/list]

Overall I am happy with the results. It's a wall hanger, but I wish very much that the grip were more slender. The wood core felt perfect. The wrapped grip feels like the butt of a large framing hammer and just looks bulky to my eye.



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Michael P. Smith




Location: Muncie, Indiana
Joined: 11 Jul 2018
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Sat 25 Jan, 2020 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! Super job there! You seem to figure out the leather work just fine!
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Leo Todeschini
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006
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Posts: 1,625

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jan, 2020 1:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks damn good to me.

An excellent job all round and the grip looks great - don't be so picky, you deserve to be rightly proud of this piece.

Tod

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M. Adair Orr





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2020 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you both for the compliments. I'll take what I've learned with this and apply it to the next project.
Cheers,
-A.
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