Finger ring hilt - work in progress
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.


Finger ring hilt - work in progress
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Are those white lines tapes?
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.
Looks great, looking forward to seeing the complete sword!
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).
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.

Finger ring hilt - work in progress
I wonder if this finger ring hilt is complete by now.
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.


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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.


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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doge scabbard.jpg
Albion Doge scabbard

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Armart XIX scabbard

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