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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Wed 07 Mar, 2018 7:37 am    Post subject: XVI-XVIIcc Italian Stiletto (DIY project)         Reply with quote

Hi guys,

here is my latest project just completed (except for the sheath, will work on that next).
I got fascinated with Italian Renaissance stilettos for some reason (elegant shape, general romance of the period, images of lurking assasins, intrigues of Medichis and Borgias, any and all of that?) and decided to try my hand at making a reproduction.

There was no way to obtain a bare blade of correct type (triangular cross-section) for my project short of going custom, though.
So I resorted to reworking a Mosin Nagant bayonet (cruciform cross-section). It isn't historically correct, but still looks right to me mounted as stiletto and I am sure would work just as well or even better for practical purposes.
I left only 8" of blade, reshaped the tip, and ground the rest of the blade down into a square tang (see one of the attached pictures).

The handle is 5" total, constructed very similar to the museum examples I found online.
Guard (3" wide) and pommel were filed out of 1018 mild steel and heat blued. Same octagonal shape for the pommel and guard finials. Interesting that I found it much harder to shape the small finials than the pommel, the surfaces were not wide enough for indexing the file by feel.
Grip is polished black buffalo horn, spiral wrap of twisted "silver like" wire set into a groove and held at the ends by tightly fitted nickel silver collars. Also some decorative nickel silver pins.
Everything held together by peening the end of tang over the pommel.

It was an interesting project for me: I worked out the filing technique for constructing steel pommels/guards of this general type, which is typical for daggers of the period; and this type of grip construction was also the first for me. I always plan my projects to include one or two new techniques to learn, doing same stuff over and over wouldn't be any fun!

See the attached pictures and let me know what you think. Any questions / comments / suggestions for improvement are appreciated!

Alex.



 Attachment: 129.12 KB
finished stiletto [ Download ]

 Attachment: 142.56 KB
parts before assembly [ Download ]

 Attachment: 229.12 KB
handle view from the side [ Download ]

 Attachment: 262.15 KB
handle view from the pommel [ Download ]

 Attachment: 307.85 KB
handle view from the guard [ Download ]
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,223

PostPosted: Wed 07 Mar, 2018 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's waaaay pretty! Big Grin I've made several bayonet-stiletto's in my time, but none of them looked THAT GOOD. Excellent job! ......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Tim Harris
Industry Professional



Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 06 Sep 2006

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Wed 07 Mar, 2018 6:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very clean, crisp work.
Nicely done.

https://www.facebook.com/TimHarrisSwords
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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, guys!

And one more reason I forgot to mention that got me interested in stilettos - AFAIK, this was the first ever type of weapon to be specifically legally prohibited at the time as inherently "criminal" (good for murder only, favorite assasin's tool, etc.). Kind of like some people are describing certain types of firearms in the current USA gun control debates (so called "assault weapons" primarily).
But looking at how many of these stilettos are preserved in museums and collections all over the place, you have to come to at least two obvious conclusions: 1) prohibitions didn't work worth a damn; 2) lots of people other than gangsters and hired assasins apparently found some valid reasons to own these horrible weapons...

Alex.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,223

PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that the stiletto saw some action on the Renaissance-era battlefields. Sure, it was a great weapon for an assassin, but from what I gather, it was also a preferred weapon of ladies of the times. Easy to conceal, light-weight, and would pierce mail or gaps in plate armor. That's the main reason I haven't gotten my wife a stiletto. Laughing Out Loud .....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Fri 09 Mar, 2018 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
I'm pretty sure that the stiletto saw some action on the Renaissance-era battlefields. Sure, it was a great weapon for an assassin, but from what I gather, it was also a preferred weapon of ladies of the times. Easy to conceal, light-weight, and would pierce mail or gaps in plate armor. That's the main reason I haven't gotten my wife a stiletto. Laughing Out Loud .....McM

So you feel safe approaching your wife only while well armored? Some people sure lead fun lives... Happy
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,223

PostPosted: Fri 09 Mar, 2018 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not so much well armored, but well prepared. She's a fire-cracker with a short fuse. Laughing Out Loud ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon 19 Mar, 2018 7:18 am    Post subject: project completed!         Reply with quote

Finished the scabbard, see attached pictures.
Stiff leather hardened with hot wax, dyed black, stitched at the back (couldn't even try a flat stitch as there is no flat surface on the blade). Nickel silver throat and chape (fabricated from sheet). Belt loop for a narrow belt (1/2").

Alex.



 Attachment: 131.92 KB
Stiletto in scabbard [ Download ]

 Attachment: 207.19 KB
Scabbard throat and belt loop closeup [ Download ]
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