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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 267

PostPosted: Sun 02 May, 2021 11:52 am    Post subject: Colonial American hunting sword         Reply with quote

Dixie Gun Works 1742 British infantry sword, rehilted in the style of William Moulton or John Bailey (albeit with cheaper materials: maple grip, brass hardware). As usual, full details are on my blog.



The grip and ferrule on this come from a GAoP cuttoe which I still haven't actually made, before I rethought the design and decided against what I already had. If I'd had more research done back when I made the grip, I'd have finished it with shellac and oil-rosin varnish instead of just oil. The other thing I'd like to change (and still might) is the stitching on the belt, so those big ugly knots aren't on the outside.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,954

PostPosted: Thu 06 May, 2021 4:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd say a job well done Dan. The grip contour is quite good but might have been better done in bone. I can't recall any I've seen in bound wire but I have seen shagreen and ray skin. Another thing I would look for is silver or copper tape instead of twisted wire.

Cheers
GC
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 267

PostPosted: Thu 06 May, 2021 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks. I agree bone would've been preferable from a historical perspective... I just hate working with it, and the wood one was lying around waiting to be used.

By tape do you mean a flattened wire, like on this one? Have to admit it didn't occur to me to look, but it would probably make the grip more comfortable -- the round wire is a little too prominent.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,954

PostPosted: Thu 06 May, 2021 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, or even thinner material. I have a sword grip of the time with a little of everything wire wise and the tape is plated copper.



The wood look nice. Later on, we see cherry used some for sword grips.

Cheers
GC
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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Likes: 14 pages

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Sun 23 May, 2021 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is one that has what appears to be a carved fruit wood grip that most likely was accented with a twisted wire rope originally.


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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Likes: 14 pages

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Sun 23 May, 2021 9:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And another that looks similar to yours in its mountings, though these are silver. The grip is ivory, and the accent (as Mr. Cleeton mentioned) is silver tape rather than twisted wire.


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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 267

PostPosted: Mon 24 May, 2021 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for those.

If I've got a good handle on the subject and the antiques dealers can be trusted (both rather large things to assume, I know) then the first one is a similar time period, but has more of a continental European look, perhaps French. It is interesting, if true, that the Colonies developed their own style at this time.

I might replace the wire with tape, but the hilt's held together with pitch as well as a nut, so it'll require heating it all the way through -- probably by leaving the whole sword in a low oven for a long time.
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Elnathan Barnett




Location: The vicinity of Asheville, NC
Joined: 21 Jan 2004
Likes: 3 pages

Posts: 36

PostPosted: Mon 24 May, 2021 9:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice.

What is the quality of the blade like? I've been looking at potential donor blades for a potential re-hilting project much like this one, albeit probably a hanger-type hilt rather than a hunting sword.

Therfor he seide to hem, But now he that hath a sachel, take also and a scrippe; and he that
hath noon, selle his coote, and bigge a swerd.
- Luke 22:36, John Wycliffe's translation AD 1384
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 267

PostPosted: Mon 24 May, 2021 11:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't tested its flexibility, hardness or edge-holding ability. What I can tell you is it looks good in person: largely clean lines, modest profile and distal taper but lively enough, especially with the new grip (the thin double-tapered brass grip isn't very comfortable -- I presume that holds true for originals as well). It's "only" about 1/5 inch thick rather than 1/4, but doesn't look or feel flimsy. Measured in a straight line from middle of the shoulders to tip, it's about 3/8 inch shorter than advertised. The tang could be a bit wider and shoulder junctions aren't rounded at all. Still, for the price it's pretty good.

I exchanged e-mails with DGW before purchase. They say it's 1065 steel tempered to 48-52 HRC.

The original nut was held on only by its own threads but it was a pain to remove. I had to grind flats into the sides so an undersized wrench could get a hold of it.



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Elnathan Barnett




Location: The vicinity of Asheville, NC
Joined: 21 Jan 2004
Likes: 3 pages

Posts: 36

PostPosted: Mon 24 May, 2021 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks. As a source of material that looks very tempting, I must say, given the price.
Therfor he seide to hem, But now he that hath a sachel, take also and a scrippe; and he that
hath noon, selle his coote, and bigge a swerd.
- Luke 22:36, John Wycliffe's translation AD 1384
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 267

PostPosted: Mon 04 Oct, 2021 3:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Help help, I'm running into trouble with this. Some corrosive material has gotten into the scabbard and caused several spots of active rusting on the blade. I suspect loose fibers of the vinegaroon-stained belt, even though I tried hard to neutralize the leather with baking soda, and wash and dry it thoroughly prior to oiling.

I've polished the rust off and am keeping the sword out of the scabbard for the time being. Is there any way to fix this situation other than making a whole new scabbard and belt?
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