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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Sep, 2006 11:56 am    Post subject: Re: New Ballock         Reply with quote

John Gage wrote:
Hi all,

I just finished this one up, Hope you like it,

Regards,

John


this one arrived this afternoon and I couldn't be happier with it. It's actually far slimmer than the photos led me to believe, almost dainty. The wood also doesn't have that hi-gloss look the photos indicate, it's far more subdued which I like. The scabbard is also nicely rendered. All in all I'm actually more pleased with it than I thought I would be if that's possible. I knew it would be a fine art piece. However, the photos didn't give a really good aspect on the daggers proportions, as photos often don't. The shape, size and proportions have a more 'period' look that I thought they would. I wasn't looking for a huge war-knife type of thing with this one. What I wanted was a median-size dagger that would work well for an everyday accessory and function both as a tool and a weapon if needed. This dagger will fill that requirement quite nicely.
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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Sep, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! Patrick you should be happy! You got a museum piece!

Bob
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Clyde Hollis
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Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Sep, 2006 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a real nice looking piece.

Clyde
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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Sep, 2006 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sir John Gage, thou art truly a gifted bladesmith! This ballock dagger is "Masterfull"!

Most Sincerely,

Bob
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a few photos of this outstanding piece of work.




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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick
That really is a lovely looking piece! Someone has no doubt said it already and I've missed it, but despite the obvious associations of the name it is more reminiscent to me of something botanical with the blade/bud emerging on a short stem from the sepals of the guard. The in-hand photograph gives a good idea of size, which is somewhat more petite than I'd imagined from the some of the earlier development pictures.
congratulations
Geoff
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Geoff. I hadn't imagined the botanical comparison but now that you mention it I agree, that's an interesting perspective. It is indeed far smaller than I had originally imagined. However, this is a good thing. For this particular piece I didn't want a huge military style weapon but rather an everyday belt dagger that could double as a weapon if needed. John nailed it.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Mon 11 Dec, 2006 8:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just got mine this morning at the post office and if you go to the first few pages of this Topic there are some pics of it.

I don't currently have a digital camera ( Been talking about getting one for more than a year but buying more swords keeps getting priority ! )

To make it easy for you guys here is a link to the web page on John's site, mine is the one on the left:
http://www.extremebladeart.com/medieval_knives

The pic is a bit dark and some neat things are hard to appreciate at their full measure just using this pic ( Some of the early ones in this topic are clearer: Go find them to see a bit more what i mean. )

The wood grain of the cocobolo is very VERY nicely figured wood and the Renaissance wax really brings out the contrast.

The knife has a lot of small subtle details like flats on the edge of the pommel nut. The peened pommel is nicely rounded and blended into a rounded ball at the end of the nut: A sphere with the top third being the peened tang and the rest being the bronze nut all blended together as one smooth shape with only the contrasting colour of the steel showing the border of steel and bronze.

The wood handle is smooth and comfortable with the forward grip and with the reverse ice-pic grip: Spinning from one to the other is fast easy and sure. ( Assuming one is used to doing these transitions. ) With the ice pic grip the tang and the tang nut don't get in the way as the flat of the pommel is wide enough that the thumb can be placed there without interference by the tang. The point of balance is a fingers width from the guard.

Overall, I'm very impressed by the workmanship and feel: Hard to not spend hours fondling it ! Yes I am fondling my Ballock Dagger. Razz And you would have to fight to get take this knife from me. ( Well, I am joking ...... almost joking. )

This knife does look bigger in pics if a hand is not shown for context: As Patrick said this is of a companion dagger size and not a large Anelace or Dirk closer to a short sword than a knife.

What it feels like is like having a 10" long pointy pointy metal finger that would make a " pointed " impression as a natural extension of the hand. Also very Gothic spire or metal icecle in feeling ! Hard to find the right words but sleek elegance and purity of function is what comes to mind.

The blade is shallow hollow ground and satin finished the edge swells subtely before bevelling to the very cutting edge.
The back of the blade has a central ridge running down the centre that is deliberately slightly rounded instead of crips and this was intentional and seems to make it feel more period to me than a sharp line. As well the organic feel of the whole design make this just feel RIGHT. ( Can't quite explain it but it does ! )

The leather work is also great with embossed Fleurs-De-Lis outlined panels, subtle accents. The Bronze chape is also very elegant.

So did I say that I like it enough? Laughing Out Loud Also a very good buying experience. Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Travis Canaday




Location: Overland Park, Kansas
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Dec, 2006 9:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Damn Patrick… that is one sweet dagger. The woodwork, the hollow-ground blade, the scabbard… I love everything about it. Just elegant and cool…

Congratulations!

Travis
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Jay Barron




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PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec, 2006 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! That dagger definitely falls into the category of pieces that transend weaponry and become art.
Constant and true.
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec, 2006 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Guys. John conned me into writing a review so there should be more on that in the future. His work is truly impressive, especially when you consider how few pieces he's actually made.

Jean,

I particularly like the tooling on your scabbard. The ensemble has that "less is more" look that I like very much.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Tue 12 Dec, 2006 9:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Thanks Guys. John conned me into writing a review so there should be more on that in the future. His work is truly impressive, especially when you consider how few pieces he's actually made.

Jean,

I particularly like the tooling on your scabbard. The ensemble has that "less is more" look that I like very much.


Yes the tooling looks even better in " person ". And I also really like your dagger as it's very sculptural in all aspects.

Funny thing how mine feels like a compact 4" blade in handling or simply small in mass but at the same time gives you the reach of a 10" blade.

The blade style reminds me of a type XV sword except one edged and being a knife obviously.
My A & A Black Prince feels not so much small but feather light and just floats in the hand and this ballock feels like that also.

The blade by the way could be used as effectively as a rondel IMHO. Since the blade styles of some ballock daggers and some rondel daggers can be very similar I wonder how much difference does the handle style affect handling ?

The ballock looks and at least in my hand feels like it restricts hand position less than a rondel that seems to limit one to a icepick or hammer grip ? The ballock can be held more in a sabre grip or a side grip with the side of the knife parallel to the ground and the thumb and forefinger on the sides ? Since I haven't held a rondel before I'm just guessing but I'm curious about what others might think of the above. Question

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John Gage
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Location: New Glarus, WI
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Dec, 2006 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I am very happy that you both really like the daggers that you have recieved from me. Making them is great, but the response from the customer is the best part for me. Alot of effort goes into making these knives, in design, function, and feel in the hand, etc. so when that is noticed and stated publicly it really makes my day. I know that my price point is a bit higher, but I feel it is worth the time and effort, I will not and cannot make steel on a stick. They need to look the part as if they were from the period. I also really enjoyed seeing Patrick in his kit with his dagger included, it just seemed to blend in nicely. So to both of you I thank you for your feedback, your freindship, and being such great customers.

Thanks so much,

Happy Holidays everyone,

John

http://www.GageCustomKnives.com/
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 4:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John Gage wrote:
Hi guys,

I am very happy that you both really like the daggers that you have recieved from me. Making them is great, but the response from the customer is the best part for me. Alot of effort goes into making these knives, in design, function, and feel in the hand, etc. so when that is noticed and stated publicly it really makes my day. I know that my price point is a bit higher, but I feel it is worth the time and effort, I will not and cannot make steel on a stick. They need to look the part as if they were from the period. I also really enjoyed seeing Patrick in his kit with his dagger included, it just seemed to blend in nicely. So to both of you I thank you for your feedback, your freindship, and being such great customers.

Thanks so much,

Happy Holidays everyone,

John



I'm glad I noticed some of the subtleties that make the difference between a good or even very good knife and a GREAT KNIFE. Just holding it I felt I was experiencing something special and was learning something at the subconscious level about this knife but also the essence of KNIVES in general. Similar to the first Albion I held compared to the more ordinary ( cheap ) blades that just don't reflect what the handling of a real sword feels like.

In one word about this ballock I would say " SWEET ".

The eyes only tell you so much about weapons, you need to feel them in the hand, both just holding and in motion to get to know a blade.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Dec, 2006 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John,

That dagger has turned out beautyful! I love the look of it!

Cheers,
Henrik

Constant and true.
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