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AJ Chalifoux

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AJ Chalifoux last won the day on February 26

AJ Chalifoux had the most liked content!

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    Swords, Knives, Polearms, Daggers, Western Martial Arts, Over-Engineering Stuff...

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  1. That came out great! Awesome work.
  2. Really nice! Great job.
  3. Thank you all for the kind words! The handle took a lot of planning, and the guard, pommel, top spacer, and peen block all had to be done at least twice, if not more. It took at least a dozen or so tries to get the guard into a shape I was happy with, and the pommel very nearly posed a similar challenge. Getting a straight slot through that long of a pommel that had a tight fit, no large gaps, and wasn't corkscrewed with the plane of the blade was difficult.
  4. I'll have to remember that. I'd like to try something similar again one day, and I would much rather silver solder than weld it, especially on thin stock.
  5. Thanks for the pin! I did just try regular lead-free solder. I had some higher-temp stuff I also tried briefly, but didn't have too much luck though I admit I didn't play with it for too long. Part of me was worried that the collar would heat up much faster than the guard body and I would end up with a dirty joint if I went too hot too fast.
  6. And here is the finished sword. I can't quite stress enough how the pictures do not do it justice because the hilt is very light and the blade is very dark so no matter what I did, the contrast always looks off. I'm tempted to get it professionally photographed, but for now this is the best I can capture it. Here are the overall stats for the finished sword: - Overall Length: 51.875" (131.8cm) - Blade Length: 40.0" (101.6cm)
  7. With the hilt mostly shaped, it's time to start polishing the blade. This was done using, you guessed it, a random orbital sander and fine files. The files were really just to refine the edges to take them down from pre-hardening thickness to pre-sharpening thickness, or from about the thickness of a dime to about the thickness of a stout butter knife. At this time I etch my signature and then finish sand and buff the blade. Quick fit-up. I also make the peen block at this point. The below picture actually shows the blade partially
  8. The hardest/most tedious part was cutting through it with the angle grinder to get the big chunks taken out. Once that was done, it was kind of fun to think about how to keep it all as rigid as possible in the milling vise for as long as possible (those quatrefoils are only 1/4" thick). Then again, I enjoy machining things so I didn't mind too much.
  9. Thanks for the kind words! For the lower grip, I knew I wanted a lighter wood to fit with the rest of the hilt, but one that had a busier grain to connect the hilt to the blade. I bought a few pieces, and eventually settled on this stabilized box elder burl. The piece was then cut to length and the slot was milled and filed, and the whole thing rough-shaped on the belt grinder. I then added the layout lines for the spiral flutes. I then cut them in using a triangular file and a regular flat file. These neede
  10. The original guard used a thin sheet socket welded to the main body of the guard. I tried to duplicate that, but rather than weld, I opted to try and solder it. This was because 1. I thought I could get a cleaner joint, 2. I wasn't confident enough in my forge welding ability to attempt this, and 3. I certainly wasn't comfortable enough in my regular welding ability to attempt this on thin stock. Here is the guard body shaped and ready for the socket: And here is the socket fitted around said guard. This was my first idea, and I spent about 6 m
  11. Next, I marked the blade at 2" intervals and measure the current thickness. Then I decide on the desired final thickness at each point based on both blade feel and historical examples, and grind accordingly. This allows me to creep up on the desired thickness and check as I go so I don't end up with thick (or thin) spots. Then I check the pattern in addition to the distal taper. This is the part that went wrong for me. The blade was originally slightly thicker than I wanted, and I noticed the mosaic pattern on one side was less pronounced than on the other
  12. Thanks! The blade is 40" and the overall length of the finished sword is 51-7/8".
  13. The bar is cut into 4 equal pieces and the ends etched lightly to show the pattern. They are then arranged into a star. There are a lot of different bar orientations possible since either end of each individual bar can be used and any piece can be put in a different position, so I tried to find the orientation with the most symmetrical pattern where the bars still fit tightly together with no big gaps/misalignment. One thing to remember is it's very easy to forge the bar's cross-section into a parallelogram instead of a square, so getting them as square as possible in the forge and
  14. This is a project I've been working on for two years more or less nonstop. It was originally meant as an engagement present, though it was just taking too long so I missed the mark by about four months...luckily she understood when I told her I had something in the works and I wasn't going to rush it . I finally gave it to her this past weekend and she was ecstatic to say the least. Since it was such a personal project, I documented the whole thing and I figured many of you would like to see the process as well as the results. There are a lot of pictures, so I'll do this piecemeal.
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