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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. I love pronounced yelmans on blades so I'm a bit biased, but you did a great job on all three. I love the blade profile on the first, the handle shape and wood choice on the second, and it's hard to tell, but is the third the shortest of the three? It looks very convenient and handy.
  2. The artistry and execution of that piece is some of the best I've seen in a long time. Tremendous work.
  3. I like this idea a lot. I think a thick spine (~3/8" maybe?) with a smooth indent in the middle of the flat of the grip area to serve as a thumb rest could be comfortable too.
  4. That came out great! Awesome work.
  5. Really nice! Great job.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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) - Blade Width at Base: 1.389" (3.527cm) - Blade Thickness at base: 0.260" (0.660cm) - Blade Width at Tip: 0.924" (2.346cm) - Blade Thickness at Tip: 0.080" (0.202cm) - Guard Width: 9.750" (24.765cm) - Grip Length: 7.750" (19.685cm) - Guard/Grip Thickness: 0.874" (2.220cm) - Pommel Length (Bottom Section): 1.852" (4.705cm) - Pommel Diameter (Bottom Section): 1.940" (4.928cm) - Pommel Thickness (Bottom Section): 1.433" (3.641cm) - Pommel Length (Top Section): 1.496" (3.800cm) - Pommel Diameter (Top Section): 1.512" (3.841cm) - Pommel Thickness (Top Section): 0.620" (1.576cm) - Weight: 3lbs 8.2oz (1.593kg) - Center of Gravity: 3.008" (7.640cm) - Primary Node (Center of Percussion): 25" (63.5cm) forward from guard - Secondary Node: 1.630" (4.140cm) back from guard - Forward Pivot Point: At point - Aft Pivot Point: 7" (17.8cm) forward of guard Thank you all for watching! -A.J.
  10. 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-etched, though that was finished on a different day. Now it's time to etch the blade. Multiple soaks for 15 minutes, followed by scrubbing the oxides off. After etching, I coffee darken it. I actually scrubbed and buffed the original darkening off because it just came out too dark. I then redid it with bright, shiny 15N20 and the contrast was much better. The blade is, at this point, very difficult to photograph, however... The hilt components and base of the blade are taped to try and keep them clean while everything is epoxied and the pommel peened. After this, the only things left to do were final cleanup and sharpening. Next up: the finished sword! -A.J.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 needed a good amount of cleanup after this picture, but needle files worked very well for refining all of the roping. I also made the bottom brass spacer in tandem with the grip. Now it's time to start the pommel. The main body was drilled, milled, cut, and shaped from one piece of 1/2" flat stock. Both sections of the pommel are hollow (as they likely would have been on the original) so the larger section has a 1-1/4" hole through the middle, and the smaller section has a 1" hole through the middle. The brass medallions are then cut to fit on the smaller section. Now it's time to start on the bosses for the larger section. Since I don't have a swage block, I took a large (~2-1/2" diameter) steel rod and ground one end into a dome. Then I took some 3/32" thick steel sheet and forged them around said dome. I cut the pieces out, fitted them to the pommel, and then cleaned them up on the grinder. I also drilled a small hole in the very tops where I center punched earlier. This is so I can pin the brass rosettes. I thought about just soldering them, but I decided pinning them would still look good and give them a much stronger mechanical hold. After peening the rosettes in place, The bosses were welded to the main pommel body and the whole thing cleaned up. The grip is nearing completion. Here you can see some shims next to the sword which I use to take up any extra space in any of the slotted hilt components so everything is rattle-free. These aren't technically shim stock — they're 1/2" wide feeler gauges which come in rolls in any thickness you could want. They're very handy for tightening up handles. The upper grip's wood core halves are made and I drill some holes for alignment pins. Next up: polishing the blade. -A.J.
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