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owen bush

The forging of Dusk .

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In March this year I was aproached by Dave Rawlins,who is a medieval sword instructor to make Him a messer or a big bowie knife .Dave was very energetic about the project (to say the least).He was looking for a live feeling blade for tamishigary and practicing forms so a very "real" knife was called for.

 

I documented the making process and will go through it ..........

 

Dave sent me some pictures as reference .

one picture of a knife owned by Hans Hein of Ochs.

3787777411_2375f1fabd.jpg

 

 

and a couple of pictures of medieval farmers knives to give detail of the nail (finger guard) .

 

3787777419_d73ec81940.jpg

 

3788611198_1198f2d700.jpg

 

 

My immediate thoughts were that I loved the the farmers knives ,they screamed "seax" and must have progressed from that lineage . I also liked the simplicity of them .I was not so sure about the messer as an overall design especially the clip (I find clips hard to esthetically digest)

when Dave came over to discuss the project I showed him a couple of finished knives that I still had in my possession .Including this one ....

367343414_32f464b024.jpg

 

Now I must admit that I had hoped Dave would steer towards the Farmers knife shape If I showed him a real blade of that ilk......I didn't push that at all, I would not want to over influence his ideas but my subtle hints obviously paid off .

 

As a side note ,watching someone who is trained with a sword and also "good" handle one of your blades is a real eye opener ....fast doesnt come close !!!

 

so...having seen my stuff and discussed things Dave decided on a blade shape similar to my seax but longer and with a cross guard and "nail" the handle being about as long as a messer handle .

So I set about forging (before submitting a design......)

Here are some progress shots ,I had the blade shape in mind ,and had worked out dimentions and weights ,this was a blade forged and ground with a pair of calipers and scales close to hand .I wanted a lite blade with enough body for good cutting and a good thickness by the guard to keep it stiff .

The blade was to be made from 700 layers of 15n20 and en42 ........

 

Here is the billet being worked under my Goliath hammer .

3788662980_b4540c1391.jpg

 

forging the preform shape

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the story makes a jump as I don't have pictures of making the bevels......

 

Grinding

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and at this point I thought it wise to send some photies to Dave as he was wondering how the whole thing was going along so I put pencil to paper and sent this design with the ground blade next to it ......

 

3530729060_4c1c7aee72_b.jpg

 

Dave came back with a change in the guard and as the making progressed I added a couple of changes too.....

 

to be continued..........

 

Thanks to Dan Bass for coming and spending so much time taking the photies .

Edited by owen bush

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Ok ,

I like to have a look at the Damascus pattern early on to keep me inspired (not a problem with this piece)

 

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Here I am filing in the blade shoulders ,using a file guide ...

 

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Painting on anti scaling compound .. then multiple normalisings .

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into the fire..

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I have no imaged of the quench ,it all happened too fast and was not something I was going to repeat!!

 

eying the blade up for straitness ,boy do I love meta austenite .

3788670696_1e2975c4f8.jpg

 

 

More to follow

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Oh, this is gonna be good! B)

 

I'd like to see a "good" swordsman practicing with a long seax-like blade. I know what I can do with one, and that's scary enough! :ph34r:

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Looks really good, I'm looking forward to seeing more.

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Sweet! Messers are among my favorite swords. You mentioned that the dimensions had been worked out, could I ask what they are?

 

This is some fantastic work. Ironically, I started a messer of my own a couple 'o days ago :P but obviously it's no where near as good as yours...

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Owen,

 

That looks awesome.

 

Man, good stuff happening on the forum lately!

 

Looking forward to seeing more shots.

 

--Dave

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Yeah Dave and also because of what you do ! ;)

 

Great work Owen. I understand the self motivation in such a project. It will be brilliant !

 

See ya

 

Stéphane

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All this sword stuff is making me a bit itchy to make something long, sharp and, pointy. Thanks for taking the time to share your pics.

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Nice to hear from someone else who has esthetic problems with clip points. That is a nice looking blade. Please post the picture of the finished product. I hadn't run into the concept of the farmer's knife before. Are large knives still used on the farms in England or are they pretty much outdated tools?

 

Doug Lester

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Nice to hear from someone else who has esthetic problems with clip points. That is a nice looking blade. Please post the picture of the finished product. I hadn't run into the concept of the farmer's knife before. Are large knives still used on the farms in England or are they pretty much outdated tools?

 

Doug Lester

 

Doug,

As I understand it the "farmers" knife was a "weapon " carried by civilians, as there were often limitations as to who could own a sword .the ones pictured are I believe German and they do have a generic name (that I don't know) someone will though .

I am working towards the finished piccies (the piece is now finished ) I'll post more this evening .

Thanks

Edited by owen bush

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would the german name be the "grosse messer"? or "big knife" lol i'm probably wrong

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"Grosse messer" is the name for the single-handed version and it does mean "big knife" (good job on that one C Daniel :)). The two-handed version is "kriegs messer" meaning "war knife." As i understand it, they were used by civilians and peasants as both weapons and kind-of machetes (clearing brush, etc) but the nobles and knights recognized their usefulness as a weapon as well. I'm sure that Peter Johnsson could explain this in far more detail. :wacko:

Edited by AJ Chalifoux

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Howdy,

in German we call them Bauernwehr(Farmers Defense) , Hauswehr(Hausdefense), Langes Messer(Long Knife), there are more names for sure.

In old Times only the Nobel had the right to have Swords, thou the Farmers and not so Nobel had large Knives and they Knew haw to use them :lol:

 

see hear

 

http://images.google.de/images?q=bauernweh...le&resnum=4

Edited by Lihan Hauk

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It's not Dave or the guys at Fight Medieval/The Boars Tooth Fight school, but the folks in this video know which end's the pointy one:

 

And Owen, I don't want to steal your thunder, but Dave put some videos of him cutting with Dusk...and MAN I'm impressed.

Edited by brian brush
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Howdy,

in German we call them Bauernwehr(Farmers Defense) , Hauswehr(Hausdefense), Langes Messer(Long Knife), there are more names for sure.

In old Times only the Nobel had the right to have Swords, thou the Farmers and not so Nobel had large Knives and they Knew haw to use them :lol:

 

see hear

 

http://images.google.de/images?q=bauernweh...le&resnum=4

 

 

thanks Bauernwehr is the word .

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Now I must say that through the whole process Dave was very comunacative and pretty exited by the whole idea of his messer .He phoned often but was not dissapointed when my progress had not evolved between phone calls .

 

I had meant to make the guard and pommel from big section wrought iron I had ,only to find upon forging it that it was steel (and odd crumbly stuff at that ) so i eventually made both the guard and pommel for low layer -low contrast damascus. unfortunately I was to busy working to take photos of the guard pommel making .

The guard, blade slot was hot punched . and I changed the shape a little in the fire ,it now has a little bit of flying swann (or dragon) to it .

 

I had promised to let him have a feel of the balance before I put the whole thing together..........

 

so, I rough assembled the pieces with a couple of pins and super glue so that he could have a gentle swing of the piece (not sharpend yet)

 

Here it is in roughed out handle ,the handle is walnut. I wanted the look to be utilitarian and more of a captains sword than a princes (It was going to be a user) .

by this point I had done a lot of messing about with the balance ,the pommel was hollowed out and the tang drilled and in the process of finishing the blade, it went on a bit of a diet .I was fairly sure it felt "rite" the finished sword weighs 2 1/4 pound .

 

here is the mocked up blade ready for balance approval

 

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Dave was very happy with the feel of the piece (which I was glad about!!!) so I proceeded to finish it for him ....

 

one little tip I gained from all this was that supergluing the handle onto the tang was a great way to get the final shaping done ,superglue is a great tempory holder .

here are the handle pieces ready to assemble .

 

3791783294_80efe7ed2b.jpg

 

I chose riveting as the final "belt and braces "method of construction, everything had already been apoxyd first .

The riveting does two things ,it holds the handle together and adds some grip the the whole thing (3 things ,it makes it look rustic ,like a farmers knife and something in the blacksmith in me likes the rivets) .The pommel pieces were dove tailed over the wood ,I like this method of construction.

 

I finaly delivered the blade in early July ,I handed it over at The wallace collection in london and we had a wonder around and looked at swords . Not a bad way to complete a Job!!!

Dave Named the blade "Dusk" and I think it suits it well .I have never named a sword (or any blade for that matter) but I think I shall start .

 

More soon.....

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Owen, really nice to see this one finished!

I think you did some thinking aloud about this project when we last met in London, yes?

These long single edged weapons are riveting. Offering much more than their often pretty plain looks hint at.

Seeing a blade like this in pattern welded steel makes me think. A new take on an old concept. I like the aspect of how a contemporary swordsman commissions a sword from a contemporary smith: both being clear that the project is based on the traditional weapons but the concept of making is departed from mere pastiche. There is a great quantity of Owen Bush in this one!

:D

 

Interesting how much the feel changes during the last stages of fine tuning and fitting, eh?

Edited by peter johnsson

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Owen, that is just beautiful. Very nice work.

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Wow! Great pictorial and Dusk turned out wonderfully! That's quite a filleting knife :D

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Sorry for the wait Life is V busy at the moment ,

With out further delay I give you Dusk .........

 

3791059257_7355450958_b.jpg

 

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I got a lot of satisfaction from this project especially getting the feel and balance just rite,(a job which in all honesty took quite a bit of time ) .

Thanks to Dave Rawling for the commission and for being both persistent and patient (I hasten to add that I finished this one just about on time ,which is an interesting concept in its own rite!!!)

 

Many thanks Owen

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congrats, Owen!

I'm waiting forward to meet you in Gembloux, next November! :)

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Hi all - my first post here since waaaayy too long

 

 

Just to say I had the chance to handle (though very briefly) this knife last weekend, and images (even moving pictures) can't convey how light and yet powerful it feels, and full of awesome it is :)

 

 

Cheers

 

Fab

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