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Jared Stier

anthropomorphic le tene sword

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Here is my sketch, I dont have pic of the first forgings of the blade yet, but will have them later

 

I tried to get information for a historical reproduction but so far every museum I have contacted has either told me to take a hike or never responded. So I looked around online, at people who have made them before, and decided to make my own rendition from a lot of elements that I like.

 

 

44886_155304441170971_109360742432008_309028_2140496_n.jpg

 

Over all length is going to be 20"

Handle will be cast bronze (first time for that :D ) at 4.5"

Blade will be 15.5"

 

As far as scabbard, I don't know yet. I know that they used iron and bronze scabbards but I am thinking of trying to get my hands on a piece of bog oak. If anyone knows anyone with a piece long enough please point them my way.

Edited by Jared Stier

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Jared talk to Jake Powning, I think he did one like that? I am sure there is a pinned wip on it as well.

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Jared talk to Jake Powning, I think he did one like that? I am sure there is a pinned wip on it as well.

Yeah he is one of the guys i tried to talk to already, but thanks. Thought all of them are the same they are all slightly different is many ways and this was something a little different than what I have seen out there. His come form direct historical

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jared,

I love these. If there was any way in heck I could figure out how to do the handle justice, I would make one, too. I am looking forward to seeing how you work through this one. I wish you the best of luck. It is a very appealing type of blade, to me.

 

keep us posted,

 

kc

Edited by Kevin (The Professor)

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jared,

I love these. If there was any way in heck I could figure out how to do the handle justice, I would make one, too. I am looking forward to seeing how you work through this one. I wish you the best of luck. It is a very appealing type of blade, to me.

 

keep us posted,

 

kc

 

Thanks kevin, and I will.

 

As far as the handle, bronze casting is not any harder than bladesmithing. Might as well give it a go :D

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Thanks kevin, and I will.

 

As far as the handle, bronze casting is not any harder than bladesmithing. Might as well give it a go :D

That depends:) Bronze casting can be much harder. Depends on the casting, and equipment available. If you have a kiln, vaccuum caster, ceramic shell mould, temperature gauge, an easier to cast modern bronze alloy etc., it's quite simple (just like bladesmithing is easy if you have a gass fired forge with temperature gauge, hydraulic hammer, belt sander etc.). If you don't have any of those, prepare for a very steep learning curve. Casting the hole in the hilt to make it an exact fit on the blade can be pretty difficult. You can include the blade in the mould, and cast the hilt over it, but then there's a good chance the two won't separate, even if adding a separation layer between the two. Mind that I'm not trying to scare you away from it, but if you think it's going to be much easier then it is, then the frustration at failure is much greater.

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G'day Folks!

Long time no post :)

 

Jared thats a beautiful Aesthetic and best of luck creating it.

 

Casting bronze can be very tricky. I havent done it but discoursed extensively about it with my colleague Jeffrey Robinson regarding the projects we collaborate on.

Firstly when investment casting bronze there is shrinkage of usually 2 to 3% to account for when sculpting the waxes.

 

The slot through the grip can be very tricky. I would recommend casting your piece in maybe three separate pieces, the fore guard, the aft guard, and teh grip, to minimise the length of the slot and to manage your warping. You can TIG weld the bronze parts together if you like.

 

There is also a lot of warpage encountered in slots. Even a 3 or 4 cm slot will often warp, but that would be easier to correct with files. There is a special ceramic compound for cores which can help you minimise this warping of the slot, but it is very expensive and seems to be sold in bulk lots. The normal slurry is likely to break through such a long core.

 

You can try to cast in a blank tang. But it will have to be perfectly tapered over both dimensions for any hope of removing from the finished casting. They get mega tight after the bronze shrinks onto it in cooling. And hammering on the blank will mushroom it and negate it's removal again.

 

Yep long slots in bronze casting is a major drama :)

 

I wonder if you would like to forge the fore and aft guards in steel, and make the grip out of wood with metal or bone spacers.

Cheers

Brendan Olszowy

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Well what I said I guess did not come out clear. Did not mean to offend the bronze casting crowd. What I meant was bladesmithing is a hard skill to learn and if you can put the time into learning that then you have the same level of ability to learn bronze casting.

 

I am going to do it in one piece, as soon as I get a block of wax big enough, but I think I am going to drill the tang hole out instead of trying to cast it. Especially after reading both of your posts lol

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Yep, we are creators. We can do anything we put our minds to :)

 

I think if you can drill it straight could be your best bet. Either parallel holes and file, or maybe use a milling machine to slot out the shoulder end for the bulk of the tang, then run a rod to the peen, hmm you'll figure it out.

 

Keep us posted with what you come up with.

Edited by Brenno

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This is a worthy project and one that will bring you much joy and perhaps frustration in equal measure: By saying that I mean it is well worth doing :)

 

Jake and I spent a memorable day together documenting three anthropomorphic swords. One of these is the one that served as a basis for Jake´s reconstruction/replica. They were all of slightly different construction, but all had hilts made up of separate pieces. Guard, grip, upper guard and head are often separate it seems. (The same is true for another of these I saw in France) The joints were there to be seen even if they were tight, meaning they did not braze the parts together but relied on tight fit (mostly?).

At least one of them may have been made with hilt parts of iron over laid with a thin layer of bronze (not at all sure how they did that: by casting somehow? Lost wax directly over the iron core inside sealed clay molds?)

 

When you look at the La Tène long swords they often (as a rule) hilts made up of many components. Again, guard, grip, upper guard and pommel are often separate pieces.

 

If you make the hilt parts separate, you may experience less distortion in casting and also add some extra length in the waxes, to be filed down for truing up in final assembly. You can also make a countersinking in the guard that match the shoulders of the blade. This is a benefit as you can leave the hole for the tang for drilling (in all parts) after casting if you prefer, but the slot for the blade is more difficult to make in the bronze than in the wax.

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Amazing! I did not know they were made in separate parts that fit perfect together. That would make my job a lot easier on the casting as I have never done a part that big before. I am for sure going to rework the design on this.

 

Yeah Jake has not been on the forum for a while so I was not shocked when I did not hear back from him.

 

One of the other main questions, now that you guys have given me wisdom on the handle is the proportions. Are mine close to what they would have been with the blade and handle size?

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Jared, I think you are about right in your sketch as far as I can tell. The hilt could be a bit smaller perhaps. At least the distance between the "arms" and "legs".

The blades are short, about 40 cm or so. The grips are tight. The opening for your hand is some 8-9 cm between the stems of upper and lower guard. They fit your hand like a knuckle duster. Not a confining feel. Just secure and surprisingly comfortable/ergonomic. Upper and lower guards are actually an important integral part of the grip as they help give a feel for where the blade is. Light and quick blades. Not choppy. Fast slice and stab. Stiff spine but pretty thin blades.

 

Hope this helps.

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Jared, I think you are about right in your sketch as far as I can tell. The hilt could be a bit smaller perhaps. At least the distance between the "arms" and "legs".

The blades are short, about 40 cm or so. The grips are tight. The opening for your hand is some 8-9 cm between the stems of upper and lower guard. They fit your hand like a knuckle duster. Not a confining feel. Just secure and surprisingly comfortable/ergonomic. Upper and lower guards are actually an important integral part of the grip as they help give a feel for where the blade is. Light and quick blades. Not choppy. Fast slice and stab. Stiff spine but pretty thin blades.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Very handy information. I have the blade the right length then, which is good because I already forged it out haha. The handle though I will need to do some work on. Thank you again for the information that is what I really needed to know.

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This is a worthy project and one that will bring you much joy and perhaps frustration in equal measure: By saying that I mean it is well worth doing :)

 

Jake and I spent a memorable day together documenting three anthropomorphic swords. One of these is the one that served as a basis for Jake´s reconstruction/replica. They were all of slightly different construction, but all had hilts made up of separate pieces. Guard, grip, upper guard and head are often separate it seems. (The same is true for another of these I saw in France) The joints were there to be seen even if they were tight, meaning they did not braze the parts together but relied on tight fit (mostly?).

At least one of them may have been made with hilt parts of iron over laid with a thin layer of bronze (not at all sure how they did that: by casting somehow? Lost wax directly over the iron core inside sealed clay molds?)

Anders Soderberg did have an article on bronzing iron in Viking times on his website. He did some succesful experiments on it by packing the iron together with bronze (dust?) in clay, and heating it up to the melting point of the bronze, causing the bronze to fuse with the iron and getting a coating that way.

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Anders Soderberg did have an article on bronzing iron in Viking times on his website. He did some succesful experiments on it by packing the iron together with bronze (dust?) in clay, and heating it up to the melting point of the bronze, causing the bronze to fuse with the iron and getting a coating that way.

 

 

Wow that site is a great resource thank you for posting it

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Wow that site is a great resource thank you for posting it

 

I second the motion wonderful site Jeroen

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Does anyone know what the ratio of Quartz sand to clay was? I didn't see it mentioned in the articles.

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I second the motion wonderful site Jeroen

Anders is great, I learned some vital things about bronze casting from him. I've also seen him at work several times. Definately one of the best historical metalworkers!

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At least one of them may have been made with hilt parts of iron over laid with a thin layer of bronze (not at all sure how they did that: by casting somehow? Lost wax directly over the iron core inside sealed clay molds?)

Anders Soderberg did have an article on bronzing iron in Viking times on his website. He did some succesful experiments on it by packing the iron together with bronze (dust?) in clay, and heating it up to the melting point of the bronze, causing the bronze to fuse with the iron and getting a coating that way.

Another example comes from Tim Young's experiments, Early Medieval Handbell Reconstruction

http://www.geoarch.co.uk/experimental/bell.html

Edited by Skip Williams

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72590_156746151026800_109360742432008_316386_5788637_n.jpg

68959_156746217693460_109360742432008_316387_6866924_n.jpg

 

Blade forged to shape now just need to work on the tang

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ok this has had to take the back burner as I have a few customer orders that need to get out so I am going to use my down time at work to find out a scabbard for this.

 

Now I know that historically they would have been iron or bronze, but as I really have no way or skill to make a bronze one and an Iron one seems so foreign to me I Was wondering if there was any historical evidence that has survived of wooden sheaths?

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ok this has had to take the back burner as I have a few customer orders that need to get out so I am going to use my down time at work to find out a scabbard for this.

 

Now I know that historically they would have been iron or bronze, but as I really have no way or skill to make a bronze one and an Iron one seems so foreign to me I Was wondering if there was any historical evidence that has survived of wooden sheaths?

 

Well I cant find any proof of wooden sheaths so i will just go ahead with bronze one.

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No sorry, I have not seen wooden scabbards for these.

 

A bronze one will look good B)

 

 

Oh indeed it would look good, the question is can i make it look good.

 

I have never done anything like this so this project will take much much more time to figure out construction, how to do designs on it, etc.

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Most are found without scabbards preserved, so either they were deposited without, or they had organic scabbards. Whether these were wood or wood covered in leather is of course an open question.

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