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C. S. Werner

Medieval Dagger blade, handle help

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Hello all,

My name is Cody and this is my first topic post on Bladesmith's Forum. I purchased this blade from Atlanta Cutlery Corp. It was advertised as an "Arkansas Toothpick." I am more interested in medieval blades and thought it would make a good late medieval dagger.

 

Medievalblade003bladesmithforum.jpg

 

The entire piece is 19" long, the blade 12 3/16", and the tang is 6 13/16" long. The tang needs some straightening but the blade is pretty decent lookin' for the price I paid.

 

Medievalblade005bladesmithforum.jpg

 

Here, where the blade meets the tang, the blade is 1 11/16" wide and 5/32" thick at this point.

 

Medievalblade010bladesmithforum.jpg

 

here is my intended hilt design. Im going for a simple spike hilt and Brazil nut pommel. I am going to try to keep the guard between 5 1/2"-6" long. The pommel will be about 1 1/2" wide. The squares on the paper in the photo are 1/4" squares. I would like to make a two piece split wood handle for it seems easier than one piece. Maybe hickory, purpleheart, or curly maple? Haven't decided yet.

 

medievalblade2001bladesmithforum.jpg

 

This is 1/2" bar stock I have left over from forging a few bodkin arrowheads. I figure drawing out the hilt will be similar to drawing out the point of the bodkin, only longer. I plan on using the longer piece, for I imagine there will be a bit of grinding done to the guard once forging is complete.

 

Any suggestions and comments are welcome! I am a novice at this still and yearn for knowledge. Any info on how I should format my post and images would be a great help too. Thanks for your time!

~Cody

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Just realized that I should have posted this in the Beginners Place. My bad!

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Not a problem, I'll move it. B)

 

Welcome aboard, by the way!

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Hi C. S.,

I think your design looks pretty good.

If it were mine, I would make the length of the cross-guard about 1/2 or 2/3 as long as in your pic.

It should make a fine Medieval dagger.

 

Mark

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Ok, thank you Mark!

 

The 6" guard would probably add some unnecessary weight and bulk. A shorter guard will go with the blade well.

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Welcome to the forum. I'm new to the forum too and have only been bladesmithing for about 3 years. I have learned a few tricks that might help.

 

I would agree with Mark Green about the length of the guard. You said you are new to bladesmithing, but I'm not sure how much you know about pressure fitting a guard. It takes a little time and careful filing, but it's worth the effort. I think I would use a one piece handle. Drill a through hole and fill with epoxy when your ready to put it all together. There are several tricks that help. Let me know for details if you don't find them in this forum.

 

When I get home, I am about an hour south of you, so a get together is not out of the question. I have found the bladesmithing community are a great bunch and love to share knowledge.

 

Mike Johnston 503 351-3104 mikeandjill@frontier.com

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Hello and thank you Mike!

 

I think the solid handle would be a better decision now as well. I found a triangular file at the pawn shop today that is perfectly sized and in great condition. It should help in making the hole for the tang.

 

I have seen a couple of videos where a smith has pressure fitted a guard to a blade. That is about as far as my experience in that area goes, haha! So I'll do some more studying in that department.

 

A get together would be very nice! And beneficial for my amateur skills, haha.

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Hi Cody,

 

Welcome!

 

Medieval dagger forma are often much less sword like than is popularly thought. Many types are more knife like, than what we think of as a dagger today. Double edged daggers with cruciform hilts did occur, of course, but they were not the norm.

 

Below some images of some forms:

61751.jpg

14th century, single edged knightly dagger

 

60282.jpg

French 14th century dagger

 

67509.jpg

Yet another single edged 14th century dagger

 

75327.jpg

German dagger from around 1400

 

41362.jpg

Another german dagger from around 1400

 

RothenburgodT-Reichsstadtmuseumgallery_313_147090.jpg

A rondel dagger and a ballock dagger from the Rothenburg museum

 

Hilts were as a rule tight to the hand: short grips where you party grip the pommel is common. This helps provide a secure hold. Rondel daggers where the discs really lock the hand in, is also common. It is not that they were smaller back then: these knives are designed this way. Guards on medieval daggers tend to be very short, if they have them.

 

Below is a replica I have made from an original double edged cruciform dagger from late 13th or early 14th century:

DSC05219.jpg

DSC05220.jpg

PJ_dagger001.jpg

(photo by Nathan Robnson)

 

...And the original:

DSC04166.jpg

 

It is no coincidence you do not see any brazil nut pommels on any of these daggers. This type of pommel does not occur on daggers at all. Saying this, I am sure someone will dig up a photo of just such a dagger, but it would be very odd and rare. Like finding a three wheeled Bentley.

 

All of this is intended as inspiration for you to use or disregard!

 

Please show us the finished dagger!

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Hi, just joined the forum after lurking as a guest for while. I love the original archeological find above and was wondering if there are any more pictures or details available as your copy is amazing and I will be looking to plan my own version of it, just need more detail.

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Even if someone finds a picture of a European style dagger with a Brazil nut pommel doesn't necessarily mean that they go together. I have a picture in swords of the Viking Age that states that the handle elements probably don't all go with the blade that they are pictured on. I've also read comments that some museums have three quarter armour displayed with grieves that don't match and never went with it but they persist in displaying that way, even though they know it's wrong, because it's always been displayed that way. There are good archiologists and bad archiologists as well as correct archiologists and incorrect archiologists.

 

Doug

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