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First Sword! Gladius Hispaniensis


B. Norris

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This is a recent commision which has consumed my life for the last 9 months or so. It is forged out of 3/8" x 1 & 1/2" W2 bar purchased from Aldo Bruno, the NJ Steel Baron. The customer took a very active roll in the birth of this sword and had a hand in every step of the process. This would not work with everyone but, this time, it worked out beautifully and he has a true appreciation of all the hard work and artistry involved. Currently, the client is polishing the sword and it is between 900 and 1200 grits. I supplied it to him at a 600 grit finish.

 

The owner of this sword (and his college age son) have been doing extensive cutting and he intends to use it during a cutting event sponsored by a local Aikido Dojo. I am eagerly looking forward to the event.

 

STATS:

 

W2 Steel

25" blade (right at the length of the largest historical example)

2 & 1/8" wide at widest point, just under 2" at narrowest point (1/8" wider than historical examples)

8" handle (from front of guard to end of rivet)

Weight is just under 2 pounds (I added weight, in the form of lead shot, in the handle to balance the blade)

Handle is constructed from Padauk wood, Cow bone, Bronze sheet, Steel rivet block, Lead Shot, and Epoxy

Blade features a raised rib down the center, which is much wider than historical examples, with a re-inforced tip

 

Gladius 08.jpg

 

Gladius 05.jpg

 

Gladius 03.jpg

 

Gladius 04.jpg

 

Gladius 06.jpg

 

Gladius 07.jpg

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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wonderful finish on your first sword! I really like it, would like to see more swords from you from other time periods!

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Love it!!

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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NICE! B)

 

I'm glad the customer has an appreciation for what was involved to make something like that. I still get a few who think we just pour it in a mold and buff it, 20 minutes start to finish. :rolleyes::lol:

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great job on the sword Bruce!

 

make sure you get some video of it cutting. it would be interesting to see how it performs

"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense the world was mad" Sabatini

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Great work. Love the bone handle. Was it hard finding a straight enough piece?

"Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes" - Tom HALL - Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon wine.

 

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Finding the right doggy treat to use took several months. The guy who I made this for brought me a couple but, he didn't really know what was needed and one of the bones was so overbleached that I would not have used it anyway. The local big box pet stores do not seem to think that dogs gnaw on bones anymore but, rather, prefer plastic and rawhide. I finally found a piece that would work at the local Tractor Supply, go figure. Getting a straight enough piece was hard but, even harder, was getting a piece that had thick enough walls without being too large in diameter. This piece is at least 1/8" thick, in all but a few small areas near the ends, where material was removed to inlet it into the wood of the guard and pommel. The owner elected to not polish the bone in order to improve the grip and, now that it has been used a bit, grime is getting into all the crevices and there is a long, hairline, crack on one side that I'm keeping an eye on. Having to do the handle over truly would suck and I may just get pre-emptive with some super glue!

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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NICE! B)

 

I'm glad the customer has an appreciation for what was involved to make something like that. I still get a few who think we just pour it in a mold and buff it, 20 minutes start to finish. :rolleyes::lol:

 

Dude. . . that's how Conan's dad did it! Why can't you do it that way??!

-----------------------------------------------

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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Dude. . . that's how Conan's dad did it! Why can't you do it that way??!

 

A distinct lack of suitable snowbanks to quench 'em in here in upper east Tennessee, except for maybe one or two days a year! Not a problem for you, of course. :lol:

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Bruce,

 

How did you "true up" the bone from its natural shape? Bandsaw?

 

I have wondered if it would be possible to plug the ends and turn a bone on a lathe.

 

Fantastic work by the way. That raised rib is awesome.

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The bone was too long from the store and was cutoff using a hacksaw. From there, it went to the disk sander and became octagonal. I did not try to make it perfect because, the originals were far from that. There is a slight taper to the handle with one end a little bit larger than the other. My goal was to conserve on the thickness of the bone as much as possible and I left a few surface imperfections, instead of getting the flats totally flat, in order to keep some material. Last I laid out the grooves on the bone, in pencil, and then used the small wheel attachment on the KMG, turned the speed way down, and cut the grooves freehand.

 

The raised rib was going to be ground down into more of a sharp peak but, the customer decided he liked it this way. I could not grind the blade on my KMG because of the rib and ended up using my handheld belt sander. Thank goodness ACE Hardware carries ceramic belts for them!

 

~Bruce~

Edited by B. Norris

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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  • 4 months later...

Here is a professional photograph taken at the 2013 Branson Hammer-in and Knife Show. I was pleasently surprised when this sword won the "Best Sword" award. Higher resolution images may be viewed on Chuck Ward's Flickr Account.

 

Chuck_Ward_Photography_Small_Image.jpg

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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Magnificent blade! Well done! You deserved the win... I use bone often, and usualy laminate to keep thickness even, once again, nice job!

To become old and wise... You first have to survive being young and foolish! ;) Ikisu.blogsot.com. Email; milesikisu@gmail.com mobile: +27784653651

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Great work mate....awesome

Edited by Rob Toneguzzo

"Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes" - Tom HALL - Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon wine.

 

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