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WIP - Ridiculous Sword Attempt


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Dear All

 

Having recently finished my first damascus shortsword, I have been quite (possibly unfounded) confident recently. One of my friends has asked me to make 'ice' from the Game of Thrones 'saga' (I assume most of you are familiar with this awesome sword). As a near-complete beginner this is a ridiculous undertaking for me and I am starting this work in progress thread as a wholehearted plea for help. I would welcome any and all criticisms/abuse/advice as I have never forged anything bigger than 15'' and this is far beyond my comfort zone.

 

At this moment the blade stands at around 46'' EN43 (0.5-0.6%C) steel, 8mm thick and 2.5'' wide.

 

I am going to be hand filing the bevels and grinding the fullers (as i don't possess a fullering tool) in the coming weeks. The handle will be either ebony, oak or zebrano (depending on what my friend decides) and will most probably have an aluminium or cherry wood wolf's head pommel.

 

Thank you very much for looking and any advice,

 

James

 

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The roughly forged blade

 

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Attempting to straighten any weaves due to bevelling

 

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Sorry the photos are pretty terrible, I only have/had my phone to hand. The tang will be extended by about 2 inches by angle grinder to square up the tang and also because I have decided the tang is not long enough to feasibly handle the length of the blade.

 

Cheers.

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Damn! James...that is one big fellow! (Don't know the story behind it, as I wander about 'darkest Africa' but if anyone could pull off a 'bit off more than I could chew' project I'd put my money on you! Best of luck and I'm sure all the folk here will help in anyway possible!

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WOW! If you can swing that, remind me never to tick you off. But it looks good! I have to admit, I spent a bit of time looking at what I could see of your shop in the background. What a sweet setup! Rob Toneguzzo's "First Sword Attempt" (http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=27456) is one I've been following closely. He had some issues with warping that he was able to resolve. On a blade the size of yours, it might be a helpful read.

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Cheers guys,

 

I have to confess, that is not my set up! I have a very generous friend nearby who has two power hammers :D It was really useful as I was an idiot and started with steel which was far too thick (12mm) and had to thin it out to make it even a little bit manageable (it's pretty difficult to swing even now) haha.

 

Thanks buck, I've just been looking at that thread and there are some pretty innovative ways to pull a bend back! I'll definitely need some of those i reckon.

 

JH

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As a huge fan of "A Song of Ice and Fire" saga (books!) I really like this project. As I am totally unqualified to give you advices concerning technical side of sword making I'll just focus on design and authenticity.

 

I'm not sure how closely you are trying to replicate the Ice, but from the books we can learn some details that you might want to consider when further designing the sword. Surely we are talking about fantasy sword and there are no official pictures of it so you have relatively free hands.Anyway in the books it is said that "It is as wide across as a grown man's hand" and "taller than an adolescent Robb Stark" blade is also described to have dark-smokey appearance.

 

Lenghtwise I think you are on the right track. Your blade was 46" so roughly 115cm. Adolescent Robb Stark is relatively flexible measure but considering he was about 16y old "adult" in the books the adolescence might be at around 10-14 years of age, so not too far away. When it comes to width "as wide as grown mans hand" would Imo be closer to 10cm or 4". But I realize that would be totally ridiculously huge blade, if it isn't already and lets not forget that Ice was made of "magic steel" which was reportedly both stronger and LIGHTER than regular steel.

As far as I remember there are no mention about the handle of Ice but considering it was family heritage of house Stark it might be appropriate to make it resemble weirwood i.e. as white wood as possible. Then again it was not made for Starks originally so I guess it might be made of pretty much anything. Same speculation applies to pommel as well. As cool as wolf head pommel would undeniably look I found it unlikely that sword that was not made for starks would happen to have wolf head pommel. Also, with blade as huge as this wouldn't wooden pommel be rather inadequate to give proper balance.

 

I apologise my never ending rant about rather insignificant matter, I tend to take these things way too seriously. Also, sorry for my english, it is not my strongest language.

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Thank you very much for the real specs! I was going off mainly memory and a few photos from the sword HBO made for the series. I agree with the pommel certainly and am considering something heavier such as bronze if I can get my hands on enough of it to cast a wolf's head. Unfortunately, the guy I am making it for has said he specifically wants a wolf's head and so this is going to have to be an adaptation of the sword! I love the idea of weirwood too! I have a limb of cherry which is pretty much white so that would work well.

 

If only I could get my hands on some lighter valyrian steel! This sword is a bit weighty!

 

Cheers,

JH

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Well despite what I said earlier I understand why he wants that wolf's head pommel. Without it, if you don't know the story behind it is just one enormous sword. Wolf's head will for sure make it easier to be identified as Ice.

 

I'm excited to see how this turns out. It will definitely be unique piece when ready.

Edited by Teemu Maenpaa
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ooh, i love big swords, ill be watching this for sure!

 

also i love it when people go and do ridiculous things, often the most awesome things are created this way :D

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I have just started the fullers and have hit a snag. I have just begun hand filing them in a very makeshift jig made out of a black and decker workbench and two g-clamps. I will upload a photo if anyone's interested, but It's not very good. Does anyone know a way to make a jig so I can accurately grind the fullers on my small, bench mounted belt sander?

 

Cheers,

James

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You could try clamp the blade on a 2 by 4 with a piece of angle iron as a guide, then run a cutting disk or rounded grinding disk on a small angle grinder down the angle iron, useing it as a guide, to round the disk use an old masonery drill bit,(tungsten) to'dress it, once you have a groove, cut a round file +- 2 inches long slowly, don't get it hot, use this to finish up the fuller, then use wet or dry around the file to polish (practice on a piece of flat bar first,) brace the grinder on your forarm useing both hands to control it and make light passes, don't let it 'bite' into the steel. Or make a fullering tool, a few eg.s in 'tools' on this forum... Best of luck Mate!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just finished filing the bevels and fuller. The fuller is not straight so that needs attending to but It's almost ready for polishing!

 

Cheers for looking, what do you think?

 

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As far as white wood, have you considered Holly? No clue how sturdy it is (I think it's a bit soft, like basswood, and it might have to be tougher not to split on something that size) but you can buy turning blanks of it, and it looks almost like ivory (it's that pale and has virtually no visible grain, at least in specimens I have seen). Bit pricy, but it might look really cool

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Thanks Guys!

 

Abe, holly would be perfect colour-wise. However, I happen to have some cherry sitting around and thats pretty white isnt it? Is cherry tougher?

 

JH

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Probably cherry is a little harder - again, I haven't worked with holly, so I can only pass alonge just what I've read. Apperently, if improperly seasoned, it can split too, so a little bit of wood stabilizer might help, but it has been used successfully for knife and tool handles. Just a question, though - all the cherry I've seen, except for the outer sap-wood, has been a sort of light brown-red. It's really lovely, but I've never seen any large chunks I'd call "white". I'd be interested in seeing this pale cherry, if you happen to have a photo of it.

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Looks good James, I've seen and made worse fullers than that! A bit of the round file should sort it out...it's going to be a monster of a sword when done!

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You've obviously put a lot of work into that blade, looking good!

 

But, PLEASE, don't use cherry on a sword this massive!

 

I used cherry to replace the handle on a CAS Iberia Hand and a half War Sword I bought right after high school, darn thing split in multiple places the first time I attempted to cut something.

CAS Iberia swords are decent blades for the price, but they have an ugly knot of weld metal in the middle of the tang where they tack on a piece of threaded rod for the pommel, which made fitting the wood difficult, but back then I was making high quality custom furniture (like a custom red oak card table inlaid with a white oak and walnut checker board = $1,000) so I got the handle fit fairly tight. There was a tiny bit of movement (~1/32 in) if you wiggled the wood before tightening up the pommel, but once it was tight, there was no movement whatsoever. Cherry tends to be rather brittle and I found out the hard way that even that tiny bit of wiggle was enough to induce major splits in the wood. I don't know if an epoxy putty fill would have added enough stability to prevent the cracking, but I still have the handle sitting in my current shop as a reminder to reserve the cherry for smaller projects.

 

Holly on the other hand is also very hard, but unlike cherry, it is somewhat flexible and I would expect it to make a much stronger handle.

James

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Thank you very much for the warning James! I will have a look in my pile of wood for something more appropriate. I have never made anything this big so have no idea what woods would survive a swing! At the moment I have Zebrano, loads and loads of English Oak, Purple Heart, Teak and a small amount of mahogany. I think the purple heart would be a little 'effeminate' for a sword of this magnitude but which of the others would be a good bet?

 

Cheers,

JH

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