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Migration Period Sword

Emiliano Carrillo

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Hey all!




This is a project that has seen many mutations throughout its life, but now I can say it is finally close to being done. All that is left now is to create a sheath!




I forged the blade for this project a few months ago and it sat as a blade blank of 1075 for a month waiting for me to chisel in the letters for an ulfberht. I got tired of looking at it one day so I started grinding it out and then heat treated it the old fashioned way, by stoking it through the fire to normalize and then for quenching.


After that I finished the grinding and started the hand polishing. The blade and fuller are straight enough but I'm not super happy with how it turned out. I'll have to give it a better go on the next sword.


After the polishing it sat again for a few weeks waiting for the Petesen Type Z fittings that I never forged, mostly because I realized I'd rather see them on a pattern welded sword blade or a cleaner monosteel blade.


Jump forward a fe more weeks to yesterday when I realized that I wanted a user sword, and that the blade I had lying around would make a pretty good one. I got a few pieces of copper and some blackwood I had lying around and started planning the fittings, and spent like three hours sawing and filing to get the mouth of the guard to be as tight as possible. I then left the fittings rough shaped by the band saw and clamped with epoxy.


This afternoon I went in and realized the epoxy was useless and it fell apart on me as I shaped the guards due to heat. I decided to bite the bullet and just rivet them together and it went much more smoothly from there on out.


Afterwards I sanded them to 400 grit and will leave them be to weather on their own through use and time. I planned to make a grip covered in leather with a riser in the middle, but the pieces of black walnut I picked for the core turned out to be quite beautiful and so I left them as is.


Then came a lot of sanding, filing, fitting, and riveting, but at the end of it I had a finished sword!



I guess what I learned from all of this is to plan as thoroughly as possible, but to let inspiration change your course as many times as it needs to before you are happy with the product.



Anyway! What's a thread without some pictures?





Here's the blade prior to sharpening and before the fitting of the pommel cap.




Right before the peening. I need to get better at judging the material I need, because it is always supper nerve wracking and I always forget to anneal the tip before the actual peening begins, which definitely does not help. A nervous fifteen minutes later I was happy enough with the fit however.




I had already spent way too much time at the shop today and so after the peening the next few minutes were a frantic whirl of energy and I didn't get any photos until it was done. I milled the slot inside the pommel cap for the peened tang to sit in as the mill was set up from the last time I used it and it saved me some headache that way :lol:




The fit at the mouth is pretty good I think, and the patina the copper had from lying around a few years is really beautiful. I can't wait to see the rivets and the sides of the guards begin to turn dark also.




Here you can see some of the figuring in the walnut, subtle but beautiful. I think it goes really well with the rest of the sword.



A shot in hand. It looks almost like a toy in this picture because of how simple the colors look. I promise it looks and feels better than that and when it starts to age I'm sure it'll look even better!




Anyway, hope you guys like it! I know I'm glad to have a new piece to bring back home for spring break and show off to my parents :D

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Sweet. I love the look of that - but I am a sucker for early period blades :P

Now make a wooden scabbard for it with copper fittings ;)

Edited by Jeppe
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Alan, I did a whooooole bunch of looking and I cant find what I based it on, it was a pommel with the cap missing but the rivets in place that suggested a natural material for the cap but I can't remember where I saw it. I may just be going crazy!


Jeppe, I'm hoping to do a simple veneer style scabbard for it out of more black walnut but I'm not a hundred percent sure yet!

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Nice looking sword, Emiliano! Looks like the grip fits the hand nice and tight. Can't wait to see what you come up with for the scabbard.




p.s. the new beard looks great on you B)

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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That looks great! The wooden pommel cap is interesting, how is the balance?

“If you trust in yourself. . . believe in your dreams. . . and follow your star. . . you will still get beaten by the people who have spent their time working hard and learning things, the people who weren't so lazy.” ~ Terry Pratchett


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Thanks John! It's definitely a different kind of grip to get used to, but this is meant as a user sword so I'll get a chance to figure out how it handles soon enough! It's a shame you won't be able to make it down to F&B, I'm gonna bring it down with me! I doubt I'll have the scabbard done by then though. Thanks about the beard, the only downside is all the steam it makes when I shower! :lol:



Collin, it would be nice to have a bit more weight on the pommel, but the way it is now isn't too bad, it feels pretty natural to me actually. The point of balance itself is maybe 6 inches from the cross? I'll double check when I get into the shop tonight!

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<p>nice and clean Emiliano!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>There seems to be some evidence of organic pommels in early periods? I was looking into this myself and found some leads but then lost them.  Seems to be more common in eastern steppes?? I've forgotten much.  But I think regardless in Germanic traditions they would have been covered in foil or thin sheet.   Should look wonderful anyway and Migration pommels had no functional use in terms of balance.. so should be fine!</p>


edit: not sure why my post is so garbled. But there it is.

Edited by Scott A. Roush
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So, the point of balance is 8.75 inches from the cross. It weighs 941 grams and is 37 inches over all with 31 for the blade and 6 for the handle.



Thanks Scott! I've a way to go still but this is progress!


As far as searching goes, I've still not found any more evidence of the organic pommel cap, but if I find it I'll definitely post it here!




Thanks Isaac! The fuller on this one was only ground in, but I plan to forge some in soon. I was given a fullering tool by a good friend and I'm excited to try it out. I hope the next pattern welded sword I make will be fullered in the forging instead of grinding stages.

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Looks great!


"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


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