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Florian F Fortner

WIP Chiseled Manieristic Rapier Hilt

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It is coming along slowly, yet steadily. I am already dreaming of fish monsters and acanthus leaves :D

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Here you can see the tools I mostly use: Fine files and the graver

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The more parts that come together, the worse you can reach most spots with the tools, that takes a huge toll on the invested time. It is important to get as much finished before welding as possible. However, the fine surface finish has to come last...

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This is very inspiring to watch, hats off to you for the ambition and continuing to do it justice!

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Its been a while since your last post and i can see why. Beautiful work so far. Still watching with keen interest. :) 

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Others have said this, but I wanted to chime in ans say that I have been enjoying this WIP.  It is most impressive.  Thanks for posting it!

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Absolutely beautiful work!  And thank you for posting this as it inspires me to do some ornamental work on my current rapier project.

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I am happy that you like it, especially if it inspires it in your own work!

Today I did some more details and started with the parts that differ from the original (which is a basic sidesword hilt, for cut-heavy fencing. As I am going to mount a thrust-heavy blade, I need a rear guard) 

The first bar of the rear guard is bent out of 6mm (1/4") steel rod and after lots of fiddling around for a good fit, tacked in place. 

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I get quite excited every time I see you have added more to this WIP. Very well done Florian. I am struggling a little to wrap my head around that second photo. Could you please add another angle when you get a chance? Thanks.

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+1 to above. Exciting to see her come along. :) 

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Today it was time for the first proper match of blade and hilt (which is the most annoying work - file a little, put it on the blade, check where it's stuck, repeat...)

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One more round bar is missing, then the final finish and: heat treatment!! I will ask about this in a separate thread.

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I actually think i felt movement in my pants!!! (#overshare) 

So beautiful. :) 

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I love it when it all comes together and one can see that all the hours of work finally pay off...

I cut two pieces of wood for the handle (some kind of akazia, don't know exactly, I got it from a friend who is a wood specialist). This wood doesn't expand much when it gets wet, this is crucial, otherwise it will stretch the wire wrap and when it dries again it shrinks and the wire comes loose. 

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With a saw and wood chisels I cut out the shape of the tang and then glued both halves together with fish glue.

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While this dried, I made tests for the wirewrap. This time I went for three strands all made of 0.5mm annealed steel wire, two of them twisted in opposite directions to give the "braided" look and one folded twice and twisted as tight as possible. This is done best with one end in an vise and the loop in the hand drill which must be under constant pull.

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With a saw I make small grooves with an offset in the narrower end and hammer the strands in. Before I start winding, I secure them with epoxy (I usually don't use non-period materials, but here I trust the epoxy, because the sword will be often disassembled and assembled when travelling). Same with the other end after wrapping the handle.

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Now I put all the parts together and fine tune the pommel weight for proper POB, pivot points and smooth handling.

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Amazing work for sure. I am new to this forum and have seen alot of inspiring work so far. Great WIP. Cant wait to see the end results.

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Indeed, or to use an Americanism, yowza! :lol:  Are you going to blue it or leave it bright?

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Wow. This is truly one epic endeavor and you're making it look like you grew up doing this. I'm watching along just as fascinated as the rest of the folks on here... I'm also REALLY hoping for a mini tutorial on making the wire wrap turks heads knots for either end of the handle. I've tried and failed more times than I can count with more varied materials than I can list... It HAS to be easier than I'm finding it... Fingers crossed... 

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Man, that is just exceptional.  Cheers to you my friend.

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Thanks a lot for all your praise!

@Alan.  Yes, I will blacken it and then just slightly polish the surface to give a nice contrast just like the original I showed at the start of the thread.

@T Swenson. Haha, it seems nobody likes to do turks head knots (this might be a good business idea - custom turks head knots :D). Yet they are essential for the final look. So I will need to make them eventually. Maybe you know about the cheating method as posted on myarmoury.com some time ago, which is also historically accurate and found on some period swords (i hope it's ok to post these pics here, the post was made by E.B. Erickson):

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To achieve the correct diameter, you need to add about two times the wire diameter to the starting loop to end up with a correct sized knot. For the wire the most accurate look is achieved by twisting four strands of 0.3-0.35mm wire tightly, so it appears like a tiny rope. This is also quite pleasant to work with. Yet one still needs lot of practice to get good results. Long way to go...

 

Edited by Florian F Fortner
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This is turning out to be a good looking piece. I am excited to see it finished. Not too much longer now? 

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Oh YEAH that is gorgeous!!  Thanks for sharing.

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Yay! The hilt is finally finished.

What pleases me the most is that my guess of 100 hours of work was quite accurate at 98 hours spent. At the weekend the blade gets heat treated and next week I'll start on the pommel (more carving and chiseling, pheew)

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Edited by Florian F Fortner
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I have found a way to do a decent turks head out of wire.
Tie it on a mandrell a little undersize of your handle.
Do the actual turks head and just tuck the ends underneath the last cross over.

 

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Just when I thought it couldn't be prettier...:o

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11 hours ago, Florian F Fortner said:

Thanks a lot for all your praise!

@Alan.  Yes, I will blacken it and then just slightly polish the surface to give a nice contrast just like the original I showed at the start of the thread.

@T Swenson. Haha, it seems nobody likes to do turks head knots (this might be a good business idea - custom turks head knots :D). Yet they are essential for the final look. So I will need to make them eventually. Maybe you know about the cheating method as posted on myarmoury.com some time ago, which is also historically accurate and found on some period swords (i hope it's ok to post these pics here, the post was made by E.B. Erickson):

turkshead1.jpg

turkshead2.jpg

 

To achieve the correct diameter, you need to add about two times the wire diameter to the starting loop to end up with a correct sized knot. For the wire the most accurate look is achieved by twisting four strands of 0.3-0.35mm wire tightly, so it appears like a tiny rope. This is also quite pleasant to work with. Yet one still needs lot of practice to get good results. Long way to go...

 

THANK YOU!! I have searched for so long, and yet been unable to find that set of drawings. This will make things MUCH easier... Man I love this forum!!

 

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Some time has passed, but now it's time to get the pommel done. Original pommels were riveted to the tang. However, as I need to disassemble the sword regularly for travelling, I use a thread on the tang and a recessed cap in the shape of the pommel end (see pictures). The pommel has a square hole matching the tang to keep it from rotating. As most originals, this pommel is not solid to keep a good size and the proper weight for a good balance.

Now it's hours and hours of carving and chiseling... :P

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