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James R.Fuller

Longsword WIP

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Alrighty, fellow smiths!

 

I have been working on this project for a little over a year now, and I finally feel like it is safe to post about it. I don't have a lot to show, at the moment, but I plan on keeping track of my progress throughout the creation of the various hilt components.

The blade is made of 1084, and the blade is sitting just shy of 36" with an additional 10" of tang. These first few pictures are from before heat treat and polishing.

 

A picture of my ugly self holding the blade for scale (pre heat treat).

Sword 1.jpg

 

Here are two pictures of the blade after I finished the bevel grinding (post heat treat)

sword 2.jpg

 

Sword 3.jpg

 

And here is the only picture I currently have of the blade after I finished all of the polishing. I did not want a mirror finish,  so I sanded to 800 Grit and then smoothed out the lines with a 5,000 grit automotive buffing pad. I found that this gave me a very smooth finish, but it does not reflect like a mirror. Unfortunately, I am a terrible photographer and I am having difficulty getting a picture of the full thing without the fuller blending out. Hopefully I will get some better shots soon (I'm very proud of how crisp I managed to keep the fuller).

Sword 4.jpg

 

And that is where I am at. This is my third attempt at making a sword, and this is the farthest I have made it, yet. The previous two attempts failed first at bad grinding and second at heat treating. For that reason, I decided to wait to post anything about this sword until after I had successfully passed heat treating and grinding. Now that I am "in the clear" (yea, right), I plan on working to complete the piece by the end of the year. I have time off over thanksgiving and Christmas break, as I work for a University, so I should be able to accomplish it (hopefully).

 

The last picture I have here is the concept art for what I plan to do with the guard, grip, and pommel. I have a ton of wrought iron, so the guard and pommel will be made of it. I plan on doing a leather wrap around a poplar wood grip. Despite all the research that I have tried to do, I still feel incredibly ignorant of how accurate my design is, or how it will affect the actual use of the sword. So, I request that anyone that does have a good understanding,  point out any errors in my design that you see! :P 

 

Sword concept art.jpg

 

Thanks for taking a look and for any constructive criticism that is offered!

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Looks good so far!  What is the weight and thickness?  My only comment on the hilt design is I think the pommel should be as wide as the blade.  If that makes it too heavy, do what they did back in the day: make it hollow!

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Alan, 

thanks for the tip about the pommel size. I am a little worried about weight, but, as you said, I can just make it hollow. Unfortunately, I do not have a very accurate way to measure the weight, at the moment. But using the old weigh-yourself-then-weigh-yourself-again-while-holding-the-item trick, I have determined it is just under 2lbs. And since my calipers broke about 7 months ago, I cannot give an exact thickness at the tang. It should be 1/4", though. I did my best to put a stronger, linear distal taper in the first third of the blade followed by a slower, more convexed taper out to the point. Which, as far as I can tell is what it is supposed to be. I have been struggling through a lot of this because I have never held anything even approximating a proper sword.  The blade feels a tad slow to swing without the counterweights, but it doesn't feel too difficult to handle. So, I think I've done something right. :P

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Pretty! I am working on a very similar (though a bit shorter and wider) blade-- I hope mine looks as nice as yours at this point in the process. 

May I ask how you shaped/finished the fuller? That's my next big challenge. I forged mine in, but I'm still deciding how to clean it up and make it pretty. 

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Adam, 

 

My fuller was all done via stock removal. I primarily did it using a file like a scraper. It was a very long and tedious task. When I moved on to polishing, I simply found  a 4" section of PVC pipe that closely matched the radius of the fuller and used it as a sanding block. 

It was because I did almost all of this with handtools and a crappy belt sander (plus my general lack of free time) that it has taken me over a year to get this far.

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13 hours ago, James R.Fuller said:

I'm very proud of how crisp I managed to keep the fuller

So you should be. You have a name to live up to (Sorry, I couldn’t resist) ;)

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11 hours ago, James R.Fuller said:

Adam, 

 

My fuller was all done via stock removal. I primarily did it using a file like a scraper. It was a very long and tedious task. When I moved on to polishing, I simply found  a 4" section of PVC pipe that closely matched the radius of the fuller and used it as a sanding block. 

It was because I did almost all of this with handtools and a crappy belt sander (plus my general lack of free time) that it has taken me over a year to get this far.

I'm on the hand-tool path as well, though not by preference. It is heartening to know that it can in fact be done.

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