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Florian F Fortner

Renaissance Sidesword WIP

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My next project has started: A sidesword in the style of the 16th century bolognese fencing tradition. Blade length of about 93cm and overall weight of 1-1.1kg. The blade is based on a nice weapon from the citizen armoury of vienna, the hilt borrowed from a sword of the Wallace collection. So, here is what it should look like when finished:

 

This blade:

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With this hilt (without the knuckle guard):

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The blade is made of spring steel for sparring use, outline cut out with a waterjet. Then I grind the distal taper on the belt grinder (with my new dust collection setup, which is great as it eliminates ALL the dust, I don't need safety glasses, masks or cleaning up afterwards)

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Next I grind the bevels roughly with the goniometer setup as usual:

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Now it's on to shaping the ricasso fullers and smoothing the bevels with files...

 

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The most time consuming part of this blade is the double fuller in the ricasso. I scrape them with my scraper tool and an asymmetrical bit.

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Then it's a lot of sanding (with the sandpaper placed on a round piece of steel). I will finish it finer as the build goes on.

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At the same time I started the hilt, just cut off some pieces of 1045 bars.

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Next week I hope to get some more progress on this...

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That is a such a beautiful hilt style that you've chosen... I'll be keep an eye on this!

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Thanks to all for the kind words!

Today I could get some hours into the hilt, roughly shaping pieces and welding some of them together.

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oh this is going to be a beauty. I am really going to enjoy watching it, too.

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At this point I wish I had a forge, tools and skills to properly bend steel into any shape I need. I don't, so had to go the tough route of labour intensive and material wasting stock removal :huh: (Bending small diameters in 1045 cold always results in broken parts...)

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Cutting hundreds and hundreds of tiny slots with files... By far not finished.

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This is coming along great. Good work mate. Thumbs up. 

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The lower ring while decorating with needle files and chisels:

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Outside of the hilt completed, pommel roughly turned:

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Inside completed too:

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Filing finer details in the ricasso block:

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Hilt blackened, just sandpaper from now on...

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Blade is ready for HT tomorrow, in the meantime I started with the pommel and roughly marked the circumference. Odd numbered facets are more fun filing... ;)

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Edited by Florian F Fortner
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Beautiful craftsmanship , and nice tools! 

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Thanks Florian. Excellent work as always. Out of curiosity, what do you use to weld the pieces together?

Edited by Charles du Preez

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I so wish I had the patience to do that kind of file work, excellent artistry......B)

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That is excellent!  You're really going for it, very rewarding to watch!

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I've eyeballed this thread many times, but always forget to mention how awesome I think it is. 

The last one you did was also an inspiring sight. Do you keep these or sell them? I can only imagine how much someone might pay for one. Lots of fine detailed craftsmanship. 

 

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Charles, for welding I use a TIG machine so I can always match the filler to the materials welded - 1045 in this case.

Zeb, so far all those weapons are for my personal use, I do a lot of historical fencing and always strive for the best tool for the job. After every collection of period weapons that I examine, I get new ideas ;)

I don't think selling stuff like that is an economic choice - too much work, too little potential customers (they either want cheap sparring swords or want it to look original and don't care about the handling) 

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On 11/24/2017 at 11:00 AM, Florian F Fortner said:

Next I grind the bevels roughly with the goniometer setup as usual:

P1070832.JPG

 

OK no one has mentioned this set-up. So I guess I got to say something. Did you to build this??? It appears to have been part of something else but, Wow what a machine!!! The ability for micro adjustment appears to be totally built into the machine!! Impressive, is the first word to come to mind!

 

Now to move on to the work you are doing, it is very impressive. The attention to detail is what makes one like this impressive and so far this one has all the markings for absolute greatness. I can't wait to see the next photos!! 

Edited by C Craft

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C Craft, yes this part of the machine developed over time as I usually make long  blades and holding an accurate angle gets difficult. See the end of this page for more details!

 

Once again I am so sad that there are no steel-casting companies around anymore - Filing is the only alternative...

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The wooden core of the grip with the flutes (which I later found out were not deep enough)

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But finally... blade, hilt and grip are finished! Just the pommel needs more work (hollowing out of the inside because of too much weight;))

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Florian, from my reading I thought that sideswords were primarily thrusting weapons.  The blade that you made seems a little broad for that.  Would you consider the weapon that you made to be more of a cut and thrust sword?  By the way,  outstanding work.  It will me nice to see the final assembly.

Doug

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That guard and handle are coming out wonderfully!  I really look forward to seeing this complete.

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