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Hi guys,

Next attempt at a Messer... as you may recall, my last one developed a severe forward curve during heat treatment. On this one I left the front edge thicker, hopefully that does the job. If not, I will have to counter-bend the next one. If this one curves forward, I'll probably hilt is a Messer just the same, there are historical examples of exactly that. But I'm definitively hoping it'll stay straight!

The guard was a major pain to make, the tapering slot had me cursing more than once. Soooo much hand-filing... The Nagel on the other hand was quickly and easily made. Not sure yet if I will fire-blacken the fittings or not.

Hope you like it...

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Looking forward to this! I thought your last one was pretty cool, even with the forward curve. 

as far as the fittings go, you could borrow the blackening method from the Japanese. Walter Sorrells has a great video on it. I'll see if I can find it.

 https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D_kpa0uxSuOU&ved=0ahUKEwivvsCs5IzZAhVHnlkKHQMQDFwQwqsBCCswAA&usg=AOvVaw0Z0LNBjJRxvoAPMgYyt7oO

Edited by Zeb Camper
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1 hour ago, Phil Ullrich said:

Nice!   To allow the guard to slide up the tang is it split in the section where the nagel hole is placed?

The tang is wider at the top than at the base so the part of the guard is split, yes.

 

I have given this further thought and discussed it with some other makers and decided that I will pre-curve the blade a bit in the mid section.

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On ‎2‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 12:23 PM, Lukas MG said:

I have given this further thought and discussed it with some other makers and decided that I will pre-curve the blade a bit in the mid section.

Crossing fingers for you.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks, guys ;)

More progress... The blade is now ground to final shape, the guard fitted and drilled to accept the Nagel. Work on the handle scales has also begun.

The messer has started to come alive in hand. All current components together weigh 860g, the final weight won't be far off from that.
I must say, I'm really excited with how this piece is coming together :)

I still haven't decided what finish to give the guard and pommel cap... I'm tempted to blacken them as I did on the Bowie. Or I might try some forced antiquing, the above mentioned method from Walter Sorrells looks good. Or a plain, honest satin finish? Hmm... The peening of the Nagel will complicate things a bit, I will need to apply the same or a very similar finish to the peened end after assembly...

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Edited by Lukas MG
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21 hours ago, Jonathan Silas said:

There's just something so... visceral about these things. You can see the power in it, even just sitting there. Like a bear trap... or a weighty log supported by a thin cable. 

Very true... it has something of a sleeping lion, harmlessly sitting there but there is a feeling of danger nonetheless. Very few other sword design have left a similar impression on me.

Or with the words of Hans Talhoffer, who wrote a fencing manual about these things in the 15th century: "Here they fight with Messer - May God remember them."

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It's finished... a few words about it, you may find it interesting. If not, just look at the pics ;)

The Langes Messer was a very popular weapon in 15th century Germanic regions, due to its handiness often used as a sidearm and though nowadays often associated with people from lower classes of society, it was in fact carried by members of nobility as well. There are several surviving fencing manuals concerning the use of the Langes Messer and it is quite a popular weapon in modern HEMA.
From a swordmaker‘s view, Messer are very interesting weapon dynamically. They are self-reliant in the way that they don‘t really need pommels, they balance themselves out largely by careful mass distribution in the blade and the (wide) tang. They also are quite complex to make and a lot of time is spent carefully fitting all parts together.

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Stats:
Overall length: 84,5cm
Blade length: 66cm
Blade width at base: 4cm
PoB: 13,5cm
CoP: ca 48cm
Weight: 830g

As is obvious from the stats, this is a light and compact weapon. The Messer does have a good amount of blade presence but it never feels unwieldy. It flows and turns effortlessly through cuts and thrusts, with a pleasant forward pull in the hand, inviting to be moved. The point can be controlled easily and tracks well.
By design, this weapon has every characteristic of a very capable cutter: a wide, thin and slightly curved blade with a long single bevel and acute edges. It is also a surprisingly good thruster. Because of its short length and the single-edged design with a blunt spine, the blade is quite stiff, despite its thinness. The clip point and sharpened false edge make for a very acute point that easily penetrates soft targets and allow for techniques that utilise the short edge, an important aspect of Messer fencing. While Messer probably were most common in civilian settings, they did also see use in military contexts. To reflect this and enable use against harder targets (armor for example) the point, though slender, is quite robust.

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The hilt assembly is typical for Lange Messer, featuring a short guard, pierced by the Nagel, and scales riveted to the full tang. The pommel cap is peened over a peen block. Overall one of the most secure and durable hilt constructions.
Aesthetically, the Messer gives the impression of an unadorned, very much business-oriented piece of equipment. I had considered adding file-work but decided not to and let the in my eyes quite organic and flowing shapes speak for themselves, with slight accentuation by brass elements. Messer, more than most other sword designs, have a certain viciousness to them. At least to my eyes... They are elegant, very thoughfully designed weapons but while a slender XVIIIb longsword manages to hide its martial purpose behind a slim, innocent seaming facade, the Messer cannot be mistaken for anything but a brutally efficient killing instrument. I might perhaps liken it to a big cat like a panther... even just harmlessly sitting somewhere, there always is a certain feeling of imminent danger.

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Edited by Lukas MG
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Very nice sword!

Messers are my favorite type of sword, and yours ticks all the right boxes for me.

 

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