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Florian F Fortner

WIP - A pair of dueling longswords

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After a long absence from the forum, I now have time to post a little bit... 

The next project up is a classic italian "Spada a due mani" from Roberto Gotti's collection in Brescia. Actually I'll make two of them, which gives a fair sparring situation. :D

This is how it should look like when finished:

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The blanks are cut out already and rough grinding of the distal taper and bevel is complete:

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I just found out it is a bad idea to finish the transition from the rectangular section to the hexagonal section before having done the side fullers...

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So the fullers come first :

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Edited by Florian F Fortner

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A few hours with draw filing and a rotary tool to smoothen the fullers and it looks like this:

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Then on to sandpaper 80 t o180 grit, the fullers take the most time:

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Starting with the crossbar:

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Heat treatment of the blades went well. Tempering with the "bend it the opposite way" to straighten the slight bend introduced by quenching works like a charm. The blades turned out deadstraight despite their length (125cm from point to cross). 

Just clamp it to a square profile with shims to create a inverse curve and hang it in the oven to temper.

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Test-fit of the parts:

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Ready for a first swing and finding the correct pommel weight:

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Looking great so far!

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Next update, the blades are almost finished, the hilts waiting for blackening. The grip cores are ready for the leather cover...

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Edited by Florian F Fortner
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Beautiful work as always!

One question: For the crossbar, when you welded it together did you use 3 pieces or four?  I am wondering how you managed the slot for the tang.

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Mike, the crossbar is made up of four pieces, the qillons and a plate over the ricasso on either side. This resulsts in a perefect rectangular slot for the tang that will fit the blade snugly. Making the whole crossbar out of one piece and the piercing and filing the slot would be the original method when forging.

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Thanks Florian.  I was wondering if the plates were welded onto a one piece, pierced cross guard.  Your ability to take four pieces and weld them to look like one beautifully forged piece is seriously impressive - I always look forward to seeing your new work.  Thanks.

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Finally finished! This project was a great learning experience - as usual. The spiralised sword handles were a challenge. Especially getting the leather  into the recesses to expose the flutes in the wood. 

Another funny thing is the behaviour of different types of steel while blackening. Carbon and mild steel turn into a nice greyish black, whereas spring steel that i used for the crossbar plates (containing silicon) turns into a reddish hue. Not a big issue, but a thing to rememeber for next time!

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These turned out great, this is a very elegant shape for such big swords.

I like the blackened hilt fittings, I kind of like the color difference in the guards, makes it look a bit more aged and authentic to my eyes.

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Very nice.  I too like the hint of plumb color on the cross bar plates.

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Nice work Florian. You have twins.

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Those turned out great!  

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Works of art as always!  I would love to spar with those - I imagine that they handle really well.

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Those are awesome!!

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Very nice work, Florian. They turned out amazing. 

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I apologize for being so late. The plethora of posts on the S&T board lately has made it difficult to see everything (I have no idea how Alan manages). Those hilts are serious business Florian. Welcome back indeed. Nice to see your work again.

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