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WIP Rapier with "Chain Style" Hilt


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Time for another project. The blade is a simple hexagonal/diamond rapier blade and almost finished:

P1080009.JPG

The hilt, however, is going to be one of the most time-consuming and elaborate designs that can be found on a sword like this. There have been only few cutlers who did this design, mostly in France and northern Italy. I am going for a hybrid between these two:

0608.00.00.01.jpgClaude_Savigny_Tours.jpg

The chains on the sides of the bars are the most intimitating part. Here are some pieces to test the process of making them (with a rough finish and the cutouts for the "scrolled face" begun):

P1080011.JPGP1080010.JPG

How would you go about making this? Just curious if there is a more efficient way, especially for the inside of a curve!!

 

 

Edited by Florian F Fortner
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My brain hurts just looking at that. I agree with Alan. A most formidable endeavor, but I'm certain you will persevere.

 

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The second picture seems to show that the chain and the guard are two different metals.  If that is the case, you could mill, saw or grind a groove (width the size of the wire of your chain)  in the edges where you want the chain look and then source a chain with the style link you want (or make it) and carefully silver solder into place.  It could also be done with similar metals if that is the look you want or maybe chain with twisted square wire.  I do like the one piece look but lots of tedious carving and filing.

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I took one look at that build and mentally ran for the hills. nope. nope. nope.

The engineer in me came back and thought, hmmm. how can you cheat this. first thing is for sure making it out of multi parts and brazing or otherwise joining them. might make it a lot easier. or, if you really want to apply modern techniques, 3D printing could do that, as long as you hand finish it. and find someone to do the model. CAD design would also help a lot with the complex curves, doing that on paper will be super hard. then again, you might not want to use the modern techniques in which case, i dont know how to make it more doable!

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Thanks for the encouragement!

Gazz, what you describe has been also done in the past. They inlaid a silver chain into the steel guard, which would look nice, but not hold up well to abuse and is well beyond my skills!

James, of course 3D printing a wax model and then casting would be the easier option by far. Yet, I don't have access to any of this and think it would be prohibitively expensive for parts of this size. Milling is not an option because of the organic and sweeping curves of most of the guard parts.

 

The process I settled on for the moment is as follows:

* Drill the lateral holes first

* File (on the outside curve) and grind with a rotary tool (on the inside curve) the two steps on the edge that make the chain shape

* File the vertical chain divisions and smooth everything

* Drill the vertical holes

* Finish with chiseling the details

 

The next challenge is getting a proper period engraving pattern onto those narrow strips... Stay tuned! :D

P1080013.JPG

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Very, very nicely done, there is a tremendous amount of fine detail work to be complete with this piece, I'm really looking forward to see how this turns out.

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Definatley tuned in to this one, your last endeavor I saw was awesome, but this one

is on another level  !!......................B)

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  • 10 months later...
On 5/31/2019 at 1:20 PM, Florian F Fortner said:

Time for another project. The blade is a simple hexagonal/diamond rapier blade and almost finished:

 

If this is simple as it is complex !!!!!, you have accustomed us to see that the incredible is easy to do, thank you very much for showing !!!!!

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