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sam uke

Gladius WIP + Intro

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Posted (edited)

Greetings,

This is my first post after lurking a bit.  I pestered @Salem Straub on IG after seeing him forge a cool Mainz gladius, and he suggested I post here.  I'm slowly working on a Pompeii gladius (first sword), and trying to work out the pommel, handle, hilt details.  I plan on having a wooden pommel/hilt (possibly with non-ferrous inlay on hilt) and a bone handle.  I've searched the forums, and watched some YouTube.  I'm looking for specific details on how the handle (mostly pommel) fit-up to the shoulders of the blade.  I could also use suggestions for tang length, and thoughts about how the shoulders should be filed (eg; 90deg or radiused).  

Here's what i've done thus far...

IMG_0695.JPG

I used a big 'ol leaf spring and forged to pre-form.  I want to end up with a thick medial ridge

IMG_0853.JPG

Forging the bevels took a long time.  She's just under 2" wide and ~ 24.5" long (blade len).

IMG_0871.JPG

Rough grind pre-HT.

Edited by sam uke

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Welcome aboard! 

That's all I got... 

I would suggest looking for historical examples with weights and measurements to make scale drawings to use as a reference. 

Sword site might have something. I'll get you a link. 

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I can't help much with gladius construction details, but I wanted to also throw in my welcome and say that it looks like you are off to a great start, and that we'll all be glad to see your WIP.

The guys who know the historical details on these will be along soon with input.

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Is far as I'm aware, these just had an oval bronze plate, pierced for a fairly neat fit round the shoulders of the blade, and inlaid into the base of the wooden guard. The pommel generally would have some kind of sheet metal reinforcement on top, and a peening block that the tang was peened onto...

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That's about all I know about them as well.

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I cleaned up the bevels and profiled the tip.  i'm just about ready for HT.  I shortened the blade and tang a bit so it will fit in my oven for temper.  Does anyone have a suggestion on how to grind the tip post-HT?

 

IMG_0930.JPG

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Not sure what you mean?  How have you been grinding it so far?

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8 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Not sure what you mean?  How have you been grinding it so far?

I've been grinding the tip to match the parallel portion of the bevels, but was unsure if there was a distal taper (only on the tip) or something i'm missing.  

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I dont think there is a notable secondary grind like the tip of a Japanese sword blade. I could be wrong. 

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And I don't know enough about gladii to say if they have distal taper or not. :(

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I would highly recommend looking at both historical examples (you can google various versions of the Pompeii gladius--it changes over time), and checking out myArmoury for historical examples with dimensions and discussion. Apparently, copper alloy hilt plates and pale woods (i.e. birch) are the most common hilt components, but specific hilt forms and tang buttons also varied a little with find location and time.

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IMG_0933.JPG

Survived HT and temper.

IMG_1031.JPG

Post HT clean-up on the grinder.  On to hand sanding...

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I'm interested to see how this plays out! Looks great so far!

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