Jump to content

Gladius WIP + Intro


Recommended Posts

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
Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

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...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

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

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

IMG_0486.jpg

Dyed the walnut hilt and pommel.  Added some texture to the scallops on the pommel.  Used potassium permanganate on the elk handle.  Made and textured a bronze pommel nut plate(?).  Turned a pommel nut, and threaded the tang to 3/8" 16.  Left a banner proud on the circumference where I plan to etch my mark.  

 

IMG_0485.jpg

Textured and antiqued the bronze spacer and used structural adhesive to affix it to the hilt.  Took the blade to 400 grit + scotchbrite.

Edited by sam uke
Link to post
Share on other sites

Roman Pompeii style takedown gladius complete (minus some extra fuss on the pommel nut/plate).  21.75" blade, 30.25" OAL.  The sword feels purposeful in the hand and ready to work.  This was a challenging build for me, and I'm already daydreaming about my next large project.   Thanks to anyone checking this out -- I'd appreciate any feedback.  You can follow me on IG @shamulnu for more projects I labor through.

 

IMG_0487.jpg

Long blades aren't easy to photograph.

 

IMG_0489.jpg

Dan Carlin (Hardcore History) described the gladius as a "cleaver" in one of his podcasts -- and that seems pretty spot-on.  

Edited by sam uke
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for asking Geoff.  21.75" blade, 30.25" OAL, 1.75" blade width.  It has a nice thick medial ridge that I will measure once I get a new battery for my calipers.  2.4lbs using the old school bathroom scale method as I don't have a scale suitable for this. 

 

*edit: .28" thickness

Edited by sam uke
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...