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MikeDT

First Ballock dagger, first time casting

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This is my first ballock dagger that I have been working off and on (mostly off) for the past 10-12 months.  This is also the fist time I carved a handle and tried to cast something.  The pommel is a simple sand cast - I carved a pommel out of wood and pressed it into the casting sand to make the mold and just poured brass over it, cutting and grinding away the overflow.  The blade is 5160, handle is boxwood and the fittings are brass.  The "garnets" are cast UV resin, also a first for me.  I definitely learned a lot in the carving, casting, and resin process.  Hopefully, the next one will not have all the of flaws that glare at me every time I look at it.  Overall, I am happy with the way it turned out....one more step of progress in trying to make a "perfect" piece.  As usual, my photography skills with a phone are lacking.

ballock 4.jpg

ballock1.jpg

ballock 3.jpg

ballock 2.jpg

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Everything with "first" is bound to be improved on with subsequent makes but the most important thing its the essons and skills that make improvments follow on. For a first that is a very credible offering.

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Thanks Garry.  I used a small burr attachment on a rotary tool to clean up the bezel  recesses and while that worked well in most areas, it also caused some flaws as the burr removed areas I didn't want - the ever present curse of rotary tools.  I just didn't know of a better way to clean up the bottom of the recesses.

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You might want to look into some gravers to cut the brass windows or, if the windows go all the way through, some needle files.  Anyway, a very nice looking job.

Doug

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Thanks Doug.  The recesses are only shallow depressions in the pommel.  I've read quite a bit about gravers here and on some other sites.  I tried making one about 2 years ago and I didn't have much success with it, even following the great sharpening advice posted on this site.  For those of you who buy your gravers, where do you buy them and what brand as well as style/shape would be good to start out with?

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Great for a first!  As for gravers, you can't buy a ready-to-use one no matter what.  Gesswein is a good brand, I use mostly a #4 from Jantz.  

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Thanks Alan!  I'll have to get a few Gessweins from Jantz and re-read and re-read and read again the posts on sharpening them.  God I love this forum!

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Nice work. I really like the style of this piece, the dark black handle is a good look. What's the length of that blade? It looks pretty substantial

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Thanks Drew, I've always been partial to black and brass.  Blade is 31 mm long, just shy of 6 mm thick at the base.  It is thinner than what I was shooting for, but I drew it out a little too aggressively and lost some spine thickness in order to keep the width I wanted - live and learn.  I'll make my next one a stouter 8-9mm, maybe it will be a double edged one.

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