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Ross Vosloo

First sword, let's go for broke... RAPIER WIP

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Hi all,

So, I'm about 2 and half years down the rabbit hole with a fair amount of knives made. So it's about time to embark in my first sword.

Not being the type to walk before running, I thought about what sword I would really like to make, not about what sword I could actually make. Walking is over rated anyways. 

 

So here's the plan. I'm bang on six feet tall, and according to research, a rapier wants to come up to your belly button. On me, that's 110cm overall length. 

I'm starting with 12mm round 1070 steel. After the first round of forging I have a preform that's up to length, and consistently about 20mm wide and 4-5mm thick across its length. I've yet to forge in some distal taper. 

So here is my first question to you guys: rapier width. Is 20mm across wide enough? 

 

Picture time 

12mm round 1070 in the forge

20191104_145238.jpg

 

After about 50% of preform done

20191104_145414.jpg

 

About 90% done

20191104_153116.jpg

 

Complete preform

20191104_153951.jpg

 

This last pic is my idea of how the swept hilt will look. Long ways from this yet, but always good to have a plan, right?

Screenshot_20191102-110045_S Note.jpg

 

So, thoughts? I will keep this thread updated as I go, but always nice to have input from those who have walked the path before... well, run the path :D

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Best of luck and love your handle drawing. Look forward to seeing your progress.

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20mm wide by 5mm thick at the ricasso is within the range of historic rapiers, but a little on the wimpy side.  They tend to be quite stout at the hilt, like 25mm wide by 6 to 7mm thick, expanding to 30-35mm when the bevels start.  Distal taper varies, but it's never linear.  

 

That said, the one Reichswert (a sort of sword-hilted rapier thingy popular in the southern German states) I have made was about your dimensions, though, and it handled like a dream.  Go for it!  B)  Forging them is easy, finishing them is another level of fun. ;)

 

Here's my one long pointy one prior to adding the grip and pommel, 44" equals 111 mm cm (edited 'cause I goofed!):

 

reichschwert 1.jpg

 

and the grip:

 

sword grip.jpg

 

I can't wait to see how you do with one!

 

 

Edited by Alan Longmire
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Good luck Ross!  I'll be following along.

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Definitely watching this one. 

1 hour ago, Clifford Brewer said:

I was just about to grab the popcorn for ya, looks like you got  it first! :lol::P

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Popcorn And Drink animated emoticon   .... and a beer to go along with the popcorn... looking forward to the next installment of this build

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On 11/5/2019 at 10:28 PM, Rob Toneguzzo said:

Best of luck and love your handle drawing. Look forward to seeing your progress.

Thank you very much.

On 11/5/2019 at 10:56 PM, Alan Longmire said:

I can't wait to see how you do with one!

Thanks for the awesome info  and awesome rapier. I hope mine comes out half as good as yours. 

On 11/6/2019 at 7:38 PM, Brian Dougherty said:

Good luck Ross!  I'll be following along.

 

On 11/6/2019 at 10:45 PM, Clifford Brewer said:

 

On 11/6/2019 at 11:53 PM, Conner Michaux said:

Definitely watching this one. 

I was just about to grab the popcorn for ya, looks like you got  it first! :lol::P

 

On 11/7/2019 at 1:46 AM, MikeDT said:

Popcorn And Drink animated emoticon   .... and a beer to go along with the popcorn... looking forward to the next installment of this build

Thanks guys! Never had people following along before! :D

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Right, update time.

Today marked a big day for me in the forge welding area again, this time cable Damascus.  

 

20191109_192421.jpg

 

So what does this have to do with rapiers? Hold your horses, ok getting to that. 

First though, some details about this blade as I forged it out as practice for what I'm going to do with the rapier. 

 

I started out by forge welding 3 peices of 25mm cable about 8" long into billets. I then took all three billets and forged them into one billet and squared that up.

Screenshot_20191109-192921_Video Player.jpg

20191109_143614.jpg

 

This was the main part of my experiment done. I now know that not only can I forge weld the cable to what i need, but that it will give the look i want. 

 

Here is a couple of pics of forging the blade and heat treat.

20191109_150513.jpg

20191109_152525.jpg

20191109_192410.jpg

 

So what's my plan and what does a cable Damascus knife have to do with it? I'll show you...

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So here is the plan. Currently, mu rapier blade is a little on the week side. Too thin and not enough thickness. 

 

Plus, seeing as we are going all out on this, I wanted to up the anti. 

 

Screenshot_20191109-195121_S Note.jpg

the diagram shows my plan. I'm going to forge out 2 billets of cable Damascus and then forge weld them to my blade, effectively creating a San mai. 

 

This will give me both the steel for the width and the steel for the thickness, plus the degree of challenge I'm stupidly looking for, and of course, if it all comes out ok, it should look pretty awesome too. 

 

Any thoughts from those more experienced? 

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That will look pretty awesome!  Just be very careful to keep the welded cable the same thickness from one side to the other lest you spend more time fixing warps than the initial forging.  Oh, and you may want to bevel the edges of the cable a bit to lessen the chance of cold shuts. Trapezoids instead of rectangles, in other words.

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