Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm thinking about forging a gladius. It seems to be one of the more esoteric of swords out there, so it makes it that much more interesting. 

 

I'll be going for a Mainz style. What I'm more concerned with is the hilt. I want to keep it historical in construction.

 

Here's what I'm thinking.

 

20191109_193402.jpg

 

Now, from blade to pommel, I'm thinking about using a strip of silver, piece of ebony, another strip of silver, and a large rounded piece of ebony again, down into a bronze spacer. I'm thinking about using either bone or rosewood for the grip, cant decide. Then a second bronze spacer before the pommel, ebony and silver again for the large round pommel, then a small silver peen block. 

 

Here's some color to help visualize what I'm thinking. 

 

20191109_200012.jpg

 

I'm mostly just curious to see what you guys think. Do the color schemes work? Construction seem historical enough? Bone or rosewood, or something else, for the handle?

 

Just looking for input, I guess. 

 

Thanks. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the construction looks historical enough. I suggest rosewood for the hilt and instead of the two strips of silver on the front guard use a wide silver band with some embossed motifs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I vote bone or antler.  Looks good! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input, gentlemen. 

 

Parsha, I wish I could engrave the silver, but I am really not that good at it. 

 

Alan, I am kind of leaning in the direction of using bone for the grip, just need to find a piece that is solid enough to allow me to carve the grooves.

 

Edited by Will Wilcox
Grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if I decide against using bone for the grip, I am planning on taking a few of the larger bones from deer this hunting season, and going through the process of cleaning them. 

 

Anyone have experience with cleaning bones? I know a bit about it. Using hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach to whiten them, cleaning out the marrow and spongy bone, etc. but any advice would be welcome. 

 

Wish my uncle was around. He was a taxidermist and he had a big tub of dermestid beetles. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Will Wilcox said:

 

 

Wish my uncle was around. He was a taxidermist and he had a big tub of dermestid beetles

 

You can buy them on Amazon...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron, I guess more or less what I was saying was I wouldn't mind using beetles so long as I dont have to actually own beetles lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks good Will.  Like your drawings.
+ 1 on not wanting to own beetles.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the gladius forged yesterday, came out with a 21 inch blade, a bit longer then planned, but I'm rolling with it. I spent part of today cleaning it up. Its bulky yet, still needs lots of clean up before HT, but I'm really hoping I have enough tang for this long hilt. Currently have 7.5 inches, was trying for 8 inches or more. The tang is pretty narrow, but I might be able to squeeze another inch of length out of it. Time will tell if its needed, I guess. 

 

I'll probably end up going with a single piece of silver on the "guard" before the ebony, just to save length. 

 

20191123_154421.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work Will

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I started messing around with a chunk of deer femur today. I got a few pieces from a friend of mine who is a butcher, only one of them was really useful to me. Took a few hours to clean up the remaining bits and the marrow, but i think it looks good. This piece has too much curve to be useful for the gladius handle, but I'll be getting more soon, hopefully i can get a fairly straight piece. 

 

I'm waiting on this piece to dry out right now so I can fully degrease and whiten. 

 

I think the curve in this piece is just about perfect for a future bowie! :)

 

The marrow cavity is pretty large, it will probably need wooden shims and tons of epoxy to accept a tang, I think it will work though. 

 

20191124_133755.jpg

 

20191124_134053.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone know a good method for sanding the pommel to shape? It's basically going to be an ebony sphere, with flat spots where the spacer and peen block sit. A wood lathe would be ideal, but I dont have a wood lathe, nor do I know anyone who does. 

 

I suppose i could just freehand it, but it would be really hard to sand a perfect sphere by hand. 

 

Once the sphere is made, it will be cut in half for the silver spacer, if I still choose to go that route. 

 

Just looking for input. 

 

 

Edited by Will Wilcox
Spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can temporarily glue a dowel or screw of some sort into the hole in the pommel that sits/screws onto the tang, you can then chuck it up in your drill press and bring it to shape while it's spinning.  Same idea as a lathe, just harder to use and much less convenient.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm...  that's a good idea, Alex. With ebony being as hard and tough as it is, it will probably be a PITA, but I think that would work better then trying to freehand it on the grinder. 

 

Maybe I could use the same method, but chuck it up in a hand drill and spin it on the slack of the grinder belt? Ideas, ideas. 

 

Thanks, Alex. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Will Wilcox said:

chuck it up in a hand drill and spin it on the slack of the grinder belt?

 

I'd try that.  Most of these weren't truly spherical anyway, more of a squashed oval with the longer axis in the plane of the blade but perpendicular to it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. It will probably turn out that way due to being somewhat spherical, then having a flat spacer placed in between the two halves. 

 

Really makes you wonder how they made these things 2000 years ago, doesnt it? That's one of my favorite things about trying to recreate ancient work like this :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And were ready to heat treat! Bevels are 95% in and machine ground to 220 grit. The edge is pretty consistent in thickness and the central rib where the bevels meet is fairly straight. 

 

This is a very complex grind. The constantly changing width of the sword really makes it tricky, but I'm happy with how it turned out. 

 

I left the tip with a very small flat spot, just because I'm worried about quenching this thing if it was all the way to a very keen tip. The "shoulders" were it breaks down into the angle towards the tip aren't perfect, so some post HT profiling is needed anyways. 

 

I have a good feeling about this one. :)

 

Crappy cell phone pics, sorry!

 

 

20191125_155513.jpg

 

20191125_161544.jpg

Edited by Will Wilcox

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Will,

looks great. Best of luck on the heat treat mate.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck with the quench!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys! I'm going to need it ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had to make a new quench tank for this baby, and future swords as well. The ammo can just wont cut it for this one! 

 

Couldn't find a piece of pipe large enough, and I didn't want to pay shipping costs, so I just got some 2 inch angle iron, made a box, and TIG welded them together. Then welded that box tube to a piece of plate I had laying around, and added some carry handles. Tomorrow will tell if its water tight (I'm confident in the welds, it's not the first water tight container I've made. Cant see any light inside the tube.) After testing it for leaks, I'm going to prime and paint it, just the outside obviously, to prevent rust. 

 

Simple trigonometry says that I have 2.82 inches from corner to corner, which is wider then any sword I can think of trying to make.

 

The tank is 36 inches long. Should be plenty for the swords I plan on doing.

 

Not the prettiest welds I've ever made, but they're solid ;).

 

 

20191126_172757.jpg

 

 

20191126_172810.jpg

 

 

20191126_172830.jpg

Edited by Will Wilcox

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

............................and the two posts welded to the sides are what, handles?

Edited by Chris Christenberry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, like I said, just carry handles. Having it full of oil, it would be a bit cumbersome to carry just holding onto the tube. 

Share this post


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...