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15th-16thC Messer project


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Hi all, 

Just finished another lockdown project, only a small piece but the biggest blade I can currently heat treat and a milestone project for a noob like me!

 

This is a late 15th/early 16th century messer. I've always liked the little Breughal inspired peasant knives that a few people have made replicas of, and also the Wakefield hangers, so smash those two designs together and you get this. The dates are of course a little out but not by much so hopefully It looks like something historically plausable. I don't know if there's some weird perspective thing or what going on but to me it definitely looks bigger in the pictures, this is only 43cm long, but I think that is about right for the sort of knife in the 'peasant wedding' painting. Certainly civilian rather than battlefield weapon. 

 

The blade for this is forged from 1075+cr, with a distal taper going from 6mm at the guard to 3mmish around the tip. The fuller was roughed in with an angle grinder and then filed in. Hours of fun.  I like shiny knives so this has been mirror polished, though I know this is not to everyone's tastes and maybe not how a real one would have looked. The hilt fittings are mild steel, and the handle scales are walnut. The sheath is double layered with an integrated belt. I am mostly a leatherworker really and it's always fun going against all of my instincts to make something that looks medieval. Goodbye tracing paper and measuring tools, freehand it is.  

 

Anyway I hope you like it! I have a photo of 9 year old me at a reenactment event holding one of these and it's stuck with me since. 15 years later and I finally have my own, so quite a special project for me, and a nice big tick on the bucket list. Any comments or critiques welcome. 

Cheers!

Alex

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Very nice.  I too am limited by the size of my oven as to how long of a blade I can temper.  That's a great job on that wrap around sheath.  You did well free handing the tooling.

 

Doug

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Thanks all 

 

7 hours ago, Bjorn Gylfason said:

did you braze the pommel to the tang

 

I saw a review of a Tod's Workshop messer where the pommel was brazed and wanted to try something similar, though in this case was silver soldered. Not quite as strong of course, but should be plenty strong enough I hope.. 

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I thought this looked like you'd been watching Tod's Workshop. B)  He's one of the best guys you can watch for this stuff.  

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