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Alex Ostacchini

Lots of Medieval Eating Knives

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Hi all, 

 

Here is a batch of lockdown projects just finished. These are all late medieval style eating knives and sheaths.

 

The blades are all just very simple designs forged from 1075+cr, with as close to a flat grind as I could get. The handles are a mixture of apple, laburnum, yew and walnut, with brass pins and bolsters, and the sheaths are all inspired to some degree by originals from 'knives and scabbards', though not exact copies. 

 

Since making the blades I have acquired a lot more reference for this kind of knife, and in retrospect they are a little broad bladed so will be tweaking the proportions for the next lot. Also looks like the brass bolsters are more commonly bent sheet rather than the blocks I have used here.

 

Obviously not the same calibre as the incredible pattern welded swords and so forth that are posted here, but it was a good noob learning curve making a batch of knives like this, and I hope you like them.

Cheers!

Alex

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Nice work!  

 

They are a little wide, but that's no big deal.  Next time, if you want to add some complexity, try forging them with integral bolsters. ;)  Excellent job on the sheaths, especially!

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Very nice project results on both the knives and sheaths. This is the one I would choose for myself as it is very close in blade shape to what I have made for myself as a table knife with a different handle style. I like this one a lot with the little detail of the bolster tail under the leading edge of the (apple??) wood handle. 

table knife.png

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8 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Next time, if you want to add some complexity, try forging them with integral bolsters. ;)  Excellent job on the sheaths, especially!

 

Cheers Alan! Have noticed that you always take the time to offer feedback,  I've seen some of the spectacular stuff you can make and it is greatly appreciated. I would love to attempt integral bolsters at some point, though I suspect my current skills are way off and i'm sure there will be an awful lot of cock ups along the way...

 

2 hours ago, Garry Keown said:

Very nice project results on both the knives and sheaths. This is the one I would choose for myself as it is very close in blade shape to what I have made for myself as a table knife with a different handle style. I like this one a lot with the little detail of the bolster tail under the leading edge of the (apple??) wood handle. 

 

Thanks, only simple things but I am glad you like them. That one is yew and I also think it is nicest of the bunch- got quite lucky with the nice grain!

 

Alex

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Thanks!  Integral bolsters are easier than you'd think.  Lot of filework, but considering what you've done with the brass and so on, you can do it easily. 

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Those look great!  And the one Gary commented on was my favorite too.  

16 hours ago, Alex Ostacchini said:

got quite lucky with the nice grain!

I love it when this happens.

 

15 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Integral bolsters are easier than you'd think.

Here's a sketch of a jig I made that drops into the hardy hole that really helps with centering the spine/tang on the bolster.  Mine is made out of 2 pieces of  2" square stock.

3.jpg

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2 hours ago, Zeb Camper said:

Wow! Those are so clean! Love the sheaths!

I forgot to say this earlier.  Agreed!

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Thanks for the kind words all

 

10 hours ago, billyO said:

Here's a sketch of a jig I made that drops into the hardy hole that really helps with centering the spine/tang on the bolster.  Mine is made out of 2 pieces of  2" square stock.

That's a nifty looking trick.

I am basically still a novice when it comes to forging and finding my way a bit- with these I start with 3 or 4mm flat stock, so the main work I do with the forge is drawing out the tang and the tip, and try to establish the bevels as best I can, but the thickness is already there pretty much and any substantial distal taper I do during grinding. To be honest stock removal would probably make more sense but I really enjoy the forging aspect and would love to get better at this. 

 

I assume I would need to start with thicker stock for integral bolsters and draw out the blade from that, leaving it thick for the bolsters? Or are there some cunning tricks to upsetting a small area in the middle of thin bar enough to work as bolsters? Sorry for my ignorance, that might be a really dumb question!

 

58 minutes ago, billyO said:
3 hours ago, Zeb Camper said:

Wow! Those are so clean! Love the sheaths!

I forgot to say this earlier.  Agreed!

Thanks, I have been a leatherworker a lot longer than doing knives, but mainly Western style floral tooling, so it's always nice and refreshing to try and throw all of that out the window and freehand something medieval looking. There's more than one wonky line in this lot and nothing is measured at all but hopefully that makes them look a little more authentic... 

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12 hours ago, Alex Ostacchini said:

I assume I would need to start with thicker stock for integral bolsters and draw out the blade from that, leaving it thick for the bolsters? Or are there some cunning tricks to upsetting a small area in the middle of thin bar enough to work as bolsters? Sorry for my ignorance, that might be a really dumb question!

The only dumb question is the one not asked.;)  (Well, perhaps also the one that's been asked a dozen times in a row).

Thicker stock is probably the easiest way to go, but it can take a while if drawing out the material by hand.  Another way would be to forge weld the bolster onto the thinner stock.  I suppose upsetting the middle IS possible, but that would be really tough.  

 

Edited by billyO
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When I do integrals I start with round bar.  It's possible to do it freehand using just the edge of the anvil and hammer, but a guillotine fuller or a jig like Billy's make it much easier.  Niels has a video on how he does it, 

 

There was a tradition of forge-welding iron bolsters to steel blades, but that was more common on the continent.  

 

But enough about that.  You did a great job on these and should be proud!  B)

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Thanks, Alan.  It's fun to watch a pro like Niels at work.

Edited by Chris Christenberry

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