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collaboration sword WIP

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Two years ago I got the chance to document several medieval swords with my friend Greg Cimms, it was a epic day in NYC neither of us are likely to ever forget. 

I have sat on the tracings and measurements for a long time now waiting for the right time / project to use then. 

A few months ago I invited another friend of mine Jordan LaMothe down to the shop for a visit,  as sort of a Bussmans holiday we decided to do a epic sword build. 

We began by planning out the build, using the proportions, weight and thickness measurements of the original sword we would build a modern sword. this sword struck me when i first held it with its ballance , Like Oakeshott mentions a a few times this sword felt like a fishing rod in my hand.  With all that is going on in the world I have felt like I have been bouncing off extremes and casting about for ballance, so we decided we would keep to a theme , of balancing extremes. 

we would start with the damascus. 


I forged out a 300 layer random bar Jordan forged it to size and split it on the saw, a mosaic bar by my Business partner Jamie lundell was donated, I book batched the bar ground in a serpent  and prepped it to be  welded in to the core we tried several things to get the 300 layer bar to feel like water, the mosaic is a pattern jamie calls campfire. we envisioned a flowing river of fire through calm waters.  

fire and water. 


The geometry is drawn around the original tracings,  I had a little trouble figuring out one of the layouts points. the pommel width, I thought I had it figured but it was a odd method so,  out I sent my lay out  to my friend Peter Johnsson for a eye check and he redid the layout from scratch (big thank you to peter!)  using all the same cuts as I did to define things (nice bit of confirmation of the method there! ) but  his layout used a much more logical and elegant cut to define the pommel. 


I forged out the blade and we heat treated it in my High temp salts tempering in a kiln, a small amount of straightening, was needed several times during the grinding but we ended up with a straight hard blade very close to the originals dimensions. 


The pommel on the original is clearly hollow, so I began fabricating a hollow pommel the outer plates are mosaic tiles that will be bezel set on the sides this is different from the original, but we keep to the same dimensions and overall form of the original. again the two sides are themed fire and water mosaics


I need to head in the shop but I'll post more later.   










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looking forward to seeing more as I get the feeling this will be another great opportunity to learn.  I have not tried the clamping straight after quench but will be definitely giving that a go soon.

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The rest of the week was a bit of a mad scramble to get an assembled sword as Jordan needed to head home on friday.

I stayed on the pommel and got the plates ground to thickness polished to 220 an heat treated. 

Jordan ground the blade out carefully to match the original leaving just a bit over thickness to polish off later. when he was finished at 220 it was very close to the original less than .5MM change anywhere and other than our blade isn't sabered like the orginal the profile matches closely as well. 


in grinding the blade warped a bit so we took to keeping the kiln on at the tempering temp and hot straightening with gloves whenever it went out to far. I continued finishing parts for the pommel, carved out a grip core and turned the pommel nut. I also laid out the stone setting for the pommel nut. it is a star sapphire. 

Finally we were at a place to put it together, so I brazed in the threaded rod and got the tang cut to final length.  we did a quick vanity etch on the blade. weight at this point is around 60 grams over the orginal. both the pommel and the guard need to lose weight as well as a small amount from the blade in final sharpening and polishing/etching 










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I got a little more done on this sword after Jordan left for home. 

I roughed out the grinding on the guard, then I got the handle shaped out and cord wrapped. I got a quitch etch on the pommel panels and ground the pommel closer to finish shape. I started to lay out the stone settings. there will be two rubies and three  star sapphires set in silver on the sword.. 








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I wasn't able to get to much done on this sword before the holiday, but I did manage to get the guard filed to final shape.  I  had ground out the guard on a 36 grit belt on a 8" wheel just to get it close. I followed that with second cut half 6" round file followed by a #2 swiss cut , I should be able to start polishing at 400 grit other than some piling that galled my finish (old file that I need to replace soon) should go quick at 220 grit though.  I'll get it to 220 before I start cutting the settings for the stones. 




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