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I was working on two W's patterned bars a while ago. One was planned to stop early in the process and 4-way the bar for a mosaic pattern. I got the two bars confused and ended up doing the accordion cut on the wrong bar. The pattern was actually pretty cool, so I decided to make a dagger from it. Then I was browsing a few of my inspirational files and decided to switch gears and make a Dirk. I set myself to forging this bar to shape today. I went browsing last night  through the forums looking for dimensions and such. One thing I couldn't determine with any certainty, was the hilt size, or approximate dimensions of the three portions of the hilt. My forging as of today allows for 13 inches (33 cm) of blade, about 1-1/2 inches (3,8 cm) wide at the base, and about 6 inches (15cm) of tang.

 

Rough Forging V2.jpg

 

I was figuring on about 3-4 cm for the haunch area, around 10 cm for the grip, and about 13 mm for the pommel area (what is the correct name for that thing?)

Are those dimensions about right?

 

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The actual proportions are highly variable, but the handle should be around 4" overall, no more than 4 1/2". Remember that the dirk is held with the thumb and forefinger around the haunches (in a backhand grip the thumb and first three fingers grip the shaft and the pinkie curls loosely around the haunches).

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I got to work on the rough grind and did a final normalizing before HT. Sneak peek at the pattern in the steel.

Dirk is on the left in the pic of two blades.

 

Pattern reveal (1) (1).jpg

 

Pattern reveal (3).jpg

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It survived HT and I am getting into the handle design. Are forward bolsters common on Dirks? I’m thinking of a flat bronze plate and butt cap

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2 hours ago, jake cleland said:

ferrules are common, as is thin plate. Bolsters less so.

OK. Maybe it a semantics issue. To me, a "bolster" can be either a piece of metal laminated to the side of a blade or handle (think full tang with bolsters), or it can be much like a guard, except it has no extended branch, so essentially, just a flat plate, perpendicular to the blade.

 

Thanks much for your input Jake, I do appreciate it greatly. Now you have me tinking about a ferrule. To me, that is something almost cup shaped. It fits over something else which is reduced to fit inside the cup. Just like the piece of metal that holds the eraser on the end of a pencil. How does that work with the haunches? Is the ferrule oval and fit onto the handle, with the haunches slightly larger behind?

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'Bolster' to me implies a degree of mass which the very thin sheet guard plates do not have - they're more like washers than anything. Ferrules fit over a recessed area at the front of the haunches, and can be fairly plain oval shapes - or more commonly slightly apple seed shapes, as the haunches tend to be narrower on the edge side and fatter at the spine - but the nicer ones tend to be tapered from haunches to blade, and kind of folded over the end of the handle a bit so they more fully enclose the blade, and have a slight arc to them as well...

 

dirk 1725.jpg

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Thanks Jake. That's a beauty. I just remembered that I have several pics of Dirks I liked stored in a folder on my drive, so I'll check those out and see how it goes.

The blade survived HT and with a little straightening I set to grinding. I can get 32 cm of blade length, 3,3 cm wide, and a little over 4 mm thick at the spine. My next question is edge geometry and bevels. I can easily take this flat bevel all the way up the width, or I can roll that step out and make it visually dissapear. I still have enough edge left at .035" to go straight wedge or convex.

 

Post HT start.jpg

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