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Arming sword wip


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A couple of weeks ago I got a commission to make a sword based on this very beautiful piece that resides in the Art institute of Chicago so all the personal projects were put on hold until I finish this one

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I recieved multiple pictures from various angles along with measurements and a tracing of it and from that I began with making a template in sheet steel, they are less likely to catch fire than a paper one when comparing glowing steel to it :lol:

 

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stamped measurements of the distal taper on the template for easier referance

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And so began the forging. I wasn't too concerned about getting it to a precise shape except for getting a few vital dimensions, namely the width and thickness at the base as it's easier to remove material on the grinder than to add it

 

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The original has deeply hollow ground bevels and if I were to make more of these I would definently make fitting dies for the power hammer to get better use of the steel and lessen the grinding but I began with cleaning up the profile and removing the scale with the angle grinder

 

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I don't know why but I really enjoy weighing things regularily through the process to see them shed weight as the shape is defined

 

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going back and forth between the belt grinder and draw filing the get the bevels even along with the distal taper

 

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Then came the fun part, the original has a very pronounced central ridge that blends into quite flat bevels. I don't have any appropriate wheels on my grinder so my favorite tool the die grinder to the rescue

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It actually worked very well as I grew up with an angle grinder in my hand so moving the tool rather than the object feels very natural to me. by tilting the wheels I could get the bevels flattened while at the same time create the curve up to the ridge

 

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steadily losing weight

 

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the came the long process of evening everything out with several different sanding blocks, files and a whole audiobook

 

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the shape of the blade made it awkward to clamp in my normal fixtures but carving room for the ridge in a block of wood worked very well

 

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Edited by Bjorn Gylfason
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Once I got everything reasonably even and sanded to 240grit it was time to fire up the heat treating drum

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having such different thicknesses throughout the blade had me concerned about it twisting or warping so straight out of the quench I clamped it between the tww precarved pieces of wood to hold it straight while cooling down completely and it worked a charm

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cleaned the blade up, tempered and left it at 150 grit for now. will do the final sanding only when its time to assemble

 

So next in line is the guard.

My blacksmithing skills are still mediocre so started by milling a slot as a guide and then grind the profile in

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then I made a drift slightly smaller than the tang to open the slot up and slightly push material out to the sides where I needed it

 

 

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then after some filing and cleaning to get it about 90 percent of the way I hot fitted it to the blade itself

 

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then I had fun with grinder and files with pictures and measurements as a guide

 

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Edited by Bjorn Gylfason
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Happily it was time to work inside in the warmth for a little bit as having the blade and cross to shape I could begin on the scabbard core.

 

the sides are made up of four layers of 0.4mm thick plywood glued and clamped around the blade. which reminds me I need to buy more clamps, there are never ever too many clamps :lol: and the dogs are not very interested in the work as it keeps me from petting them

 

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next a spacer strip along the edge and even more gluing and clamping

 

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profile cleaned up on the belt grinder and the edges rounded a bit so ready for the linen covering

 

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and core covered in linen so time to get back out into the workshop

 

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The original pommel is very large in all dimensions compared to the rest of the sword and some light calculations put it at over 600 grams if it were solid and thats heavier than the blade itself is :lol:

 

dug around my pile of steel and found a rod in the appropriate outer diameter, cut it down and put it on the lathe to drill it out. then looking at the pictures the centre band tapers towards the grip which was quick work on the belt grinder once the tang holes had been drilled

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after filing the slots about 90% of the way I paint the tang with a marker and tap the pommel on to see where to file on the tang. Will get it 99% of the way there so it will have a slight wiggle room to settle down on the tang when its time to peen it

 

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starting to look a bit like a sword though there are still grams to be removed here and there

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Im still working on the pommel caps but think I have the right idea. 3mm steel sheet formed into discs with my high tech dies

 

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and right now working on chiseling in the flower motifs

 

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I just love it. I love the ingenuity and the low-tech solutions that work perfectly, the whole process is just great.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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Had to rethink the fixture for chiseling the shape into the cups as even though they are only 3mm steel it is a bit too thick to work cold in such small shapes. 

 

Drilled a few millimeters into the plate so the cups edges rest in the channel and don't deform while I heat small spots and hammer them in. I don't need do go very far with this but just enough to then file the rest into shape without having very thin weakspots

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The workshop is way too cold right now for any delicate precision work so brought the needle files and vise with me to the living room :lol:

 

Right now focusing on blending out the middle of the lines as they seem most prominent on the original before adding in the small lines at the bottom of each. These are pretty annoying shapes to hold securely for filing but also in a shape that I feel like I need to finish filing them before brazing them to the ring portion of the pommel

 

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Amazing work so far, light years beyond my skills. Thanks ( again) for detailing the project so closely. I use a trick for Holding those annoying things that you can't vice or clamp up to work on, I use a smaller ID pipe then the piece and cut heavy rubber strip's (enough to contact at least3 sides of the work piece) jam them into the end cut "barbs" halfway through them stuff the job between and clamp it with rope or wire to pull the rubber tight.

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I'm still trying to figure out how that dye is used to form the halves of the pummel.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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2 hours ago, Doug Lester said:

I'm still trying to figure out how that dye is used to form the halves of the pummel.

 

Doug

Look up either Dapping or Sinking in metalworking.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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Spent a bit of time filing the cups and the took the to the torch and chisel again to get the lower details in. Then some more filing and sanding before getting them brazed to the ring

 

One day I'll learn to put down some really clean silver brazing but today is not that day so it will need some filing and sanding before getting brassed. 

 

I did manage to shape the cups with a tilt similar to the original so they taper in the opposite direction of the rings taper

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Excellent work.

 

Thanks for the guided tour.

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23 hours ago, Bjorn Gylfason said:

One day I'll learn to put down some really clean silver brazing but today is not that day

Probably a stupid question, but have you tried tinning one surface first, mounting the second piece and heating it until the solder melts?

Edited by Joshua States

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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Hmmm, no never thought of that. Will definitely give it a try next time I braze something. On this one the main issue was I thought I had ran out of my 1mm silver rods so used 2.5mm instead so getting big blobs that was hard to make flow out. When I was putting the brazing stuff back in place I of course found another 1mm rod :rolleyes::lol:

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Got the pommel brassed today. Was asked to age and distress the whole thing so might take a few rounds of brushing brass on and then rubbing it off the high spots and see where it will lead.

 

Also began on the filework on the crossguard.

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Bjorn

When you complete this project you should have it photographed side by side with the original sword.  I bet the folks at the Chicago Art Institute will pea themselves.  You're a bad ass Mofo!  

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14 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

This is such a great topic!  

 

I try not to disappoint :lol: doing a detailed step by step also helps me remember what I was doing for when I'm finished I had promised to put together a file showing the build process and thoughts behind it

 

21 minutes ago, Doug Webster said:

Bjorn

When you complete this project you should have it photographed side by side with the original sword.  I bet the folks at the Chicago Art Institute will pea themselves.  You're a bad ass Mofo!  

 

Even though it will deviate a bit from the original with the grip as per request the commissioner has actually talked about the possibility of either going himself with it or sending the sword over to the museum for a side by side comparison and hopefully many pictures taken

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