More Pointy Things

Posted 2008.09.25 0.00 in Swords by Stephanie

After the dissapointment with the sword project, I decided to return to stuff I knew and make some knives. I had a few unfinished blades laying around the house (well, after all, who doesn’t?) so I picked a couple of the smaller ones.

The swordy knowledge has also included a lot of related information, including knives and daggers. I don’t have any daggers in my collection (yet) but had been learning about the kinds of knives might be appropriate for different classes in various times in history.

I decided I wanted to make some ‘general purpose’ knives that might be appropriate for lower classes, in the early middle ages. Please note, that although I might sound like I know what I’m doing and talking about, this is not necessarily the case.

Anyhow, so most peasants would have one knife that would serve them for everything. A general purpose knife, that was for eating, working, utility stuff, whatever. It would not be fancy, and would not be made of expensive materials.

My two small knife blades were each about 3 inches long, with long tangs. One was definately carbon steel, the other seems too shiney, but I don’t know what kind it is. Both are razor sharp, flat-ground. The carbon steel one was labeled as being hardened to 52 on the Rockwell C scale.

It took only one evening to rough out the two handles, a second evening to finish shaping both handles, and a third evening to finish and stain both handles. Finishing included a brass ‘pommel plate’ on each one. The carbon steel blade had a tang that was too hard to peen, so I cut it off about 1/4″ shy of the end of the handle. It is held in the handle by friction and a few drops of glue. The ‘pommel plate’ is held in place by a drop of glue, and two small brass nails.

The second blade had both a rivet hole and a peenable tang, so I did both — installed a brass rivet, then peened the tang over the brass ‘pommel plate’.

Tonight, I am working on scabards for the two of them. I’ve already made wood cores for the scabards; that took only one evening to carve, glue, and finish the two cores. Tonight I’m stitching veg-tanned leather over the cores, and adding leather thongs. I might try some simple scabard decorations, as such would not be inappropriate for what I am trying to reproduce. When the scabards are finished, I’ll post more pics.

2 knives
In the above picture, the top knife is the one with the carbon steel blade, the lower knife is the one with the shiny blade. As you can see, both blades are about 3 inches long, both handles roughly 3 1/2″ long. The carbon steel bade is a bit wider, the shiny blade is a bit skinnier. Both handles are made of a dark wood, I don’tk now what it is — just something I had laying around the house. The handles are sealed with Tung Oil, my favorite wood finishing product.

2 knives
Another view of the knives, closeup of the two blades. You can see I have not included bolsters in the construction, nor are there guards of any kind. These knives are designed for doing cutting, and that’s it. Not fighting or stabbing.

Finally, a closeup view of the ‘pommel plates’ of the two knives. You can see the two nails on the first knife and the peened tang of the second.

Home made knives

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