First, you could read my
Mostly e-mail comments I've made to other or potential swordmakers.
Also check out these
ON-Line Information Sources
Author: david_gallowglass author profile Email:email@example.comDate:1998/08/23Forums:alt.armourers view for ------------------------------------------------------------------------ In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com wrote: > Actually, Iain, I can talk about mail as well, but I'm trying to learn about > plate armour myself..... how *DO* you cold dish knees and elbows? I have a > quite damned limited supply of tools, (that, and my 7 year old seems to have > been playing with my tools and lost my favorite 7 pound round-face sledge) > <pout> I use disgarded Aluminum street signs as my working material...(about > 12 to 14 gauge) Dafyd ------------------------------ You're driving down the > road and instead of street signs you see Armour Trees.... > ------------------------------ Cold-dishing, Huh? First you need something to use as a dishing stump. This is usually a wooden stump, about 16" high with a diameter of 10 to 18". A curved depression is carved in one face (semi-hemispherical), about 6" across and about 3" deep for knees and elbows. A sheet of metal is cut to the approiximate flat shape of the desired piece. Hold the metal over the depression, and beat it with a round-faced mallet until in the desired shape. Lots of little tricks involved. A broad faced hammer is slower, but gives a better finnish. ( I use a wooden mallet, 2 1/2" across, hemispherical face, about 7 ounces on a 16" handle to work 16 gauge stainless.) Start in the center of the peice and spiral in and out. Don't rush. If you start to get a wrinkle, work on that area to remove it before continuing.
There's a really good but huge FAQ-type file (about 3 or 4 megabytes) from another armour discussion group at the Arador Armour Library. You can find the (new) Arador Armour Library at
http://www.arador.com It has a terrific amount of information! Also if you would like to know how to make, or already make, armour and would and would like to learn or talk about it stop on by the discussion
forum at http://www.brothersgrymme.org/arador/forum/index.html
I copied a collection of discussion-group postings about bladesmithing from the SCA system called RIALTO.
Excellent websites to visit:
Added 1/2/1999 Grinding the (Japanese style) blade: read the article by Bob Engnath on the problem of creating taper in a long blade with ridge line. Go to http://www.knives.com/grind.html and read it. He has an article on "sword proportions: at http://www.knives.com/prop.html as well. There are about a dozen knife and sword making pages all together at this site, http://www.knives.com/sword.html .
Added 1/2/1999 There's a new online magazine for sword people! And sword makers, not just "players!" Be sure to check out http://swordforum.com/
Added April 12, 1999 Some more links from my favorites folder:
Sword Class - D. Fogg Knives: http://www.dfoggknives.com/sword.htm (see below!)
Added June 13, 1999 The Japanese Sword Index. A very large site devoted strictly to Japanese Swords. Even some info I still have to investigate about identifying and translating Japanese sword signatures. Also see http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/nihonto.htm
A page like mine, from Germany, called How to cast a Schläger Swept Hilt Rapier is at http://fs.spinfo.uni-koeln.de/~dieke/wolfsau/fechten/hilt/how.htm. It's really about bending and welding one, just like my Rapier Hilt Page, not about actually casting with molten metal.
Added June 14, 1999:
Sword Forum Online Magazine articles:
Basic Japanese Sword Forging
Differential Heat Treating on Broadswords
The Making of Medieval Swords
Sword Shop: Basic Forging of a Katana Blade Form - An illustrative guide to forging a Japanese-style blade. by Randal Graham
Is Stainless Steel Suitable for Swords?
And there's more!
North Texas Blacksmith Association web site has projects and plans at http://home.flash.net/~dwwilson/ntba/archive/, with information on types of scrap steel at http://home.flash.net/~dwwilson/ntba/archive/junksteel.html and even plans for gas forges at http://www.flash.net/~dwwilson/forge/fgpl.html. Be sure to check out their plans for the simple home-made bending jig at http://home.flash.net/~dwwilson/ntba/archive/bjg/
Warner Custom Knives - Beginner's Instructions [very helpful! Includes lists of needed tools, help on learning forging] http://www.warnerknives.com/Beginners.htm and be sure to check out the rest of the site too.
Added March 30, 2002
A blacksmithing website with lots of info, including a new page about armor and swords.
Here's a quote from the page:
We get a lot of questions about armor at anvilfire. Probably more questions about swords than any other. We have now posted our first sword article and promise more in the near future.
Added November 11, 2002
Making a sword scabbard pt.2 http://iilg.org/lkb/articles/faq75.html
Discussion Groups On Line
A sword discussion bulletin board called Medieval Sword Reader's Forum is
http://www.vikingsword.com/wwwboard//index.html and it would be worthwhile to check there for more information. Several people on it say that they make swords.
Added June 14, 1999:
Another sword discussion bulletin board, called The Internet Sword and Medieval Weapons Discussion Group has some NetSword Discussion Forums. It has a section on 'Simplifed Weapons Making.' There is also a long series on modifying an inexpensive Katana blade and making a new hilt and scabbard for it. There is http://netsword.com/ and the discussion forums selection at http://www.netsword.com/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi. The 'Technical Discussions' section includes such topics as Weaponsmaking Simplified and Weapons Performance. NetSword has swordsmen, sword smiths, armourers, weapons makers, collectors, re-enactors, historians and enthusiasts all posting to our little group, so come and join in. You are always welcome! http://netsword.com/forum.html.
Added June 16, 1999:
Don't even THINK about skipping over Sword Forum Online Magazine's Café http://swordforum.com/cafe/rules.html . It's for bladesmiths! If you don't read this, there's no hope for you as a swordmaker! (There's a separate group for general sword discussions.) I saw threads on making your own anvil (which is simple and does NOT need a horn!), detailed discussions on the different types of steels and their suitability and heat treating, and other very useful topics.
Added June 25, 1999:
Blade steels, steel analysis and heat treating methods http://www.cancom.net/~hnilica/metals.html
Added November 1, 1999:
Videos! I just ran across an announcement for a series of several videos dedicated to sword forging in great detail. The put lots of photos AND a couple of video clips on their page, though, so it takes a very long time to load! Here's their description:
Video sales of Making Charcoal, Folding and forge welding the steel, Forging a Tanto to shape, Clay coating the blade, final hardening, are available at $35 each that details the process and tools from beginning to end. Currently five VHS tapes are available, each about an hour long. Other Subjects to follow. Email for mailing address firstname.lastname@example.org
Read his description in a newsgroup posting at http://x43.deja.com/getdoc.xp?AN=529721718&CONTEXT=941413183.1153957934&hitnum=1 or go to http://home1.gte.net/fannin/index.htm to see for yourself.
For hilt pictures for patterns, check these sites:
Black Rose Creations http://www.blackrose-creations.com/. Be sure to see the 41 styles on the 'hilts' page and the descriptions and dating on the 'documentation' page.
Alchem Incorporated http://www.en.com/alchem/ has some nice 'Re-enactor Fencing Rapiers and Bucklers' including two cup-hilt rapiers, two side-ring daggers and a Main Gauche dagger.
Swords From Toledo http://www.intercom.es/espadas/ has some beatuiful color pictures. They also have prices shown in US dollars, although their address is in Spain.
Swords and rapiers in pictures at <A HREF="http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/main.htm">Darkwood Armory - Directory</A>
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