Friday, May 6, 2016

Making an Elamite dagger, part II

Couple of weeks ago, I went to town with the angle grinder's flap disk.  In about an hour and a half, I removed a third of the tang thickness and completed the primary bevels.

I also did a quick polish to round off the now-sharp edges and highlight remaining problem areas.

Getting the tang down to an even thickness is proving difficult.  A nice surprise was how easily the little chevron shape on the guard formed as a result of adding the bevels, but unfortunately, I don't think the scales I selected are long enough to cover it, so it might wind up as a very small ricasso.  Although it has practically no distal taper before the point, the blade now feels light and sword-like, balancing about an inch in front of the guard, which will likely move even farther back when the scales are added.

What didn't go so well?  The flap disk does the job fast, but it left behind many deep grind marks which will be difficult to polish out.  The flap disk also seemed to produce a slight hollow grind on one side of the centerline.  And keeping the centerline from wandering was pretty difficult...

...  which resulted in this, the blade becoming too thin below the shoulders, where I tried too many times to correct it.  A well-made sword blade should be at its very thickest at this point.  Hopefully, the original grinding wheel can get rid of the flap disk's grind marks and reduce some of the uneven thickness a little more slowly.

With the edges safely rounded, I could feel and sorta see that where the blade should be at its widest, the edges are faintly convex.  As well, I learned from my belt knife project that the flanges don't require that much extra material, so I should make the tang narrower by perhaps a sixteenth of an inch.

I've halted work for several weeks, because I have other things to do and the weather in Bucks County's been cold and rainy (grinding is too noisy and produces too many steel filings to work indoors).  I intend to pick up again a week from Sunday, after my woodworking class ends, hopefully correcting all the above issues.

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