Dragonsbane Poniard – Part 9 – The Pile of Skulls

I finished the gold inlay for the eyes, and began carving the pile of skulls just below the dragon pommel (she’s been really hungry lately…)  After transferring my design, I engraved all the lines (above).

Above, from left to right, I’ve been relieving the background around the skulls with a large round carbide bur.  You can see all four sides.

And here are a couple of side views of the same.

Above, I continued relieving the background with smaller and smaller burs (far left), and then began rounding over the edges of the skull, again with smaller and smaller burs, adding more and more detail and sculpting.

And, above, that’s all she wrote for today.  I’ve finished sculpting two sides, and also have smoothed the bur marks out by sculpting (forging) with a flat punch.  Tomorrow, I’ll use a V-graver to put back the tooth detail I carved away while rounding things over, and cleaning up around the edges of the skull.

Thanks for looking!

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Dragonsbane Poniard – Part 8 – The Dragon

Today was working on the dragon’s throat.  I began (above) by engraving large armored plates on the dragons’s throat – on the left is a side view, and on the right is the view from below.

Of course, since the dragon’s throat needs to be flexible, there needs to be skin in between the plates so it can all expand when he (or she) eats a cow or a knight (whole, of course).  So, above, I’ve obliged by using a small carbide bur to cut a “scribble texture” in between the plates.

It’s also time to address her lower jaws, and I think the appropriate thing here would be more scribble texture for her rough skin.  She doesn’t need armor here, since there is very thick bone beneath.  No vulnerable spots here…

And, of course, scribble texture for her upper snout as well.  The images above show the texture before and after adding patina.  Next, I’ll inlay 24 karat gold for the eyes.

Thanks for looking!

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Dragonsbane Poniard – Part 7 – The Stand

I’ve been dreading this part, but since I’m not terribly enthused today about carving steel, I’ll make stands for the knives I’m going to present at the upcoming 1st Annual Seattle International Knife Show.  I’ve decided a Norse-style dragon head would look good, so I’ve cobbled together a plan, and started to make the thing.  I’ve used a Forstner bit to drill the mouth hole, and will use my bandsaw to cut out the head shapes.

Above, I’ve used two large washers for the beginnings of eyes, superglued them together and carefully step-drilled (several passes with sequentially bigger drill bits) five holes for copper rivets.  I go slow and try to keep the glued together washers cool so they don’t separate and destroy my carefully indexed holes – they need to match up on both sides.  I’ve also marked the interior of matching holes on each side so I know how to match them up again.  Then, I located one of the washers on one side, drilled the first hole, inserted a copper rivet to keep that hole indexed, and then drilled a second hole, inserting a copper rivet in it.  Then with the washer immobilized by the two rivets, I drilled the rest of the holes, as well as a 1/2 inch diameter hole for the center of the eye.

In the second image, you can see the test fit with the poniard in it’s rough position.  Looks good, now on to the next steps, starting with gluing the head/neck into a matching notch in the main body block.

Above, I’ve cut a notch into the walnut block so the head piece will fit closely in it, glued it into place, and drilled and pegged three dowels into the neck to keep things sturdy.  I’ve also used my bandsaw to cut the rough shape of the stand.

Here’s a view from the top.  You can see I’ve also cut the vertical profile of the stand as well.  I’ll use my Foredom™ flex shaft grinder and a quick-cutting carbide Typhoon™ bur to round things over.

Here, I’ve carved the rough shape of a Viking-style dragon, and used a torch to “ebonize” the wood.  I’ve also installed the metal eye parts and peened the copper rivets over.  The poniard is just sitting in place to see how it will look…

And, above is the finished stand.  I’ve forged a steel tongue, and lathe-turned a boxwood peg for the center of the eye.  The steel tongue turned out to require a lot of fiddling with to get its’ shape correct.

Thanks for looking!

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Dragonsbane Poniard – Part 6 – The Dragon

The lower jaw looked a little thick to me, so I adjusted it.  The right side of the above image is after I engraved the jaw line and removed the excess metal.  The left, with the blue arrows, still shows some of the excess metal to go.  I want this to look like an alligator’s under jaw/throat area, with a dewlap of skin like she is just getting ready to exhale (fire, of course…)

And, above, three views of the top of the head, where I’ve added in the jagged scales on her top centerline, and scaled up the cranium.

Dragonsbane_Poniard_36Above, four views of how far I got today.  A good deal more detailing to go, as well as fighting with the awkward work holding.  Remind me not to do detailed long pieces next time.

Thanks for looking!

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Dragonsbane Poniard – Part 5 – The Dragon

Dragonsbane_Poniard_22Time to start carving the dragon on the pommel. Above, I’ve colored the steel with a white permanent marker so I can draw on it in pencil. Once I had the basic layout penciled in, I engraved the lines to make them permanent, and then began carving away the excess steel with a large ball shaped carbide bur. “Large” means it is about 1/8 of an inch in diameter…

This is a real challenge to use in my engraver’s vise since the dagger is so long. The carving is being done at the end near the vise, and the long side sweeps across my work surface, bumping into everything, and I can’t turn it in a full circle since I’m in the way…Oh, well…

Dragonsbane_Poniard_24 Above, I’ve established all of the basic anatomic masses of the dragon’s head. From here I’ll begin working on establishing finer and finer details, using a combination of gravers, burs, scrapers and abrasives.

After more detail work and decisions concerning scale layout, I’ve finished the basic head anatomy on the left side, as well as deciding how the area beneath the jaw is formed. Tomorrow I’ll match up the right side.

Above, just to see how things will look at the end, I’ve thrown on a quick darkening of the steel.

Thanks for looking!

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Dragonsbane Poniard – Part 4

Today I’m working on the copper crossguard, adding skulls.  I’ve engraved and carved them, and also textured the face.  You can see (above) the copper rod I’ll be using to rivet the guard into place, once all four skulls have been added.

And here are close-ups of the two skulls I finished today.  Two more to go!

Thanks for looking!

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Dragonsbane Poniard – Part 3

I finally got the poniard to the point I could harden and temper the blade.  It’s been a long time getting to this point!  Above, you can see it “in the white” after hardening and tempering, and then a good bit of cleaning up to remove the detritus left behind by the heat treatment.

I also carved in the waist (above the crossguard), refined the copper crossguard shape, and drilled the hole for the retaining rivet.  While that may not look like much progress, let me assure you it was much more complicated than those few items might indicate!

Dragonsbane_Poniard_13And a closeup of the crossguard area.

Thanks for looking!

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Dragonsbane Poniard – Part 2

I’ve decided to add a crossguard to the poniard.  I like the look of copper and dark steel, so I’m going to make the crossguard in copper, from a half inch thick bar.

Since my 1045 carbon steel bar is half inch by half inch bar, I’ve begun by drilling a half inch diameter hole in the copper.  I began with much smaller drill bits, and worked my way up to the big hole.  Of course, this hole in round, and it needs to be square, so I’ve ground a nice flat on a spare bit of the same 1045 steel bar to use as a makeshift broach to turn the round hole square (see it above laying on the right side of the jeweler’s saw).  To help with this, I’ve used my jeweler’s saw to cut opposite square corners most of the way through

Above, you can see where I’ve driven the “broach” partway through the copper bar.  I’ll work from both sides to finish up the square hole, with several annealings in between.

Above is the completed square hole.  Quite a bit of work!

And here is the rough crossguard in place on the poniard.  I’ll begin refining the shape after I’ve played with this for a while, and decide on how to make it look best.

Thanks for Looking!

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Dragonsbane Poniard – Part 1

Well, the Nazgul Holdout Stiletto met with such success that I succumbed to the Bladegallery.com folks suggesting I make a really big and scary one.  This one is a dragonslayer’s poniard, basically an armor piercing dagger designed to penetrate through a dragon’s tough and thick scales.

This one is more than 22 inches long, and is made from half inch square 1045 carbon steel bar.

I decided a Blacksmith Cube Twist, also sometimes called a Rubik’s Cube Twist, would make a cool looking handle, just like the Nazgul Holdout Stiletto, only lots bigger.  Above, I’ve begun the process by deeply engraving a center groove on each of the four faces of the 1045 carbon steel bar.  I cut a v-groove in a piece of wood to hold the bar “on the diamond” while I cut down to two of the engraved grooves.

Above, you can see the two sets of cross cuts (cut on opposite sides at 45 degrees).  The bar is now ready to heat to yellow heat, place in a vise and twist 360 degrees, creating the illusion of the tumbling blocks.

Here is the completed twist, after wire brushing while the bar was still at red heat.

Above is the poniard after lots and lots of grinding and filing, ready to be heat treated.

Thanks for Looking!

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Helheim Dagger in Knapped Steel – Part 8

Here’s the finished knife.  I still need to make a box or stand for it (probably box?).

Above is Hel, and her dead eye (moose antler).

And, of course, here’s Odin.

Thanks for looking!

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