I'm working on a short sword much like those depicted in the Macedonian Frescos. The short sword continuously existed in all periods of history but is poorly represented amongst reproductions. This one features a thick blade with a reinforced point meaning it packs a real punch!
Approximately 30 inches long and will probably come in at 1.5kg or so once completed. Lapis lazuli in pommel.
Thanks guys, the lapis I got from an eBay vendor, it's surprisingly cheap wholesale. I suppose if I were a bs artist I'd say it was incredibly expensive but good old eBay connects wholesale vendors with end users in a way that wasn't possible so easily in the past. I got 5 cabochons for about $6 USD! Lapis is really tough too, haven't been able to scratch them for trying.
I get most of my sword fittings - cross guards and pommels - from Medieval Fightclub. I highly recommend MFC fittings but just a warning that some of the fittings (most) need a fair bit of time on the belt grinder to hone. Though they come polished they are not far from raw casts. Maybe I'm just a perfectionist but I rebalance and repolish them heavily. This has been the case from every vendor I've bought fittings from though - Mercia Sveiter and Raymond's Quiet Press too.
While I can and do make my own fittings on occasion I prefer to work with casts which I don't have the equipment to make myself so I tend to buy them. Josh Combs, fellow forumite, is making three Serci Limani shipwreck sword hilts (see the Byzantine Sword section in Sword-Site's museum sword-site.com/board/33/byzantine-swords ), one for Josh and one for myself and a last one we will be selling (as a complete sword) for $2000 USD in the coming months.
I used to take all the hammer marks out of the peen but now I leave most of them on, as I noticed it was a trend of historical sword makers often to leave them in.
Here's the image that inspired this sword - Byzantium's take on the Western European Oakeshott Type XIV.
And here a number of images of the more or less completed sword. The scabbard is awaiting a vegetable tanned, eco friendly, natural sheepskin with lanolin still intact fur lining en route from Germany. The sword itself has been engraved on one side, but because the steel I use is incredibly tough and high quality I'm not satisfied my already powerful rotary tool is engraving it deeply enough so I've ordered a special tungsten burr to redo this side and then the other. The other side will have a floral rather than word based design. If you're wondering the script say Jesus Christ in Greek.
To put in perspective how amazing this Australian steel I had process for me by an industrial guillotine maker I used the same rotary tool and bit to engrave on several other production swords and it worked on them just fine!
The red tie on the scabbard is a lanyard I use sometimes tied up for future use.
Grip is of kangaroo leather, accent in the pommel is lapis lazuli as previously mentioned.
Thanks guys! Alcohol ink on this sword's grip. Alcohol ink has some use in traditional visual art, but works great on leather - though I've found that I have to seal it with wax which has been dissolved in mineral turpentine and then rubbed thoroughly a few days later once it has dried (on the leather) with a clean rag.
Dissolving paraffin wax in mineral turpentine takes a few days (in a sealed jar) even in warm weather, and then after it has been applied it takes about a week until the smell dissipates enough that it can be brought out of the shed into the house, but after that week of airing in a breezy spot I can't smell the turps even if I put my nose right next to the leather. I have some purple candles from Ikea that I use when dyeing leather purple as it complements the colour rather than competes with it. For the same reason neutral shoe polish tends to be a bad look on most shoes (it dries white so unless the leather its on is white it doesn't look that great).
I always ensure the leather I use is wet with water (so obviously the epoxy holding the leather in place [on a sword grip for instance] has to be well and truly dry) because wet leather absorbs the ink more evenly and the dye penetrates deeply, whereas dry application requires alot more ink and it's easy to end up with a much darker colour than intended.
After that I apply denatured alcohol / methylated spirits with a natural bristle paint brush, which makes the colour even more uniform in intensity.
By this stage the leather still retains that great hand dyed look, but it doesn't look rough or unprofessional which skipping these 'evening out' steps achieve - for instance not brushing on methylated spirits after dyeing can make the brush strokes from the application of the dye conspicuous and unsightly.
You can use shoe polish to dye natural (uncoloured leather), but the results are never as thorough or penetrative as using this alcohol ink technique. Alcohol ink appears to be quite resistant to fading (never had any issues) though water based dyes like used for writing with feather quills fades quickly in the sun, and in my experience even just from time. There are some great natural leather dyes though, one that comes to mind is made from beetroot - and even just applying things like neatsfoot oil, dubbin, or vegetable oils to natural oil will yield beautiful brown tones that mature over time when they oxidise; just make sure to include a healthy amount of mould inhibiting mineral oil with these products as the oxidisation of natural products also otherwise introduce microbial actitivity to the leather that will destroy the connective tissue structures of your leather. More on that here: