Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Quest of the Wooden Dagger

wooden dagger
For the first project I wanted to jump straight in and build one of Geralts silver swords from The Witcher 3 LOL, crazy I know, so I thought I should do a bit of research first.
Looking into building a forge and the tools I would need, I came across one piece of very useful advice . "Everyone wants to jump right in and make a sword but this is one of the most advanced things you can do with metal"  hmm sounds about right.
I found a large amount of info on Anvil Fire which recommends starting with a simple wooden dagger, only after assessing the reason you want to make a sword in the first place.

wooden dagger layoutIn the early days of Skyrim you smith quite a few basic daggers so this is a perfect place to start.
I had a day off work so decided to get to it. I had limited tools scattered about the place and the only wood available was this off-cut from the new deck, which I measured and marked a rough shape of the basic dagger.

Halving the block
The decking board was a tad too thick so had to split it in half using the old hand saw.

Halved decking board

Successfully halved. Time for shaping

Cutting the basic shape with a hand saw
I used the hand saw to roughly cut the shape.

Shaping the blade edges with a file
And old rusty files for the blade  (need to get some new ones asap)

Fine tuning the blade and guardLooking more like a dagger, I also cut a guard out of a piece of scrap, which I totally mangled, but its a learning process. Better to mangle the wooden ones before moving into steel. Also made sure I had nice rounded corners where the tang meets the blade for strength.

Despite the mangled guard, it still fits nicely, just not ultra tight.

Cutting a fuller into the bladeI originally wanted to add a fuller down the centre of the blade but really didn't know how. I would like to avoid the use of power tools but for this I had to resort to using a grinder to cut the basic scoop then sand the rest by hand.

Shaping the dagger handleNow for the hilt. I was never intending on making a separate pommel for this basic piece so I made the hilt as one. For this I used a piece of pine kindling from our wood fire pile. Rough as guts and I dont have a lathe. So hand carving it is.

Fine tuning the dagger handleOnce I drilled the hole (again with a power drill) I began the blind task of carving . Note. I've never carved wood before. Ever. Its very relaxing, as I didn't notice the 2 hours pass as I shaped the piece.

Just making sure it fits.. Nice and tight, and ready for more accurate shaping.

Almost finished the wooden dagger
I just couldn't work with those old rusty blunt files any longer so went off to the hardware for some new ones. I had a limited budget so just grabbed a cheap pack which contained a few various large files and about 5 or 6 little ones. After 2 hours of cutting and filing its starting to look more like a dagger.

A finished basic wooden dagger
After another hour or so worth of sanding and left to dry over night after being glued together. I applied a final coat of oil and there's the final product. I'm quite happy for a first attempt. I've used techniques I've never used before which took a lot of forethought and patience. I mangled a few things but I'm now aware of the process for next time. The blade is nice and straight which was probably the hardest part. And its sharp enough to slice paper.

Quest of the Wooden Dagger: Achievement unlocked.

Total Time: about 12 hours over 3 days.