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I Forge Iron

1728 Spanish Sword hlit WIP


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Over the last 8 years I have been asked a number of times to make a very certain type of sword, and I seam to be the only person to have ever reproduced it. The sword is the Spanish model 1728 Cavalry Sword. We are lucky to have a number of originals in privet and public collections, and the original arsenal diagram for their construction. After much trial and error I have found a great way to forge the hilt from one piece and want to share. This technique works well for any semi-complex to complex hilt (with the addition of more rings once the base is forged). Here is a picture of my most recent Spanish M1728 copy (12/2/19), measurements taken from the original #7366 in the collection of Arizona Historical Society.
1728 Spanish Sword 

Now the WIP of how to make it!

I start with a piece of mild steel that measures 5/8 x 1 x 12 inches. Lay out the "center" at 4 inches form one end, 8 inches from the other. Notice on the hilt above that one side has three pieces (pass ring, quillion, knuckle bow) and the other side only has two (pass ring, and quillion), Lay these out as straight lines parallel to the bar. Now for the super secrete part! Draw in the block (where everything comes together and the tang slot is) at a slight angle.



Remove the waste. I use a band saw, but what ever tools you have. You can see I also shortened the pass ring and quillion to their final length of 4in on either side of the block (the knuckle bow is the long piece and will be shortened once bent to final shape)



I mill the slot in the shoulder, but you can also hot slit this with a chisel. Later the tang slot is hot punched with a 3/16 x 1/2 punch which opens the block up and makes a nice swell in this area



Once all this cold work is done, it is time to fire up the forge!
First forge the angle out of the block, aligning the quillions both sides. Once the block can sit on the anvil you can punch the tang slot (3/16 x 1/2in punch). Then begin opening all the arms



Once open stop before you round over the rings so that you can get in the tight spots with grinder or files and bring all the "arms" to final thickness either forging or grinding



Now bend the arms to final position and trim to final length.



At this point grind / file (whitesmith) the hilt, fit to blade, etc. If I wanted side rings etc, I would weld them on (arc or mig) and file to hide the joints. But I bet one of you is creative enough to figure out how to get everything out of one piece!



Thanks for looking! I look forward to seeing what others do with this idea!
If you have any questions or want to see more of my work please check out my website




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I've been considering a swept hilt rapier for a while; but I plan to forge weld several pieces of wrought iron together leaving a slight gap as a starter for the tang hole.  Thought this would be the easiest way, especially as I could pre shape the individual pieces before forge welding the center making the subsequent forging easier.  As I have some high grade wrought iron now I need to move this up the project list.

Always nice to see the ways others approach similar projects with differing skillsets, equipment, materials and goals.

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