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Edge Gibbons -- Hasta Pura Submission (3rd Post)
#1
3. I will present both items, beginning with the sword. I made this item, with some assistance from Alex Matras.

I started with a Deepeeka "Celtic Sword (AH4303)" for the blade and a portion of the hilt, a compromise necessitated by our inability to forge the blade and make portions of the hilt ourselves (since these pieces were beyond our ability or means).

To begin, I completely disassembled the Deepeeka piece, leaving only the mild steel blade, wooden pommel, and steel/wood guard. The task to re-create a Kessel-type sword focused, at this point, on the hilt. The hilts of the extant finds feature a number of bronze (copper-tin) or brass (copper-zinc) discs, with were grooved at intervals around their circumference. All authors cited above inferred from this evidence that the spaces in the hilts were filled with organic material, either wood or bone. In this reconstruction, I therefore used 12 cast bronze discs, 25mm outer diameter, with a 6mm interior diameter. These were alternated with wood discs (maple) cut from a 25mm-diameter wood shaft with a power band saw, and then drilled with a drill press to a 6mm interior diameter, tasks that were performed by Alex Matras. The discs were then secured together with epoxy (a compromise) as well as (temporarily) with a nut and bolt, placed in a bench vise, and then the grooves were applied along the length of the hilt to both bronze and wood discs with a hand hacksaw. Given that the bronze discs were grooved, my inference is that both sets of discs would have been grooved simultaneously, and in fact this makes for a very secure grip in the hand. Once the hilt was grooved, it was removed from the vise.

At this point, the metal/wood guard was placed back onto the tang of the blade, the newly made hilt was added, and the pommel was replaced. All was secured with a new pommel nut copied from one of the finds, which was made from a brass knob and shaped on a bench grinder to shape it to the correct proportions. This completed the work on the sword.
Gaius Aurelius Calvus
(Edge Gibbons)

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