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Pompeii Sword Reconstruction Thread
Hi Samual,

Makers marks in Roman times are rare! Punching in the full name would more likely be the owner then the maker. Perhaps just put Sec.Fec. or Secvndvs Fecit.

Cheers, Robert
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum

Robert P. Wimmers Big Grin
I know some pommels only had a washer but I love the brass nut in many different shapes from rounded button to fancy mushroom. What I have access to Sam is old brass air or welding fittings. I look for those that have small inner diameters then drill and tap a 6mm threaded hole and attach it to a piece of threaded rod. I put that in a drill and hand shape it like on a lathe using a combination of round and flat files then polish it up. Once finished you can file or drill it to the size or shape to fit the tang. Works easy and really cheap. I'm all for recycling and don't spend money unless I really need to.

Just a few of the nuts made from fittings
[Image: pommelnuts.JPG]
Hey I will get around to replying to more soon, but while you're around I have a question-

Do you varnish the hilt? I mean, I wouldn't think so, but the wood really doesn't stay looking wonderful on the grip. I may have to switch to a lighter and less porous wood that doesn't allow dirt to penetrate to easily.

Also about the budging of the grip on the tang. Have you ever had the same issue, as I am sure many people have had, where the oval hole going through the grip which I made is with a little too much room for the tang in areas, allowing it to move around? Is it abnormal to maybe fit some wood chips inside to close up gaps, or will this all go away once it is all tightened up... What do people do to SECURE the grip?! ahh I may switch woods anyway :-(

Those are some very handsome nuts there! Do you have to peen the tang over them though? Or can you just file them flat? Between the NUT and the POMMEL, there is a washer to protect the wood yes?

Sorry for all the questions, just can't make any mistakes.


Samuel J.
Well I would say there are some very good reasons to use varnish on the grips but historically accurate it isn't.

My grips etc have all been oval shaped with no fillers but I have been working on filing them with a square file. I though about taking a square rasp (most of which are too wide) and grinding the sides off to make it fit my normal 6mm tang, The nuts can be finished off with a small square fike.

Okay about fastening. I would think the need of a washer depends on the size of the nut base. What's historically accurate maybe Robert or Dave would be a better source of information than me, Proper fastening is peening over, I haven't peened any over yet. I have mostly been in a learning curve and have been changing grips, pommels and guards to try better styles, So I have all my nuts tapped either 8mm or 6mm and the tip of the tang threaded, To peen them over makes it more permanent.

My pommel nuts are similar to actual styles but they aren't replicas of any. They're just whatever I could make as an example with what came to hand.
What do you want to do Sam? If you want historical accuracy it will require peening. If you want to replicate a specific style then get all the information you can on it. If you want expert advice on how it should look or be assembled with historical accuracy there are many on here much more knowledgeable than me.
Excellent work Fidelis :woot: You grind the blade The way I would centre line ect,
To answer one question here is one I made for a hilt washer copied from one I own,
[Image: camera287.jpg]
As too secureing the grip I believe the whole handle would be glued to the tang, I have seen swords that have put the handle on with just a washer to keep it all together. They end up working loose, and if you imagine useing the sword in battle the last thing you want is movement in the hilt when you are fighting :dizzy:
The Pompeii locket and chape, most of the photos I have they are made around frames and the picture plates are put into them, they is one I have which is a picture plate locket that is wrapped around the side of the scabbard and the hangers are used too keep it in place.
Keep up the good wok look forward to seeing the finished sword :woot: :-D
Regards Brennivs :-D
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
Thanks so much guys, I'm sure that has answered all, and any future questions. I should have updates soon once I get some more time and resources.

I plan on getting a different hardwood tomorrow to test out.

I will make a mixture of hardwood sawdust and glue and use that to fill in any gaps if the movement in my text piece occurs ( any objections?)

And I am already making the brass parts for the scabbard. I really need to get some AFFORDABLE ( like $7 SQ foot) of veggie leather ( 2-3 OZ?) before I get too advanced with the brass fittings, as that can add a few mm to the scabbard diameter.

Thanks for everyone's help! I learned a lot from my first sword, but I am still learning so please bear with me,



P.S. Tony, I kinda learned from your idea about drawing the line...please don't be mad :whistle:
Samuel J.
Hey Sam,
Just wanted to say I admire your attitude and,work ethic.
Nothing wrong with asking questions in my opinion, it shows that as a maker you care about making something more than money,you are truly interested in making the sword,that will and,does show in your work.

You can refine your technique,you can learn new information about the originals but,without the drive to make the best sword you can,then what's the point :grin:

So,hats off to you sir,don't know your time frame but, I have a blade and,scabbard at the same stage as yours for a gladius I'm making for myself.
I have a day or so of massive forging to do (have a customer that has had to wait to long,I was waiting on something special for his blade) but, if it will help I'll start a thread and,walk you through how I do it from this point as soon as I finnish.
A mixture of wood and glue would indeed work fine, but it will be a bit fiddly ramming it down. As to the washer under the nut, no evidence for those at all, and there is no real need for them, as the mushroom shape provides it's own washer, being widest at the base. Good luck with your project!
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum

Robert P. Wimmers Big Grin
Very nice work so far Sam - as always.

To secure my own grip, I pushed very small oak wedges down inside it and that has worked well so far with no apparent movement. Of course, my grip is bone, so yours might not be so rigid internally.

For my scabbard leather, I used sheep leather, which seemed preferable to some cow leather I also had of about the same weight. You may not find it as easy to get sheep leather if you wanted to use it, but as leather jackets are normally made from sheep leather, I would think that any factory making leather jackets (not the suede type, which are made from split cow leather, or sheepskin coats, which use a thicker grade of leather) or tannery which supplies leather to jacket manufacturers should be able to provide you with offcuts or seconds which would be big enough for your requirements. If you can get it before they dye it black so much the better.

For another option on pommel nuts, I have a photo in a book somewhere of a fluted, near-flat pommel nut still in situ on a sword tang.

Who is called \'\'Paul\'\' by no-one other than his wife, parents and brothers. :!: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" />:!:

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Keep an eye out for veg tan goatskin on Ebay. I got a nice smallish skin for a good price. I used it to cover my greek leaf blade scabbard. I would think that goat, sheep, and lambskins were readily available in the ancient Mediterranean area. (More so than cow leather?)
Cheryl Boeckmann
Here's the finished handle with a brass nut peened fixing the handle together. For the record the brass strip to the side is a part for the locket.
The handle is made from cherry in the middle and maple on the ends. I asked the hardwood specialist if maple was a European wood and it is so that was my best option for the dimensions.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
Samuel J.
Really looking nice Sam. Love the work you've done.
I really especially like the grip and the pommel.
looking fantastic! I can't wait until I can get a sword made as nice as this. Until my basement and land scaping is done i'm gonna have to stick with cheap crappy blades for now lol.
David C
Beautiful Sam! Great work! What will you be using for your finish? And how is the scabbard coming along?

SWEET! Nice job!

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