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Gladius questions
#1
Hi people,

I'm planning on making my first sword and its going to be a gladius, but I have a few questions first.

1.Does anyone have a source on the thickness of originals, preferably on multiple points along the blade?

2.Does anyone have pictures of original plates that are supposed to be inset in the guard? I've only seen reproductions.

3.Does anyone know where can I buy a brass finial on which the tang is peened over? I can't really make that with my tools.


Thanks
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#2
First of all, I assume you are probably intending to make an early Imperial type of sword. If this is not the case, then ignore what follows. Otherwise, I hope this helps.

Unfortunately I can't give you much for no.1

As to number two though, while it is true that Mainz type gladii did often have a plate inset into the guard, pompeii gladii do not seem to have featured them. Although surviving Pompeii guards are recessed as if to accept a plate, these same guards show indentations made by the shoulders of the blades, which could not have been made had there been plates there. Why the guards are recessed is a mystery, but the evidence is there that the Pompeii guards were not fitted with plates.

This means that if you want to make a Mainz type sword, then you will want a plate, which would be of rather thin metal. However, if you plan to make a Pompeii type sword, you should try to resist the temptation to fit it with a plate.

As far as making a retaining nut goes, I am not sure you would need many tools. I made mine from a small piece of thick brass plate, using only a hand drill, a hack saw and a file. Drill the hole first, then cut it roughly to shape with the saw, being careful to avoid getting close to the hole, and then shape and finish it with the file. You might want to widen the top of the hole slightly to allow the end of the tang to spread when peened over. With this in mind, make sure the end of the tang is of an even thickness and the right diameter and length to fit tightly within the hole you have drilled and project slightly above the level of the retaining nut. It should be snug enough that you will need to tap it down into place with a hammer. Then simply peen the projecting end down with a ball-peen hammer until it has spread to fill the widened top of the hole.

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

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.romanarmy.net">www.romanarmy.net
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#3
Great to here you are going to have a go  Smile  I can help on the making of sword and scabbard, but off to work, I have done various "How Toos" over the years. So some thing to read for now, if you go to my profile and look through they are other aspects of sword making I have done  Wink

https://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/thread-12828.html

Otherwise the tools I use are very basic. If you want specific answers to queries post some photos of what you are doing or have  done as it is of great help to those helping.
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
                     Caratacvs
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
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#4
As Crispvs says can you be more specific on which Gladivs you want to make as the shape and sizes do vary. Then I can give you a guide size for it. The pommel nut is also quite easy to make.
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
                     Caratacvs
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
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