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"How to" make a pugio

I know i'm a little boring, all the day posting things about pugio, making a lot of questions about it, etc...

I'm actually making a pugio replica, and i want to share with you how i have make it. I think it can be of the generall interest.

It's a long post, with a lot of chapters, so I ask for clemency to the moderators :lol:

Let's go...

The first step is to choose a pugio to reproduce. I look for it at a well know book: Jürgen Obmann, studien zu römische Dolchscheiden des 1. Jahrhunderts n. Chr., Leidorf, 2000. It's a good catalogue about the scabbards, with some good drawings.

I go for a tipus B sheath, because it's plain and looks great and austere.
Then i have search a easy one. 8)

My choose was one sheath from Vindonissa: CH 5 (OBMANN 2000, 25, Tafel 18), ilustrated too at Bishop/ Coulston 1993, 77.

[Image: DSC09576.jpg]
The first step was to transfer the drawing to the metal, with a hard steel point.

[Image: DSC09578.jpg]

Then is the moment to make the channels that later they will be enlayed by the silver. Romans and good replica makers make that wit a engraver. I'm not a good replicamaker, so i use the acidetching sistem. We have to protect the metal with a coating. It's a mixture of asphalt and other elements, available in shops of fine arts. The zones that don't were painted were etched, making those channels before mentioned.

[Image: DSC09579.jpg]

We have yet our sheath protected. Well, the colour is similar to the final result.

[Image: DSC09581.jpg]
Now we put some tape to protect the borders and the back of the iron plate:

[Image: DSC09582.jpg]

And now we immerse the piece in ferric chloride, with the drawing looking downwards in order that the particles that are becoming detached fall to the bottom of the basin and do not stop the etching process.

Now it's time to make the inlay. Romans and good replicamakers make it inlaying a silver wire. I fill the channels with silver solder paste and fuse it with a torch. The photos of that procces are burned, sorry.

To exaggerate the chromatic contrast between the silver and the iron, I have used a product for blueing, used today to protect the hunting weapons.

[Image: IMG_0911.jpg]

That product makes a local surface of iron oxide, blackening the surface.

Now we buff and polish the piece, getting the black and white colours shine.

[Image: IMG_0967b.jpg]
Now it's time to make the wooden part. I have marked the contour with a pencil, both of the metal piece and the blade of the weapon. I have choose a flat table of wood of pine of 0,7 mm of thickness. Not plywood!

And get the chisel and make the carving...

[Image: IMG_0921b.jpg]

And then, i make a channel for the blade midrib with a halfround chisel.
[Image: IMG_0930b.jpg]
Then, cut the exterior contours of the pieces of the table of wood. Glue both and the whole set is sanded. I cover that wooden part with leather, but some people (specially in Germany) don't do it, aplying the metal plate to the wooden scabbard directly. I don't know what of the possibilitys is more "archeologicaly acurated".

[Image: IMG_0961b.jpg]
Now it's time to make the pugio hilt.

Jose Manuel Pastor make me that pugio blade:

[Image: IMG_0905.jpg]

To make a good flat tang blade, and in order to follow the arqueological evidence, i have cut one of the circular expansions of the tang.

[Image: IMG_0912.jpg]

The sistem is well showed at Bishop/ Coulston 1993. Another good source it's L. Vanden Berghe, M. Simkins "Construction and reconstruction of the Titelberg dagger" JRMES, 12/13, 2001/2, 75-85

Now we aply some hard wood pieces, secured with some rivets. That rivets later will be concealed by the metal cover of the hilt.
[Image: IMG_0942b.jpg]
Now, we have to follow the outlines of the tang wit a jeweller's saw.
[Image: IMG_0947b.jpg]

And then, with a file, we make the triangular section of the hilt.

[Image: IMG_0949b.jpg]

And the guard!

[Image: IMG_0950.jpg]
That's the actual appearance of the pugio:

[Image: IMG_0963b.jpg]

Oh! Help! Now i have to make the metal cover!

Actual appearence of the whole thing:

[Image: IMG_0952b.jpg]

Now, it's necessary to join the metal piece with the leather covered wooden scababard, and put the hinges.

A lot of more work. But that's the next chapter... :roll:
Looks really good!

I really like to "How to" threads! Maybe we hosuld have a section of the forum for "How to" only?

Brush-Popper extraordinaire
That's absolutely brilliant! fantastic job. And the instructions are so detailed I feel like I could do it. Can't wait for the next installment.

There is a "How to" section. I'm sure this and subsequent chapters will go there.
Andy Booker

Gaivs Antonivs Satvrninvs

Andronikos of Athens
For your reference, there's a lot of good stuff on the main page at , among which stuff is the Articles on Reconstruction of Equipment (="How-to") ... 11/51/113/ .
Dan Diffendale
Ph.D. candidate, University of Michigan
Great post and a wonderful job Big Grin
Gaius Germanicus / aka A. Ingoglia
One most didactic article. this is the Avitianvs RAT Stile. Big Grin
Wonderful pugio, comiles Lucivs Alfenvs (Cesar 8) ).
Molt maco i didàctic alhora.
<a class="postlink" href="">
Great, great job Avitianus!!!!!!!!!!!!!
laud for you!!!!!
[Image: vexilium.jpg]
Stop distracting him, he's got the next chapter to do :wink: :wink:
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers

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