This wonderful piece of steel was my first complete attempt to create a combat legal sword for steel fighting. This sword is built to SCA Cut and Thrust combat standards.
The sword itself is 1055ck sheet steel, cut, ground and tempered to 43 rockwell.
Most rapiers for SCA cut and thrust combat are typically 48-51 rockwell Hardness.


The sword is made in the style of a german kriegsmesser (war knife), featuring  a pinned and glued slab handle and counterweight as opposed to a conventional handle and pommel.

The crossguard is pinned in place by the protrusion (called a nagel) used to guard the hand. which , in turn reaches through the blade and is peened on the other side, securing it in place.



Working with a professional heat treating company, we arrived at 43 RC for the hardness via the fun trial and error method.

At first we tried for 48 Rockwell Hardness, but quickly found to our dismay that the steel, while it would flex wonderfully, shattered before it bent. Often into multiple pieces.
I had never considered before that different steels would behave differently at the same hardness value! Following this revelation, I had to do some research on molecular binders in steel and comparative toughness.
This being an unsafe behaviour for steel about to be whacked repeatedly on other steel, we re-tempered the sword to 45 rockwell.
Happily, the steel in this case did bend, but not significantly enough for us to think the result was safe before it failed.

eventually, 43 rockwell we settled on. as the steel has a good bend range (45-50 degrees in a vice prior to failure in a 5mm thick blade) This should mean that the sword can take a hit without shattering, and have small bends worked out of it if someone steps on it or it otherwise takes a set.
It was also convenient as as one of the swords came back from the heat-treater in a helix and we had to straighten it.


43 Rockwell does pose a problem though; The sword is significantly softer than the 48-51 rockwell swords out there on the field, so it doesn’t take much punishment before it starts to dent and notch the edge. It works fine, but I suspect it’s lifespan for C&T combat will be a bit shorter than most commercial blades. 43 is just too soft, I think for long life in a sword.
Well, live and learn. I’ll use it until I get a better one, or it fails, or I retire it to a role as a dress sword.

So, pay heed all ye who would make swords for combat, lest ye learn my lessons the hard way.
1055 does not, easily, an appropriate fencing blade make.

The blade weighs 0.95kg and is very slightly hollowground.



p1070654Hello everyone! I’ve been away from my blog for awhile.
In this time, Olly and I launched a Facebook page: Sparkyr Forge to display our recently created projects and commissions, as well as to sell our work so it doesn’t clog up our relatively small houses.1891513_10203555651837248_698323527_o1
[Me and some keen blacksmithing students]

Midway through last year, I managed to go over to a class in Repousse with Douglas Pryor, so with any luck we’ll see some more fancy sheet metal work before long.
[Me looking like a Dork, also Douglas Pryor]

We’ve also moved out of our previous workshop and are waiting for another one to become available to us, so commissions have slowed somewhat.
It’s not all bad news however! a small but steady amount of work has been going on, and I’ll try to update the blog on the major landmarks we’ve achieved.p1080987

In the meantime, I’d like to know: What would you like to see here?
Would you like to see completed projects in their splendour?
Breakdowns of what we’re upto and how we build things?
Tutorials as to how you can go about building some of these things?
Tell me in the comments! feedback is invaluable.

Now: pretty things we’ve made in the past few months. p1090013




Boning knife

Please pardon me for the lack of diverse colours.
Recently I was lucky enough to make a short trip to the snow for some perilous falling down mountains with bits of metal strapped to my legs, and in-between near ankle-dislocating idiocy, I decided it’d be a nice spot to take a couple of pictures of a new knife I’ve finished.P1080754

When you see this knife, the colours of the handle really jump out at you.P1080747

The handle is Easternwood, with a forged Sup-9 blade, Brass pins and a food-safe epoxied leather liner.P1080724P1080713P1080689

The blade features a very careful slight curvature on the edge for a nice, clean cut.P1080686

One of the best knives I’ve ever made, I think.

Seraph Dagger


The Seraph is a six winged angel, the highest order in Christian mythos.
A friend of mine has a seraph as his heraldry so as a gift I built this angelic dagger.



One set of wings engraved on the blade, one set forged in the quillons, and one carved on the handle, with the Halo as the ring guard.

All fitted to a standard Darkwood dagger blade.

Merovingian knife


A knife commissioned specifically to be based on a series of finds in Finland during the Merovingian period.


The blade is forged spring steel and shaped to approximate D6607 in the picture below, sans the decorative fuller.The handle is Apple which has been oiled and waxed to bring out that gorgeous finish.

In this particular find, no handles existed, so the handle shape was based on a find from a similar knife from a similar period in London. (Cowgill, de Neergaard and Griffiths, Knives and Scabbards)
Blade is secured into the handle with Cutler’s resin as a period, foodsafe alternative to epoxy.

Apparently it’s sharp too…

A very pretty little piece, I’m quite sad to see it go.

Parrying Dagger

Parrying Dagger reworked from a HEMA longsword. A nice example of how we can salvage our gear.

Turned pommel, tang forged down and threaded, keeping a close eye on the heat affected zone, then shoulders ground in and crossguard forged/ring welded on.
Handle is a 2-part wood with leather wrap.

Also: we have facebook now!