Collars for 1/4 by 1/2 Scrolls

Collar material should be thinner than the metal being joined. For joining a pair of 1/4 by 1/2 scrolls, a 3/16” x 1/2” collar stock works well. If you make it out of 1/4” thick stock, it will look too massive.

The collar length is the circumference, 2” in this case, plus twice the thickness, for a total of 2 3/8”. Hot cut part-way through, leaving a handle that can be snapped off later.

Stamp the first bending mark just shy of 1” from the end. (To-do, figure out the math for this.)

First Bend. Place the bending mark just above the mandrel in the vise. Putting the stock on the back side helps to see the mark, which will then be hidden inside the collar.

Second Bend. Turn the mandrel long so that the first bend can’t strike the vise. Bend towards yourself again to form the U. No marks are needed for this bend.

Third Bend. This uses the step on the anvil. Bend the short side first towards the anvil’s face.

Fourth Bend. Walk around the anvil so the long side is near the horn. Snap off the excess, then bend towards the anvil’s face.

Final prep. Heat the back of the collar and open with pliers. The back should bend, leaving the corners intact. If the corner bends close it back up and try again. (You can’t fix the corners once it is on the scrolls.)

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Fabris – Chapters 18, 19, 32

Another video on the girata of Fabris. This one covers four variants.

  • Left Girata
  • Right Girata for the Inside
  • Double Girata
  • Right Girata for the Outside
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Ground vs Forged Fullers in Swords

The central grove, or groves, in a sword is usually referred to as a “fuller”. The reason for this is that they are normally made with a blacksmith’s fuller, a type of stamping tool, rather than by grinding away material.

There are many reasons to make the fuller in this fashion, many of which you probably know.

  • When using historic tools and techniques, forging is faster than removing metal.
  • Less metal overall is used in the process.
  • It helps to form taller I-beam like ridges on either side of the fuller, as the metal in the center is pushed up.

There is another that you may not be aware of. Before the invention of mass produced steel, swords were made primarily out of wrought iron. Steel, if available, would only be used on the edges where the extra hardness justified the expense.

Wrought iron has an interesting property not found in steel: it is fibrous. I can’t find a good photo, but if you see a piece of heavily corroded metal that looks like wood or bundles of straight wire laid on top of each other, you’re looking at wrought iron.

When working with wrought iron, the blacksmith needed to avoid cutting the fibers. Holes were punched, rather than drilled, so that the fibers would be bent around the hole rather than stopping abruptly, causing a weak spot.

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Reading a blacksmith’s manual published in the early 1900’s, I learned that the same rule applies to fullers. Had they ground away the central grove, either end of it would have left cut fibers that would significantly weaken the sword at those points.

What about folding?

Yep, that’s a real thing. Even in the early 1900’s, they advise hot working wrought iron with hammers to mitigate the problem of impurities, also known as slag.

If I’m reading this correctly, the fibers are actually caused by slag. Folding metal not only helps remove some slag, it also aligns the rest into long fibers, which is much better than having a lot of short, broken fibers running in every direction. Fibers can also be straightened by “rolling”, which forces the iron through heavy rollers that use pressure to form the metal into bars or rods.

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Fabris Plates 18 and 19 – The Girata or Turn

The Girata will most likely prove to be essential in Fabris, as he places an emphasis on voiding the opponent’s sword over parrying it (though it is best to do both).

Here are the preliminary videos.

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L’Ange Chapters 4, 5, and 6, Constraints

A short video on performing the constraints as explained in L’Ange.

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Buckler Handles from the Wallace Collection

Italy, Round, c. 1600, 21”

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Italy or France, Round, c. 1550 – c. 1560, 15.5”

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Italy, Rectangular, c. 1540, 14” x 13” (top) 9” (bottom)

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Italy, Rectangular, c. 1540, 10” x 10” (top) 8” (bottom)

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Click on the images for more details and copyright information.

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L`Ange Chapter 7 Video

A video on the three thrusts from chapter 7.

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