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Thread: Dionach - 15th Century Scottish Sword Replica

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Western Australia

    Dionach - 15th Century Scottish Sword Replica

    Hi Folks
    I made time to fit this sword in to my custom schedule because I love it. I call it Dionach - Gaelic for "Protective"

    It's so elegant, and unique. And interesting too - it's got a very long blade for a single hander. The museum piece measures 34.5" but you can see thet the tip has deteriorated considerably, so I made mine 35.6", and gave it a thrusting tip, as most of the swords in the 15thC were engineered for the thrust, and it only follows with this profile taper. 35.6" is a very long blade for a single hander, but you can see it is very slender, almost like an early rapier blade. However it has a lenticular cross section for the cut. I guess it most closely fits the Oakeshott type XIII category if you had to place it? I reckon XIII due to the lenticular cross section. If it were diamond it'd go straight to XVI.
    The other mod I made to the blade was to add 1mm breadth down each edge, to account for the decay.

    The quillions are quite delicate, gently lobed, and the main block is quite slender as is the delicate peak. Very Elegant.

    The pommel being concave is unusual. Actually the pommel is the main area I took liberty - as I machined a solid pommel, whereas the original was hollow. Like a thin ring pommel with side plates welded on. Maybe I'll try that if I were to make it again. This has added a little bit of weight but has brought the balance back in to 6", whereas the museum piece has a POB at 9", though noting the grip is absent.

    I got to have some fun on the grip. Being absent on the original left room for artistic expression. I chose Gaboon Ebony. This african wood, the blackest of all woods, has a scottish heritage being the long favored choice of wook used in Bagpipe making. I adorned it with a scottish thistle, and a 'ferrule' of celtic knotting.

    I've been a fan of this piece for years and wanted to finally have a reasonable facsimile to experience and enjoy. One of the first swords I bought on the production marker was along these lines, but it didn't go well. But now I can finally scratch my itch and feel it for real. And I like it, though I won't keep it.

    The webpage has heaps more pics:

    Weight: 1305g (2lb 14oz)
    Length: 1083mm (42.7")
    Blade Length: 905mm (35.6")
    Grip Length: 101mm (4")
    Guard Width: 164mm (6.45")
    Blade Width: 37mm (1.45")
    Blade Thickness: At Base: 5.5mm (0.216") > 2" before tip: 3.6mm (0.141")
    Point of Balance: 153mm (6")
    Hilt Node of Percussion: 4cm (1.6”) behind guard.
    Centre of Percussion: ~66cm (26") from guard
    Blade: 9260 high carbon steel. Oil quenched and then tempered twice for hardness ~ 52Rc
    Grip wood: Gaboon Ebony
    Hilt Furniture: Mild Steel
    Tang is peened into the little button on top.
    The guard is backpeened. The hilt is also filled with Epoxy.

    If I were to comment on the specs, I'd note that the 6" pob gives such a long blade better than expected livelyiness and quickness. The pommel while quite large and heavy (being solid) tunes the hilt node of percussion right in the middle of the grip, and the primary node of percussion is quite a long way out. Most COP's are 60-65% of the balde length, but this one is 73% out, which is adding to the reach of the long blade.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Hot damn, that is awesome Brendan. I just love it being a historical replica

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Best one yet,B,
    Really good job,
    classic piece,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Northwest US
    Kudos on this and your craftmanship. Very well executed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Western Australia
    Thanks folks. I've been hot for this sword for years and it's so good to be able to experience this form.

    I tracked the making of this sword and a 15th Century Irish sword step by step with hundreds of photos, for an e-book I'm writing. It will be called "Making Swords Without a Forge" or something along those lines. Basically I wanted to make a guide to empower anyone who is handy in their workshop to be able to express themselves through sword art.

    I just need to squeeze in time to write it

  6. #6
    Very Nice!! Nice to see a historical blade from you. I would definitely try the hollow pommel version, I think you may end up liking the balance better

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Western Australia
    Yes, once I get my TIG fully sorted I'll be able to fabricate one nicely. I'd be curious to feel the difference - much like an Irish sword ring pommel I imagine. I've just finished a nice 15C Irish Bastard, but I can't show it off yet. For sure I'm getting quite interested in doing historically accurate/plausible pieces.

  8. 'S i breagha!

    Beautiful work.
    "Am fear a thug buaidh air fhein, thug e buaidh air namhaid."

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