(Please read The Prelude for an introduction)
The book is an old German story, translated as "The Heroic Life and Exploits of Siegfried the Dragon Slayer" by Wilhelm Kaulbach. It was translated into English and illustrated in 1848. I finally found an original copy that was in poor but mostly intact condition (it was all I could afford!). The English is old and romantic, sometimes difficult to read. The illustrations are beautiful, detailed engravings; the book feels magical just to hold. The cover is/was green cloth with a gold deboss of a slain dragon. The spine has beautiful gold script and designs.
The story is broken up into many different adventures that Siegfried finds himself swept into. One chapter has Siegfried convincing dwarf miners to forge him a sword that has no equal, a sword to slay the immortal dragon.
Siegfried learning the art of blacksmithing from miners.
Not knowing much about swords, I started searching the internet and was quickly overwhelmed by the immense amount of information, the variety of designs and the overall awesomeness of handcrafted swords. Trying not to get bogged down and start a new hobby or career, I printed off a few pictures and started sketching. I decided to scale down the sword to more of a large dagger so it could fit in a reasonably sized wall cabinet. I wish I had the equipment and knowledge to forge my own blades but that will have to wait for another life. Therefore, I searched and found a beautifully crafted damascus steel blade from a semi-local knife maker; it would be the foundation for the dagger. I then sketched out the hilt, handle and cap. Rather than go medieval, bejeweled and lavishly engraved like many swords, I decided on a cleaner, more refined version of a dragon slayer with lines that complemented and set off the Damascus blade. I modeled the entire sword in Solidworks CAD software because that is what engineers do :)
Our CNC machinist, Mike, programmed and machined the stainless steel hilt on our milling machine. I turned the stainless steel cap and bolster by hand on our manual lathe. The handle was turned and fluted using resin-infused holly which resembles ivory.
After much finish work and assembly, the sword was nearly complete!
Once the sword was well-defined it was time to design a suitable display cabinet.
Stay tuned for Part 3 - Cabinet Design
It always happens. Time goes into some type of warp speed with the Holiday season approaching. For our business, no matter how hard I try to have adequate inventory, I do not. Whether it is because I do not estimate correctly, my suppliers run behind or a particular tool is especially popular, I run out and cannot ship before Christmas. If you are interested in having something made before Christmas, now would be the time to order. I will do my best to complete orders as quickly as possible. But before I know it, I look up and it will be 2019. What happened? Time warp again.
Thanks for reading, Dave
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Well, I had a busy weekend finishing up the Dragon Slayer Cabinet project.
Check out the final installment and the end result.