What size should I make my replica of Sting?

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bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've been working towards making a damascus steel version of Sting as I think it would fit in quite nicely with the elven aesthetic. My previous couple of weekends have been just building the layer count on the billet, but today I got to do the rough forging to shape, and it turns out I allowed more steel than I needed for it. I had planned to make it as an 'in universe' build, i.e. it would be the size of the dagger in a human hand, not the scaled up version that was used for Elijah Wood. However, forging it out has left it far bigger than I needed.

So, suggestions taken, what should I do? Should I just cut it down and make the smaller one anyway, or should I try and stretch it a little further to make the scaled up size dagger?

I'm sure people are curious how I got to this point, so photos below.

I didn't start taking pics right at the start, so these blocks are all 35 layers of steel already forge welded and drawn down to about 12mm thick.

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Tack welded together for the next forge weld, 35 layers x 5 brings us to 175 layers. Then forged down to about 12mm thick again. The bar's about 24" long.

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Once that was forged down, I cut it into 4 again, and at this point I wanted to see how it was looking, so one of the pieces has been dipped in ferric chloride to etch it lightly and reveal the patter. It's not that dramatic as it's still relatively thick for only 175 layers. The more it gets compressed, the more layers will appear at the surface.

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Again, tack welded and into the forge. Stacking the 4 pieces beings us to 700 layers.

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Here's the billet. Part of this will be used to make some kitchen knives and you can see where I've marked in chalk how much I think I'll need for the tang (at the right), and then the blade. I was wildly out on how much I needed for the blade.

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And next to my cardboard cutout guide.

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And here's where we are. I haven't started forging in any bevels yet. That's next weekend.

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Bluewinters21

New Member
I just asked my brother who is a diehard Tolkien fan. His opinion is to go hobbit sized, no hesitation. Two opposing opinions, sorry that I could not be of any help. The steel might give you it's opinion too.
 
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ScoobiJohn

Active Member
i bought a replica and it was small sized and i got to admit it felt wrong and to small - from the film we see it in human sized terms - if i was making one i'd go big (not huge but something that could be called a short sword)

on a related subject i've been making a sword from the game destiny and had some trouble engraving the design onto the blade - what method do you plan to use?
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
when i saw the title i thought you where making the lead singer of the police:D
That most famous of prop replicas :lol:

I’m leaning towards cutting it down to the smaller size now. I’d have to stretch the tang out a little more than I’d like to make the larger one, and I don’t want to sacrifice strength and functionality.

More updates next weekend probably!
 

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bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
you envisage fighting lots of orcs? :)

actually get it - things should be done right

Exactly. I'm making a dagger. Not a dagger shaped object. And also one day I may sell it, and it will have my name on it. Who knows what that guy will do with it?

Stivie, thanks for that pic! Settles it in my mind. Smaller size.
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
i bought a replica and it was small sized and i got to admit it felt wrong and to small - from the film we see it in human sized terms - if i was making one i'd go big (not huge but something that could be called a short sword)

on a related subject i've been making a sword from the game destiny and had some trouble engraving the design onto the blade - what method do you plan to use?

I haven't decided yet. I may make some engraving tools similar to what I've seen other smiths using, or I may take the easy way out and do an electro etch.
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yeah, I could see that it wasn't engraved in the traditional sense. I may come off as somewhat curmudgeonly here, but where is the skill in what he's done there? He's applied a stencil, and that's it. I'd rather have something that was less accurate to the original prop but showed off some craftsmanship.

Never used nitric acid though. I have plenty of ferric chloride for etching. I might give it a go on a scrap piece.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Since you seem to be well versed in blade making - I've noticed some pommels in the films have been peened, how the heck does the handle/wood not crack or something?
 

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bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Since you seem to be well versed in blade making - I've noticed some pommels in the films have been peened, how the heck does the handle/wood not crack or something?

Peening shouldn't be a particularly violent process. Normally you'd heat the exposed part of the tang and tap it quite gently. It may take more than one heat. Assuming the handle wood has the grain running from the guard to the pommel, it can take a fair bit of abuse as well. It's much stronger along the grain than across it. It's one of those things you pick up, different handle materials all react differently, what will take some abuse if you need it to and what will just break unless everything is fitted perfectly.
 

ScoobiJohn

Active Member
i tried electro etching mine but was taking forever - did wonder if my power supply just didn't have enough oomph for doing something sword sized as it worked well on a test piece - ferric chloride also didn't work great (blade is aluminium dont know if thats why or jsut that i had to put it on with a dropper as didn't have enough to actually submerge the blade) in the end i just used a small sanding drum on a dremmel - not ideal so the grove is slightly wider than i would like but its close enough this time
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
i tried electro etching mine but was taking forever - did wonder if my power supply just didn't have enough oomph for doing something sword sized as it worked well on a test piece - ferric chloride also didn't work great (blade is aluminium dont know if thats why or jsut that i had to put it on with a dropper as didn't have enough to actually submerge the blade) in the end i just used a small sanding drum on a dremmel - not ideal so the grove is slightly wider than i would like but its close enough this time

I believe ferric chloride is ineffective on aluminium. I don't remember where I read that so don't hold me to it, but it could be the issue. As for the electro etching, it would definitely be the slow way of doing it. It usually takes me a few minutes to etch my makers mark into a blade, so a design like Sting would take a while. So long as you're happy with what you have now though, that's the main thing!

Stivie are the blades etched on both sides?
 

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