Dagger 5

Found: Collooney, Co. Sligo, Ireland
Age: middle bronze age

The original dagger is in the National Museum in Dublin, Ireland. It's a typical Irish style dagger, with decorative ribs and hammered in grooves.

Material: soapstone

The mould is made from soapstone. It's actually the former mould for the palstaves, where I used the backside for casting this dagger. Because of this, I was limited in size, and had to reduce the size of the dagger by around 25%. As even smaller daggers of this type have been found, this is not a problem. During the casting, a fired clay/sand casting funnel is bound on top of the mould to be able to cast the bronze into the mould. This prevents the bronze pulling apart the mould when it shrinks as it cools down. No integrated funnels are found on original stone moulds, so seperate casting funnels have definately been used. 

Casting result
It took several attempts, and adjustments of  the mould to get a complete blade. The mould has yielded two blades so far, of which this is one.

Finished dagger
The dagger is finished using modern tools. The cutting edges have been hammer hardened. I also did an attempt to hammer in the lines next to the midrib. The result wasn't perfect, so this wil take some more practice. The hilt is is a single piece of birch, and is coated in lineseed oil.
The scabbard is base on finds from the Wessex culture in England, which includes various daggers with scabbard remains attached to them. The scabbard is made from leather, hazel and sheepskin. The two thin slabs of hazel are lined with sheepskin on the inside, which is glued on with hideglue. The sheepskin gives the dagger a snug fit, while it makes it easy to extract and insert the dagger. The leather keeps the two halves together, and is glued on with hideglue. The decoration is pressed in with a sharp tool while the leather was still wet after glueing.When the leather is wet, the imprints will stay and become permanent when the leather is dry. This kind of decoration is only preserved on a German sword scabbard, where the leather was preserved in perfect condition. The pattern of the decoration is based on the hammered in patterns on the blades of similar daggers.

Dagger & Scabbard
Here the dagger can be seen with the scabbard.