Neil Burridge's Ewart Park stijl zwaard generatie 1

Dit zwaard heb ik gegoten tijdens een bezoek aan Neil Burridge. De methode van het gietproces is beroepsgeheim,
dus daar kan ik niets over zeggen, anders dat er niet van bronstijd materialen gebruik is gemaakt. Het resultaat is echter
een zeer fraaie authentieke reproductie, beter dan wat er momenteel te koop wordt aangeboden. Neil verkoopt een
verbeterde versie van dit zwaar op zijn site:

The blade

Found:  Figsbury Ring, UK
Age: late bronzeage (Ewart Park fase)

This sword was found inside a hillfort. Hillforts are basically hills that are chosen for settlement, with defenses like palisades or ditches and banks. 

The casting result
This is the sword straight from the mould. As I still have a large amount of other bronzes to finish, I decided to do this one using modern tools to speed up the process. 

After grinding and polishing
The feed and flash are removed, and the blade has been ground down to reduce the weight by about 200 grams, and the blade has been polished. 

Holes for attaching the hilt plates
Holes are drilled for attaching the two hilt plates. The edges are also hardened by hammering. With this we also attempted to get the same edge geometry as on the original blades. This turned out reasonably well, though there is still room for improvement.

The hilt

Only very few swords of this type are found with remains of the hilt. This is the most complete sword I know. The pommel and hilt edge are made from bronze, and therefore preserved. It's very likely that the fully organic hilts had the same shape, but made from wood or other organic material. 

Hilt parts before attachment
The hilt is made from oak. It consists of two hilt plates and a pommel, which will be attached to the back of the hilt. 

Hilt plates attached.
The hilt plates are attached using rivets. Now only remains attaching the pommel. There are no clues to how these were attached, so for this I had to find a solution myself. It's clear that no rivets were used, and that it wasn't attached to the metal part of the hilt, which stops right before the pommel. So my solution was to extend the wooden hilt plates, and use the gap for inserting a blind wedge. By hammering on the pommel, it drives the wedge down, and clamps the pommel onto the hilt. This worked out very well, and therefore a likely method of how it was done on the original swords.

And the sword is (almost) finished
The sword is now finished, aside from a final sharpening of the edges. I've also done a lot of work on the scabbard, which will also be made from oak.

The scabbard
The scabbard is made from the same wood as the hilt. It's loosely based on the full wooden scabbards from Denmark. These were originally lined with untanned fur on the inside. But I haven't got any, so I had to do without. The two parts are glued together with hideglue. The tanning acids from the oak wood appear to leave green stains on the bronze, so next time I won't be using oak in combination with bronze. 

The completed sword and scabbard
Aside from the belt, the sword and scabbard are now fully finished. The sword is sharpened, and is ready for use. The sword now weighs 980gram. This is a bit on the high side, though not outside the range of the original swords. But it means that you have to be build quite strong to be able to handle this sword well. I'm not, so I prefer the lighter versions. But I can imagine that to a hardened farmer and or chieftain this must have been a formidable weapon!