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Knife 6

Original
 
Found: Sweden
Age: late bronze age

The original of this knife was found in Sweden, and is the largest bronze knife I know from Northern Europe. Knives as these were the first knives truly meant for battle (aside from double edged swords), which developed into various kinds of fighting knives in the iron age, such as for example the falcata.

Model
To make the mould, a model was first prepared from lime wood (using modern tools).
 

Mould
 
The mould is made using the same methods as the clay sword moulds. Onto the wooden model, one side was covered in clay & sand mix. Then a separating layer of sand was applied and the other side covered as well. The two mould halves were separated, and the model taken out. After about a day of drying, the mould was retouched somewhat, and then put together and covered with a layer of clay, sand & horsedung mix. The horsedung is essential in these large moulds, as it strengthens the clay, so that it won't crack while firing. One of the inner mould halves was broken, as it was left too long on the wooden model. As the mould was going to be held together with the outer wrapping, and this was only a test mould (in preparation for the sword moulds), I decided to use it anyway. The mould was fired for about a day.

Casting result
Just as with the sword mould, some flakes had come loose on the inner surface during the firing, which gave an irregular surface on the cast. Other then that, the casting is pretty good.

Finishing

The knife is finished using modern tools. The cutting edge and point of the blade have been hardened by hammering.

Finished knife
The blade has been attached to a hilt of antler. The antler was put in boiling water for about 30 minutes, to soften the core. Then the tang of the blade was inserted, by hammering on the back of the hilt. After the antler was dried, the knife was fixed in the antler. The completed knife weighs 590 gram, and has a length of 45cm.