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Nijmegen rapier

Original
 
Found: Nijmegen, Netherlands
Age: app. 1700BC

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Model
 
To make the mould, I made a model from wood. For this I used willow, which is easy to carve. It's unfortunately rather weak, so I had to make it thicker then I'd prefered. Wooden models used to make moulds have been found.

Mould
 
Material: clay & sand, fired

With moulds of this size, I'm at the limit of what can be fired succesfully. The mould seen here seemed to have been fired well, but one of the halves was cracked so far that it fell apart into three pieces. One of my goals for this year was to cast a rapier, but due to the continuous breaking of the moulds this didn't seem to be possible.

Casting result
 
As the mould was broken, I didn't expect to cast a succesful rapier with it. But as one of the last castings of the season, I decided to try anyway. The parts were bound together tightly. Against my expectations, I got a complete and solid rapier out of it.

Finishing
 
Here is the rapier partially finished. As the edges were quite thick, a lot of material had to be removed. To save time, I decided to do this with modern tools.