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Doug Ayen

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Talk like a pirate day [Sep. 19th, 2005|05:44 pm]
Doug Ayen
Just wondering, considering it's Talk Like A Pirate Day, if anyone would be interested in a cutlass? I was discussing the design considerations with some people over the weekend, and I know it's kinda hard to find a well designed and built cutlass. If there is interest, I'll make up a batch for sale. They look like fun to make.

(technical details: basically, they're fairly thin (about 3/16ths at the thickest, tapering to 1/8" for the final 2/3rds of the blade), with some distal taper, but not a whole lot. Edge needs to be hard and springy, but the back 2/3rds can be left soft to give added toughness. Ideal configurations would be either a Japanese style hardening, which would leave a nice hamon line, or for early period designs a wrough iron body with a hardened steel edge, which would give a nice pattern when etched. Overall length would be about 24", with 4" of handle and the remainder blade. Width is about 2" at the guard, swelling to 3.5" near the tip. Filework optional.)

Also working on a tanto for a charity auction this Friday. I thought the knife was ready-to-go, but it turns out there was blade corrosion, which means I had to completely re-polish the blade (did that at the event) and make a new sheath (tonight's project.) While I'm at it, I might redo the habaki and tsuba since I know how to do a better job now, but that will depend on how much time I can squeeze in before I hand it off to the auction Wed. I have a burl handle ready to go, so at least one bit won't need replacing.


[User Picture]From: justinjs
2005-09-20 01:09 pm (UTC)
What charity is the auction for?
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[User Picture]From: blackanvil
2005-09-20 06:38 pm (UTC)
Red Cross Katrina benefit.
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[User Picture]From: goldilocks_va
2005-09-20 04:22 pm (UTC)
I had to look this up on the Internet to know exactly what a cutlass was. Here's what I found . . .

The Cutlass is the weapon most associated with the pirates and was probably more common among them at times than even a flintlock pistol. Here is the one thing that would keep working after all the guns were discharged; a pistol took precious time for a reload, but another slash wound was just an arm swing away. With cutlasses being shorter than swords or sabres and having a broader, sturdier, curved blade, they were ideal for fighting in the close confines on or below deck.

They were believed to have evolved from the 'Boucan' hunting knife of the French Buccaneers, and the blades needed to be sturdy for the other tasks on the ship like cutting down doors, cutting lines, and dividing pieces of eight. Their handles offered some cushioning with leather wrapped on the bone or ivory stock. (Just to muddy things up a bit, there was also a straight type of cutlass called a shortsword or a stabbing dagger.)
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-04-14 08:37 am (UTC)

RE: Cutless

The pirates volume of the Sea Farer series by time life books has a good picture of a cutlass. Not sure about the history of the sword pictured. The same picture also contains a dog lock musket, dagger, and blunderbuss. The blunderbuss has a germanic style lock of the late 1790's definately not from the early 1700's. If anyone want's me to scan this, just email me at mike.carey@charter.net

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