Tuareg Dagger

Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
2,909
This project has consumed most of my fall.

About 10 months ago I was asked if I could make a Tuareg style dagger. I went to google to find out about them, a people from Saharan North Africa who are known for, among other things, their metalwork in jewelery and knives and swords.

Admittedly it is an aesthetic that was new to me and we exchanged many emails at the beginning to discuss ideas. Then they sat, stewing in my imagination until about September when I began the sketching. Once the blade style was sorted and the suguha hamon (couldn't resist a little Japanese influence... and I'm pleased it came out so centered) it was onto the handle.
I must have drawn 10 versions of this, and then went and sketched some of the jewelry shapes to get a sense of things...

So, once we had a blade and a design:
TuaregDagger_16_zpsb20f9fd5.jpg

(a work in progress shot but the design on the right was what we ended on)
TuaregDagger_17_zps60665531.jpg


I got to creating the jigsaw puzzle. There were many firsts and many experiments on this one. The fuchi like collar piece, the fitting of the domed copper piece, the inlaid handle and the whole butt assembly, the control of the hamon (much more scary than doing a random wild one), the three piece pin, not to mention the sheet copper work...

Here's the fit of the domed collar to the blade. I was proud of this so here's a pic. It was, again, more challenging than I thought it would be...

TuaregDagger_18_zps66562d86.jpg



Here's the preassembly layout. 14 pieces, (16 if you could the two little alignment pins). As I said to the client.. Making these took a long time but it took longer to think of them :p :

TuaregDagger_10_zpsc71ce279.jpg


Then came the sheath. I struggled trying to figure out this one. I went with a mix of traditional styling (if you google Tuareg dagger you'll see the influences) but with a leather base and blackwood and copper accents.
Once the idea of the blackwood slats bound with copper came to me, the rest of the design was clear.

BUT... forming copper sheet is much more challenging than I would have thought. That chape is the 4th try. The problem with sheet is how quickly it work hardens when you bend it so once it's in place and you try to remove it, it wants to bend in an annealed area, completely f*%#ing things up... Man...

So here is what I came up with.
(please note that the copper on the sheath was done today so it will come to match the colours on the handle soon)

The blade is W2 at about 9 1/8" with and OAL of 14 7/8". Blackwood, lots of copper, and leather and deerskin lined sheath. The pin and handle inlays are stainless. Maybe next one will be in silver but I wasn't prepared to risk silver on my first go.

Hope you like it and thanks for looking.

TuaregDagger_9_zps5f042281.jpg


TuaregDagger_8_zps5774f45b.jpg


TuaregDagger_7_zpsc7fbd539.jpg


That butt pin is filed to a diamond shape to match the collar...
TuaregDagger_6_zps08ac6711.jpg


It's hard to see but the edge of the cone is coined as well
TuaregDagger_5_zps419692fb.jpg


TuaregDagger_4_zps6e1599f0.jpg


TuaregDagger_3_zps55674423.jpg


TuaregDagger_2_zps18fd4c5a.jpg


TuaregDagger_1_zps2690b847.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 3, 1999
Messages
1,988
.. About 10 months ago I was asked if I could make a Tuareg style dagger ..
It's so nice Stuart :thumbup:
Just love the precision of the detail parts :thumbup:
If only I were the one who asked you to build it .. oh .. wow :eek:
Congrats to you and the new custodian :thumbup:
And thanks for sharing the shots of the beauty :)

mohd
 

Jos

Joined
Oct 23, 2006
Messages
4,098
Absolutely beautiful!

Wonder how it will look over time... no doubt the copper will change color?

Very nice & interesting piece.

Kind regards,

Jos
 

Mossyhorn

Enlightened Rogue
Gold Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
33,241
Man, what a piece of work. You did an incredible job.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
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400
Great job Stuart,

I don't think I've ever seen one of those before, but I think you definately hit the nail on the head!

-Adam
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
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1,788
Very cool. Always get excited to see what you've come up with when I see your threads.
 
Joined
Jun 23, 2007
Messages
2,142
Stuart,

To have so successively adapted this traditional design, and then produced such a complex, beautiful example shows someone working at the top range of our craft.

I'm truly in awe, and absolutely love this object, in whole and in detail.

John
 

SharpByCoop

Enjoying the discussions
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Oct 8, 2001
Messages
11,984
This deserves about five paragraphs of superlative on every aspect. I won't bore you.

Incredible. Your stature as a maker of renown keeps growing and growing. :thumbup:

Coop
 

kamagong

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2001
Messages
9,292
Fantastic piece. I've said it before, I love your willingness to explore different types of blades from around the world.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
2,909
Wow... What a nice thread to wake up to..

Thanks VERY much for the comments. I really appreciate them!
 

BITEME

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
1,733
Wow, I don't even care for daggers and I think I'm in love.That is absolutely beautiful.
 

Lorien

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
Messages
20,662
Stuart, that is truly a magnificent piece!
Next step, gold and rubies!
 
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