Dagger

Misericorde from the homepage.

I am writing an article about this dagger shown on the homepage, partly to make it a little easier for our readers to look at. I have some other pictures also to share so it was a good time.

For any who do not share my tastes in the middle ages, this is a weapon of opportunity and last resort for a fighting man in armor. In the course of fighting in armor against others similarly armed, it is possibly more valuable than the sword. When closing to grappling distance, a dagger on your side can be the end of the fight. No man-at-arms will be without one. The word “misericorde” comes through French, for “mercy”. The edges are quite sharp, however this dagger is intended for thrusting, specifically into the unarmored face or visor slits, or into gaps in the armor. It was made from a bastard file of unknown provenance.

The entire tang is tough steel.

As shown above you can see the original tang of the file welded to another piece. That was a cut off handle of a rusted pair of pliers I believe. May have been cutters. They were rusted beyond saving. I took a piece and welded them together. This was done some years back. If I had better sense, I would have welded on a piece of mild steel or some softer iron. Peening has taken a very long time.

Originally the crossguard and pommel were both made of chain scraps.

There was quite a bit of evolution in the design. In fact when I first began it, I intended to make a rondel dagger. I changed my design after a time. This configuration is more comfortable for me.

Oak scraps make up the guard.

The pommel was changed to a smaller square nut. This was both to add weight and make the shape slimmer. This pommel has a somewhat neat pedigree. It was made from a scrap piece of cut down sword quillon(that is, a crossguard). It was heated, pounded into a somewhat pleasing shape and weight. Then it was heated again and a hole was drifted through it. It is in the process of being peened tight.

The crossguard of the knife is a piece of 3/8″ chain scrap. There is no twisting involved. The lines were cut with a triangular file and the stippling, the pattern of dots on both parts, was done with a centerpunch held in a pair of vise-grips.

You can see that the crossguard was also shortened on the dagger.

When I make a sheath for this I will post an updated article. I made many missteps with this weapon, most significantly using tough steel for the tang. In the future I will probably also cover the grip in leather. I happen to love the look of wood and left this one uncovered for that reason. The “basket weave” pattern was added for decoration and also to give a little more texture for a good grip.

Based on knives made in this way in the past I expect it will hold up to as much or more abuse that I am likely to give it. Files, especially older ones it seems, are made of a very tough springy steel. Not that they cannot be damaged or bent, although breaking seems more common than bending.

I hope you have enjoyed this article, though it is a brief one. Thank you for reading friend, be safe wherever you may fare.

Warm regards,

Wulf

Published by Wulf's Fire

I am a father, husband and smith. I focus on doing a the best things I can with what I have available. This leads to some creative solutions. My wife and three children live and work a homestead and smithy in the swamps of northern Florida.

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