Three Nail Sword

Three nails combined, forged, and hand filed to create a refined yet rugged looking miniature sword in the European style.

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged ironwork.

This miniature sword sculptural piece has the subtle lines of a large finished sword but retains its roots as a rough forged project fashioned from discarded spike nails. The length is just under 10″ and it would display or frame well, function as a tactile-conversational paperweight, or could possibly be used as a letter opener–though not properly sharpened for it. The nails came from a bucket in my great grandfather’s tractor workshop.

As it stands now, this is a one of a kind sculpture because I started it years ago when my electric welder was still functional. To create another, either someone donates a Multiplaz to the shop or I brush up on my forge welding.

About ten years ago, two nails were cut off and welded to a third to form a cross shape and the blade was roughed out. This week I forged down the lumpy joint and the two side nail heads, smoothed out the blade a bit, and then went to work long and hard with a file to bring out the finished profile. The front and back surfaces were left untouched with the file to preserve the character of the hammer marks and fire scale.

Material: Reclaimed steel nails
This piece is in a private collection on Vancouver Island.

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged ironwork.

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged ironwork.

Island Blacksmith: Hand forged ironwork.

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