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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2009 19:36
by Paul B
You might want to post these on to living history forum

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2010 03:14
by Fab
Hi all

A short announcement :

I am now an official, registered, tax-paying bladesmith.

I wish I could have celebrated this announcement with the official launch of my new website, but I am far beyond schedule in that regard (thus transposing an old bladesmith tradition to the internet world). You will have to temper your impatience by checking my 'bladesmith' facebook account :

...on which you will see again (or re-discover) a few things that were posted or discussed here. And maybe a few things you don't know.

The direct consequence is :

I can take commissions.

Contact me through email (please no PMs) and I'd be happy to discuss all possible projects (and planing delays) with you.

Many, many thanks to all of you for the interest you displayed for my work. Many thanks to all those with whom I've already worked.

Going pro is an important move, and not one I took lightly. But I spent the best of the last 10 years trying to understand how things were done in times past, putting my ideas to the test, learning bu using, trying, failing, trying again, and observing, thinking, experimenting, documenting. I think it is well time now that I officially put it to some use - for you. There's still a long road ahead, and a lot of things left to understand.

The learning course is not over. Thank you all for allowing me to take it to another level.

I'll let you know when the official website is up and running. In the meanwhile, I'll keep posting new stuff here and on the facebook account linked above.



Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2010 03:23
by Fab
Another consequence is that the prices listed on the pages before are no longer valid. See, I have taxes to pay and all, now...

Oh well, just contact me. We'll work something out.

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2010 17:50
by admin
Great news Fab!
And best of luck of course, I'm sure you'll have loads of commissions coming in. Most importantly, as Paul indicated, you must start pimping your products on the living history forum and MyArmoury (if the latter allow that).

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2010 17:56
by Andreas Engström
Congratulations, Fab!


Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2010 21:45
by Jose SP
Awesome, and congratulations!

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 19 Jul 2010 09:06
by Oli Barker
Congratulations, Fab!

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 19 Jul 2010 09:57
by Bulot
Congrats, friend, and the best of luck. :)

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 20 Jul 2010 13:10
by Harry
good luck my pal. I won't visit your facebook site, coz I am not on f*cking fotzbook, but asap you will have your website, I guess I will be a good customer :wink:

If you need something, just ask.


Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 24 Jul 2010 11:26
by swordflasher
Same here, look forward to the website.


Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 10 Aug 2010 16:45
by Cutlery Penguin
Fantastic news! I really hope this works out for you. You certainly have the skill and the talent.

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 19 Aug 2010 19:02
by Fab
Among the new piccies online :

A Horseman's Hammer.

The commemorative prize for the 2010 edition of the Dijon HEMA Gathering, and a cooperative work involving several members of De Taille et d'Estoc, including Alain Migotti, Yves Crutain, Guillaume Vaillot and Benoît Pelletier - and Laure Bornier, whose photos are simply amazing.

It resides now in Switzerland.

This hammer is inspired by several very early XVIth century examples (hence its place in this album, though the proper "Renaissance" aspects of the Germanic area can be debated), notably at the Hofjagd und Rüstkammer in Vienna, and in Prague.

Steel langets are folded and riveted around a wooden core of oak, while the head is forged from an old iron bar. The haft is then inserted in the head, and the added pressure of the final rivet and clip help maintaining a sturdy assembly.

The simple features of this hammer, with its sober filework on the head, and plain belt clip, go along the brutal effectiveness of its use. It yet remains a weapon fit for a Knight, as contemporary artwork confirms - also able to be used on foot, as illustrated in Maximilian's Freydal.

Overal dimensions : 49,9 x 13 cm. The handle is 2x2,7 cm at its lower end, and the head is a square 2,4x2,4cm section. All langets are 2 mm thick mild steel.


(this new Schola Forum crops the images - you'll have to copy/paste their URL to see them fully)

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 02 Sep 2010 23:30
by Fab
The blade was made by Mark Vickers (, as a two-handed sabre of sorts, yet still able to be used one-handed, on light targets.

Originally without bolsters or guard, the black horn scale...s covered the entire tang, from the ricasso to the end plate. But due to their dimensions, the grip itself was made a bit narrow, and lead to an uncomfortable feel when handling the blade according to the owner (imagine the gip with its sides running parallel to each other from the ricasso to the part near the end plate) ; this afected the balance of the sword as well.

I was therefore asked to make the grip wider.

"Leave well alone", they say - and this weapon simply looked awesome in its original state. Hard job indeed to modify it without risking ruining the smooth balance of its lines.

To add to that, I simply couldn't keep the original aspect of the sword, ass black (buffalo) horn was not available to me in dimensions similar to the original plates.

No choice but to adapt to what was available at hand, and try to reap the best of it.

The tang extension was ground from mild steel, and solidly riveted to the original tang. Having it come smooth with the downward curve of the blade shoulder would have resulted in a fat, bulging aspect. And simply making the tang wider through the addition of a rectangular extension would have totally unbalanced the sword aetshetically speaking (not to mention the probably disastrous effect on handling).

I therefore opted for a slightly scalloped shape - not properly 'indented', yet inviting for a secure grip with the forefinger - that would end in a sharp, angled guard/bolster of sorts that would follow the original line of this end of the scales.

The separation between the two parts of the horn scales on each side of the handle would also be a major point to manage - or to fail.
Keeping the transition as discrete as possible would be very difficult to achieve, so I decided it would instead become a strong visual element of this sword.

With the black-and-silver color scheme of the weapon in mind, I also paid great attention to the general and particular lines, curves and visual dynamics of this sword. Too thin a separation would be seen as a somehow pathetic, or at least unconvincing attemp to push this transition 'under the rug'. But on the other hand, making it too large would greatly unbalance the aesthetics of the weapon.

So I simply cleft it in two, and filed a tapering groove in this extra piece, that would both respect and strengthen the dynamic, visual lines of the sword (especially the one introduced by this new 'guard' mentionned above), and yet create the separation at a visual point of balance between the two parts of the grip. Each original scale also had three rivets - the logical, balanced solution there was to use two rivets per handle 'section'.

The scales and fittings were then polished to a near-mirror finish, with the exception of this groove, left rough so that light wouldn't play too much with it.

I'm not too unhappy with it. I hope the owner is too.

(copy/paste url of pic if you want to see it full)

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 04 Sep 2010 13:06
by Fab

Late XVth century.

This piece is based on several models, but the main inspiration is a river-found knife kept at the Musée Denon in Châlon-sur-Saône, long (mis)identified as a "hunting knife" - though features from another knife i...n the same collection also appear on this re-creation.

A Bauernwehr - or 'peasant-weapon', is as its name indicates a knife used as a tool and a weapon by the popular, mostly rural classes of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. They were very common in Germany, but several archaeological finds tend to indicate that their presence was far more widespread over Western Europe - the Châlon models were indeed found in the river Saône, and elements of knives of this type have also been found in the British Isles.

One of the main features of these knives is the quillion protruding on the right side of the guard - it can take several forms, from the crudest to the most elaborate. The larger knife of this family, the Langes Messer, relies heavily on this Rüstnagel for several fencing techniques (as described, for instance, in the Hs. cgm 582 of the Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek).

Most original Mediaeval knives show a composite construction, with a steel edge welded on an iron 'core' - thus saving the precious, expensive steel for the parts it would be the most useful. As steel is cheaper nowadays, the blade here is fully made of 1075 (XC75) Carbon steel, but I still wanted to keep as close to the original properties of Mediaeval knives, and went for a differential temper. Thus the edge area would be hard while the back would remain softer. You can see the temper line on another photograph of this knife in the same album.
The short back edge is sharp, and was ground in as was the common practice at the time.

The main element that was borrowed from knife 83.19.1 of the Denon Museum is the handle and its very specific construction : four parts of wood on each side, separated by several strips of thin brass foil that also serve as spacers between the scales and the tang itself. Or in other words : the brass foil form some kind of 'casing' around each piece of wood. For instance, on the long, horizontal wooden parts, a first strip sits between the tang and wood, and is folded 90° to also serve as a spacer betwen the upper and lower wooden parts - and the same goes for the latter (lower) part.

Studying the original examples also show the shortcuts they used at the time - so there was no reason I should be ashamed of doing the same. Therefore instead of drilling or punching individual holes in these straps for each of the rivets, thin bands were cut off where the said rivets would be.

The rivets themselves are fancier than on the original. I opted for mosaic pins with a triangular pattern very popular in the late XVth century, especially on weapons. They were made of 4 mm diameter brass tubing with steel nails inserted - but each of them had to be filed to measure, as there were no nail of the adequate diameter commercialy available to me.

I gave the Nagel a fileworked, flowery shape to echo the shape of the brass flower on the other side. On knife 83-19-1, only the latter remains, but a strong, square-section (and broken) rod is still clearly visible coming through the tang from his flower. The brass bolsters and large 'pommel' rivet are a direct copy of 83-19-1, though the end brass plate is slightly larger (yet heavily inspired by...).

A by-knife, with the uppermost rivet also given this trifoil shape, serves as a companion to this Bauernwehr. Walnut wood was used on both knives for its rich, dark brown colour.

The scabbard is vegetable, naturally-coloured, hand-tooled leather, as usual.

And finally, good news : this knife is available for sale : 560 € to Schola Forum members.


If ou'd like, I cann post pics of the original knife showing the unusual scale grip construction.

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 06 Sep 2010 06:44
by Monster Zero
I love this piece fab!

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 08 Feb 2011 10:58
by Corporal Carrot
Monster Zero wrote:I love this piece fab!


You're turning out some awesome stuff, Fab. Love the attention to detail on the handle.

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 08 Feb 2011 12:30
by Fab
Thanks chaps.

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 09 Feb 2011 12:43
by Fab
Two more little things, two little friction folders :

The hand forged, differentially heat-treated blades (through temperature control) are of 1075 carbon steel.

Liners and peened end cap are stainless steel, with a fileworked mild steel backspacer held together by hidden pins. 220 € each (plus hipping), though Schola Forum members get a 10 € discount.

Dimensions : 91 mm (folded) / 164 mm (open)

Dimensions : 128 mm (folded) / 208 mm (open)

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 24 Mar 2011 16:05
by Fab
I finished this a while ago, and now it has reached its destination, it's time to post piccies here (though I already posted pics of it elsewhere ...) :


And I quote :

The entire H-shaped hilt has been hand-forged and shows (well, under the scales, that is) a profile very similar to what's visible on period examples with a deep groove in the grip resulting from the hand-forging, and a flattened ring forming the upper bar - but that was also the point. The 'quillons' also were drawn from the same stock of 1075 40x6 mm bar. As you can see, the grip thickens towards the top, as observed again on several examples.

The blade shows (fainlty) a differential temper, the thicker areas near the spine remaining unhardened. The fullers were first hand-forged in, then ground to shape.

Scales are elm wood from my father-in-law's very own garden, with brass tubular pins.

The scabbard is vegetable-tanned leather, naturaly dyed with vinegar and iron oxydes ; the fittings are mild steel.

Though basilards of this era tend to have a more triangular blade, 'fat' examples such as this one are also known, and the customer wanted something to match his remarkable physical presence. Oh, and until recently my thumb was here to prove it does cut too - I was simply hand polishing the blade when I noticed this red, liquid thing on my right hand. Healing proved far more painful than the faint brush I barely felt....

Dimensions :

Length : 403 mm
Width : 71 mm
Blade : 281 x39,8 mm ; 5 mm thick.
Max tang thickness: 8 mm

Re: Fabrice Cognot knives and daggers

PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011 17:54
by Serg
Oooh ... this weapon perfectly!