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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 8:27 am    Post subject: Windlass Type XIV: A personal view.         Reply with quote

This assessment of the Windlass Type XIV is my own and does not necessarily represent the opinions of others.


The first sword I have really picked up and just absolutely fell in love with is the Del Tin 2140. It was unlike anything I have ever handled, balanced, quick and comfortable in my hand. I was 36 years old and been a part of the SCA for two years. Unfortunately, I spent all my money getting to this 25th SCA Anniversary meet and had to part with it with a mental note to one day own one like it. It took 17 years to finally get one but it was worth it.
Windlass Steel Crafts produces a surprisingly good version of this Oakeshott Type XIV Arming Sword that I purchased through Kult of Athena for an unbelievable price of $189.95. A much better price than the Del Tin I wanted so long ago, but is it as good or did I just get another wall hanger? I soon found my answer. Right out of the box, I notice several things such as weight and balance along with fit and finish. Much different than the Del Tin, but not in a bad way.
First thing I noticed was the exposed stitching on the leather handle. It was acceptable, but not at all like the comfortable Del Tin. The leather itself is thin and shiny new but not disagreeable. The large pommel was slightly off alignment with the cross guard but you had to put a laser line on it to ever know it was off. The quillons fit onto the blade well and with no looseness or large gaps. It was well done.
The blade was true and polished well with only a hint of sanding work noticeable along the length of blade. At 8X magnification, you can tell they sanded it toward to point due to the alignment of the sand marks in the steel. You canít help but feel that a couple of grits smaller would have produced a fine polish and finish. Of course at this price, you can finish it as well as you see fit without much effort. The scabbard is fitted well and functional made seemingly from the same finished leather the handle was. Weather it is or not, they match.
But what impressed me more than anything else about this piece is the overall feel and balance. It was hard at first to put my finger on it, but from the first swing of this piece I felt a faint glow of recognition. This feels familiar, this feels right. But I have never owned such a sword before and the one time hefting of the Del Tin so many years ago did not count.

I had other friends who loved swords look at it as well. Each felt the same way. Still that faint glow of recognition still burned in the back of my mind. Was it just me?
My brother in Law can over yesterday from a week vacation and I asked him for his opinion. I asked him to swing the St. Michael Falchion first that I just received two days earlier and tell me how he liked it. He gave me his assessment and thought it was a very nice sword in a matter of fact way.
Then I handed him the Type XIV. As he pulled it and did a few test swings, I could see his eyes light up and a smile came on his face. He had the same glow of recognition I did. It felt good and it felt like it belonged there in his hand. The glow became brighter in our minds as we discussed it, but it still not answer why it affected us in this way.
The weight, the feel, and the balance were all too familiar though we never had such a sword before. After just a few minutes, It was time to go to lunch and our wives was getting hungry so we put it back in its scabbard and my brother in law placed it up next to my SCA armor stand and rattan waster. We both notice for the first time that the Type XIV and the SCA fighting sword was exactly the same size in length. A rattan sword that we both have used for many years in battles and wars, holding on to this piece of wood for hours at a time till we thought we could hold it no more. Time and time again swinging at the enemy for countless hours in battle and had become as much a part of us as our own arms. A piece of wood we have counted on for so long and for so much and there it now stood next to its real counterpart.

Let there be light.


Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Michal Plezia
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And there was light! Wink Looks like you are lucky person owning good sword in supergood price Cool

Any chance of hi-res pics of it? I would like to see details of the hilt and grip..

www.elchon.com

Polish Guild of Knifemakers

The sword is a weapon for killing, the art of the sword is the art of killing. No matter what fancy words you use or what titles you put to
it that is the only truth.
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Alan H. Weller




Location: Palo Alto, CA
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 10:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary, thank you for your assessment. Like you, I recently acquired the Type XIV from Kult of Athena. I am in awe of this sword.

By analogy, I have some familiarity with firearms. When I first fired an AK-47, I was especially struck by the utter lethality of that rifle. I have fired many forms of antique and modern military rifles , from cap and ball through the M-16, and have never felt anything but pleasure in shooting. But the AK-47 was different. It wasn't pleasure that I felt; it was something else. I immediately knew it was a "weapon" for killing, for the deadly business of war.

My reaction to my new Windlass Type XIV was similar. This type of sword was not made for show or ceremony. Images of glory and pageantry didn't come to mind when I held it or swung it. Instead, I immediatley knew that it was "weapon", a tool for killing, and must be treated with due respect. It tells me how serious the fighting men who carried it were about their profession. The sword feels so lively, balanced and comfortable, that I must constantly remind myself that I am wielding a very deadly blade.

From what I know, which is very little, I think Windlass has produced a quality product at an outstanding price. It looks and feels very well made to me.

What I hope is that someone who has handled actual antique Type XIVs, or the quality reproductions by Albion or the like, could comment on the authenticity of its weight and balance, the flex of the blade, etc. I am totally ignorant in this regard. By doing so, it would give novices like me a frame of reference.

Again, thank you Gary.
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 29 May 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 337

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michal Plezia wrote:
And there was light! Any chance of hi-res pics of it? I would like to see details of the hilt and grip..


I'll get to work on it. Big Grin

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 29 May 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 337

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alan H. Weller wrote:
Gary, thank you for your assessment. Like you, I recently acquired the Type XIV from Kult of Athena. I am in awe of this sword.

By analogy, I have some familiarity with firearms. When I first fired an AK-47, I was especially struck by the utter lethality of that rifle. I have fired many forms of antique and modern military rifles , from cap and ball through the M-16, and have never felt anything but pleasure in shooting. But the AK-47 was different. It wasn't pleasure that I felt; it was something else. I immediately knew it was a "weapon" for killing, for the deadly business of war.

My reaction to my new Windlass Type XIV was similar. This type of sword was not made for show or ceremony. Images of glory and pageantry didn't come to mind when I held it or swung it. Instead, I immediatley knew that it was "weapon", a tool for killing, and must be treated with due respect. It tells me how serious the fighting men who carried it were about their profession. The sword feels so lively, balanced and comfortable, that I must constantly remind myself that I am wielding a very deadly blade.

From what I know, which is very little, I think Windlass has produced a quality product at an outstanding price. It looks and feels very well made to me.

What I hope is that someone who has handled actual antique Type XIVs, or the quality reproductions by Albion or the like, could comment on the authenticity of its weight and balance, the flex of the blade, etc. I am totally ignorant in this regard. By doing so, it would give novices like me a frame of reference.

Again, thank you Gary.



Thank you very much. I was a little worried that I may have put too much of my feelings into it and not enough tech.
I think a good sword is about how one feels. Without it, why own one?

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary A. Chelette wrote:
Thank you very much. I was a little worried that I may have put too much of my feelings into it and not enough tech.
I think a good sword is about how one feels. Without it, why own one?



Very good review in my opinion as it seems to do a great job at giving an impression of those hard to quantify things that make one smile while picking up a sword the first time: " The I'm not sure why but I know I like it feel ". Wink
Almost makes one feel it in one's hand by just reading the review !

A few statistics might be good to add like weight, point of balance and the width, length, thickness of blade at the guard and estimated thickness a couple of inches from the point. ( distal taper ).

But just numbers can be deceiving as two swords might have similar numbers and one might feel a lot better than the other.

I have an Albion Sovereign and it feels very fast and agile but with a good balance of good cutting combined with a very aggressive " scary " point. I would have to handle both to be able to say how close the Windlass is in comparison: Could it be as good or even better than the Albion in feel ? I doubt it could be better because of all the research that went into designing the Sovereign based on seeing and handling period originals by Peter Johnsson, but it could be awfully close. Eek! Laughing Out Loud

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Very good review in my opinion as it seems to do a great job at giving an impression of those hard to quantify things that make one smile while picking up a sword the first time: " The I'm not sure why but I know I like it feel ". Wink
Almost makes one feel it in one's hand by just reading the review !


Thank you, Jean.
I almost did put more numbers in it, but it is already posted on KoA and MRL so I felt it didn't need repeating. Besides, a formal review is coming and that job is best done by better people.

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
A few statistics might be good to add like weight, point of balance and the width, length, thickness of blade at the guard and estimated thickness a couple of inches from the point. ( distal taper ).

But just numbers can be deceiving as two swords might have similar numbers and one might feel a lot better than the other.


Numbers are only deceiving when we try to make them say something they don't represent...
The problem with the statistics you mention is that they cannot sum up the thing we are interested in here, that is, the handling of the weapon.

On the majority of weapons I came across (not just swords), I found a few simple specs (grip begin/end, center of gravity, tip, and a pair of pivot points) allow to build statistics that are a quite close rendering of what I feel. In fact I'd be willing to attempt a "remote analysis" of these type XIVs... If someone feels like doing the measurements, I'd gladly provide the opportunity to prove I'm wrong Razz

Another thing is that "better" is subjective to a degree. I'm fairly sure different people will enjoy different handling. Saying how it differs should be possible, saying which is best is in my opinion not really possible. Finding out which is closest to an historical example might be feasible...

I'm sorry for the off-topic ramble, but it's one of my pet subject, and I can't help thinking about it each time I read a review Happy

Regards

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,
The Albion is better, but the Windlass is surprisingly good, though different. The hilt and blade profile on both are based on the same sword, interestingly enough.

Gary,
Thanks for the review. Happy

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,
They seen to be very close in specs.
But I have to agree with Chad, the Sovereign is Mercedes and the Windlass is the Dodge.

Albion Sovereign Specifications
Total length: 34.25" (87 cm)
Blade length: 27.75" (71 cm)
Blade width: 3" (7.4 cm)
Weight: 2 lbs 11 0z (1.22 kg)

Windlass Type XIV Specifications
Overall Length: 33 3/8''
Blade:26 1/4''
2 3/4" wide
3/16" thick
Weight: 2 lb 10 oz

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 552

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 6:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary I know what you mean! I just got back my own Type XIV Tinker sword from Christian Fletcher (new grip put on and scabbard-I'll post details later) and it was just like being reunited with an old and close friend. It was almost like shaking hands when I took it out of the box!

There's something about handling a good sword with perfect balance and weight that just gives you a glow all over...and NO I do not sleep with it! ;-)
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Gary A. Chelette




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bryce Felperin wrote:
There's something about handling a good sword with perfect balance and weight that just gives you a glow all over...and NO I do not sleep with it! ;-)


Oh? You don't? Why not? Big Grin

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary A. Chelette wrote:
Bryce Felperin wrote:
There's something about handling a good sword with perfect balance and weight that just gives you a glow all over...and NO I do not sleep with it! ;-)


Oh? You don't? Why not? Big Grin


Just never sleep with it without a scabbard. Eek! Always practice safe S ....... I mean sword. Razz Laughing Out Loud

And what wrong with a lttle nap with a favorite sword. Wink Wink

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Gary A. Chelette wrote:
Bryce Felperin wrote:
There's something about handling a good sword with perfect balance and weight that just gives you a glow all over...and NO I do not sleep with it! ;-)


Oh? You don't? Why not? Big Grin


Just never sleep with it without a scabbard. Eek! Always practice safe S ....... I mean sword. Razz Laughing Out Loud

And what wrong with a lttle nap with a favorite sword. Wink Wink


You guys are sick. SICK! Just like me. Heh Happy

-Ed T. Toton III
ed.toton.org | ModernChivalry.org
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 9:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm...sounds like it can be a cheap but good piece of dowry for my prospective wife... Wink
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2007 4:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alan H. Weller wrote:
The sword feels so lively, balanced and comfortable, that I must constantly remind myself that I am wielding a very deadly blade.

From what I know, which is very little, I think Windlass has produced a quality product at an outstanding price. It looks and feels very well made to me.

Windlass products have for so long been so...unspectacular (I'm trying to be polite). From holographic stickers and "MADE IN INDIA" stamps, to spotty construction and substandard materials, to extreme liberties with "copies" of museum pieces, Windlass has hardly been a quality product. I point to the reviews here and my own experiences with Windlass products dating back to the 1990's when they first became involved with Museum Replicas Limited.

Now, we see that Windlass may have created an actual gem with the XIV. I read how this piece is well worth the money and then some. That the quality has improved. Perhaps things have changed at Windlass and we can begin to look forward to better products, at least as far as their weapons go (their armor still is bottom of the barrel).

Then again, if you give a monkey a typewriter and an unlimited paper supply, one day the monkey will produce the works of Shakespeare.

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Gary A. Chelette




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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2007 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Michal Plezia wrote:
And there was light! Any chance of hi-res pics of it? I would like to see details of the hilt and grip..




Full size here:
http://sara.tss.uh.edu/swords/TXIV-4a.jpg
http://sara.tss.uh.edu/swords/TXIV-4b.jpg


http://sara.tss.uh.edu/swords/TypeXIV-1.jpg



Sorry for the poor pics, I just have a small digital camera and not one with macro.



...and my new Falchion Laughing Out Loud

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Michal Plezia
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2007 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics.The grip looks better than I expected.

Is this falchion St.Michaels sword by windlass?

www.elchon.com

Polish Guild of Knifemakers

The sword is a weapon for killing, the art of the sword is the art of killing. No matter what fancy words you use or what titles you put to
it that is the only truth.
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
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Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 337

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2007 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michal Plezia wrote:
Thanks for the pics.The grip looks better than I expected.

Is this falchion St.Michaels sword by windlass?


Correct!
It's a nice little piece that all my friends wanted to go outside with it and "Hit Something" !

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Michal Plezia
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is it a sharpened version?
www.elchon.com

Polish Guild of Knifemakers

The sword is a weapon for killing, the art of the sword is the art of killing. No matter what fancy words you use or what titles you put to
it that is the only truth.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


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