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Michael Pearce
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 12:51 pm    Post subject: New CAS/Hanwei longsword prototypes preview         Reply with quote

I've contracted with CAS/Hanwei to produce a new longsword for their line of european swords. They specified that there should be both blunt and shyarp blades. The longsword prototype has been tentatively approved! First, the swords and the specs:

Stats for the 'Sharp-'
Oakeshott Type: XVIIIa
OAL: 47-1/4inches
Blade Length: 35-1/4 inches
Blade Width @ Base: 2-1/8 inches
Blade Width 3-1/2 inches from point: 3/4 inch
Blade thickness at base: .254 inches
Blade thickness 2 inches from tip: .090
Distal taper is convex
Hilt OAL: 12 inches
Pommel Type: T-1
Guard Type: 2
Sword Family: n/a
COG: 3-1/2 inches from Base of blade
COP: 21-1/2 inches from base of blade
Weight: 2lb.15oz.

Stats for the 'blunt-'
Oakeshott Type: n/a
OAL: 47-1/4inches
Blade Length: 35-1/4 inches
Blade Width @ Base: 2-1/4 inches
Blade Width 3-1/2 inches from point: 5/8 inch
Blade thickness at base: .26 inches*
Blade thickness 2 inches from tip: .073
Distal taper is convex
Hilt OAL: 12 inches
Pommel Type: T-1
Guard Type: 2
Sword Family: n/a
COG: 3-1/2 inches from Base of blade
COP: 21 inches from base of blade
Weight: 2lb.15oz.

*The production swords thickness at the base will be between .250 and .260.. The variation between the prototypes and the production swords should not significantly affect weight or handling.

The hilt is sandwiched hardwood covered in leather with a flattened octagonal cross-section I will recommend that the production version be cord-wrapped under the leather for additional strength. The sword will be made in both sharp and blunt versions. Blade material will be 5160 spring steel hardened and tempered to HRc50. Fittings will be cast steel, and were designed to be adequately strong when made by casting. The production version will mimic not merely the appearance of this sword but the engineering- tang construction, distal taper, dynamic and harmonic balance. I do not believe that the production swords will be dismountable, but this is a marketing decision for CAS/Hanwei to make on their own. Pricing is speculative at this time but will certainly be competitive with other production swords in this market. The 'sharp' will be offered with a scabbard; I'm not sure about the blunt. I'm leaving the scabbard up to CAS/Hanwei but I expect it will be comparable to current scabbards.

Before anyone asks I am aware that it would be more 'period correct' to have the fullers run-out under the guard and onto the tang. I left the fullers shortened for greater strength. Since these are the first blades that Hanwei will be employing the 'Marquenching' process on 5160 spring steel I decided to err on the side of caution by producing an 'over-kill strong shoulder section. Once I am confident that CAS/Hanwei's new processes are fully 'dialed-in' we may revise this on the 'sharp' once we are confident that this will not cause a failure-point.

The goal was to produce a blunt for WMA and Theatrical use that handles as exactly as possible like the 'sharp' blade so that persons that wanted to would have a sword for each use that were as much the same as possible. The thicker edge meant that mass had to be moved from the centerline towards the edges. There are a number of ways to do this-

The sword could be made narrower and thicker; but this would have increased the blade's rigidity and changed the polar moment even if the balance remained the same. This would have altered the handling even with the same COG and been somewhat less safe for sparring.

I could have made the sword as a type XVIIIa but hollow-ground the edge bevels to reduce mass and allow for the thicker edge. Hollow-grinding a long blade like this is a pain with a huge disaster-factor. Also this technique is less amenable to 'adjusting' the mass distribution of the blade in progress.

In the end I decided to grind broader, deeper fullers and extend them farther down the blade. This allowed me to adjust the mass distribution as I went along so I could 'home-in' on the characteristics I wanted. Polar moment is very slightly less than the sharp blade's but I could barely notice the diffference and none of the other folks that handled the sword (except maybe Gus) could detect any difference.

The edge is approx 2mm across the flat and tapers along it's length to approx. 1.5mm at the tip, which is well-rounded. The distal taper is done such that the tip is significantly more flexible in the last ten inches of the blade to decrease the likelihood of injury when thrusting. Several experienced people(theatrical fighters and WMA folks) that handled this sword over the weekend could detect little or no difference between the blades when handling the sword with the different blades mounted. Harmonics weren't impacted in any way that could be discerned. The hilt is of course the same one as the sharp's. I have left a 'working finish' on the blade- I do not know what level of finish they will choose for the production blade.

Here is a large photo of the blunt:
http://tinkerswords.com/082007CASlsBfl%202.jpg

OK- Now the other stuff. First off let me say that my reviews of CAS/Hanwei products have aroused some comment. These reviews were honest, and the only connection they have to my licensing arraingment with CAS is that they impressed me enough with their capabilities to be confident that they could make a good licensed copy of my work.

When the offer was made to do a longsword design for CAS/Hanwei I had already decided that I would be willing to work with them. This is because I have met both Barry and Paul Chen in person at Blade Show and I have been keeping an eye on their product line. They have made considerable improvement over the years and seem committed to continuing to improve- witness their recent decision to revise the construction of some of their models to dispense with a sub-optimal pommel construction. Working with them on this project it is obvious to me that they are committed to 'stepping up their game' in terms of quality and quality control.

I can't really say when these swords will become available; production has to get ramped up and I have to approve samples etc. before they will be offered for sale. Given the speed things have developed so far I would be surprised if these swords were not available before Christmas, but this is my guess and is not based on anything that I have heard from CAS/Hanwei.

Comments are welcome and I will be happy to answer any questions that I can.

Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
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Then one night, as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90mph, I had an epiphany...
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To echo my response on the other forum, good luck with this!
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
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Michael Pearce
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 1:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whuups- forgot the other photos...


Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
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Then one night, as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90mph, I had an epiphany...
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Michael Pearce
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 1:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
To echo my response on the other forum, good luck with this!


Thanks again, Joe!

Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
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Then one night, as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90mph, I had an epiphany...
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Hugo Voisine




PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks great, even with the fuller not extending pass the guard. The design is simple but elegant, I like that. Do you know when the repros will be available from CAS/Hanwei, and how much it should cost ?
« Que dites-vous ?... C'est inutile ?... Je le sais !
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Michael Pearce
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

CAS has been moving pretty quick on this, so while I have no official word on this I would be surprised if they weren't out before the end of the year. I have no official word on pricing, but I expect it would be at most slightly more than their current comparable offerings.
Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
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Then one night, as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90mph, I had an epiphany...
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Michael Pearce
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Aug, 2007 10:05 pm    Post subject: CAS has the prototypes!         Reply with quote

Barry at CAS was thrilled with the prototypes that he recieved and has decided to go with the standard recessed screw set-up that I use, with an allen-head sleeve nut. This means easy user maintenance and the possibility of interchangable blades down the road. If there proves to be sufficient demand for a period-style butt-riveted version that may happen too. The word at present is that the handles will be cord-wrapped under the leather. All systems are go at this point- we should be seeing the Hanwei-made prototype in early October (God willin' and the creek don't rise!)
Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
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Then one night, as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90mph, I had an epiphany...
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Bryce Felperin




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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations and way to go! I'm looking forward to buying one myself. :-)
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Greg Mele
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 10:47 am    Post subject: Re: CAS has the prototypes!         Reply with quote

Michael Pearce wrote:
Barry at CAS was thrilled with the prototypes that he recieved and has decided to go with the standard recessed screw set-up that I use, with an allen-head sleeve nut. This means easy user maintenance and the possibility of interchangable blades down the road. If there proves to be sufficient demand for a period-style butt-riveted version that may happen too. The word at present is that the handles will be cord-wrapped under the leather. All systems are go at this point- we should be seeing the Hanwei-made prototype in early October (God willin' and the creek don't rise!)


Hey Tinker!

Pretty exciting stuff, and a prefect sword for we Fiore types! So, will the blunt have a level of flex in the thrust comparable to what we see with the current Gen 4 swords? I like the Rene d'Anjou style , multi-fullered blades they are now using, but they are a titch short, and those huge wheel pommels are a drawback.
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Michael Pearce
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: CAS has the prototypes!         Reply with quote

Greg Mele wrote:
Hey Tinker!

Pretty exciting stuff, and a prefect sword for we Fiore types! So, will the blunt have a level of flex in the thrust comparable to what we see with the current Gen 4 swords? I like the Rene d'Anjou style , multi-fullered blades they are now using, but they are a titch short, and those huge wheel pommels are a drawback.


Not familiar with the Gen 4 Swords. The prototype blunt's tip is probably in the upper range of stiffness for fencing rapiers- at least in the last ten inches or so. The balance between flexible enough to be at least 'safer' and still have the sword act like a longsword is pretty tricky- I think that I achieved a good compromise. We'll see what happens when the Hanwei-made prototypes arrive.

Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
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Mike Arledge




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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I could be wrong, but I think Greg was referring to the Gen 4 version of the hanwei practical hand and a half, the newest version that has the funky fullers and more rounded edges.
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Greg Mele
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Arledge wrote:
I could be wrong, but I think Greg was referring to the Gen 4 version of the hanwei practical hand and a half, the newest version that has the funky fullers and more rounded edges.


Yes I was. The "funky fullers" are based on the sparring swords described by Rene d'Anjou in his mid-15th c tournament book. As cheap trainers, the blades are fairly decent and flex really well on the thrust, but there are the other problems I mentioned - not to mention the squared, vs. rounded edges, that have to be ground down before you use the sword.
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Michael Pearce
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The 4th-Gen Hanwei- got it. Nope- it's not as flexible. I thought that maybe the one that I handled was a bit too flexible and made mine stiffer. Please take the previous statement in context! Big Grin I also had to consider keeping the handling as close as possible to the sharp and frankly couldn't figure out a good way to do that and still make the blade as flexible.

I added a note to Barry about the edges needing to be rounded, BTW.

Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
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Greg Mele
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Pearce wrote:
The 4th-Gen Hanwei- got it. Nope- it's not as flexible. I thought that maybe the one that I handled was a bit too flexible and made mine stiffer. Please take the previous statement in context! Big Grin I also had to consider keeping the handling as close as possible to the sharp and frankly couldn't figure out a good way to do that and still make the blade as flexible.

I added a note to Barry about the edges needing to be rounded, BTW.


Well, as long as it's flexible like a stiff rapier trainer that's doable. And yes, the rounded edges would make a world of difference. So far, regardless of pricepoint, the only folks routinely doing that is Albion.

Look forward to the updates!
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Mele wrote:
Well, as long as it's flexible like a stiff rapier trainer that's doable. And yes, the rounded edges would make a world of difference. So far, regardless of pricepoint, the only folks routinely doing that is Albion.


And, of course, Arms and Armor:
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/train203.html
Unless I'm misunderstanding your meaning?

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Hugh
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
Greg Mele wrote:
Well, as long as it's flexible like a stiff rapier trainer that's doable. And yes, the rounded edges would make a world of difference. So far, regardless of pricepoint, the only folks routinely doing that is Albion.


And, of course, Arms and Armor:
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/train203.html
Unless I'm misunderstanding your meaning?


I won two of the their trainers, the Guild has maybe six or so. They used to not round them off at all (just square in cross section, so two corners), although Craig had mentioned moving to a bull-nose grind on them. The most recent pieces I saw still weren't particularly rounded, but most of the ones we have are two years old, so that may have changed more dramatically this year.

The Albion Liechtenauer is completely rounded off on the edge - saves a lot of wear and tear on the sword.
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Mele wrote:
I won two of the their trainers, the Guild has maybe six or so. They used to not round them off at all (just square in cross section, so two corners), although Craig had mentioned moving to a bull-nose grind on them. The most recent pieces I saw still weren't particularly rounded, but most of the ones we have are two years old, so that may have changed more dramatically this year.

The Albion Liechtenauer is completely rounded off on the edge - saves a lot of wear and tear on the sword.


Ah, now I see what you meant; for some reason I thought your comment was about the flex of the blades. Yes, they're a tiny bit sharper in the corner than I would prefer, and I've found they then to "chip" a bit after a very hard practice. Still, they're fantastic and by far my favorite trainers.

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Hugh
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just unwrapped the protos and snapped a few shots before these make their way to Hanwei. Let me know if you guys want any other angles, etc. They'll be gone tomorrow!

Blake



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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting stuff. I like that Hanwei is adding to their lineup and addressing construction and handling issues (tempering, too?).

I uderstand the reasoning for the fuller ending where it does, though I don't care for the look personally. Happy Not all fullers extended onto the tang; some just went uder the guard. If this fuller could do that a little bit, it would improve the looks a lot for me.

What was your inspiration for the pommel? I've not seen anything quite like it. Is the main face flat or is there some curvature to it? The pics make it look flat in the same plane as the grip.

Also, what's the goal for this product line, especially in regards to historical accuracy in appearance?

Happy

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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Interesting stuff. I like that Hanwei is adding to their lineup and addressing construction and handling issues (tempering, too?).

I uderstand the reasoning for the fuller ending where it does, though I don't care for the look personally. Happy Not all fullers extended onto the tang; some just went uder the guard. If this fuller could do that a little bit, it would improve the looks a lot for me.

What was your inspiration for the pommel? I've not seen anything quite like it. Is the main face flat or is there some curvature to it? The pics make it look flat in the same plane as the grip.

Also, what's the goal for this product line, especially in regards to historical accuracy in appearance?


Hey Chad, Hopefully Tinker will chime in with his goals as well, but for the most part the goal of this piece is to provide a high quality sparring blunt and cutting sharp with as near identical size and handling characteristics as possible. The sharp should be the more historically accurate of the two with the blunt being modified to match it. The historical accuracy of the sharp is not of primary concern however, the primary concern is performance for the type and solid construction.

These pieces will be tempered to Tinker's specs (nearly every part of the construction, actually). The pommel is basically flat, and actually tapers ever so slightly from the grip to end.

Blake
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