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Bradley Starkey




Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
Joined: 01 Oct 2007

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jan, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Newbie sword repair question- HELP!         Reply with quote

Hi Everyone ~

I'm a newbie at sword collecting, currently have just a few MRL blades in my small collection. I originally started buying them based mainly on the appeal of having a functional blade that was also very attractive. Lately, I've been trying to broaden my horizons by reading up on other activites such as practice cutting and basic swordsmanship skills.
(Also by joining this forum Big Grin

I've been quite happy with most of my MRL swords with one exception: I have their Arbedo sword, and the hilt/blade has become loose. Not severly, but enough to preclude it from any cutting. There's no obvious damage; it's just loose.

I'd just leave it as a wall hanger, but it also happens to be one of my favorite pieces. The weight, balance, feel, and fit in my hand when I hold it is excellent. Plus, I just sort of find myself drawn to these wide-bladed, long handled-type swords.

I contacted MRL about a repair, but they will only do exchanges. And I've had this one much too long to do so. I haven't the slightest idea how to go about doing the job myself.

Can anyone here recommend a bladesmith, a shop, or even just someone who has some good experience making these kinds of repairs? Apart from the looseness, the sword is basically brand new, with no rust, damage, or hardly even any scratches. I would like to have it tightened, and then get the blade sharpened for test cutting.

I'm located in Southern California, in the Inland Empire area. Local would be best. But of course, I can mail the sword to anywhere.

Thanks! Any recommendations would be mondo appreciado!
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Dan Dickinson
Industry Professional



Location: Michigan
Joined: 03 Oct 2004

Posts: 967

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jan, 2008 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://bjorn.foxtail.nu/bonk_eng.htm
If you're not comfortable doing it yourself though send me a PM.
Dan
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Chad Arnow
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Jan, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How is it assembled? If it is peened (the tang sticks all the way through the pommel and is hammered over it to form a rivet), you can use Dan's link above.

If the pommel is of the screw-on variety like many Windlass blades, you have to do it differently. It could be as simple as unscrewing the pommel and inserting some leather washers between the grip and pommel and screwing the pommel back on.

The looseness could be from other factors such as sloppy fit of the grip and/or guard (also known Windlass issues). Shimming the guard and using epoxy to fill in the gaps between the grip and tang (and adhere them together) could fix those issues.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Bradley Starkey




Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
Joined: 01 Oct 2007

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jan, 2008 9:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan & Chad ~

Hey, thanks very much for your quick replies. The pommel is peened on, I can see where the tip was hammered flat through the pommel.

I checked the space between the blade and the hilt, ( which is kind of wide ), and that appears to be where the bulk of the problem is. I'll try carefully filling in the space with some epoxy. Any recommendations as to which epoxy brands work best with steel?

If that doesn't solve the problem, I'll try the method in Dan's link (Thanks Dan, that's one of the better DIY instructions I've seen on any forum, sword-related or otherwise).
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bradley Starkey wrote:
Dan & Chad ~

Hey, thanks very much for your quick replies. The pommel is peened on, I can see where the tip was hammered flat through the pommel.

I checked the space between the blade and the hilt, ( which is kind of wide ), and that appears to be where the bulk of the problem is. I'll try carefully filling in the space with some epoxy. Any recommendations as to which epoxy brands work best with steel?

If that doesn't solve the problem, I'll try the method in Dan's link (Thanks Dan, that's one of the better DIY instructions I've seen on any forum, sword-related or otherwise).


If there is a lot of room between the blade and the cutout for the blade in the guard I might use tiny shims of wood and lightly hammer them in using a thin piece of steel narrow enough to push the shims deeply into the gap.

Messy, but I would add a bit of epoxy to the shims before pushing them in: The wet epoxy almost serving as a lubricant until it sets. If very confident or impatient I would use 5 minute epoxy or I would use a slower setting type to be able to work in extra shims before everything solidifies ! I did this to my Del Tin two hander that had a slightly moving guard and it seem to work fine. If this will hold up to heavy use will depend on how much one can get the epoxy deeply into the gap: Just a shallow surface film of epoxy might not hold well. ( Oh, steel epoxy, that is epoxy with steel powder mixed in does sort of look like metal when hardened and can be sanded. Regular epoxy will be clear after it sets and works with steel: Not a problem if it's an invisible repair hidden well below the blade/guard gap i.e. epoxy not flush with the surface ).

All this can be done to a flush finish were the epoxy will be visible or one can leave a bit of the gap unfilled to that the epoxy won't be visible.

( Only a problem for living history people if the repair is visible I think ? Not a concern for me though ).

I've found that unset epoxy can be cleaned of surfaces or hands using rubbing alcohol as this is hard to do without getting glue where it isn't wanted on everything one touches. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Hope this helps, and welcome to the site. Big Grin

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




Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
Joined: 01 Oct 2007

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat 19 Jan, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean ~

I had already picked up a tube of that Metal 5-minute epxoy, and I put it into the gap betwen the blade and the guard last night. A bit messy, but I've worked with it before, so I knew to clean it off quickly (Experience with all those Tamiya model kits I've built over the years pays off at last! Happy

The color is slightly off, but it's not anything I can't deal with. It's not visible unless one looks down at the guard from the top anyway. I'll try finishing it a bit after it's cured.

I'm going to let it cure for a full 24 hours, then see how much looseness still remains. I do suspect i'm going to have to try Dan's pommel-peening method, as the grip still twists a bit when move it. My dad has a vise and tools over at his place, so I'll try to get over there soon.

Thanks to all of you for the advice! I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Bill Love





Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Reading list: 43 books

Posts: 91

PostPosted: Sun 03 Feb, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: Loose Arbedo Hilt         Reply with quote

There are two other things you can do-both will work, but there will be subtle diiferences in the results. JB Weld can be used if you can fit a plastic straw into the gaps-mix up the product and cut the straw in half for ease of handling, then scoop the JB Weld into the straw until it is 2-3 inches full. Then, clamp the sword blade up in a padded vise, stick the straw into the gap, and squeeze it between your fingers down to the end to fill the opening. Watch to see if it sinks, then fill in behind till it's full. Clean up with Gun Scrubber on a paper towel before it sets. This method will be solid and tight enough to make the blade sing when you pluck it. Another thing you can use, and probably the better way to go if most of the grip is now filled with epoxy, is white PVA bookmakers glue (also known as "Jade" glue) available at art suppliers or university art departments. It's like Elmer's on steroids-fill a pipette, like the ones Testor's makes for painting scale models, and squirt the glue into the gaps, refilling as necessary till the hilt is full. Clean up with water quickly, before it sets. This method is easier to do and clean up after, but the tang will be slightly cushioned due to PVA's flexibility and the blade may lose some of its "ring." Either way, the hilt will be permanently tight. Let the JB Weld set up for a couple of days and the PVA for at least a week.
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
Napoleon Bonaparte
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