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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jul, 2008 4:32 pm    Post subject: Windlass "English Two-Hand Sword"         Reply with quote

Has anyone had occasion to handle this particular item in person? It is quite long, 44-inches of blade, which is well into the danger zone for blade whip with this manufacturer, but I wonder if the blade geometry might offset this to any degree. It appears to be of a diamond-shaped section, flattened in the strong and becoming more square, perhaps rapier-like, as it tapers toward the tip.

Granted, flexible in the strong and stiff in the weak is probably not ideal for handling, but the size and profile of the thing have me intrigued- our good Mr. Flynt's impressive "kitbashing" works have inspired me to consider a re-hilting project of my own, and this model looks like a possible candidate...

Thanks,
Eric
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Daniel Michaelsson




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PostPosted: Fri 01 Aug, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally I'd avoid Windlass. They have a reputation for *ahem* variable quality.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 01 Aug, 2008 7:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Michaelsson wrote:
Personally I'd avoid Windlass. They have a reputation for *ahem* variable quality.


They have gotten better, but there are still some issues from time to time. Their newer items are, by and large, much better than the stuff of several years ago.

Happy

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Josh MacNeil




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PostPosted: Fri 01 Aug, 2008 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you're looking for a re-hilting project I'd suggest the Windlass Medieval Falchion (also called German Falchion). I was thinking of getting that and re-hilting it myself. All of the reviews I've seen suggest that it's a pretty mean cutter, but the hilt assembly is the weekest part of the whole peice. It's not peened or pinned so it should be easy to disassemble. Might be a bit cheaper than the two-hander also.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 01 Aug, 2008 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't say anything about the design of that particular weapon, but Windlass swords are greatly improved by some simple work.

If you're lucky the grip will be slightly bulky, which allows you to simply sand, rasp or plane it to a more complex and historically correct section and profile. If you want cord under the leather, be sure to make the grip core quite a bit smaller all around than feels perfectly comfortable. You'll be adding the thickness of the cord and leather on all sides, so it isn't just a matter of adding the thickness of one strand of cord and the thickness of the leather. When the core feels right, wrap a section in cord and leather and see how it feels. Reduce core accordingly.

The hole in the Windlass cross is usually a bit oversized, so you'll want to use steel or brass shims. I prefer brass because it's softer and thus conforms better when you pound down the cross. You can either cut a long strip, fit it inside the cross and tap the cross down into place or fit the cross and then tap some small, flat pieces down into the space between cross and tang. Either way works.

The grip will feel best if it's very secure, so you might want to consider filling it with epoxy. Ditto for the pommel.

If you want the security of a peened tang but have a screw-on pommel, it's not difficult to drill through the pommel and either shorten the grip by that extra .75" or cut that much out of the base of the blade.

You'll be surprised how much better the sword looks and feels if you do these simple projects. I consider this, plus taking some of the shine off the blade, to be the basic Windlass upgrade.

-Sean

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 01 Aug, 2008 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I split off your question regarding "opposing fullers" as it has nothing to do with this topic. You can find it HERE.
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Edward Hitchens




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Aug, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks a lot like the "Ravenna sword" they made but have since discontinuted (modeled after the one in the Wallace Collection Question). I've held the Ravenna - it was a large and impressive piece and very lightweight for its size. I would think the "English two-handed sword" would share the same characteristics, especially now that (as Chad pointed out) Windlass' quality has improved significantly over the past few years.

I've handled several A&A's, Del Tins, Albions, ATrims, and one Vince Evans piece, so that should say a lot!

One thing I do remember about Windlass' large pieces like this one is that the blades are almost TOO flexible. For instance, I've stuck the point of a Ravenna into the ground and watched the hilt swing back and forth like a big metronome! Though given Windlass' recent quality improvement, I wouldn't be surprised if this were corrected. Happy

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Aug, 2008 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's the sword being discussed:



I've held one of MRL's Ravenna swords and had a different experience. It was overbuilt and heavy. Exclamation

But, these are very different swords.

Happy

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Aug, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've never held the piece in question, so I can't really comment on it.

However, I should point out that for large blades, it isn't uncommon for antiques to be "whippy". Some large two handers can actually sag under their own weight when held outright: Its the product of making a very long blade with a significant distal taper. It isn't necessarily a sign of poor quality.

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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Aug, 2008 9:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is listed as 3/16" thick stock. Windlass is not known for being much in the distal taper department and I'd be suprised if this one exhibts much, if any. It is going to likely be a fairly flexible flyer That may be a dissapointment to some, I'm sure. I like that that didn't go with their black finish on this one, as that tended to chip. i touch up mine with a black marker but have always considered stripping it entirely. Timw will tell if we see cracked grips and bent tangs, I'll not be suprised if we do.

Despite their faults, Windlass contiues to offer a wide variety for the budget minded. They have maintained and in some cases dropped their overall price point while coontinuing to show some improvement in quality. While only owing two of their swords, I have been fairly pro Windlass for several years. They aren't going to suit everybody and the continuing hilt issues really haven't been a mystery for a long time. Some are more prone to the issues than others. One of my swords has a 5/16" (or 8mm) threaded pommel, whereas the blade itself is the standard 3/16" As Sean has noted, the opening in the crosses is often larger than the blade shoulders are thick. I use a bent dime to shim that cross, a couple of paperclips to shim the grip and a flat washer to space the pommel to alignment. All instantly reversible and it made a sound sword that I have been pretty rough on for almost a decade now.

Their Swiss War Sword , after the Ravenna, wasn't quite this big and wasn't produced for long. As with some of the other larger swords, I'd expect to see this one on the specials lists after a couple of years. With the market trends, thre are a lot more choices than ten years ago but we still see some hits that linger. I look forward to in hand impressions of this one and will keep an eye out for it if I bump into Silvermane at a faire up this end of the country.

Cheers

GC
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Aug, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sword MRL's English Two-handed sword is based on is housed in the Royal Armouries at Leeds. It's one of the swords from the Castillon hoard (English swords dredged out of the Dordogne River that are thought to be spolis of that French victory).

Like the Wallace Collection sword MRL used to produce as the Ravenna sword, they are large (RA sword = 58 1/2 inches overall; Wallace Coll. sword = 59 1/4 inches overall), English two handers of the mid-15th century. But they have their differences. See the pics below.

If someone wanted to make their MRL English Two-Handed sword more accurate, they upgrade the grip. The original sword has evidence of "fine brass wire" wrapping over the wood core. Whether it was completely wrapped or not is unknown.

IV-1787



 Attachment: 15.62 KB
15th English Swords-2.jpg
Royal Armouries Sword and Wallace Collection Sword

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RA Sword hilt.jpg
Hilt of the RA sword.

 Attachment: 71.64 KB
Royal Armouries Sword [ Download ]

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Steve Halston





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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 9:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Windlass "English Two-Hand Sword"         Reply with quote

Eric W. Norenberg wrote:
Has anyone had occasion to handle this particular item in person? It is quite long, 44-inches of blade, which is well into the danger zone for blade whip with this manufacturer, but I wonder if the blade geometry might offset this to any degree. It appears to be of a diamond-shaped section, flattened in the strong and becoming more square, perhaps rapier-like, as it tapers toward the tip.

Granted, flexible in the strong and stiff in the weak is probably not ideal for handling, but the size and profile of the thing have me intrigued- our good Mr. Flynt's impressive "kitbashing" works have inspired me to consider a re-hilting project of my own, and this model looks like a possible candidate...

Thanks,
Eric


I own the Ravenna sword. I have several Windlass swords that have been discontinued and I have one curiosity that bears all the hallmarks of Windlass Steelcrafts but only has "India" stamped on the blade.

The Ravenna is probably my favourite sword. The blade is quite flexible but I don't really mind. It's a great chopper.

I had a huge 12 lb cabbage last year, the size of a medicine ball. I put it on a fence post, took a two hand position on my Ravenna and cut it in half. The person who sharpened my Ravenna did a good job, because the top half of the cabbage jumped up and then came down toppling the whole thing off the fence post. It's quite a lot of fun.

The finish on mine has chipped a bit. The wrap on the grip is flattened black wire, which is about 4 mm wide. The entire grip is wrapped and a decorative braided wire band finished the top and bottom of the wrapping. I believe I have one of the older ones. Mine looks a bit different than the one pictured, in handle profile and the decorative flourish in the middle of the hilt.

If you don't have big hands you might want to get something with a slimmer handle or do some work on the handle to make it narrower. It'd probably be easier to build a handle from scratch. The pommel screws on, and as with all Windlass swords, there is no welding involved. The thread is cut on the end of the tang which has been shaped from the same metal as the blade. I find my pommel and grip are very secure! I've encountered no loosening at all. It's been built just right, and you can't cinch the pommel any tighter than it is when properly aligned and the whole thing is very tight.

The tang is very beefy on mine. No complaints. The antiqued parts of the scabbard are a nice touch and the sword fits it very well.

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Robert Subiaga Jr.





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PostPosted: Sun 31 May, 2009 10:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd echo much of what's been already said. Windlass is extremely variable in overall quality, but their blades are invariably good in heat-treatment and the like, and, at their price, make great "project swords." Keep in mind that just about any hilting experiment you try that doesn't work can be removed and another attempt made. There's nothing like your own hands-on experimentation, and whatever you may settle on--a historical re-creation, something historically plausible, or just a "modernization" that is fully functional--you can take pride in having made something fully "yours."
Starting in a hollowed log of wood—some thousand miles up a river, with an infinitesimal prospect of returning! I ask myself "Why?" and the only echo is "damned fool!...the Devil drives...
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Patrick Mahoney




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PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2010 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thread revival.
I purchased the Windlass two hander from KOA, and was actually pleasantly surprised at how well the blade was forged. I expected certain abnormalities in the taper due to its low cost, but it does taper to appx 3mm by the radius of the point.
Yes, it sags a bit, an by that I mean just a bit. Although I didn't measure that, it didn't concern me in the least being quite a long blade.
The handling is quite nice, and if gripped at the hilt can be swung one handed, although you better have room for followthrouhg and recovery!
I personally sharpened this one myself, and I should note these would historically only be sharp near the COP and beyond so the base of the blade woould often be gripped for better control of the thrust which was often used to get between plates of armour.
Mine is sharp entirely.
The cutting is not as whippy as one would expect, and Windlass has done. Quite a nice job of it despite the furniture being somewhat blocky and unrefined. I suppose a drawback of the cost, and yes a very good project for re-gripping.

In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.
-Wm. Shakespeare
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2010 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The A & A version is much better quality but it's blade also sags but this is normal for very long blades:
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...und+Shield

The Windlass does seem very good for the price although I assume that the A & A is better in quality and I'm very happy with mine.

How much does the Windlass weigh ? The A & A weighs 6.06 pounds according to the A & A site and although I agree that one can just manage it with one hand recovery would be slow with a fully committed blow although it's possible to swing a large sword like this with one hand and then re-grab the handle with the other hand to recover: Doable but not easy. Wink

On the other hand using both hands even this large a sword can be fast and nimble but it's a the very limit and maybe a bit over being useable with one hand.

The smaller longswords weighing closer to 3 pounds are functionally bastard swords in that they can do both one handed and two handed well.

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Patrick Mahoney




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PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2010 5:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
The A & A version is much better quality but it's blade also sags but this is normal for very long blades:
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...und+Shield

The Windlass does seem very good for the price although I assume that the A & A is better in quality and I'm very happy with mine.

How much does the Windlass weigh ? The A & A weighs 6.06 pounds according to the A & A site and although I agree that one can just manage it with one hand recovery would be slow with a fully committed blow although it's possible to swing a large sword like this with one hand and then re-grab the handle with the other hand to recover: Doable but not easy. Wink

On the other hand using both hands even this large a sword can be fast and nimble but it's a the very limit and maybe a bit over being useable with one hand.

The smaller longswords weighing closer to 3 pounds are functionally bastard swords in that they can do both one handed and two handed well.


Thanks Jean.
I think this is the sword to which you referred: (The link you posted went to a shield)
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Long+Sword
Correct me if I'm wrong, as I didn't see an A&A two hander. This one is reminiscent of the photo Chad posted.
The Windlass is 4.6 lbs. by my digital scale (less scabbard) or close two 2 kilos. Not bad for such a long cutter.
I assume the acute taper lends to this.
I wish I had video'd the cutting I did, as you could see how fast this blade can be brought to bear on a target.

Here is a video by Shooter Mike, a member of Sword buyers Guide, on the Hanwei Bastard sword. (one of which I also own, and have yet to test)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-vyyi05tjo
It is only a few inches shorter than the Windlass, 3" of blade, 2" of grip and 3.8 lbs. but it does give an idea of what I am saying about the English two hander.

In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.
-Wm. Shakespeare
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Jean means A&A English two-hander, which is based on the sword on the right side of this picture:



MRL used to also copy that sword, but called it the Ravenna. The MRL sword being discussed replicates the sword on the left side of the picture.

It helps to make sure we're all talking about the same thing, eh? Happy

Happy

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 13 Oct, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yup, exactly what Chad wrote I was talking about the A & A English two hander made by A & A and the MRL version two hander: Yes it does help when people are actually talking about the same thing. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool
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