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Alan Schiff
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Location: Las Vegas
Joined: 06 Oct 2008

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2009 10:42 am    Post subject: Bending a guard         Reply with quote

Hello everyone. I recently started a project on a Del Tin blade from the Albion moat sale, using a guard from another sword that I had, similar to an Oakeshott type 2. I haven't finished it yet because I would really like to make the guard curve downward a little. However, I don't know how to go about doing that. The guard is cast. I already tried putting it in a vise and bending it cold, but that didn't work at all. So does anyone have any suggestions on how to bend the guard? I tried using the search function already, but nothing useful came up.

Thanks in advance for any advice,
Alan
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Michael Pikula
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Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 07 Jun 2008

Posts: 411

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It all depends on the amount of curve you want to put in, the tools that you have to your disposal, and the material the guard is made from. Since it is cast I don't know how high of a success rate you would have, but I would try heating it a little and then try bending it again, using whatever you can find. Keep in mind you will have to refinish the guard, and if you use a vise, the jaws will leave a print on the guard that you will have to get out. Hope this helps...
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I bent a guard that was straight to a 45 degree angle so it would not hit my wrist. First I contacted the manufacture who told me the guard was made of mild-steel and would not crack. He advised me remove the guard, and place it in a vice between two blocks of wood. He told me to fit a 12" mettle tub over the guard and use the long leverage of the tub to bend it.
No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
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Bill Love





Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Reading list: 43 books

Posts: 91

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2009 11:57 am    Post subject: Bending a Guard         Reply with quote

If the guard can be bent, i.e. it's mild steel, try to find someplace that has brass rod stock and buy a piece about 10'' long by 1 3/4" or 2'' in diameter. You can polish the cut ends smooth and then use it as a mallet by holding the shaft in your hand and using the ends to bend the guard. The rod will have enough weight that you can use it as everything from a light drop hammer to a serious beater depending on how much force you apply, and it won't scratch the steel.
As far as the vise goes, you can get 2 short sections of 2x4 and clamp the guard in the vise between them to hold it in place for pounding. The softer the wood, the better it wil grip the guard. Put rosin between the wood and guard if it slips, and make sure not to squash the slot the tang goes through.

"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
Napoleon Bonaparte
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Arne Focke
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Location: near Munich, Germany
Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 204

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2009 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If the guard is really cast than there is a high chance that it will brake during the bending, even when heated. You are lucky that it didn't while you tried it cold.
Your chances are better if you heat it up till its glowing dark orange. You have to remove it from the blade of course.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Alan Schiff
Industry Professional



Location: Las Vegas
Joined: 06 Oct 2008

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jan, 2009 11:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the replies. I have yet to actually put the sword together, so the guard is not on the blade yet. I had read on other sites that working with cast pieces is trickier and more potentially destructive to the piece than working with milled pieces, which is why I asked for advice on the subject. I was hesitant to try working it cold, but figured it was worth a shot, and I was very careful not to be too harsh with it.

As far as heating it is concerned, I'm not even sure if that is an option. I recently put together a small forge, but I don't think it gets hot enough to get the guard to the right temperature, and I would still be hesitant to use it on a cast piece. So in the end I guess I'll just leave it as is.

Thanks again to everyone who replied,
Alan
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