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Jason H Mereau





Joined: 24 Jan 2009

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat 24 Jan, 2009 11:03 pm    Post subject: type XVIIIb distal taper         Reply with quote

Hi everyone; My name is Jason Mereau and I'm new to the posting side of this board. I have been studying swords now for a couple of years and have decided to try building my own. I have extensive experiance fabricating and metal working on drag race vehicles and roll cages so I'm not scared to use a grinder free hand to blend and smooth thousandths. I chose the XVIIIb because I can make the flattened diamond cross section with the tools in my garage, angle grinders, die grinders, carbide bits, files, calipers, ect. I have accomplished roughing out the profile from a 2" x .25 " piece of anealed 1075/80 from admiral steel. When I clean it up the dimensions will be 1.8" @ the base, 37.5" blade, and a handle length of about 12"(I perfer a longer handle). My insperation for the profile were Albions Munich and Regent.
My question is can anyone give me a layout of the distal taper on this blade? I'd rather not try to feel it out on my own and waste a bunch of time on what is turnning out to be a fun and rewarding project. I want a decent flex, good cutting, and a fairly stiff point. A good late mideval long sword for no armour to light armoured combat.
On that note, do I understand clearly the review of the Munich on this site, that the blade thins out @ the cop and then thickens back up going twords the point?

thanks for the great site and info everyone.

Jason Mereau
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jan, 2009 11:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There really are no general rules for such things since a sword's dynamics are defined by the complex relationship of all the different dimensions, tapers, and whatnot working together. Much of the swordmaker's craft is in the "tuning" of the blade with incremental changes followed by testing/feeling the resulting effect.

Maybe somebody can you give you some general sense for various types of swords they've studied and that could help, though.

I just wanted to post and say that I think starting with .25" material may have been a mistake: it seems too thin to start as a base on such a sword type. I would think 5/16ths would be the better choice, but 3/8ths could even be the best/most flexible choice.

Having said that, note that I'm not a swordmaker. There are far better people to listen to than me on this matter. Happy

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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
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Posts: 551

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jan, 2009 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What Nathan said. Unless you have managed to copy the Munich blade very closely, the distal taper that works for that sword is probably less than ideal for yours. As Nathan pointed out, I believe the Munich is considerably thicker at the base than the .25 stock that you started with. The blade on my Regent is 3/8" thick where it enters the guard, so you will probably want to use thicker stock to replicate either of these sword styles.
The distal and profile tapers of a sword blade not only determine the stiffness of the sword but also the weight distribution, which is really where things get complex. From a design standpoint, the profile of the blade and the angle of the bevels sort of set the parameters for the distal taper but there are other variables, such as edge geometry, that may also affect the whole, and sometimes one characteristic must be compromised a bit to accomodate another.
If this is the first blade that you have ever made, then my recomendation would be to build the hilt parts and get them fitted to the tang before you get too far into finalizing the tapers of the blade, so that you can mount it all up and handle it as a complete sword periodically during the grinding . This will allow you to study the effect as the piece comes closer to it's final characteristics. Learning to tune a sword this way takes most makers many years, and trial and error is about the only way to learn.
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Jason H Mereau





Joined: 24 Jan 2009

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jan, 2009 3:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies; you guys are deffinetly right. I started the cross section geometry tonight , I worked for a couple of hours, and then decided to just let what comes out of it happen. I get the feeling that it will turn out to be a rather pointy cutter ,but it might be to soon to tell.
It does have some good charecteristics showwing up. the cop is @ around 23 inches from the guard, and it is starting to have some cool harmonics when you flap wheel grind it.
The rough grinding is about half done,with almost no dist taper yet ,and a bunch of filing left to do I figure about 6-8 more hours and I'll have a blade to heat treat....... which I think I'll try to use the out door wood stove?? it's got a blower....I'll try to post a pic when its more completely ground. to get some feed back. I'll be gone during the week for the next three weeks, so i'll be jonesing to work on it.
thanks jason
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