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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2009 4:07 pm    Post subject: Question regarding attaching pommels.         Reply with quote

Something I've been wondering about for a while: is there a secure way -historical or modern- of putting a sword hilt together that doesn't involve letting the tang fully pass through the pommel?

Originally I pondered about this when sketching up a fantasy sword with a pommel that wouldn't allow the tang to be peened the traditional way. There's always threading the tang so that the pommel can be screwed on, of course, but I was wondering if there was any more permanent method.

Somewhat related; I've also seen some Asian swords with ring-shaped pommels that do not have visible tangs like on the Irish ring hilted swords, and I've always wondered how they are made.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2009 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do believe that a Islamic method involved pinning it to the tang, but someone else better versed in those cultures could probably give you a better idea.
Hope this helps,
Dan
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D. Austin
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan, 2009 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A modern and fairly simple way would be to drill a hole in the pommel, insert the end of the tang, and secure it with an arc welder. I'm not too sure I'd trust it not to crack though. If you did this, it would be worth heating it to normalise the weld if you planned on using the sword.

Depending on the design, it may be possible to forge weld it and shape the pommel whilst it's attached to the sword. This would certainly be permanent and secure. If it can be made in two halves, it could be riveted on and soldered.

Regarding the ring pommels, I'd assume that these were simply forged by punching a hole near the end of the tang, enlarging it with drifts, and shaping it on the anvil horn or a mandrel. This is only a guess though.

Darren.
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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2009 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can also shrink the pommel on the tang.
Ok, that is not an entirely correct way to describe it, but i am having trouble describing it in English in a short and simple way.

What you do is you punch a hole halfway trough the pommel.
After that you set it on the glowing hot end of the tang and fix it with a few well placed strokes.
The tang will "bend" and "curve" in the pommel fixing itself in it.
If done right the pommel is secure on the and doesn't rattle. It is just as permanent as peening and faster done, but not as pretty.

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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Antal László




Location: Lymington, Hampshire, UK
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PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2009 6:28 am    Post subject: Re: Question regarding attaching pommels.         Reply with quote

Anders Backlund wrote:
Something I've been wondering about for a while: is there a secure way -historical or modern- of putting a sword hilt together that doesn't involve letting the tang fully pass through the pommel?

Originally I pondered about this when sketching up a fantasy sword with a pommel that wouldn't allow the tang to be peened the traditional way. There's always threading the tang so that the pommel can be screwed on, of course, but I was wondering if there was any more permanent method.

Somewhat related; I've also seen some Asian swords with ring-shaped pommels that do not have visible tangs like on the Irish ring hilted swords, and I've always wondered how they are made.


Hello,

http://www.regenyei.sg18.net/hu/making_sword.htm

This is a step by step guide on how to make a simple sword. This guy hammers the pommel onto the tang, heats up the pommel and fills the remaining cavity with molten lead, I don't know how secure is this method, but this could be an option.
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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2009 9:31 am    Post subject: Re: Question regarding attaching pommels.         Reply with quote

Antal László wrote:
... fills the remaining cavity with molten lead, I don't know how secure is this method, but this could be an option.


I don't have any experience with it, but i think it might work itself loose after a while. Especially if the blade is put trough some real action.


Another method i forgot to add on my first post:
Shape your tang like a chisel. Use a slightly smaller chisel to punch a hole halfway through the pommel.
Heat the pommel and then fix it on your tang with well placed strokes.
It is even easier to do than the method of my first post, but just as unsightly.

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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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan, 2009 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's this from the Gladiatoria Fechtbuch:

Note the twelfth technique: If you want to end quickly with him, take your spear and sword together on your arm and unscrew the pommel of your sword and throw it vigorously at him and run in with him after the throw, and use the sword or the spear – whatever is more suitable for you.
If he throws his pommel at you this way, then take your shield before you, and catch the throw on it, and take your spear before you in your right hand for the thrust and defend yourself so that he can’t run in at you as he wants to do.
(Gladiatoria fol. 7r)



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15.jpg


Regards,
Hugh
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Anders Backlund




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Feb, 2009 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice so far.

I've been hypothesizing if you could attach the tang to the grip with some sort of rivet or plug, Japanese-style, and then attach the pommel some other way, perhaps with a secondary tang from the pommel itself? I wonder if a construction like that would hold.

Antal László wrote:
Hello,

http://www.regenyei.sg18.net/hu/making_sword.htm

This is a step by step guide on how to make a simple sword. This guy hammers the pommel onto the tang, heats up the pommel and fills the remaining cavity with molten lead, I don't know how secure is this method, but this could be an option.


Like Arne, I'd be hesitant to trust that to hold under stress. Simply welding it seems like a better idea.

For that matter, this guy has a pretty advanced set-up anyway. I kinda wonder why he doesn't go all the way and actually peen the tang in place.

Hugh Knight wrote:
There's this from the Gladiatoria Fechtbuch:

Note the twelfth technique: If you want to end quickly with him, take your spear and sword together on your arm and unscrew the pommel of your sword and throw it vigorously at him and run in with him after the throw, and use the sword or the spear – whatever is more suitable for you.
If he throws his pommel at you this way, then take your shield before you, and catch the throw on it, and take your spear before you in your right hand for the thrust and defend yourself so that he can’t run in at you as he wants to do.
(Gladiatoria fol. 7r)


That's, er, a pretty creative tactic. Wink

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Nathan Beal





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PostPosted: Sun 01 Feb, 2009 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not sure if this is any help.

There are forms of pommel that are riveted in two pieces. An lower guard is riveted to the tang and then this forms a foundation for the remainder of the pommel to be riveted to.

First URL i found demonstrating the principle was (oddly) http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_jarl.html.

HTH
N.

Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Feb, 2009 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Beal wrote:
Not sure if this is any help.

There are forms of pommel that are riveted in two pieces. An lower guard is riveted to the tang and then this forms a foundation for the remainder of the pommel to be riveted to.

First URL i found demonstrating the principle was (oddly) http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_jarl.html.

HTH
N.


Yeah, it's pretty much how most viking sword pommels are made, right?

I don't think it would work with my original idea, but thanks anyway, it's worth keeping in mind.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Feb, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could pin the tang to the pommel. I've seen some ahistorical swords done this way. The tang needs to pass into the pommel. From there you need to drill a hole through pommel and tang (and back out through the other side of the pommel). You would then put a rivet through the hole and peen both ends. If you countersunk the ends of the hole, you could conceivably grind the rivet flush and not see it at all (or very much).
Happy

ChadA

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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Feb, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
You could pin the tang to the pommel. I've seen some ahistorical swords done this way. The tang needs to pass into the pommel. From there you need to drill a hole through pommel and tang (and back out through the other side of the pommel). You would then put a rivet through the hole and peen both ends. If you countersunk the ends of the hole, you could conceivably grind the rivet flush and not see it at all (or very much).



That's exactly what I was talking about Chad (thanks for explaining a bit better).
I believe that is the method used by MRL in their Swedish viking sword (rather then the more correct 2 piece pommel).
http://museumreplicas.com/popup.aspx?src=imag...293_1_.jpg
I also found the pic I was looking for from Nicolle's Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era
I may be interpreting the method incorrectly, but am pretty sure that was the method used (though if someone knows for certain I would appreciate the clarification)
I hope this helps,
Dan



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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Feb, 2009 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is hard to tell from such a drawing.
But my guess would be that the pin is just the attachment for the decoration and that the pommel is still peened to the tang.
The pommel at least looks like it.

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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Anders Backlund




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2009 12:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad, Dan, thanks for the suggestions. I think I'm starting to work this out now.

Of course, I'm still open to any other alternative methods anyone cares to contribute. I never meant this topic to be very specific anyway.

Chad Arnow wrote:
If you countersunk the ends of the hole, you could conceivably grind the rivet flush and not see it at all (or very much).


I actually had to look up what "countersunk" means. (English being my second language.)

Learned a new technical term! Yay! Happy

Arne Focke wrote:
It is hard to tell from such a drawing.
But my guess would be that the pin is just the attachment for the decoration and that the pommel is still peened to the tang.
The pommel at least looks like it.


Even so, it does give me a good idea of how this could theoretically be done. My concern with pinning the pommel in place was that there might not be room in the design for a place to drill the hole. On reflection, though, the section with the pin/rivet could be hidden by covering it with the grip wrapping, or it could simply be turned into a decorative part of the hilt.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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