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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 10:44 am    Post subject: Considering/Modifying the "Viking Spirit Sword"         Reply with quote

Ok, first time, here goes:

I'm not sure I really belong on this site. I have always been fasinated by swords/shields/armor/weapons/etc, etc, but only recently have I started to do something about it. Not having any place around that sells much in the shape of weapons, I decided to buy some sword-like-objects online. I bought two online (and before that, a third $10 thing from a Asian seasonal store). From looking at this site though, I realize that these sword-like-objects are so cheap and lame, I may get told "Get off our forums/Go get a real sword, loser!" Big Grin


Anyway, on to the point:
Of all three, I naturally have a favorite, the "Viking Spirit Sword": http://www.trueswords.com/viking-spirit-sword...98847fa6ee
According to it's description, it actually has a high carbon blade, not a stainless steel one. If this is true, it would make it one of the only two sword-like-objects that I know of in the $30-40 price range that are made from such metal. I wanted to see if anyone could tell me how to make sure it is actually high-carbon though.

Clues to it's construction:
1. It isn't too hard to put an edge on it, seeming a little easier than the stainless wakizashi I also have.
2. It came with a slight bend, and got a few more in play. I was able to remove the worst of these by pressing it against the desk or my knee with my bare hands.
3. I have found a couple of small cracks on what I prefer to use as the "long edge" (right next to the sweet spot, of course). I don't know whether these were there to begin with, were caused by my cutting on things, or came about due to my bending out the original bend in it when it came.

So, any idea as to what it is made out of?


My next concern came about as I debated about buying another one. It was my thought that I could take off the hilt/crossguard/pommel and put on others to make my own little custom sword. However, if it is cracking on this one, should I really go buy another one, even if it is high carbon and not stainless?
I think the thing might be full-tang, but I'm uncertain as to how the pommel was attached. There is a slight circular marking at the tip that I thought could be polishing or the remains of peening. Assuming worse comes to worse, I figured I'd just hack the thing off the end and improvise the rest. However, if it is full-tang and high-carbon, how well will the tang tolerate me drilling holes to bolt pieces on? What if the description is bogus and it is stainless?


To sum up, what do ya'll think of this sword-like-object, can you tell from what little I've said if it is high-carbon steel, and do you have any advice as to modifying it for fun?


P.S. I am well aware that this sucker only vaguely resembles the real deal. I sort of thought it was semi-period when I bought it, but some research since then has told me how clueless I was.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 11:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Colt. Welcome to the site. If any member were to call you names and tell you to get off the site, it would be them leaving, not you Happy We don't really allow that type of behavior on this site.

Anyway, one very general method of determining if something is stainless vs. non-stainless is to test if it is magnetic. If it is not, it is likely stainless. If it is, it might be non-stainless.

I would guess that it is not stainless.

The real issue at hand, though, is not really its material, but the quality of construction and, in particular, the heat-treatment. By your description, the blade seems very, very soft. If you're able to put an edge on it with such ease and fix bends simply by by bending it further with your hands and a desk, it's got a real bad heat-treat on that thing.

Be careful doing anything with a blade such as that. It can be quite dangerous. It's best to have those types of swords be for decoration only. These types of swords are more prone to breaking, splintering, or shattering. Even inexpensive swords can be extremely dangerous.

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Lucas LaVoy




Location: New Orleans, LA
Joined: 08 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Colt

First off, I wouldn't be too worried about getting the cold shoulder here- I'm easily as uninformed as you are and I've still found the myArmoury forums to have some of the nicest people on the internet.

You may have found Paul Southren's site already (http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com ), but if not he is an excellent resource for the budget conscious; that site will have a lot of info that might allow you to find something in your price range without having to undertake a big remounting project (nothing wrong with such a project, but it certainly is going to take a while). If you really are exited about putting a new grip or guard on it, you can search the forums here for a number of threads dealing with projects like that.

As for checking what kind of steel it is, I have no idea how to do that, but just be aware that the phrase "high carbon steel" has a lot of flexibility.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There was some talk about this company's swords on the SBG sword forum, so I will tell what I read there, not my own experience. These swords are carbon steel, but not heat treated so they are not really functional. (bending, cracks...). I think Strongblade company has similar very cheap swords but they have a tempering option and such swords are a bit more expensive. I will try to find and post it. I would say that cheapest functional european styled swords will cost you at least $100 and probably more. But for about $150 you can buy Windlass swords which are on sale at museum replicas and which are quite good for that money.

http://www.strongblade.com/prod/sba-vikingraider.html
I found it. That is very similar sword to yours but they offer tempered version for $104. It is historically unaccurate but if that doesn't bother you, I would say it is worth 100 dollars. Search a bit here, you might find something else that you like.

Here are some quite good Windlass swords on sale, I think they are going to discontinue them and so they put them on sale:
http://www.museumreplicas.com/c-82-swords-kni...?pagenum=1

Search the site for more functional relatively cheap swords.

Btw, welcome to the forum. Happy
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Adam S.





Joined: 01 Sep 2006

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Colt, Welcome to the forum!

No one is going to tell you to "Get off our forums/Go get a real sword, loser!" I will state, however, "You get what you pay for."

I would speculate (note: Speculate) that the reason for the cracking and bending in the blade would be form a poor/non-existent heat-treat. That said, ehem, DON'T TRY AND CUT WITH IT!!! Sword-like objects of an inexpensive, i.e. cheap, nature are notoriously dangerous. They can snap, bend, and warp unpredictably, causing much heart-ache both figuratively and literally.

You seem like a well read and literate fellow (I'm going to assume your mama wouldn't name a girl "Colt" Wink ), so I think that you should have no trouble finding something to your liking that's safe AND affordable.

Wall hangers are called that for a reason. Big Grin

I would recommend you check out Michael "Tinker" Pierce's Hanwie line, Angus Trim's Valiant/Christian Fletcher line, or Albion Armorers' Squire line if you want something inexpensive and fun.

Also, Sword Buyers' Guide is the group most known for doing research into the sub-$300 sword market.

Hope that helps!

~A
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Colt! I would also recommend going to www.kultofathena.com to look for bargains on "real" swords, particularly Windlass brand swords. They often have the best prices and great customer service. Also, check out their FAQ section - it's quite informative. Welcome to the hobby! Big Grin
Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Colt,

Don't worry about fitting in. We all like to play with sharp things so none of us are exactly in the mainstream. Big Grin

Others have already given you good advice so I'll just share my own experiences with this particular sword. They are made of carbon steel, which in itself does not denote quality. The sword isn't very well constructed or heat treated so I wouldn't put it to any sort of use. I've seen this one for sale for years in every mall knife shop out there and I've never been impressed with any of the ones I've seen. In short: if you paid $30-$40 dollars for it you got your monies worth. It's far better to spend that money on a nice book and start educating yourself rather than throw it into a thing like that.

Welcome!
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you know, I would be suprised if most people on this site didn't start off buying swords like those you describe, before they gained more knowledge and a deeper understanding of what made a good sword. I would further guess that many of us were raher more arogant in our ignorance Wink. True wisdom comes from knowing that you know nothing, according to some dead Greek dude...
As to the sword, though, it is interesting to note that in the kitchen you are more likely to seriously hurt yourself with a dull, poorly made knife than a good sharp one. I suspectthat the same is sorta true for swords, as a sudden catastrophic failure while bending back to true with bare hands over the knee could result in a very nasty injury.
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David Sutton




Location: Bolton, UK
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Colt and welcome!

I think you made a good decision joining myArmoury.com and asking for some advice.This site is a great resource for arms and armour, there are some very knowedgable heads on here too.

Regarding your question; IMO I wouldn't buy anymore 'sword-like-objects' or wall hangers, or try to cobble something up from the parts off several. Save the cash, if what you're lusting after is a reasonably authentic, fully functional replica of a historical sword. Even if some of the stuff you have been looking at looks nice and only costs $10 or $50, just think that by not buying it you will have that cash to spend on something decent. Its very, very easy to impulse buy and then end up being disappointed with your purchase; which is incidently what I would guess most people on this site have done when starting out (me included Big Grin ).

Also I would not recomend using a wall hanger/sword-like-object for cutting or even swinging around in 'dry' drills. It might be touted as 'carbon steel' or 'full tang' but I have real concerns about the safety of such swords, especially as you state yours has developed cracks. As Adam S states 'Wall hangers are called that for a reason', I couldn't agree more.

I would recomend Albion's Squire Line is a good place to find an excellent first sword for a reasonable outlay of money. They make a very nice Viking sword too. However if you feel thats a little too expensive (around $400 at the moment) then Kult of Athena has a good selection of Windlass swords which often give a good 'bang for your buck'. However Windlass swords can be a little bit hit and miss at times. But they do make a couple of gems. If you find a sword you like the look of have trawl through the site and forums here for any references to it or reviews, if you can't find it, start a thread and ask for some opinions on it, the chances are somebody has ecountered it.

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

Hypatia of Alexandria, c400AD
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nat Lamb wrote:
you know, I would be suprised if most people on this site didn't start off buying swords like those you describe, before they gained more knowledge and a deeper understanding of what made a good sword.


That would have been my case, but, I got lucky and stumbled into this forum ("Googling" the internet looking for other people's opinions of commercial sword offerings) while trying to decide what to buy.

If I were buying something with intent to modify it myself, I would not want to go way over $200. (Many of the artisans active on this forum do incredible customizations that would cost much more if you employed a machine shop at rates required to make a profit. My personal opinion is that ii makes more sense to save enough money to employ those who have perfected their craft.)

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2009 9:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick replies.

Ok, I checked and it is magnetic, so I guess it is actually carbon and not stainless. When I considered how I was able to bend it, I kept thinking about the mention of a Norse saga in which a character had to stand on his sword blade to bend it back into shape repeatedly on this site: http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manu..._sword.htm
I guess the Norse had to watch out what they bought too.

I figured one day I would graduate to something in the hundred+ dollar range, I'm just the type that slowly wades in to test the water rather than just jumping right in.

I did look over Sword Buyers' Guide, but like I said, I didn't want to throw a few hundred dollars into something I may not care for right away.

And no, I'm not a girl. Laughing Out Loud Colt was supposed to be my father's name, but my grandmother couldn't think of a better middle name than 45, so I wound up being Colt.

Lastly, does anyone have any recommendations as to what would be good blades to cannablize for semi-custom swords? I don't want to buy something for a few hundred dollars and ruin it fumbling around with my usual lack of attention to detail...



Edit:
Thanks Luka. MuseumReplicas has two swords I want, the five-lobe Viking sword for the one-handed play, and the Baron's sword for the two-handed Liechtenauer style. Nearly $200 each though, so I'm going to keep poking around a little before nabbing them.
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Nathan M Wuorio




Location: Maine.
Joined: 17 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've heard mixed things about the Windlass Baron, someone on this forum (cant remember who) calls theirs "Old Whippy" if I'm not mistaken. But, with Windlass, some are good, some are REALLY good, and some not so much. I've had some pretty good luck with my Windlass pieces, so no complaints here. Kult of Athena (my personal favourite store) has some really good pictures if you want to see more. Here http://www.kultofathena.com/product~item~5010...+Sword.htm And I was just like you a while ago, bought a couple of sword-like-objects and watched some good sword fighting movies, and discovered this place, though I can't remember how. Anyway, pretty much everybody here was just like you at some point, so don't feel worried or nervous about saying the wrong thing, this is a place for learning.

Good luck with your purchases![/b]

Nathan.
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I've heard mixed things about the Windlass Baron, someone on this forum (cant remember who) calls theirs "Old Whippy" if I'm not mistaken.


Ah yes, that would be me. Wink I went ahead and bought both the Five-Lobe and the Baron's, though I haven't come up with a name for the Five-Lobe. I'm doing alright with 'em, though I want to buy the Great Ouse River Sword now: http://www.kultofathena.com/product~item~5011...+Sword.htm
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Colt...

There is nothing wrong with this sword, if you don't intend to use it. It looks great on the wall, which is where mine is hanging at the moment and where it shall remain. As others have said, the heat treatment is nil, you would have a terrible time sharpening it and the tang will break off with much contact. They are truly $30 - $50 swords. As others have said, there is a wide range of quality available from the Indian manufacturers and this is on the very low end. They are great souvenirs and decorators but that is all.

Don't worry about asking questions. That is the only way to get answers!!!

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Nathan M Wuorio




Location: Maine.
Joined: 17 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That Great Ouse River Sword looks REALLY nice, and I haven't heard anything bad about it, so it should be a good buy. And now I remember, you're right, it was you who called it "Old Whippy". Great name by the way! I would love to hear what you thought of the Five - Lobe Viking Sword, and when you get the Great Ouse, what you think of that.
Nathan.
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 9:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I'm no expert on swords, these being my first real ones, but since you asked:

Concerning "Old Whippy", I named it thus because I thought it rather whippy and just plain "Whippy" didn't sound good to my ears. The thing noticeably droops if you hold it out sideways. That's my biggest complaint. Second is the "loose" hilt construction that allows a little bit of tapping noise if you rap the pommel or haul off and jerk it sideways while in the middle of another strong swing. (Note that these are both common Windlass complaints.) Still, in my opinion it is a good sword and has performed well enough in my water bottle cutting and general practice. I mean to give it a new hilt during the break between semesters here to eliminate the second complaint. At first I didn't care for this one that much, but after playing with it a bit I now favor it over my Five-Lobe.

Concerning the Five-Lobe, it's a better made sword to my mind. I think I can detect a very slight droop if held sideways, but swinging and hitting things with it makes it flex on par with videos I've seen on the net with "good" swords, so this may just be my imagination. This thing is made for the chop, like most Viking swords, and cuts better than "Old Whippy", but still goes easily through a tougher juice bottle with a decent thrust. (For some reason, the sharpening service didn't sharpen the tips of either sword, so I'm relying on the point to go through by sheer virture of pointiness). The hilt is solid and my only complaint with it is that I haven't mastered the switching of hammer to handshake grip yet and keep jamming the pommel into my wrist. This is largely due to low grip-strength in my opinion, and should eventually clear up with enough practice and finger stengthening. I am debating filing the edges of the pommel down a tad to help deal with it.

I imagine you want to hear my thoughts on these swords to decide if you want them, so PM me with more specific questions if you want more. Wink
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