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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject: Fixing Windlass Hilts?         Reply with quote

I recently bought myself a couple of Windlass swords (http://www.museumreplicas.com/c-82-swords-knives-daggers.aspx?pagenum=1). Now I found one of them, the Viking one, to be quite nice, but the Baron's Sword has some issues. It has an overly whippy blade (I wanted to return it because of this, but looking around I can't seem to find anything better in the same price range) and a loose hilt. Now, I had a similar problem with a couple of $30 SLOs I bought and a quick and easy solution was to pour a few small bottles of liquid super glue down the hilt. I wanted to know if this is a good idea before I go ahead and try this with my $180 Baron, or Whippy as I have decided to call it. I did see a review for a Windlass one time that mentioned super-gluing a coin wedged in so as to stop rattling, so I am thinking this might be a fairly good way to fix it. So, any recommendations?

Note: The pommel is peened.




Edit: While the topic is up, does anyone have any recommendations for a replacement if I do get this thing returned? I was looking at the Flared Long Sword shown in the link, but it is another Windlass and I have no reason to believe it will be a better sword. All the swords in that price range that even look remotely like something I would want are Windlass...
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Fixing Windlass Hilts?         Reply with quote

If your hilt is loose, have the vendor replace the sword for you with one that is not.

Based on your post, I'm confused by what you mean, "Whippy". Please explain. Typically, people use this word to describe the flex of a blade while in movement. There would be no fix for this, as it pertains to the blade geometry and heat-treatment. Having said this, many antique swords have blades that are "whippy" (very flexible, sagging while held out horizontally, etc.). Not all sword blades are intended to be super stiff.

Colt Reeves wrote:
While the topic is up, does anyone have any recommendations for a replacement if I do get this thing returned? I was looking at the Flared Long Sword shown in the link, but it is another Windlass and I have no reason to believe it will be a better sword.


The Windlass flared longsword is a training weapon. None of the other things you discuss here are training weapons. I mention this because you speak of replacing one normal sword with a training sword and this seemed odd to me.

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Fixing Windlass Hilts?         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
The Windlass flared longsword is a training weapon. None of the other things you discuss here are training weapons. I mention this because you speak of replacing one normal sword with a training sword and this seemed odd to me.


To be fair, MRL doesn't seem to market it as one. In fact, despite the fact that it is clearly modeled after the look of blunt training swords, it seems to be made as if it is intended to be a sharp. It even has a sharp point, and can be ordered sharpened.

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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suppose I should clarify: The looseness in the hilt is a design flaw, not a failure in manufacture. It is in no danger of coming apart, it is just that the hilt has enough space in it that the sucker makes a funny noise when you shake it side to side. It is rock-solid front and back. I've read reviews online that suggest this sort of thing is common in Windlasses and it isn't something that can be fixed be asking for another one of the same thing. Of course, this is one of my first "real" swords, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about...

*Fumbles about with the sword* Yeah, it isn't loose per se, merely that the hilt is made so the whippy blade can "tap" the crossguard a bit.


Edit: By whippy I mean that the blade flexes easily in motion, even drooping as you mention. Based on reviews (again, I lack any real experience with swords) I was led to believe it was too much so. And I thought the Flared one was a training weapon, but as Grandy says, it can be sold as sharpened, so I thought I might be wrong.

Double Edit: And I was asking more about the hilt. I didn't think there was anything anyone could really do about the whippiness in the blade.


Last edited by Colt Reeves on Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Almost any Windlass vendor, including Museum Replicas, will exchange your sword for another sample if you are not happy with it.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Windlass components are not made to close tolerances, so I doubt you'd get something tighter with a replacement.

I'm not familiar with the sword in question, but it might not really be peened. If it has a nut, and if the pommel can turn, turn the pommel as if trying to unscrew it. Then see if the nut will unscrew. Put the pommel or nut in the rubber jaws of a vise and see if you can unscrew them. If the tang really is flush with the surface of the pommel, it's still worth trying to unscrew the pommel. The tang might simply be ground down to the surface of the pommel and not really peened. If none of this works and you're sure it's peened, you have two options.

First, you could simply peen it a bit more to tighten the components through compression.

Second, this sword almost certainly would benefit from a new grip. and shimming/gluing of the cross. I'd break off the grip, shim and epoxy the cross and make a new sandwich-type grip. Before installing the new grip you can peen the tang until the pommel is very tightly locked in place. It's a good idea to use some very dry wood for a new grip so it won't shrink much over time. It's also a good idea to use JB Weld or similar epoxy when you clamp the halves of the grip in place. That hilt, when finished, will NOT rattle. For shims, I use snips of thin brass.

-Sean

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Last edited by Sean Flynt on Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But will it be any different? From all that I've read, it will be the same thing. If so, then the best I can do is fix the tapping that occurs when I whack the side of the pommel with the heel of my palm (Experimenting some more reveals I was BSing about shaking it back and forth. It won't make any strange noises merely shaking.)


Edit: So, super-glue is acceptable to use in a hilt?
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Joel Chesser




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would recommend exchanging it. From what it sounds like you are not going to be able to fix it as you would have your others, the shim might work, but with the money you have put into this already it seems like you should just exchange it for one that doesn't require you to do work on it.

I would suggest something like the Hanwei Albrecht II, it's only about thirty dollars more. I have owned this and really liked it.
If spending extra money is an issue right now, you might consider returning it for store credit that you can apply later towards something you really want.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If it's just the pommel that's ill-fitting, I'd still recommend a new grip. It can dramatically improve the look and feel of the sword, and while you're at it you should have no trouble driving a small nail or bit of brass into the area where there's some play. Sounds like the opening at the base of the pommel might be slightly larger than the tang there.
-Sean

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Colt Reeves wrote:
But will it be any different? From all that I've read, it will be the same thing. If so, then the best I can do is fix the tapping that occurs when I whack the side of the pommel with the heel of my palm (Experimenting some more reveals I was BSing about shaking it back and forth. It won't make any strange noises merely shaking.)


Edit: So, super-glue is acceptable to use in a hilt?


My experience is that yes, each sample is different. Will the next be better? No, in fact it ma be worse. But it may be excellent. These are hand-made and at a low price point, so mileage varies.

Super glue is not a solution.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 12:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Fixing Windlass Hilts?         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
To be fair, MRL doesn't seem to market it as one. In fact, despite the fact that it is clearly modeled after the look of blunt training swords, it seems to be made as if it is intended to be a sharp. It even has a sharp point, and can be ordered sharpened.


I guess you're right. I read the following quote and, because I already know what these are, I took it as a training sword.

Quote:
This type of Long Sword is pictured in many period fighting manuals

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Kevin S





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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 11:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm also fairly new at this, and my first real sword was the Windlass War Sword. The blade on that one has a good bit of flex, and when I was first starting whenever my edge alignment was horrible it would let me know by the blade flexing just enough that I could feel the weight shift at the end of the swing and occasionally by making a "tink" sound from the blade and guard hitting each other just like what you describe with your sword. However, after I had practiced to the point that my edge alignment stopped being terrible, this went away completely and I'm not at all bothered by the flexibility of the blade. The point of this is that for me it was a problem that only showed up when my technique was bad, and it actually helped me learn a good bit faster, and things might go similarly for you. If you know anyone with a bit more experience I'd have them handle it a bit and see what they think, but in the end it comes down to whether or not you think these issues are acceptable or not for your sword.
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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2009 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might want to tighten the peening. Put the blade in a vertical vice. Use a ball-peen hammer and hammer away at the peening. Do it in such a manor so that you are hammering out and away from the center of the peen. What you want to do is create a bigger mushroom. This action will suck up more of the tang into the peen and tighten the whole grip. This is the same action as when riveting. You may want to buy a few rivets and practice working the hammer first.

You may also have a grip that is not well fitted to the tang. I have experienced this on the Windlass Classic Medieval sword. The grip is oversized so that it rotates over the tang to some extent. I find this more annoying then any rattling because this can throw your alignment off. I would have hoped Windlass would have fixed this problem by now.

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Bill Love





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PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2009 6:29 am    Post subject: Fixing Windlass Hilts         Reply with quote

There are two other things you can do-both will work, but there will be subtle diiferences in the results. JB Weld can be used if you can fit a plastic straw into the gaps-mix up the product and cut the straw in half for ease of handling, then scoop the JB Weld into the straw until it is 2-3 inches full. Then, clamp the sword blade up in a padded vise, stick the straw into the gap, and squeeze it between your fingers down to the end to fill the opening. Watch to see if it sinks, then fill in behind till it's full. Clean up with Gun Scrubber on a paper towel before it sets. This method will be solid and tight enough to make the blade sing when you pluck it. Another thing you can use, and probably the better way to go if most of the grip is now filled with epoxy, is white PVA bookmakers glue (also known as "Jade" glue) available at art suppliers or university art departments. It's like Elmer's on steroids-fill a pipette, like the ones Testor's makes for painting scale models, and squirt the glue into the gaps, refilling as necessary till the hilt is full. Clean up with water quickly, before it sets. This method is easier to do and clean up after, but the tang will be slightly cushioned due to PVA's flexibility and the blade may lose some of its "ring." Either way, the hilt will be permanently tight. Let the JB Weld set up for a couple of days and the PVA for at least a week.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2009 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have just been chopping up 10 windlass swords and modifying them for a job.

Some were tight as you like others were a bit shaky, but hell that is as authentic as it gets anyway. The end of the tang is a piece of 8mm diameter round mild that is welded onto the tang proper and done nicely, so there is no need to worry, but the peening is quite shallow, so a quick pass with the grinder and the pommel will come off easily, slide the grip off which should be possible if it is loose, sand 2mm off the grip and make sure the tang now protrudes from the pommel. Take the grip and pommel back off, use JB weld (epoxy?) to refit the grip and pommel and repeen the pommel, making sure to align it nicely. That should all be easy enough.

That being said if you are taking it apart, treat it to a new grip, of all the parts I think that is visually the weakest.

The above is all written on the basis you have some time and access to a reasonable workshop - the easiest thing would be to replace it and if your next one is duff then give it a go; it really is pretty straightforward.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2009 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
The above is all written on the basis you have some time and access to a reasonable workshop - the easiest thing would be to replace it and if your next one is duff then give it a go; it really is pretty straightforward.


This sounds like fantastic advice to me.

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Tim May




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to agree with Tod and Nathan. As someone who has been pretty lucky with Windlass, I'd try for another Baron, if it's the one you really like. Otherwise go for the 15th Century Longsword or the Verneuil (if you're set on a hand and a half), which both have screw on pommels, but are also both highly regarded.If I recall from Bill Goodwin's review, the Verneuil isn't too whippy.

Personally, I'd go with the Venetian, it's gorgeous and I've heard good things.

http://www.museumreplicas.com/p-310-venetian-sword.aspx

Hope this helps!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2009 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim May wrote:
Personally, I'd go with the Venetian, it's gorgeous and I've heard good things.


When the contest prize I purchased arrived from Museum Replicas, I was really impressed with the Venetian. it's a sword worth much more than its asking price.

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