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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject: "Average" Longsword?         Reply with quote

I was kicking around the idea of making a couple of cheap (read that as crappy) wooden longsword wasters in the Liechtenauer style so I could pummel... er, practice with my brother. However, I am unsure of one critical item: What are the numbers on the "average" German longsword? In other words, how long is the hilt, crossguard, etc, etc? Is the Albion Armorers Maestro Line Liechtenauer Sword shown here a good example: http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_liecht.html?
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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 1:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Colt-
I'm truly no expert, but it's kinda quiet around here today, so I'll offer my layman's opinion -
Basically, if you're talking currently available reproduction longswords, yeah, the Liechtenauer is probably right in the mean, for dimensions. I've been obsessing over the current offerings from a lot of makers, in a lot of price ranges, for quite a while, and it seems to me that the average overall length is around 44" to 48", with blades between 34"-38", obviously for items that I'd consider appropriate (if not ideal) for learning longsword techniques.

I'm actually working (very, very slowly) on a waster myself, something a little more elegant than the stick-with-duct-tape I've been skulking around the backyard with, and, rather than basing it on some existing sword's dimensions, I'm shaping it based on the English master George Silver's "ideal" weapon lengths. This might be an interesting route for you and your brother to take, especially if you two are of differing stature: Silver's ideals are based on the dimensions of the weapon's wielder. In his philosophy, a person fighting with a weapon that is correctly proportioned to his own body will have a distinct advantage over someone using a weapon that is too long (for their size). I'm afraid I can't recall if I've ever read of any masters in the German (or Italian, for that matter) longsword school setting down a similar formula for weapon lengths, but I'd be surprised if they did not.

If you come up with any interesting construction techniques, I'd love to see pictures, if you don't mind sharing.

Excelsior!
-Eric
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Curt Dunham




Location: Fort Myers, FL
Joined: 03 Feb 2005

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's really, really important to bring the CG of a wooden waster back towards the hilt as far as you can. I use zincs bought at a boating store and iron pipe caps from Home Depot epoxied into the wooden pommel. It will make a tremendous difference in your training. I did this to commercial Purpleheart wasters, and now we don't mind using them.

Curt Dunham
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Reading list: 15 books

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Posts: 843

PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Curt Dunham wrote:
It's really, really important to bring the CG of a wooden waster back towards the hilt as far as you can.

Although it shouldn't be overdone either. Sword balance is not just achieved by pommel weight, and is not to be judged by CoG only... But then, maybe in practice it's impossible to add so much weight to a pommel that the CoG ends up too far back Wink

As to the original question I'd suggest picking an accurate reproduction in the review section, and trying to replicate the dimensions of this particular sword. Will be easier than trying to find significant averages. I mean if you average all the blade lengths then all the hilt lengths you might very well end up with a blade length and handle length that shouldn't be both present on the same sword Happy

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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