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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jul, 2009 11:14 pm    Post subject: MRL/Windlass Rapier         Reply with quote

Hi I saw this rapier for sale in another topic
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=16945
and thought it looked pretty nice. Unfortunately someone else got it first, does anyone know what model it is?
And how historical is it? If I find another one for sale and it isn't very accurate what could be done to make it more so?
Thanx in advance
Z
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Mon 06 Jul, 2009 11:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like the saxon cut and thrust sword with the hilt parts painted and the cross guard bent to an S.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product~item~5009...+Sword.htm

If it is the saxon sword, a guy I know has one...and the blade on his is utter trash. Even for a windlass, it's really whippy...even for a limp noodle, it's whippy.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 12:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why not simply message the guy selling it?

Looks like the hilt of the Windlass "German Backsword" that has been discontinued mounted onto another Windlass blade, perhaps from the Saxon C&T sword. It looks like a shorter grip, too. The person is selling the backsword blade in another of his auctions... so that's my guess.

I am shocked that P. Cha says that the Saxon has a whippy blade as the two samples I've seen are extremely stiff diamond cross-sectioned blades and not whippy in any sense at all. But I'm often confused at people's classification of "whippy blades" now days. Happy




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P. Cha




PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 12:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well it could be the one sword is a bad sword (or you got 2 better then normal sword). One of the annoying things about windlass and their QC Mad . This sword was whippy...it drooped badly from it's own weight...and the blade wasn't even thin...nice diamond cross as you mentioned...but definately NOT stiff. Ah well, hopefully, he got a bad sword and the sample you have seen are the norms (which seems more likely as you have 2 good ones).
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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I visited the MRL showroom a few years back, and they were returning a Windlass rapier (I forget which one) because it's blade had not been properly tempered. It really WAS a droopy noodle! It sagged into a true arc if held horizontally to the floor. I suppose the occasional bad one gets through quality control. Confused
Christopher Gregg

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm intimately familiar with the "Saxon Hilt Sword" Nathan examined and can second his assessment. It's a very stiff blade. We've both examined the same "German Backsword" blade and reached the same conclusion.

It might be worth repeating here what's been said elsewhere: Just because a blade bends a bit when held horizontally means absolutely nothing. We have to consider section, length, width, purpose and the characteristics of surviving examples. Saying that a sword is "whippy" is like saying a car is "low." Is low bad? Bad for an off-road vehicle but not for a supercar. Bad if you want to drive through a swamp but not if you want to drive on the Autobahn.

Here's one vote for a ban on the term "whippy." Big Grin

-Sean

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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No offense, but all you have to do is ask............................ its an older discontinued windlass with parts from the German backsword and a custom grip (the German Backsword has this funky not very well done black dyed rayskin). As I stated in my other classified, I bought 4 of the German Backswords and experimented on them (all of those I thought turned out well and are sold). Sean is not the only one that likes to tinker around with Windlass swords Wink As far as that rapier, the blade is a diamond cross section and is rather stiff. It too, is sold. tr
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Here's one vote for a ban on the term "whippy." Big Grin

If we start banning all the subjective and/or imprecise terms used to describe swords we won't be left with many words to use Happy

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Sean Flynt wrote:
Here's one vote for a ban on the term "whippy." Big Grin

If we start banning all the subjective and/or imprecise terms used to describe swords we won't be left with many words to use Happy


I hear you. As a writer, I like to have all words at my disposal. I understand that most of us (including myself) need subjective terms to describe reproduction swords. But qualification of those terms isn't too difficult. It requires a bit more thought and maybe some research. "Whippy" compared to what? "Short" compared to what? "Long" compared to what? "Heavy" compared to what? Challenging those subjective comments and answering those questions is an important part of evaluation. Sometimes all we can say is, "the stiffness of the blade seems appropriate to its length, section, edge, profile and historic use". That's a subjective comment but it reflects informed thought.

The reviews at this site have both objective and subjective information, and I value both. If I don't know the reviewer I'm likely to focus mostly on the statistics. On the other hand, when Peter Johnsson writes subjectively about a sword he has examined, I value those observations as much as, or more than, a recitation of measurements. Ideally, we get both data and informed commentary.

Is there a motion to vote on the recommendation as amended?: Discourage the unqualified use of the term "whippy" in describing reproduction sword blades. Laughing Out Loud

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 12:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While I am not a rapier fencer, I do find these rater nice looking. Sean, the good ones have well-stiffened blades, right?

I've not held weapons like these, so I'm unsure how much "droop" is normal in -real- examples.

M.

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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well what I can say about originals, is that there is a real lot of variety. Rapiers are (obviously) primarily thrust oriented weapons. As such rapiers tend to have fairly stiff blades. There are, however, many rapiers I have seen with blades that droop slightly when held out straight. The whole thing about blades being whippy is utter rubish. Swords in period were often made quite thin and droop heavly when held out straight. With a cut oriented blade "whippiness" is no issue and a thin blade cuts better than an overly thick one. The other thing that can lead to "whippiness" is a well tempered "springy" blade, and one is far better off with a springy blade than a blade that bends on impact and stays bent.
The whippiness shouldn't be an issue though in a rapier as they tend to have very thick stiff blades. The one thing that always suprises me when I pick up an original rapier though is balance, rapiers always seem to feel much heavier than they look. I think the term "whippy" should really not be used to describe swords.
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Hadrian
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To add to what Hadrian says, the term "rapier" is used today for many types of swords that have widely ranging characteristics. Not all swords that people called a "rapier" today are thrust-oriented at all. Many, for example, are quite stout and intended for cutting from horseback. Others try to balance the cut with the thrust. Others still, are almost exclusively intended for the thrust.

As Hadrian mentions, many authentic historical blades are often what modern sword enthusiasts would term "whippy" -- and are that way because they were designed to be that way. Modern collectors who arbitrarily condemn blades as being "whippy" are often not considering the sword's purpose. Many historical swords are incredibly flexible and were created in a manner that allowed the maker to define where in the blade's length the flex would occur.

Sword design is quite complex, but what is very simple is the concept that swords are not all intended for the same purposes, same targets, same type of fighting, etc. They are purpose-built tools and allow for a wide range of characteristics. The modern market has barely touched the surface.

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Jim Mearkle




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 4:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Gregg wrote:
I visited the MRL showroom a few years back, and they were returning a Windlass rapier (I forget which one) because it's blade had not been properly tempered. It really WAS a droopy noodle! It sagged into a true arc if held horizontally to the floor. I suppose the occasional bad one gets through quality control. Confused


Actually, this was a problem with the blade geometry. How much a piece of steel will flex does not change with different alloys or heat treatments. My guess is the blade was too heavy in the foible or too thin in the forte, or both.

Alloy and heat treatment affects how much load the steel can take before deforming (the elastic limit), and whether it breaks or bends when it reaches the elastic limit. Geometry controls what happens below that limit.

Jim
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
I'm intimately familiar with the "Saxon Hilt Sword" Nathan examined and can second his assessment. It's a very stiff blade. We've both examined the same "German Backsword" blade and reached the same conclusion.

It might be worth repeating here what's been said elsewhere: Just because a blade bends a bit when held horizontally means absolutely nothing. We have to consider section, length, width, purpose and the characteristics of surviving examples. Saying that a sword is "whippy" is like saying a car is "low." Is low bad? Bad for an off-road vehicle but not for a supercar. Bad if you want to drive through a swamp but not if you want to drive on the Autobahn.

Here's one vote for a ban on the term "whippy." Big Grin


I agree that a slight bend isn't bad for SOME sword designs...but for a cut and thrust? You have to admit that is pushing being generous here. And with your assessment it does seem like the sword I have seen is the abnormal one (although it does show why it is vital one goes with reputable companies with good return policies when buying swords from windlass).
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
I agree that a slight bend isn't bad for SOME sword designs...but for a cut and thrust? You have to admit that is pushing being generous here.


You'll find that there's quite a bit of variation with "cut and thrust" blades. I've handled some antiques that are very rigid, and others that would make everyone complain about how "whippy" they are because they're so thin that they'll sag under their own weight. Like others in this thread, its actually a pet peeve of mine to hear people complain about "whippy" swords that aren't any "whippier" than many historical pieces. (Please don't read that last sentence as me being annoyed, because I'm not... I just hope that as this community grows, more and more people get the opportunity to observe antique pieces and see that many of our preconcieved notions are not actually based on fact).

Heck, many 16th c. rapiers that are geared much more towards thrusting aren't nearly as stiff as people often seem to believe. I've even seen a few that are just as flexible as modern fencing weapons.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 10:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My A & A 15 th century two hander definitely droops a bit when held sideways:
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword156.html

Now this is normal for a heavy blade that is also very long and I don't think it should cause problems in a horizontal cut if one is aware of the bend and compensates for it so that the tip of the sword hits the target where one wants and not an inch or so lower than intended ? I would also imagine that keeping the edge orientation in the cut and not twisting midway through the target would be a good idea to make a successful cut and to not put unnecessary strain on the blade.

This A & A can't be said to have an overly thin blade but at 46" long trying to make it not bend by making it thicker would probably turn the sword into a sharpened crowbar. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Can some modern replicas be too whippy ? I'm sure some are, but a bit of bending is also normal for many well designed swords with really long blades.

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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2009 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Sean Flynt wrote:
Here's one vote for a ban on the term "whippy." Big Grin

If we start banning all the subjective and/or imprecise terms used to describe swords we won't be left with many words to use Happy


One real truth is that second hand opinion passed on is even more subjective than another who may have the sword in hand, or have different expectations. There is a somewhat real issue that Sean relates, in that the term itself isn't really the issue so much as what some project as expert opinion being worth considering. In a seperate instance of my asking opinion on the German backsword, an owner of the piece replied not to bother, point heavy and unmanagable. Despite that and knowing the persons reply only made it (to me) look like a better possibility of getting one. I guess I should have while they were around but other things have come and gone.

One delightful suprise for was going ahead and grabbing this from the MRL sample page. It hasn't been in hand for more than a couple of hours and have appreciated a very nice horn grip. Although the pommel is brass, a short session with the silver Thom and I have been playing with makes for a cutey beauty. the steel basket is quite well formed. Not just that, as a light blade not unlike some 17th an 18th century swords, this one flexes and returns well past 45 degrees with ease. A deadly point on it. Maybe more information in a different thread and post. Evidently one of 11 made.

Oh also, here is a shot of a period sword I like to scare folk with.

Cheers

GC
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