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JG Elmslie
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 8:46 am    Post subject: Two Questions: one simple, one complex.         Reply with quote

OK, hopefully, the first one is a simple question... if a bit random.

In all my discussions, studies, etc, generally, I'm referring to specific swords, or, I've been discussing online.
now when talking in person however, this left me with a little thought recently...
petersen's typologies are easy... type a, b, k, and so on...
but when you go into oakeshott's types.... well... when spoken, is it a type X I, or Eleven. XVIII, or Eighteen? and is a type X an X, or a Ten?
saying Ecks-Vee-Eye-Eye-Eye is a mouthfull. Eighteen, would logically indicate there's an eight... somewhere.

What is the general accepted ettiquette when discussing typologies verbally?


Aside from that, a slightly less simple question.
Reenactment blades, vs sharps.
obviously, changing the blade to work for reenactment adjusts the geometry, and in turn the feel and handling. has anyone gone about doing practical tests to evalulate what adjustments can be made to reenactment copies of originals, to get the altered blade geometry to handle as closely as possible to the originals?
is there any way that it can be done, or are the two mutually exclusive? is there a compromise between the two?

What sparked that was looking at the blade geometry on a few XVs in the kelvingrove, and thinking of how much change it'd need to get a safe blade on the same hilt... and if so, how much change of mass that would entail, to the pommel, to counter that excess blade mass. It would likely take a lot of effort... and if it's been done before, I'd love to read people's findings, before wasting resources doing exactly the same work for the same results.

Anyone know of such documentation, or have opinions on it?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Oakeshott types are spoken as numbers (e.g., "eighteen b.)"

The purpose-made blunt longswords sometimes seen in fechtbucher reflect exactly the kind of design compensation you're thinking of. Here are some reviews (both modern and historic blunt designs) that will interest you:

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_fech.html

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_fechter.html

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_zogho.html

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_meyer.html

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_liecht.html

-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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JG Elmslie
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
The Oakeshott types are spoken as numbers (e.g., "eighteen b.)"


*nods* Was suspecting as much. it was just a realisation a few days back that in person with people, I've generally only had to poke a photograph/sample of the type rather than discussing the type as a general term, or it's been discussions by email where it's just the roman numerals...

that, and I was just thinking earlier of Pratchett's 'lost continent' of "Ecks Ecks Ecks Ecks" Happy

So now, if I get strange looks using the number, I have someone to blame.... :P

thankyou.

Sean Flynt wrote:

The purpose-made blunt longswords sometimes seen in fechtbucher reflect exactly the kind of design compensation you're thinking of. Here are some reviews (both modern and historic blunt designs) that will interest you:


ah, slightly misunderstood there, I should be clearer.
what I'm looking at is more trying to calculate the adjustments neccesary for creating a replica of a existing sword hilt to be acceptable for re-enactment use, and what adjustments would be required to maintain the handling characteristics, and if anyone has documentation on that process, to study... ie, findings on adjusting a pommel mass by 50 grammes, or changing the hilt by 5 mm to move the COG back... or a combination, etc.


There's two reasons for that, one of which is simply that to be honest, I'm rather of the opinion that armourclass in glasgow make some of the best blades for reenactment use: in my experience, having tried a good other companies regularly mentioned around here, they just arent as tough.
So I'm looking at abusing the experience of my misspent youth in art colleges, (as if I anything I ever did since I left art collage was respectable...) and using the casting skills I was taught there to make the bronze castings for hilt furniture (and matching scabbard parts) to fit a blade of Armourclass' production. Now it's easy enough to get the exact measurements of an original XV or XVIII, but since those will only replicate the handling characteristics on the same blade geomety, it makes sense to study what adjustments would be required for that.


And secondly, I've been eyeing up an utterly batshit crazy peice in the wallace collection; #A509, which has a flamboyant blade, only instead of being on normal profile, it's flamboyant on the distal profile, made by adjusting the alignment of the cross section along the entire length...
the masochistic craftsman in me would like to make a replica of that (Stock removal only - I may be mad, but I'm not stupid enough to try for forged, with the lack of practice I have) and well, if I make one... then I should also make a second, reenactment safe one... but would like to work out how to keep the handling analogous of course. if it's worth making something as gorgeous as that, it's worth making it right, after all.

without any pre-existing data, the only way I can see of creating such a replica would consist of the process of making an exact replica, then making a rough finished reenactment safe copy of the blade with a screw-fit pommel to allow me to take it off, and put different ones on to test the changes of mass - and, when I finally get the closest match in handling, then make a third one, with reenactment-safe geometry, and a proper peened tang. That approach is all rather inefficient, so if there are previous studies of the changes, that would likely save me a lot of effort at least in the planning stages.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, I see your dilemma. I don't think anybody could say in advance exactly how you'd have to compromise and adjust to make a blunt analogous in handling. I know from bitter experience how difficult it can be to significantly relocate a balance point. I still think it's worth looking at how this compromise was worked out historically but I think you're right about having to experiment a bit if you DIY. I think the catch is that you can't closely replicate the blade of an historic weapon as a blunt and retain the original's weight and balance. My guess is that you can have a sharp blade that matches the original in all stats and a blunt blade that looks like the original but doesn't match in weight and balance.

You mentioned Armour Class. Are you thinking about a mixed custom/DIY project? If I were in your shoes and working with a semi-custom outfit such as AC, I'd ask for a sharp reproduction of the original, with careful attention to the original's stats, and an interchangeable blunt blade of whatever section is required to retain the weight, length and balance stats of the sharp. One hilt, two blades. You might save some dough on the blunt because without changing the hilt all the changes will have to be in the blade, which I would guess won't look much like that of the original. Therefore, no need for fine or fancy finish. Also, since you want to do at least some of the work yourself maybe AC would agree to leave everything unfinished. You'd get plenty of time at a workbench with files and abrasives. If you can work out the basic section of the original blade you could even ask for just that and do all that fancy filing/grinding yourself.

This is a relatively simple hilt form, so I'd guess that the majority of the labor would be in replicating that funky blade. AC is convenient to you, but if that doesn't work out or if you want a more exacting reproduction you should get in touch with E.B. Erickson. He does astonishing custom work for very reasonable prices and might be willing to create a dual-use piece for you (if you can wait a couple of years). You'll find examples of his work all over this site. I had one and now have another in the works. If you really love that sword, get EBE to make it for you, then use that as the basis for your DIY blunt training piece. If yours turns out with perfect stats but too ugly for a mother to love, at least you'd have a museum-quality reproduction on the mantelpiece. Big Grin

Here's another Pratchett fan, by the way.



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eMuseumPlus.jpg


-Sean

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


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Tue 21 Jul, 2009 11:55 am; edited 4 times in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now that I look more closely at that blade I wonder if a so-called "schläger" blade would be close in weight and balance. If that original blade tapers significantly, an interchangeable system of accurate blade and schläger blade might work because although its narrower than what we see here, a schläger blade is very thick and tapers very little distally or in profile. At a guess, I'd say the original's blade doesn't taper enough to make this a reasonable solution but it's worth investigating. It wouldn't look right, even if it feels right, but it'd certainly save you some money.
-Sean

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


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Tue 21 Jul, 2009 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some inexpensive options if you want to try the interchangeable blades idea:

http://www.alcheminc.com/longblades.html

The "Safeflex" blade might be similar in profile to the original. Weight might be close, too.

-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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JG Elmslie
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Now that I look more closely at that blade I wonder if a so-called "schläger" blade would be close in weight and balance. If that original blade tapers significantly, an interchangeable system of accurate blade and schläger blade might work because although its narrower than what we see here, a schläger blade is very thick and tapers very little distally or in profile. At a guess, I'd say the original's blade doesn't taper enough to make this a reasonable solution but it's worth investigating. It wouldn't look right, even if it feels right, but it'd certainly save you some money.


the original tapers to a needle point...
if you'll excuse a rather scappy photo of the blade at the bottom of the post....

I'm one of those annoying types who, when I set my hand to it, generally end up able to produce work of a near-professional level in just about everything I try ( always the bridesmaid, never the bride.... its rather infuriating always being second best atwork I put my mind to... ), so I'm confident that with a little practice, I can get close enough to replicate the standard of workmanship.
I'd be wary of interchangeable blades simply as I'd rather have something that's peened on a tang, rather than a screw type, plus AC only do peened on their stuff. Personal taste there, having had screw-fit schlaeger blades for practice rapier use... never trusted it properly. the current plan is to do one or three on stock AC blades, and later on start looking at hacking blocks of EN45 steel to shape and then getting 'em to do the hot bits to give it the same durability as their usual work. theory, of course, being much like warfare, in that it stands up very well, untill it meets the enemy. in this case, reality being the enemy.

I rather accept that getting the weight the same is an impossible task, but one of the things I've found is that weight itself is rarely an issue... a great example of that being a replica inspired by wallace A465, and a generic czech thing with a pommel that could've come off a mercedes truck (probably did, actually...) and a blade that warsaw pact tanks could've run over without a dent. the czech one must've weighed at least half a kilo more, but it felt so much more welcoming, while the one based off A465 was far more tiring to use. so what I'd want is to capture the feel, that un-measured combination of mass, grip, feel, and handling that combine to create the essence that in a great sword leaps out and screams "use me!" at you, while others are leaden lumps.
If I can get that life in a reenactment one, at the expense of a bit of extra lard on it, and minimal changes to its form (ie, make the pommel 2mm thicker, extend the hilt a few mm to re-set the COG, adjust the blade distal to move the point of percussion back in line, etc. then I'll be happy.
is it possible? I dont know yet... there's a certain degree of it being me looking at what I've used, what I've handled, and what I've seen others do, and saying "I can do that - or maybe better.".

Arrogance? possibly. but one thing that is certain is it's better to try and fail, than not try at all.


plus, it gives me an opportunity to do the sort of hand-crafted gilding and detailed work that is just gorgeous to do, and lets me takes the skills with jeweller's kit that I have, and transfers it to making gorgeous weapons. There was a point where I was considering if I could shift into making stuff commercially for the reenactment markets, but I wrecked my hands with mice in the computergames business, and would never be able to work long enough hours on something like armouring to be able to do it professionally.... But I can certainly do it for myself where deadlines are'nt an issue.


not sure any of this ramble has made sense... Erm, I should shut up now.



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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you can accept that variance from the original, then I think you could find a good compromise in a blade identical to the original, but with blunt edges. I guess it depends on what we mean by "blunt." I consider Windlass blades to be blunt, but they'd still be lethal when used with lethal intent.

Now that I think of it, that Wallace blade is mostly blunt anyway, right? The only blunting it would need is in the "valleys" created by the unusual grinding. This appears to be primarily a thrusting blade, anyway. I think you could make this work pretty well, actually.

-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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JG Elmslie
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
that Wallace blade is mostly blunt anyway, right?


nope. sharp all the way along.

if you take a cross section of the blade along it's profile, it's a consistent hex section, but the actual profile angle changes throughout, so as the section changes, the surface area of the section remains the same...

it's a bit tricky to make out in the cabinet, and I've yet to arrange genuflecting before his Holiness, Saint Toby of Capwell to get to look at it in detail, so as far as I can tell it'sa hex section blade where the profile geometry changes literally every millimetre, as the wave along the profile moves in position.

Did I mention I was a masochist for making spectacularly impossible stuff? And that this is geometry that Cthulu itself would have a headache at. I seriously considered using 3d software I work with, and simply working out the cutting on a CAD milling machine.
but where's the fun in that, eh? Happy
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 2:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of course it is.Blush The valleys on the obverse are the flats on the reverse, so that it's a continuous, if wavy, edge. Duh! Well, if it's been done once it can be done again.
-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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JG Elmslie
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jul, 2009 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Well, if it's been done once it can be done again.


pretty much my philosophy.

it's an amazing peice, though , given the profile is perfectly straight, and the flamboyant is along the distal edge.

(and you really dont want to think how much of a mess that'd make in the draw-cut, on an unarmoured victim, do you? )
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul, 2009 5:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sure is an interesting blade Happy
I think that if you start with a tapered bar of rectangular section with the appropriate profile and distal tapers, mark the flammard outlines on the flats, then grind away following the profiles at a constant angle, you end up with something looking like that. Might try it myself in my 3D software Wink

About blunt vs. sharp balance:
The biggest problem is that by keeping a blunt edge, you have to add mass to the blade at least towards the tip. This is especially true with swords that have a needle point like this one... So the blunt blade basically has to have more mass in the blade, and it is difficult to make up perfectly for that. If you just add a bigger pommel, you can bring the CoG back to where it is on the sharp, but the blunt sword will be slower because you've added mass at both ends, so it has a higher radius of gyration (the mass is on average further away from the CoG).

If I were you I'd add an heavier pommel to the blunt, but not so heavy that it brings the CoG back to where it is on the sharp. I think it could give a more realistic balance, even if it is slightly different from that of the sharp. This is a deduction from some of my personal thoughts about sword balance, but I have yet to test that in real life.

Another option is to modify the distal taper to make it more brutal, i.e. have a thicker blade at the base that tapers quickly to something a bit thinner than the sharp. It can work but it will disturb the flammard edge patterns in this particular case, the waves will end up not looking as they do on the sharp...

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Nat Lamb




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PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul, 2009 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An article on another website suggested that you get your blade in a vice that allows it to pivot at the cross, point down. Then you get a pendulum of the same length as the blade and let them both swing. It sugested that you add weight at the pomel until the period of oscelation of the 2 is the same. I can't vouch for this for each and every blade, but on the 3 blades I have tried it with (2 re-enactment type blunts, 1 sharp) it has produced a nicely balanced and lively sword.
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul, 2009 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think a well-calculated I-beam blunt would be the best way to replicate the mass distribution of this blade with safe edges. The flamboyant edges could possibly be carried over to the blunt but I think it would complicate the design a great deal.
The original blade is fascinating, I want to describe the edges as a series of scalloped swedges, staggered on the opposing faces. It almost reminds me of the file-work and unusual swedges one sometimes sees on dirks and "whingers".
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Adam S.





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PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nat Lamb wrote:
An article on another website suggested that you get your blade in a vice that allows it to pivot at the cross, point down. Then you get a pendulum of the same length as the blade and let them both swing. It sugested that you add weight at the pomel until the period of oscelation of the 2 is the same. I can't vouch for this for each and every blade, but on the 3 blades I have tried it with (2 re-enactment type blunts, 1 sharp) it has produced a nicely balanced and lively sword.


I realize this is OT, but would you happen to have a link to that article?

~A
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Jul, 2009 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam S. wrote:
I realize this is OT, but would you happen to have a link to that article?


It's probably this one:
http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/GTA/motions_and_impacts.htm

I've discussed it there a while ago:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=111197#111197
My opinion has evolved a bit since then but the gist of it remains: there are many swords on which the method does not give the historical balance, no matter how pleasing it can be to us modern. Heavily cut-oriented blades will show a shorter pendulum. It works best on swords with a long handle, I think, especially if they are focused on the thrust. It does not quite work for rapiers, as it would generate an overly heavy pommel.

It does provide an upper bound, though. If the sword needs a pendulum longer than the blade, the pommel clearly is too heavy.

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