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Jim Lindsey




Location: Arlington, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Sun 13 Jun, 2004 5:55 pm    Post subject: Question: Could it be made into a "real" sword?         Reply with quote

I have a sword that I purchased from Franklin Mint back in 1990. It is their version of Excalibur ... a definite "nothing more than to look at" wallhanger but with nicely detailed hilt fittings.

A sword enthusiast friend of mine, Phillip Cavagnero, is visiting me this weekend and we both launched into a fun speculation about that Franklin Mint sword (it's amazing what gets talked about halfway through a bottle of Captain Morgan). Big Grin While we both think the hilt fittings look pretty interesting, we also both agree unanimously that the blade is hideous and we began a pleasant speculation of what the sword would be like with a true and proper blade. Perhaps something hollow ground with the flavoring of The Ritter (Oakeshott Type XI/XIIb), or maybe even a variant inspired from the design of the Svante Nilsson Sture sword blade.

Before we got into too much speculation about what kind of blade would look nice and perform well on it despite the heaviness of the hilt components, we asked each other the more practical question "Could this thing even be turned into a real sword with a proper blade, or, is it doomed forever to be as it is?" The more we discussed, the more curious we became over it. Unable to answer the question ourselves, I told Phil about myArmoury and stated that I'm sure someone on here could give us an answer to this theoretical question. Thus, we decided to post and see what answer may come up.

These pictures are poor introduction to the sword, but I've posted a couple. A detail shot of the hilt fittings and a full length photo of the Franklin Mint sword (laying beside Discerner for a bit of scale).

With all that said, does anyone know if this Franklin Mint sword could be converted into a real functional piece with a true blade, fully peened into permanence with little or no damage done to the decorative hilt fittings? Phil and I have a little side bet going with this question ... he thinks it can easily be converted to a real sword and I'm very skeptical & leaning toward the idea that it can't. If Phil wins the bet I owe him a bottle of Yukon Jack. If I win the bet he owes me a bottle of Captain Morgan. Wink



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Hilt Fittings Close Up

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FM_Excalibur_1b.jpg
The Franklin Mint sword alongside Discerner for a bit of scale.

"And so it shall be that in the days of peace, one sword shall keep another in its scabbard."

Have a great day ! Best Regards,
Jim
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Luke M.





Joined: 17 Nov 2003

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun 13 Jun, 2004 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd lean toward not. The hilt assembly would have to support stresses it was never designed to endure. Unless you want to lay out the cash to have the hilt custom made on a functional blade, ain't gonna happen.
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Scott Byler




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 20 Aug 2003

Posts: 209

PostPosted: Sun 13 Jun, 2004 7:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, as you've already guessed... it is hard to say. It all depends on what the materials are that the thing is made of. I rather expect that being what it is, the materials aren't built with endurance in mind... So, without much to go on, I'd lean toward the 'not' category. Stuff made for decoration pretty often is made with cheap and inappropriate materials... Especially where fancy fittings come into play....
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Jun, 2004 9:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Luke already suggested, can you get someone like c. Fletcher to make the " excalibur" hilt components that will fit an ATrim or Albion sword? Naively that seems the best approach to get a sword that will preform and endure. Now the mass distribution and handling might not be optimal with these "special made" hilt components, but it might be worth a shot if someone agrees to make the hilt components, and mostly if you are willing to lay the cash. I understand that this does not answer your question.

How is the hilt of this sword assembled? Can you disassemble it safely/easily?

good luck

Alexi
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Timothy Gulics




Location: NJ, US
Joined: 28 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2004 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll have to borrow your Discerner before I give you my informed opinion...

... what? You were talking about the OTHER sword? Oh, my mistake. Wink

The sword is my companion.
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Jim Lindsey




Location: Arlington, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2004 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the input, everyone! hehe ... looks like my buddy, Phil (who left to return to North Carolina this morning) will be owing me a nice bottle of Captain Morgan the next time I see him. I can't wait to send him the URL here and have him look at the replies. Big Grin

When I initially bought the Franklin Mint sword, I did so because it was such an unusual interpretation of the King Arthur sword. At first I thought it was the gaudiest thing I'd ever seen and overly ornate, but the more I looked at the hilt fittings the better I liked it (guess it kind of grew on me). It's actually the only one of my "wallhanger" swords that I allow to remain displayed on my wall. I've gotten to where I really like the look of the hilt, but the blade just doesn't get it for me at all (even in terms of being a wallhanger).

Alexi, I really haven't ever tried to disassemble the sword, so I'm unsure how it comes apart. I'm presuming that the pommel (as with so many wallhangers) would merely unscrew. But I'm a little doubtful about disassembling it to check it out because even after all these years, everything is extremely tight. I'm a little worried that if I took it apart to see how it was assembled, I might not get it back tight enough or the pommel might end up slightly turned too much. As a wallhanger, though, the sword wasn't cheat at all ... $732.00 back in 1990. Until I purchased my Atlantean in 2002, the Franklin Mint sword was the granddaddy of my collection as far as price went.

That FM sword certainly is heavy enough ... though slightly smaller in some ways than Discerner (which weights only just over 2 pounds and has unbelievably beautiful balance), the Franklin Mint sword is a whopping 6 pounds of unbalanced weight.

Speaking of Discerner, Timothy ... borrow my Discerner? Eek! Be still my racing heart! LOL Wink Seriously, I wish you could be here to hold it and wield it some ... I think you'd really love it. Albion did a wonderful and remarkable job on it. Man, they do good work! Happy

Thanks again for all the input everyone ... I'll be collecting my Captain Morgan from Phil the next time he's in town. Laughing Out Loud

"And so it shall be that in the days of peace, one sword shall keep another in its scabbard."

Have a great day ! Best Regards,
Jim
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2004 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

WOW Eek! I did not even imagine that this sword was so expensive. If it were me I would not try to disassemble it either.

Enjoy your Captain Morgan.

Alexi
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Jim Lindsey




Location: Arlington, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2004 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Alexi ... I'm planning on saving the Captain Morgan for the next time I have a big "sword get together" here at the house. Big Grin

Yup, the $732.00 price on the Franklin Mint sword was pretty hefty... but I think the price came from several things ... this was a "first run" sword when FM initially came out with it back in 1989/1990 (it was available, I think, from late 1989 until about mid 1994 but, just before they discontinued it, the price dropped by a couple of hundred) ... the gold on the hilt fittings is a very heavy plating of 24kt gold and the silver on the grip is embellished sterling silver. I used to think the "ruby" jeweled inserts were only cabochons, but a jeweler friend of mine examined them a few years ago and pronounced them to be "low grade, but genuine ruby inserts" which might have also helped in driving up the cost of the sword (I'm still inclined to lean toward the idea that they're only cabochons, but the jeweler knows more than I about that kind of thing, so perhaps they are genuine after all). The blade is simple 440 stainless. Then, of course, there's the "name" of where it came from. I've collected quite of bit of Franklin Mint stuff over the years and they make some beautiful items, but I've never seen anything come from Franklin Mint that didn't have a little bit of expense tied to it.

The gold plating job on the hilt fittings was done nicely ... after all these years, there's not the slightest sign of wear on them. Probably one of the best things about the sword is the display plaque that came with it (which I'm sure is another feature that drove the price pretty high) ... it's probably one of the nicest wall mount displays I've ever seen and is full length and frames the sword beautifully. All in all, it does make for a pretty nice display as a wallhanger. Happy

"And so it shall be that in the days of peace, one sword shall keep another in its scabbard."

Have a great day ! Best Regards,
Jim
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Jay Barron




Location: Albany, NY
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2004 6:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jim, do you still have the MRL "historical Excalibur"? That was always one of my favorite MRL swords. I'd love to see a picture if it's still in your collection.
Constant and true.
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Jim Lindsey




Location: Arlington, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2004 10:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey, Jay ... yep, I sure do still have it ... here's a couple of pics for you. A full length and a hilt closeup. Happy


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MRL Sword 1.jpg


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MRL Sword 2a.jpg


"And so it shall be that in the days of peace, one sword shall keep another in its scabbard."

Have a great day ! Best Regards,
Jim
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Scott Byler




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 20 Aug 2003

Posts: 209

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jun, 2004 10:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Durnit.... I've said it before, but I really should have bought one of the MRL pieces way back when.... It is quite a nice looking piece of work, really...
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Jim Lindsey




Location: Arlington, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Tue 15 Jun, 2004 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Scott ... the Historical Excalibur is my favorite of all the MRL swords. There are three other MRL pieces I'd like to have, but I think two of them are no longer available. The Flanged Gothic Battle Mace (which I think is still available), and Windsong (or, was it Wildsong?), one of their fantasy swords that looked very nice ... and, the Knightly Hand-And-A-Half Sword. I believe the last two are no longer available, so I missed out on those.
"And so it shall be that in the days of peace, one sword shall keep another in its scabbard."

Have a great day ! Best Regards,
Jim
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Scott Byler




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 20 Aug 2003

Posts: 209

PostPosted: Wed 16 Jun, 2004 1:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wildsong, I believe. I liked that design. I liked the Black Knightly sword, but doubted the durability of the black on the blade so never bought one. The hand and a half was a nice design. It stuck around for a long time... I found the Dragon Claw sword interesting, but wasn't sure about it and regret now not taking a chance on it. It was just such a different type thing....

Interestingly, lately I've seen a number of swords in the MRL fantasy section that catch my eye. The Mercenary, and some of the others. Maybe I will pick up some of them over time... Or, I might do as I usually do and just wait and wait and put it off til they are all gone... lol

Ofcourse, there are quite a number of historically based pieces they have that at least catch my interest. No money anyway, so the point is a bit moot for now...
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Jim Lindsey




Location: Arlington, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Sat 19 Jun, 2004 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know what you mean, Scott, about waiting and waiting, putting things off until they feel affordable, then suddenly finding they're gone or unavailable. I do exactly the same thing.

Most of the time I scrounge and save up money for months on end ... but just when I think it's safe to shell out some bucks for a sword or pay off a bill, there seems to always be the inevitable sudden car trouble, doctor bills, vet bills or mishap with the house that strikes out of the blue to bleed away all the money I'd worked so hard to save.

Not long ago I was just getting ready to happily send off a nice chunk to Albion Armorers (I'd been saving for months), when a sudden stream of disasters hit ... I had a house fire that cost me $2053.00 in repairs, then veterinary bills that exceeded $500 and to cap it all off, the recent storms that hit DFW area cost me $600+ in storm damage repair (not to mention destroying an 8-foot diameter round table I was building for the periodic display of swords) ... all in the same month! WTF?!

So, I'm back to square one on building my savings again, but with many things to be thankful for ... the house didn't burn down, the cat is well again and my house didn't blow away in storm. Happy

I tell you, though, when it comes to finances I sometimes find myself tempted to look upward to see if the Black Sword of Democales is hanging over my head! Eek!

Actually, my interests in swords have changed quite a bit over the last year or two. Now that Discerner's recreation has become a reality, my interest is leaning heavily toward the direction of historically based recreations, like the Albion Next Gens and the Peter Johnsson swords. Oh, if I could just win the lottery! Big Grin

"And so it shall be that in the days of peace, one sword shall keep another in its scabbard."

Have a great day ! Best Regards,
Jim
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Jim Lindsey




Location: Arlington, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Sat 19 Jun, 2004 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jim Lindsey wrote:
Now that Discerner's recreation has become a reality, my interest is leaning heavily toward the direction of historically based recreations, like the Albion Next Gens and the Peter Johnsson swords. Oh, if I could just win the lottery! Big Grin


I was just reading my own post and thought it might be good to mention Discerner as being a part of those historically based recreations. But Discerner's case is unique in that it's one of those "solitarians" that are the odd-man-out-one-of-a-kind swords from history. By saying "historically based recreations" I'm actually referring to the swords that were of very popular design during various periods ... for some reason those kind of swords have really struck a chord of fascination in me, but I haven't yet started settling on favorites ... I'm still in that "I like them all" stage. Big Grin

"And so it shall be that in the days of peace, one sword shall keep another in its scabbard."

Have a great day ! Best Regards,
Jim
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Barry Gravelle




Location: Western Australia
Joined: 01 Jun 2014

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2014 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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Hi,

That Franklin Mint Excalibur looks kinda nice - except for the design on the stainless steel blade. I always thought of King Arthurs's sword as having a gold hilt with jewels on the hilt. This is as good a representation as any I have seen. How much better it would be if the simple word "Excalibur' were on the blade instead of the silly design. Also, I am not really sure that I like the grip. Even the Legacy Arms, Darksword, and Discerner swords have just a brass hilt I believe. It would be nice if they were gold plated.

I have the Franklin Mint Sword of Charlemagne and I was able to take it apart quite easily by unscrewing the 'cap' on the end of the pommel. I was quite pleasantly surprised to see that the FM product has a full tang, even thought the blade is made of 440 (?) stainless steel. I really would like to replace the blade on this sword with one more similar to the Joyease blade on the original Charlemagne sword at the Louvre.

The FM Excalibur will always be a wall hanger IMO because of a (probable) lack of construction strength in the hilt, so maybe the stainless blade could possibly be resurfaced by taking out the original design and writing Excalibur on the blade? It could look quite nice. Most of the Marto swords have this type of blade shape and look somewhat presentable.

Another Excalibur that I would like to be hanging on my wall would be the one from the musical film Camelot:

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Dean F. Marino




Location: Midland MI USA
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2014 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jim? I'll stick my neck out and tell you what you do NOT want to hear - because I'm concerned for your well being.

You have a lovely wall hanger. Please, just hang it on the wall, and admire it. It has an SS blade - too brittle, likely to hurt YOU or someone else when it shatters.

Guard & pommel were engineered the same way... pretty. Not serious. All of it is lovely, but it's not real, and could actually VERY SERIOUSLY INJURE you, or someone else, if it were used in that fashion.

Please - take any cash you were thinking of using on this... invest it in a nice set of display hangers, and a serious functional sword. The functional sword may not be as pretty - but it will keep both YOU, and others, safe. I have a wall hanger of my own... had it built when I was very uninformed. I'm still trying to figure out how to get rid of it, in a graceful fashion Sad.

In edhil, hai edhil. In edain, hai edain.
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Tom King




Location: florida
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2014 5:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From a different direction, if the hilt components can be taken off the blade you could always use lost wax casting on the hilt and pommel, cast it in brass or bronze, then make it fit whatever blade you want. It actually wouldn't be "that" hard to do yourself, but there are people here, and in the business that could do it professionally.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost-wax_casting

that way you'd have your expensive wallhanger to look at, and a copy to take into battle Laughing Out Loud
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
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PostPosted: Mon 16 Jun, 2014 5:45 am    Post subject: Question: Could it be made into a "real" sword?         Reply with quote


So that's the Franklin Mint sword on the top. Anyway, I like its golden pommel and guard. Wink

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
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PostPosted: Mon 16 Jun, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm going to go a different route than many here. I think you very easily could make that sword functional.

Allow me to preface by saying, I do think it is ugly and dont see the point, but to each their own.

There are dozens of historical swords with shody hilt construction, and poor metallurgical composition in the hilt components. A simple example would be the copper cross guard on a sword in the MET.

Given the price you paid, I would wager that the hilt components are brass/bronze which should be able to take stress.. but ultimately it doesnt really matter. The grip/tang/blade take more stress than the hilt components themselves. If you pulled the blade, replicated it with a proper one, and re-assembled.. with a new grip, and a new pommel cap.. you could probably make it functional. If the slot on the guard/pommel are too small, you could file them larger to accept a larger tang.

It would be too costly, and a bit silly, to be practical.. but I do believe it is entirely possible

Cheers!

Historia magistra vitae est
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