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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Aug, 2009 3:41 pm    Post subject: thickness for the edge         Reply with quote

I have a question: What is the right thickness for the edge of a blade.
This for different needs.

Collection or cutting = sharp
Sparring = 1.5mm or 2 mm
Tough fight re-enactor = 3.5 mm or 4mm (for re-enactors who do not use technical)
Is correct what I wrote?
Your suggestions will be much appreciated.

Thanks in avance.
Maurizio

P.S. sparring and stage combat are the same thing??


Last edited by Maurizio D'Angelo on Wed 05 Aug, 2009 5:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Aug, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Re: thickness for the edge         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
I have a question: What is the right thickness for the edge of a blade.
This for different needs.

Collection or cutting = sharp
Sparring = 1.5mm or 2 mm
Tough fight re-enactor = 3.5 mm or 4mm (for re-enactors who do not use technical)
Is correct what I wrote?
Your suggestions will be much appreciated.

Thanks in avance.
Maurizio

P.S. sparring and stage combat are the same thing.


Seems reasonable to me but sharp can vary from a bit sharper than a butter knife to almost paper cutting sharp, paper cutting sharp and then we get sharp enough that one can " almost " shave arm hairs ( Almost because a few hairs with be cut but one can't really shave with it ). Finally razor or scary sharp that risks being a fragile easily damaged edge.

Sword types may vary greatly in sharpness as well as " opinion " about how sharp a sword should be might vary even in period I think, and on the quality of the sword and steel used !?

" (for re-enactors who do not use technical) " I think you mean those who don't use good technique and rely only on hard parries rather than deflection most of the time ! Also a sword one wants to survive frequent hard use ( almost abuse ) and still be good for a long time.

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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 4:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For a quality blade with a proper heat treatment 3mm can be sufficient for a blade that is meant to be abused.

Otherwise i agree with your statement as a general overview.
But like Jean said, sharp covers a wide variety of cutting ability.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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JG Elmslie
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 6:42 am    Post subject: Re: thickness for the edge         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
I have a question: What is the right thickness for the edge of a blade.
This for different needs.

Collection or cutting = sharp
Sparring = 1.5mm or 2 mm
Tough fight re-enactor = 3.5 mm or 4mm (for re-enactors who do not use technical)
Is correct what I wrote?
Your suggestions will be much appreciated.

Thanks in avance.
Maurizio

P.S. sparring and stage combat are the same thing??


my gut reaction is that the "tough fight re-enactor" as you put it is a bit too thick. 2.5mm should be enough, but I've seen far too many people doing edge-on-edge blocks that will wreck even 4mm thick, and which result in horribly unweildy weapons which contribute to the "european sword is a metal club" myth.
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Johan S. Moen




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

2-2,5 mm for a reenactment sword is plenty, as said above. I've also seen people abuse swords to such a degree that the edge was unservicable and unfixable, but that just means those in question need to review their fighting style... A 4 mm edge would quite likely lead to a heavier sword as well, with a larger impact area, which might be a hazard for other fighters...

I really like the same edge thickness for reenactment and sparring swords, 2-2,5 mm is a good, safe allrounder.

Johan Schubert Moen
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some very thick edges can still take a lot of damage if the edges are very squared off instead of being very rounded: The corner even if the form a 90 degree angle with the flats of the blade are subject to notching nut rounded edges will only dimple a bit if hit very hard.
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Mark Millman





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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: thickness for the edge         Reply with quote

Dear Maurizio,

On Wednesday 5 August 2009, you wrote:
P.S. sparring and stage combat are the same thing??

No. Sparring--a word I dislike, by the way, as I think it gives a false impression of the activity it's used to describe--is free play or unconstrained fencing, typically done with safety equipment such as masks and fencing jackets. It's scherma with historical weapons. Stage combat is for the theatre, and is often much more like re-enactment combat, especially in the damage it does to weapons, than it is like free fencing.

I hope that this proves helpful.

Best,

Mark Millman
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Randall Pleasant




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: thickness for the edge         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
P.S. sparring and stage combat are the same thing??


Absolutely NO! Exclamation

Sparring is an activity associated with swordsmenship. When people spars they are using the swordsmenship skills they have learned.

Stage combat is an activity associated with acting. When people engages in stage combat they are acting.


Ran Pleasant
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 2:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thickness is not the whole story. Normally there are several deliberate combined angles (possibly we mean hemispherical radius for safety in this case) in an edge when looked at under a microscope. The knife maker Jay Fisher has some pretty good diagrams of these angles on his web site. The overall blade edge geometry (hollow, flat, tapered, "axe grind" etc,) choice largely dictates how much material will be lost, and how much effort required in subsequent resharpening or repair. I often get very wicked slices on my hands from handling wooden boards, 3/4" thick (~20mm) that have very sharp 90 degree corners after they come off my planer and joiner. Fairly good hunting knifes that are not hollow ground may also fall within most of the original proposed categories until you start looking at that last 2 to 3 mm near the actual honed cutting edge.

My first sword purchase was a 1st Generation Crecey Grete that I requested blunted. It was shipped with a roughly 1.5 mm diameter radiused- rebated edge. This would not easily slice skin in low pressure drawing, but could cut a variety of hard and soft test targets surprisingly well when attacked deliberately.

I would say that in a blade intended to be a "safe blunt", you need to put in similar deliberate maintenance as you would a "real cutter" to ensure that it stays nicely radiused at the edge. Otherwise, you may soon have a vicious serrated killer!

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now, I have clear the difference between sparring and stage combat in your language. Thank you.

For the thickness of the blade, I knew that round the edge is better.

Some of you have said that make blades with thickness from 3.5mm to 4 mm makes heavy swords and ugly. Mr JG Elmslie says: "european sword is a metal club." This is true.

From your answers I thought of other things.
Here, other considerations:
1) in a combat theater, I have a blade with 2 mm thick, my opponent with a blade 4 mm. thick. Both blades have rounded edges. My blade suffers more damage. The conclusions of my opponent are the best sword is the one with 4 mm thick. This is not true, but the majority thinks so. Perhaps for these groups, there is a lack of education about what is a sword.

2) The weight of swords with different thicknesses are different. Who is ahead, the sword heavier or lighter than the sword? I think the impact of the heavy sword, but the speed of a light sword. Think of a fight in the Middle Ages.

3) It seems that the quality of steel is inversely proportional to the needs.
Collection = average steel-carbon
Fencing as WMA = steel high-carbon
Combat theater = special steel

4) the cost of a sword is a safety for the sword itself, the greater the cost, most will be the trick to not damaging.

Educate me, please.
Maurizio


Last edited by Maurizio D'Angelo on Thu 06 Aug, 2009 8:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 7:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:

3) It seems that the quality of steel is inversely proportional to the needs.
Collection = average steel-carbon
Fencing as WMA = steel high-carbon
Combat theater = special steel

Educate me, please.
Maurizio


Just dealing with 3)

For collection, usually a sharp, the intent in a quality sword is to make a real sword so I would still use high carbon steel and one could decide to harden it to different degrees depending on use and what one " thinks " is optimum for good edge holding while keeping in mind durability: Again sharpness varying according to sword type and to a degree the opinion of the maker or user as to how sharp it should be.

To me a " collecting sword " made too soft to use is no longer a real sword but a Sword Like Object and mostly just called
a " wallhanger " ( Usually considered low quality but I guess there can be some expensive and aesthetically pleasing wallhangers ).

For fencing: Same steel but maybe optimized to shock resistance, still sword hard but with rounded unsharpened edges.
The handling qualities should be as close as possible to a sharp.

Combat/theatrical: Again, no reason to use a different steel if one wants the best quality and one would overbuilt it for longterm durability and thick edges for safety as well as durability reasons.

I don't see any reason to use anything but high carbon steel and if one wants it softer or less brittle for some applications then it's just a question of choosing the heat treat and making it softer.

Bottom line: I don't see any reason to use low carbon steel that can't be hardened for any using blade for any usage.
Soft low carbon steel for hilt furniture or cast steel but my personal preference would still be high carbon steel even if one doesn't usually heat treat the guard or pommel.

( NOTE: The above is just my opinion ).

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
Now, I have clear the difference between sparring and stage combat in your language. Thank you.


For the sake of linguistic accuracy, the word "sparring" is being used incorrectly in this thread. It actually has nothing to do with swordsmanship: It means to practice unarmed, free form fighting, such as with the sport of boxing. Having said that, many people use the term "sparring" in reference to free form matches with safe sword simulators, and even though this is technically incorrect, most people understand the meaning well enough not to complain.

I'm not trying to be nitpicky about the usage, as I don't mind that people use the word "sparring" for swordsmanship. I just want to make sure we don't confuse a non-native speaker with our imprecise language. Happy

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--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Jean,

average carbon-steel, I want to say a percentage from 0.40 to 0.60.
A steel with those percentages provides a good hardening.

Well, I think the costs.
steel with a medium or high carbon content is hard in its natural state about 23-25 HRC.
A special steel,in its natural state, can be tough 37 HRC.

Working on the machine tool becomes much longer as the hours worked, for a special steel.
Even the performances are very different.

This is the reason for different steels, but I can make mistakes.
Perhaps for the swords do not need to use these steels.

I agree with you, Jean, is better than guard and pommel are of good steel.
The vibrations = movement
The movement = wearing

Best
Maurizio

P.S.
Dear Jean,
I want to promote you like my tutor for English. You have an insight in understanding my bad English that others do not. Happy Wink Razz
Perhaps you know the French language, this helps you.
The structure of the French and Italian languages are similar.


Last edited by Maurizio D'Angelo on Thu 06 Aug, 2009 9:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
Now, I have clear the difference between sparring and stage combat in your language. Thank you.


For the sake of linguistic accuracy, the word "sparring" is being used incorrectly in this thread. It actually has nothing to do with swordsmanship: It means to practice unarmed, free form fighting, such as with the sport of boxing. Having said that, many people use the term "sparring" in reference to free form matches with safe sword simulators, and even though this is technically incorrect, most people understand the meaning well enough not to complain.

I'm not trying to be nitpicky about the usage, as I don't mind that people use the word "sparring" for swordsmanship. I just want to make sure we don't confuse a non-native speaker with our imprecise language. Happy



Thanks, Bill
your courtesy, for the efforts of a non-native speakers is much appreciated.
Keep your words in a part of my mind.
Thanks again
Maurizio
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James R.Fox




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 9:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sirs-First and foremost, I have always understood that the shield was used to pary. Second, if you HAVE to pary with the blade, it was done with the flat of the blade NOT the edge. That's why blade flats on a well used original blade are scrached up
Ja68ms
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 10:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:

Perhaps you know the French language, this helps you.
The structure of the French and Italian languages are similar.


Well my first language is French ( The Québec version that still uses some old French, some borrowed English words, and locally invented words, but no problem speaking in proper International French. Current Parisian French slang is at time difficult to understand to us in Québec and our local expressions can confuse the French from France ).

Oh, I'm as at ease in English as in French and I think that anyone who knows two or more languages with different grammatical structures is more able to guess at the meaning of a phrase if the word order is inverted or if the occasional wrong word is used. Oh, and French being both latin languages probably helps a bit. Wink Big Grin

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James R.Fox wrote:
Sirs-First and foremost, I have always understood that the shield was used to pary.


1. Not all sword combat used a shield.
2. The existing manuscripts that show sword and buckler combat, as well as the 16th century texts showing the shield show at least as many defenses with the sword as they do with the shield.

Quote:
Second, if you HAVE to pary with the blade, it was done with the flat of the blade NOT the edge. That's why blade flats on a well used original blade are scrached up


A quick search on the forums will show you that this is sometimes the case, but not always, based on the teachings of historical masters.

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


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Aug, 2009 1:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan S. Moen wrote:
2-2,5 mm for a reenactment sword is plenty, as said above. I've also seen people abuse swords to such a degree that the edge was unservicable and unfixable, but that just means those in question need to review their fighting style... A 4 mm edge would quite likely lead to a heavier sword as well, with a larger impact area, which might be a hazard for other fighters...

I really like the same edge thickness for reenactment and sparring swords, 2-2,5 mm is a good, safe allrounder.

Johan Schubert Moen


Hi Johan,

Many groups are fighting evil, but I also know that groups have historical weapons. These groups are fighting very well.
Some groups re-enactor is exceptional. I did not want to generalize. Happy

But ... the majority of these groups use ugly and heavy swords. This at least is what I see in my country.
I do not know of other groups of other nations. I would like to know.
Ciao
Maurizio
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Johan S. Moen




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Aug, 2009 3:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:

But ... the majority of these groups use ugly and heavy swords. This at least is what I see in my country.
I do not know of other groups of other nations. I would like to know.
Ciao
Maurizio


Hi Maurizio

In Norway, you generally see swords with edges about 2 mm thick. There is at least something akin to a consensus that swords should have edges at minimum 2 mm thick, but not as thick as 4 mm. The same thing seems to be the case in Sweden and Denmark, at least I can't remember the last time I saw a sword with edges over 3 mm thick. Quite a few people use swords from dealers like Armourclass, Paul Binns and Paul Chen, and also from a variety of eastern european manufacturers(which are usually cheaper).

Sure, 2 mm edges are suspectible to damage, but this depends a lot on steel quality and heat treatment. I've seen some Armourclass swords that were almost nick-free after years of use. As long as the edges are rounded and notches are ground/polished off as they appear, it seems to work nicely.

It really also depends on fighting style and culture. In Scandinavia we tend to hit with very moderate force, but the polish and russian groups using a "heavier" fighting style might need more solidly built swords to get by.

Johan Schubert Moen
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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Aug, 2009 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James R.Fox wrote:
Sirs-First and foremost, I have always understood that the shield was used to parry. Second, if you HAVE to parry with the blade, it was done with the flat of the blade NOT the edge. That's why blade flats on a well used original blade are scratched up

Well, you can use the shield to parry--if you have one--but you are often just as likely to use the sword, depending on the attack you are defending against. Additionally, in those situations where you don't have a shield or offhand weapon, you (obviously) are forced to either use the sword or avoid the attack by movement (or best of all, both).

I'm not very familiar with German treatises or anything before 1500; however, I am very familiar with Italian 1500s (and later) fencing treatises. In these, parrying with the edge is quite common. It's pretty hard to argue when an author says "...catch his mandritto on your true edge..." that he isn't telling you to parry with the edge of your sword...

Steve

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