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Martin Erben




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject: huge space between blade and cross         Reply with quote

Hi

During some research I found the following picture. The first thing I noticed, was the big space between the blade and the crossguard of the left sword. Does someone have an idea of how this space was filled when the sword still was in use?



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SchwerterII.JPG

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Gabriel Lebec
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In Japan they used copper, but I wouldn't know for European swords. That it's missing suggests an organic material like leather or wood. But let's wait for the people who know better to speak. Wink
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would say that it wasn't filled at all, just pushed tight to the base of the blade with the grip, pommel and peening at the end. If you look modern swords, most of them also have a gap, wider or tighter depending on the price of the sword, between the blade and the cross.
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Ken Nelson




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 6:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some swords used small wedges either iron or wood to tighten the guard and keep it in place. In Oakeshotte's "Records of the Medieval Sword" There is a section describing removing the hilt from a sword of his, and they found three iron wedges and two slivers of wood holding the guard in place.
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 6:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The shoulders of the blade may be recessed into other side of the guard, which would make the guard secure when the grip was in place.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
I would say that it wasn't filled at all, just pushed tight to the base of the blade with the grip, pommel and peening at the end. If you look modern swords, most of them also have a gap, wider or tighter depending on the price of the sword, between the blade and the cross.


Perhaps there were even then, swords qualitatively worse.
In the past as now.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There appears to be considerable loss to corrosion in that area. It was relatively thin to begin with, then had rust working from both sides for many hundreds of years.
-Sean

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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 9:16 pm    Post subject: Guard and Blade transition         Reply with quote

Hey Guys

What you see in the picture above is not out of the ordinary. The tightness and fit to the shoulders of the blade of the guard is something that is not well represented in the reproduction market today. In most cases the fit to the tang and the blade shoulders is very tight on modern reproductions. In period pieces this is often not the case.

I have seen examples that are exceptionally tight, probably forced down or fit hot. I have seen others that have as much room as you see here and even more. It was common to see this area filled with a mastic material that held well but was organic or mixed to be a filler. Hide glue and the like would fill this need. This is seen on many many blades. It is frowned upon today in most markets as a way of assembling swords but something that was common in period.

There are great examples seen in many of the nordic pieces that have survived to today as well as the medieval blades. One can see examples where this material has weathered and aged to the point that it looks like the guard is even one with the blade. Had a long and unfruitful discussion with a "sword expert" about this once Happy

The fit of the recess in the guard to accept the shoulders of the blade is also an area that shows a diversity of methodologies as well. The simple butt joint with no recess is seen, the use of a shallow grove that arcs through the surface of the guard can be found often, the transition continues to the deep recess set buy punch into the guard so the blade shoulders recesses deeply into the guard. Is one better than another? No. They are all acceptable ways the period smith made swords.

The space one sees here maybe attributable to several different factors but the volume of evidence is indicative that there where multiple ways a sword was fit and ones in this state would not be out of the ordinary. If you guys would like I think I have some pics around I could illustrate this with if you like.

Best
Craig
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 12:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with what Craig said above. Just wanted to ad that it is quite possible that the grip core of wood was fitted as a wedge into this "overlarge" hole. Imagine this almost like to haft an axe. The grip is the haft, and the "axe" is the guard. Sometimes a wedge of iron was used to (instead of a wood wedge) was used to press apart the haft and affect a very secure fit.
In this case the "wedge" is the blade and tang.

I have seen overlarge holes in pommels with wood still adhering to the inside. I´ve seen no such remains on guards, but that would be much less of a chance f surviving today.
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Matthew Fedele




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 4:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You mean all those times I carefully fitted the tang into the guard one file stroke at a time I could have just made an oversize hole and filled it with bondo? Interesting thread, I never would have guessed.

Cheers,
Matt
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 6:13 am    Post subject: Efficiencies         Reply with quote

Matthew Fedele wrote:
You mean all those times I carefully fitted the tang into the guard one file stroke at a time I could have just made an oversize hole and filled it with bondo? Interesting thread, I never would have guessed.

Cheers,
Matt


Mornin Matt

It would not have been inauthentic Happy But if you where trying to sell the sword today many customers would probably be leery of such a methodology. If however you are a medieval smith/cutler trying to make many items quickly or fitting parts from one maker to blades of another it would be an efficient and sturdy technique. The craftsman of the past where very good at figuring out how to get the best out of what they had. Often this meant they had a couple of different ways they could have done something and they would have used the one best suited to the item, time allowed and customers expectations.

Another interesting note is that this method is seen in several different cultures some being even more dependent on mastic as a way of holding the sword together. Most talwars for example are put together as a hilt system with a tang glued into them.

Best
Craig
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just look at this gaddjhalt pommel ...

http://bghomofaber.googlepages.com/P8211577.JPG
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Efficiencies         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:

If however you are a medieval smith/cutler trying to make many items quickly or fitting parts from one maker to blades of another it would be an efficient and sturdy technique. The craftsman of the past where very good at figuring out how to get the best out of what they had. Often this meant they had a couple of different ways they could have done something and they would have used the one best suited to the item, time allowed and customers expectations.


Tangs, guards, pommels. All forged. No tollerance.
A hypothesis: ancient mass production?

I think the preparation of a war or crusader.
Many money, many weapons.
Mau
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Efficiencies         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
Craig Johnson wrote:

If however you are a medieval smith/cutler trying to make many items quickly or fitting parts from one maker to blades of another it would be an efficient and sturdy technique. The craftsman of the past where very good at figuring out how to get the best out of what they had. Often this meant they had a couple of different ways they could have done something and they would have used the one best suited to the item, time allowed and customers expectations.


Tangs, guards, pommels. All forged. No tollerance.
A hypothesis: ancient mass production?

I think the preparation of a war or crusader.
Many money, many weapons.
Mau


And the generic guards could be used on generic blades using a variety of methods depending on how close the fit maybe?

A tight fitting guard could be filed to fit and a very loose one gluedand/or wedged fitted

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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep, 2009 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bruno Giordan wrote:
Just look at this gaddjhalt pommel ...

http://bghomofaber.googlepages.com/P8211577.JPG


Hollow?

M.

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Justin King
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
Bruno Giordan wrote:
Just look at this gaddjhalt pommel ...

http://bghomofaber.googlepages.com/P8211577.JPG


Hollow?

M.


Peter Johnsson gave an explanation for the over-size tang cavity in this thread- http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ow+pommels - which immediately made sense from a smith's perspective. If you try to hot-punch a deep, narrow hole through a pommel like this, the end of the long, narrow punch will become red-hot in a matter of seconds, mushroom inside the hole, and as the pommel and punch cool together it will be stuck fast inside the hole.Trying to remove it will often result in the punch breaking off inside the hole. A punch of larger size must be used to punch part or most of the way through, then a smaller punch can be used to break through the peen end, leaving this hole smaller to fit the tang.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep, 2009 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, Peter;always got the explanation handy regardless of the topic.

I'd always figured the hole was cast (partially or fully) with the pommel and simply touched up with files afterwards. Punching I never thought of.

M.

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Daniel Sullivan




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep, 2009 2:06 pm    Post subject: Huge space between blade and cross         Reply with quote

Anther interesting thread.

An explanation for this gap or at least how it was dealt with, was given by an elderly shopkeeper in London several years ago. I was examining a sword and that had a very loose cross (was wired in place), but a pommel that was still firmly attached. Although only about 50 - 60 percent of the handle remained, it was evident that it was not a single piece of wood, and was a buildup of some sort. Don't recall any markings on the cross in the way of punching or hammering to close the gap. The shop owner's explanation was that wood staves were driven from the ricasso up through both sides of the opening to butt against the pommel or into a space in the pommel. The post containing a post of a gaddjhalt pommel seem to bear this out. The rest of the handle was then built up by wedging and gluing additional pieces of wood between the cross and pommel. It would then be wrapped with cord or leather or both. This has made sense to me, but I have not accepted it in all cases.

My other reason for remembering shopkeeper, a Percy C. L. German or Germain, was due to a bit of conversation as related by a buddy. My friend was walking around the shop and Mr. German/Germain asked him if he needed help. My friend replied, " Not really, I'm just looking." He was informed, "Young man, one looks through the window, in the shop one buys!"

Regards,
Dan
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