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Peter Lyon
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Oakeshott type XIV         Reply with quote

Attached are some photos of a sword I recently completed for a client in the UK. It is a type XIV, actually XIV.7 from Records of the Medieval Sword, made to the dimensions of the original and with scabbard and belt suitable to the period, 1270-1320. I don't often post photos, largely because I not getting many private commissions done these days due to my contract work, but this is especially nice and also a nice ensemble - I make scabbards and belts even less often than swords. I will be telling my client about this post, as he might want to comment too.

This was a very interesting challenge, as it would be so easy for this to become an unwieldy monster, with its blade almost 3" wide at the shoulder and a massive pommel, also almost 3" diameter. To reduce the weight as far as safe I distal tapered the blade from 4mm at the shoulders to 2mm near the tip, and the pommel is hollow, turned on a lathe in halves and welded along the centre edge. I tested the blade flex and stiffness throughout, removing more and more thickness until it flexed evenly, and it still came out quite stiff; it is lenticular section, and the four fullers each side were ground in then hand-finished with stones to get them straight and even.

I was happy with the result; the pommel weighed about 400 grams, and the total weight was 1365 grams (exactly 3 pounds) with a balance point about 3.5"/85mm along the blade. Unfortunately I don't have the exact PoB or a CoP, as I wrote them down but since then I have put the note "somewhere safe". If I find it again I will add the details.

If I had known how the balance would come out, I would have made the pommel even lighter, and I could also have trimmed a wee bit more off the cross, so the final weight could have been about 1250 grams/ 2lb 12oz and with a balance about 5" along the blade, which might be more appropriate for a sword of this type, with its broad, shearing blade. Perhaps someone who has handled or measured some originals of this type could comment.

I usually burn-fit a wooden grip then cover it, and did so on this as well, which worked out well. I didn't like the look of the original, which seems too rod-like and round (I don't even know if it was the original grip) so I made one with more shape to it.

Oakeshott commented on the "heavy" pommel yet said the sword moved "very quickly and lightly" which made me suspect the pommel is hollow as many pommels were in the 14th century, especially the very bulky ones, so I made mine hollow. I am glad I did, as it would have weighed about 700 grams if solid and made for a heavy sword with little blade presence. I could have probably made the walls even thinner and got it down to about 300 grams. Can anyone comment on the reason for such a huge pommel, was it for a more secure grip or mostly about aesthics, to offset the bulky looking blade?

The scabbard has a willow core and is lined with sueded leather, and covered with black leather, stitched along the back. The stitching turned out to be a big job, as I decided to do a finely spaced seam. A simple steel chape finishes it.

The belt is russet, stained a brick red colour. The fittings were purchased from a US supplier, and are bronze with silver plating. All in all a bright and bold ensemble, and it turned out just as I had planned it to look.



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Still hammering away
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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 8:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
I have handled the original so can add a few comments. The grip, if I remember correctly, is period. The sword was quite lively, the blade nimble but present. I would also add that the pommel most likely was hollow, it wasn't so heavy as to be solid iron. From the pictures and your statistics it really seems to capture the spirit of the original.
Cheers,
Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Oakeshott type XIV         Reply with quote

Peter Lyon wrote:
Can anyone comment on the reason for such a huge pommel, was it for a more secure grip or mostly about aesthetics, to offset the bulky looking blade?



Very nice sword by the way. Big Grin Cool

From handling my Del Tin 5149 and a Generations 2 Henry V, both of which have very large pommels and I think that both are hollow ( I'm sure about the Henry V but not about the Del Tin ) as they would be extremely heavy because both are huge pommel, I can say that big pommels on short handled swords give good support on the heel of the hand and this helps a great deal if one has to suddenly stop the momentum of a sword to redirect it's motion or just stop.

It also gives a very secure feel to one's grip.

I also think that the aesthetics are better with these large " hollow " pommels than same weight pommels if they where smaller.

The handling of period originals may have been somewhat different but the general feel in the hand should be the same.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Wed 23 Dec, 2009 9:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Martin Erben




Location: Germany, Düsseldorf
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Dec, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello

This is a really great looking sword in my opinion!
I was just wondering if you had problems during the hardening with twisting/ distortion of the blade caused by the low thickness of the blade? (I recently made a Falchion and it came out quite distorted (hardened it on 58HRC) which I was not able to adjust completely (it tapers from 4.5mm to 2.7mm).)
On which degree of hardness did you harden the blade (HRC)?

Cheers
Martin
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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Dec, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That scabbard came out really well Peter.

I am lucky enough to live in the same city as Peter and have (very briefly) handled this sword. The pictures don't really do it justice. It looks like an absolute monster of a sword when you first see it but in hand it balances and moves wonderfully.

If it puts the sword in scale a bit better in the photo where he's holding it, Peter is a about 6'4" tall.

--
Al.
http://wherearetheelves.net
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Peter Lyon
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Dec, 2009 8:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Martin Erben wrote:
Hello

I was just wondering if you had problems during the hardening with twisting/ distortion of the blade caused by the low thickness of the blade? (I recently made a Falchion and it came out quite distorted (hardened it on 58HRC) which I was not able to adjust completely (it tapers from 4.5mm to 2.7mm).)
On which degree of hardness did you harden the blade (HRC)?

Cheers
Martin


It didn't distort much during heat treat, and I was able to tweak the distortions out, and sort out the last issues during final grinding. The shape and cross section of you falchion would have increased any tendency to twist etc, I have encountered this too, but straight blades are usually less problematic.

Hardness is probably about 52 but I didn't get it tested so that is a guess.

Still hammering away
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Ben Potter
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Dec, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful blade, and amazing scabbard. Very inspiring.
Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Dec, 2009 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a very nice looking sword and scabbard with belt.
Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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