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Ben Welch




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Apr, 2010 4:41 am    Post subject: Windlass Town Guard sword?         Reply with quote

I've been eyeing it for some time now, but I'm allways nervous about windlass swords and how iffy I've heard they are. Has anyone had any experience with this piece?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Apr, 2010 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The price difference between the Windlass "Munich" sword and the A&A Town Guard sword appears to be well-justified. Having said that, $209 (KOA: http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=501144 ) isn't bad for a piece that doesn't appear to have many outrageous errors. It could be improved by a crafty owner. If you want a sword of this type and can't get the A&A, I don't think there are any other options. One good thing is that the tang appears to be thicker than some Windlass swords. The A&A blade is quite thick and stiff. There is some variation in hilt details among originals, so if you look around you might get a better idea of how well the Windlass stays within historical specifications.
-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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Julien M




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Apr, 2010 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
The price difference between the Windlass "Munich" sword and the A&A Town Guard sword appears to be well-justified. Having said that, $209 (KOA: http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=501144 ) isn't bad for a piece that doesn't appear to have many outrageous errors..


Hey Sean,

Could you elaborate? Though later blades are not my usual area of interest, I've been tempted by the arms and armor town guard sword for a very very long time, and the windlass seemed to be a perfect poor man alternative. I've compared both on pictures (therion arms has great pictures here: http://therionarms.com/reenact/therionarms_c1099.html ) and beside the sometimes messy welding of the complex hilt, the square shoulder of the windlass blade...I have not come up with a lot (as they appear on the picts anyway...I have no doubts that the windlass blade could hardly be compared to the A&A one).

Anyone coming to London from the US and willing to bring me one? Happy

Cheers,

J
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Apr, 2010 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The problems I see are, I think, well within your ability to fix. The edges of the bars need to be a bit more rounded and thinned. I'd slope the shoulders of the blade. The escussion should be thinned so that it slopes toward the blade. I'd redo the grip, shortening it by about 1" (notice that in every case below the knucklebow terminus is level with either the lower part or middle of the pommel). Many of the pommels on this type are of fat lenticular section rather than round, you could grind or file this one without too much trouble but I think round section is within the realm of possibility. I'd blue the hilt furniture because this appears to have been the typical original finish of these field swords. I'll be bluing my A&A eventually.

Here are some of the images I've collected. Note that the last one in the second set below is Wallace A612--You can just stroll (or ride and stroll) across town and study it in the round (lucky!).

If I were headed to London I'd be happy to bring you one! If you wait a bit and watch the MRL "Deal of the Day" you might be able to get one shipped for a reasonable total price.



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-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 Fri 30 Apr, 2010 1:24 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Apr, 2010 1:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

more:


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-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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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Apr, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If one is a sword's maker, but also a scholar, I think it isn't bad taste to criticize another sword.
If this sword can not look good is to say, as is well praise a job well done. This is my opinion.
Perhaps not everyone here will understand, but who needs to understand, understand. Cool Wink

Ciao
Maurizio
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Julien M




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PostPosted: Sun 02 May, 2010 12:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
If I were headed to London I'd be happy to bring you one! If you wait a bit and watch the MRL "Deal of the Day" you might be able to get one shipped for a reasonable total price.


Hi Sean,

I believe you would so thanks for that Happy
Wonderful pictures, I'll take a close look at the example displayed at the Wallace next time I go.
Despite compromises on this sword I still believe it could make an interesting project...(yes, it would still be a cheap windlass in the end...) and the ideal excuse to research these later period sword which I've more or less overlooked so far. I'll snatch one if I get a great bargain on it...as even at this price tag (KOA), I'm better off going custom locally in the UK!

Cheers,

J
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 11:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK, Julien, et al.: This one just hit the MRL "Deal of the Day" bin for $132! I'm sorely tempted to get one, review it and fix it up, but...must...resist.......too many...projects....

But maybe one of you folks will give it a try.

http://www.museumreplicas.com/p-729-munich-sword.aspx

-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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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 11:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahhhh...who am I kidding? I bought it. Blush

Well, what good is a grinder if you don't use it? And this gives me a counterweight to a formal A&A Town Guard review plus a new project foray into complex hilts. This goes to the back of a long line, though. Summer, maybe.

-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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Richard Eskite




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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 12:30 pm    Post subject: I wonder...         Reply with quote

how this sword would work left handed. Always a problem for me with complex hilts.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 12:47 pm    Post subject: Re: I wonder...         Reply with quote

Richard Eskite wrote:
how this sword would work left handed. Always a problem for me with complex hilts.


It can be used in the left hand but the stronger bars and side ring are on the right.

-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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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Ahhhh...who am I kidding? I bought it. Blush

Well, what good is a grinder if you don't use it? And this gives me a counterweight to a formal A&A Town Guard review plus a new project foray into complex hilts. This goes to the back of a long line, though. Summer, maybe.


I've wondered for a while what this hilt would be like with an H/T Bastard sword blade. Grind that thin windlass blade down to a simple riding sword and mount that hilt up with room for a few off-hand fingers on the pommel... not that I'd want to second guess you, Sean.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric W. Norenberg wrote:
Sean Flynt wrote:
Ahhhh...who am I kidding? I bought it. Blush

Well, what good is a grinder if you don't use it? And this gives me a counterweight to a formal A&A Town Guard review plus a new project foray into complex hilts. This goes to the back of a long line, though. Summer, maybe.


I've wondered for a while what this hilt would be like with an H/T Bastard sword blade. Grind that thin windlass blade down to a simple riding sword and mount that hilt up with room for a few off-hand fingers on the pommel... not that I'd want to second guess you, Sean.


The HT Bastard could work with this or another inexpensive complex hilt because it has the correct thickness and stiffness, if not the broad profile. I've seen blades that narrow on Stantler swords, so it seems to be within the historical parameters. You'd need to take some of the top of the blade to make the ricasso, but you'd still have plenty to work with, I think. It's certainly a viable option if the Windlass blade is too thin for a credible attempt at this type. The sword overall is slightly heavy, but I'll drop some of that in thinning and reshaping the bars and pommel and shortening the hilt. The pommel will be interesting...Stantler pommels (and that of the A&A Town Guard) are crisply-defined, flattened and tapering cylinders while the Windlass pommel is an un-tapered and rounded barrel. Stantler didn't have a patent on the type, though, so there's no reason not to use the Windlass pommel as-is to create a sword that is true to the type and period without making a claim to Stantler pedigree.

I can pretty much guarantee that the Windlass, at least, will be blackened.

-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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Stephen Wheatley




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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject: Resisting a bargain         Reply with quote

Ha ha, hilarious Sean, its murder having more projects on the go than time! I very much look forward to seeing your finished hilt, will no doubt spur me on to try and finish the grips and turk's heads on all the stuff I've got lying around unfinished!
Stephen Wheatley
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Resisting a bargain         Reply with quote

Stephen Wheatley wrote:
Ha ha, hilarious Sean, its murder having more projects on the go than time! I very much look forward to seeing your finished hilt, will no doubt spur me on to try and finish the grips and turk's heads on all the stuff I've got lying around unfinished!


It's a good problem to have, I guess. I hate to have all of my arms and armour fund sitting in pieces on a workshop shelf, though, so I'll probably sell my poleaxe or something to replenish the fund and clean house.

I'll probably try the turks head and wire wrap with this piece as practice for the work on my Town Guard. This one will need an entirely new grip, of course.

-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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Stephen Wheatley




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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Shortening the handle         Reply with quote

Remembered that I own one of these, just dug it out for an inspection re Sean's comments. The handle is a bit cheap looking and the knuckle bow should extend an inch or so up the pommel; having said that I don't see shortening the grip as a solution - its under 3&1/2'' just, (8.5cm). The bow itself might be hammered and extended - quite a job. Good juck with it Sean. I'm confident you'll improve it tenfold.
Stephen Wheatley
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Shortening the handle         Reply with quote

Stephen Wheatley wrote:
Remembered that I own one of these, just dug it out for an inspection re Sean's comments. The handle is a bit cheap looking and the knuckle bow should extend an inch or so up the pommel; having said that I don't see shortening the grip as a solution - its under 3&1/2'' just, (8.5cm). The bow itself might be hammered and extended - quite a job. Good juck with it Sean. I'm confident you'll improve it tenfold.


That's good info. I thought the bow might need to be flattened, depending on the length of the grip. It's not that hard, though. Just heat it well, put on an anvil with the bow facing up and whack away. The cast Windlass hilts don't take cold work well, but this small amount of change shouldn't be a problem. It's not really out of the historical parameters as-is, though. The Big Wall O' Stantler pictured above reveals significant variety in where the knucklebow reaches the pommel.

I'll probably be regrinding the lower quarter of the blade to make it more acutely pointed, 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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Gary B. Ledford




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Jan, 2011 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Haha when I saw it yesterday Sean I had a feeling you might pick one up. I almost did myself. Let us know how the thickness of the ricasso and tang on that one are please; I may consider getting one when they hit the deal of the day again. I have no problem altering windlass swords to suit my own ends, in terms of squaring shoulders and the like.
Beware the Jabberwock my son,
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Jan, 2011 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mine arrived today, and I'm pleasantly surprised, overall. I'll comment a bit and post some quick photos in the morning. For now I'll say it's definitely worth the Deal of the Day price, maybe just worth the MRL list price as-is and has potential to be worth even more than that with some well-researched and carefully executed upgrades.

I won't spoil a formal review, but here are some key points worth considering if you get a chance to buy one before a formal review is ready--very good balance and weight but uncomfortable to hold/use due to overbuilt bars and sharp edges, especially in the quillon block. The grip can indeed be shortened the required amount (~1") to correct the hilt proportions and get the grip to historical length. The ricasso is appropriately robust and the blade is appropriately stiff. The pommel is massive--far too large and rounded, and with a foot that significantly oversteps even the raised part of the grip binding (faux turks' heads).

What To Expect When You're Expecting a Stantler Field Sword: Significantly flatten the pommel on a grinder and narrow the foot and nut, thin and soften the edges of the outside bars, finger rings, knucklebow and quillon block, add simple filed detail to guard terminals, slope the shoulders of the blade, narrow the lower third of the blade, create shorter, wire-bound grip and turks heads, blacken hilt.

Do all of that well, with close attention to documented originals, and I think you'd have a sword with a fair value of $350-$400. Add a good scabbard and suspension--maybe $450-$500.

-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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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Jan, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
The inside (back) of the guard on the Museum Replicas sword looks quite bad. It would be very difficult to correct. I haven't seen any historical examples in which the three bars converge in such a manner.



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