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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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Posts: 1,618

PostPosted: Thu 28 Oct, 2010 7:14 am    Post subject: Blade Refinishing Projects         Reply with quote

With the exception of certain brands, like Albion, I often find that modern reproductions of Viking and Early Medieval swords have a diamond shaped profile near the tip that was no observed on originals. Often this causes the terminal of the fuller to appear more abrupt than it sould, rather than 'fading out' as often seen on originals.

However, this is not hard (and rather fun) to fix. Following the basic procedures outlined in Patrick Kelly's feature article, I start with a sanding block and a grit of around 100 to reshape the blade as desired. Then drop the grit size in steps as far down as desired (I go right down to 2000 because I like a mirror finish). A sanding block is good for re-shaping, but after that its good to cut small pieces of sandpaper to fit the area worked on. Working one's way up the sword can produce a desired change in distal taper, if one is willing to put in the work. For dull-edged swords I have modified the finishing procedure, sitting in front of the TV with the sword over an old blanket, because it takes many hours to do a good job. Here I either cut two pieces of sandpaper and grip them between thumb and forefinger, or fold one over the edge and control how much contact desired with the edge. For sharp swords, do it on a table like Patrick says and be very careful not to ruin the edge/fingers.

Besides the esthetics, this procedure has typically taken about 1/4" of the CoG of the sword, and by improving mass distribution, causes a noticable improvement in handling.

The pictures below are from:

1) My first attempt with the Windlass Leuterit sword, to remove the diamond shape near the tip (this sword was also scratched up to begin with).

2). A recent purchase from A&A. This was already an amazing sword, but I felt I could get a little more rounded and flat from the tip to the fuller. After re-finishing the whole blade, the CoG dropped from 6.5 to 6.25.

3) My current project (not finished). In this case I am changing both the distal and profile taper of an extra-long Del Tin 2130. So far the CoG has dropped from 7.5 to 7.25. I'm shooting for 7.

I'd be interested to see if anyone else has been up to similar projects?



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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Oct, 2010 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Blade Refinishing Projects         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:

I'd be interested to see if anyone else has been up to similar projects?


I de-diamonded the tip of a Darksword 10th c viking sword. Old model, second-hand. Previous owner had "Witham"-ed it with some copper inlay, blued the blade, and "sharpened" it (more like butchery than sharpening!).

If it had been in its original blunt state, I might have left it as it was, but the "edge" was too ugly to look at, so the edge needed re-doing. So, might as well do the tip profile and section while at it - it had the usual diamond-section pointy tip. File, stone, and sandpaper does the job easily enough, and a basic job has been done. Could thin the tip by another mm, but it will do. Am planning to cover the grip first, which will add some weight to that end, before seeing whether I can do something worthwhile or needful to the balance by more work on the blade.

Was planning to do finish it and do a scabbard before posting photos. Meanwhile, I think it's worth mentioning that the work on the blade is easy - all you need is a narrow workbench (a sawhorse is great for this), a clamp, and some combination of file/stone/sandpaper.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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Posts: 1,618

PostPosted: Sun 31 Oct, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's the final final result of my work on the Del Tin blade. I really like this sword (its the 35" blade version of the 2130), but this was an older blade that needed some updating to current standards, which included:

- Flattening the tip
- Adding a non-linear distal taper (it had a bit to start)
- increasing the profile taper, especially adding a more gentle curve to the tip
- Reducing the wide blunt edge to a butter-knife edge
- Re-polishing the whole blade (this is the only thing you can really see in the photo).

Besides looking much better, there is a noticeable improvement in the handling.

Now back to the hilt. I already removed the leather, wedged tight and reshaped the grip. The final steps will be to polish the hilt and add a under-wrapped leather grip (will need help with this, I'm no good with leather). It's tempting to blacken the cross and pommel, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea.

Thanks for looking - JD

PS - it really doesn't take much skill or equipment to do this - just patience.



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