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Tormod Engvig




PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2004 5:26 am    Post subject: To sharpen or not to sharpen         Reply with quote

Greetings to the forum,

I have noticed certain manufacturers of replica edged weapons ship their goods sharpened, and others not. Is there any advantage or disadvantage to having the blade arrive sharp or blunt, besides the obvious points regarding safety, use as tools for reenactment vice showpieces, and so forth? Is it perhaps mere company policy?
Does anyone consider it necessary to sharpen the blade to make it more historically accurate??
Thanks for any input.

Tormod
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Scott Byler




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 20 Aug 2003

Posts: 209

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2004 7:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I'm not always sure about why some companies do or don't sharpen their wares, really. I know that some countries have laws against importing or exporting sharpened goods, so in some case that may very well be behind it. As you've guessed, some manufacturers aim their stuff more at reenactors and those ofcourse definitely don't need to be sharpened. I think Del Tin 'walks the line' between a reenactment blade and one that can be sharpened reasonably easily if it is needed or wished.

Personally, I tend to like my 'live' steel to be live, so I'll sharpen it if it isn't. However, training tools of the sparring variety don't need that so I expect there are reasons to choose to keep a sword sharp or blunted....
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Einar Drønnesund





Joined: 14 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Sep, 2004 2:07 pm    Post subject: Re: To sharpen or not to sharpen         Reply with quote

Tormod Engvig wrote:
Greetings to the forum,

I have noticed certain manufacturers of replica edged weapons ship their goods sharpened, and others not. Is there any advantage or disadvantage to having the blade arrive sharp or blunt, besides the obvious points regarding safety, use as tools for reenactment vice showpieces, and so forth? Is it perhaps mere company policy?
Does anyone consider it necessary to sharpen the blade to make it more historically accurate??
Thanks for any input.

Tormod


Hei, Tormod.

It often depends on what market they are aiming for. Some companies offer blunt or sharp swords. Other, like Angus Trim only make sharp blades to my knowledge, and he focuses very much on a swords ability to cut, and less on historical appearance. So if you want a sword purely for test cutting, I dont think you'll find swords in his price range that can perform as well as his. If you want a sword that you can do drills with and swing around without the immediate danger of chopping your own leg or ear off, a blunt is a better way to start. (though you can still hurt yourself) I have an ATrim, and I actually find it kinda scary to weild, so for training purposes, I prefer a blunt sword.

You can of course sharpen a blunt blade, but most blunts are made to be blunts, not sharps, so the edge geometry wont be ideal, even when you sharpen them. In other words, they usually wont cut as well as a sword that was designed to be sharp from the start.
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Tormod Engvig




PostPosted: Sun 12 Sep, 2004 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tusen takk, Einar. Big Grin

I only have blunt blades myself, although the point is still quite, well...pointy. I guess eventually I'll get to sharpening them. What kind of recommendations would you have for sharpening a cut-and-thrust? Should I get it done professionally, if there are places where you can get such sharpening done (I don't possess a grindstone)?

Tormod
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Sep, 2004 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tormod;

Unless I have a specific reason for wanting it blunt, I like a real sword to have a real edge appropriate to the design.

To me it's like owning a gun and having no bullets or a car but having no access to gas or a computer and buying no software.

And welcome to the forum.

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





Joined: 14 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2004 4:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tormod Engvig wrote:
Tusen takk, Einar. Big Grin

I only have blunt blades myself, although the point is still quite, well...pointy. I guess eventually I'll get to sharpening them. What kind of recommendations would you have for sharpening a cut-and-thrust? Should I get it done professionally, if there are places where you can get such sharpening done (I don't possess a grindstone)?

Tormod


I dont really know. I have never sharpened a blunt before. I would do it myself, but then I have access to belt grinders and other power tools, and I have experience using them. But if you havent used such tools much, I wouldnt try it, cause you can mess up your sword REALLY fast on one of those. Files wont "bite" good on a properly heat treated blade, so that would take forever, I think. Perhaps you could use stones to do it, but I have never tried it so I dont know how long that would take.I guess there are places you can get it done professionally, but I wouldnt know where.

Of course you should always make sure your sword is of a make that has proper construction and heat treatment befoer you try any sort of cutting or quick handling of it.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2004 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Depends on the files used I guess... I've used files to sharpen Del Tins and Atrims with reasonably good success. It does take a while but not prohibitively so...
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2004 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A good quality file can be used with good results. It will take a while to accomplish. Follow the filing with a dressing using a good quality sharpening stone. That should give you a decent basic edge.

Avoid power tools, regardless of your experience with them. The heat that's generated might possibly ruin the blade's heat treatment, and one slip can ruin your blade. There's no substitute for patience.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2004 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll second that! Once the metal is ground off you can't get it back...
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Jeff Ross




Location: Apex, NC
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2004 6:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A fine grit diamond stone and a few quiet evenings can put a very nice edge on even a well-hardened blade. Of course, begin with a coarser stone if there's no edge at all to start. I finish the edge with 1500 grit automotive sandpaper. Work on just a few inches at a time, and be prepared to spend some time doing it. A lot of time. As you get closer to the final degree of sharpness desired, you need to really focus on the process, both to keep from ruining the edge and to keep from cutting yourself. I'm in the middle of putting a better edge on a Lutel 15010 right now.
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Einar Drønnesund





Joined: 14 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2004 7:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:

Avoid power tools, regardless of your experience with them. The heat that's generated might possibly ruin the blade's heat treatment, and one slip can ruin your blade. There's no substitute for patience.


Ruining the heat treatment is of course a danger, but its not that hard to avoid if youre careful. I've made knives by stock removal using already hardened steel and a belt grinder, and as long as you cool off the blade regularly and dont grind too much at a time, it'll be fine. Of course, the first couple of times I tried, the steel turned blue from overheating, so experience and patience is very important.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2004 3:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really respect you guys willingness to "jump in there" in regards to getting intimate with establishing or maintaining a proper edge.
For me, owning higher quality production blades-Ill just pay the money and have the manufactures do it right. I mean there is more to an edge than its' sharpness- there is the continuity of the edge section and the need for a homogenous edge along the swords length. Thats a lot to take into account.
Now with an axe that all goes out the window and I have a great time working on the edge of my A&A Danish- a secondary bevel is just fine and for some reason I am more comfortable with a less prestine product on an axe.
Jeremy
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Ryan Harger




Location: Arkansas
Joined: 12 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2004 11:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd second getting it done professionally.

Also, I believe Gus will ship you blunt blades if you request it, so you can have it arrive blunt and get used to it, then sharpen it later.

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Einar Drønnesund





Joined: 14 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 15 Sep, 2004 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
I really respect you guys willingness to "jump in there" in regards to getting intimate with establishing or maintaining a proper edge.
For me, owning higher quality production blades-Ill just pay the money and have the manufactures do it right. I mean there is more to an edge than its' sharpness- there is the continuity of the edge section and the need for a homogenous edge along the swords length. Thats a lot to take into account.
Now with an axe that all goes out the window and I have a great time working on the edge of my A&A Danish- a secondary bevel is just fine and for some reason I am more comfortable with a less prestine product on an axe.
Jeremy


I agree. And I'm with you on the axe thing. I dont know what it is, but for me, an axe is supposed to look a bit rough. If its forge black, with only the edgesteel shining through, thats just the way I like it.
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