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S.R. Lewis




Location: Fl, U.S.A.
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2011 10:43 am    Post subject: leafblade swords         Reply with quote

Out of curiosity, I was wondering if anyone on here might know what the advantages and disadvantages of a leafbladed sword would likely be when compared to a conventional straight blade?
S.R. Lewis
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2011 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, first disadvantage that comes to mind is the different distribution of weight in the blade itself, and second - difficult blade shape and profile that makes it harder for maker to produce such blades without giving them any significant advantages to warrant such effort.
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2011 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One could theoretically gain some width around CoP, while possibly taking it from other parts, without making balance and profile too forward...

It would be probably weird in the thrust in most cases.

Anyway, from whatever reason, they seem to have pretty much disappeared in Europe after first millennium had begun.
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2011 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think in a short blade of may about 25" or less, a leaf shape has advantages over a straight one. The increased mass at the COP, the shape also lends itself to a cut and thrust style of use, and the waisted part of the blade would also be fairly useful for back handed slashes.

BTW, all of the above is just my observations, based on no hands on experience of leaf blades.

Éirinn go Brách
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2011 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's a lot of myths around the leafblade:

Myth 1: it brings the COB forwards. This is not the case. The leafblade is created by moving material sideways. The taper is usually quite more severecm compared to straight swords.

Myth 2: They are more difficult to make then straight swords. Making something straight is much more difficult by hand then something curved. Slightly more or less curved is still curved, while there's only one straight. It's the simple geometric shapes that are the most difficult to make by hand.

For short swords, the leafshape has many advantages. It gives the greatest in plane bending strenth at the COP, where the in plane bending moment is the greatest. And in gives the greatest out of plane bending strength near the hilt, due to more material in thickness. The curved edge also makes the blade cut better, which is improved further by the thinner cross-section. In a thrust, the increasing width creates more damage. The only real downside is that in a thrust, the blade needs a high out of plane bending strength all the way. That's why in the bronze age you see both straight and leafbladed swords simultaneously, some more optimized for cutting, others more for thrusting (though still used for cutting too). The real reason for no leafbladed swords later, is that the advantages become less as they get stretched out to greater lengths. But you do still see the same principles repeated in later short weapons, but then single edged (falcata,yatagan, machete-sax!Happy)

Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2011 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeroen Zuiderwijk wrote:
There's a lot of myths around the leafblade:

Myth 1: it brings the COB forwards. This is not the case. The leafblade is created by moving material sideways. The taper is usually quite more severe compared to straight swords.


This one isn't just a common leafblade myth, but a myth for any sword that widens towards the tip. "Widens towards the tip to add weight" is a common thing to see for the P1796 light cavalry sword, kilij, tulwars, etc. (So it's good to see "blade that widens out toward the tip to maximize the effect of slashing blows" in ad copy for such swords (Cold Steel ad copy in this case).)

Quote:

The real reason for no leafbladed swords later, is that the advantages become less as they get stretched out to greater lengths. But you do still see the same principles repeated in later short weapons, but then single edged (falcata,yatagan, machete-sax!:))


As above, later long weapons too.

"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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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2011 5:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As of today my collection is rather small, but it just so happens that one of my swords is a leaf blade.

I really like my leaf blade. It is not a high end sword, but I feel like it is a very pretty sword nonetheless. As far as performance goes, I feel like my leaf blade would be well suited for "hacking" rather than "cutting." I remember reading somewhere that the old Falcata swords that perform more like an axe than a sword. I feel like my leaf blade is somewhere between a Falcata and a regular one handed sword. It still handles well on the thrust, there's just a little more mass in the front of the blade than normal.

Also, just as a side note, I have thought more than once that the Oakeshott's XIV's remind me of a more medieval version of a leaf blade. I can't say why, but there it is.

Eric Gregersen
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Knowledge applied is power.
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Mon 25 Apr, 2011 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeroen Zuiderwijk wrote:


Myth 2: They are more difficult to make then straight swords. Making something straight is much more difficult by hand then something curved. Slightly more or less curved is still curved, while there's only one straight. It's the simple geometric shapes that are the most difficult to make by hand.


Hmm, Jeroen - I tend to disagree on that one - yes, one-sided curved might be easier than straight one, but try to forge out a symmetrical leafblade and you start running into certain difficulties - namely, you have to make sure the profile stays the same on both sides of the blade, and that the shape is symmetrical as well. That, in my opinion, adds, not detracts from the difficulty of making the blade. The again, everyone's mileage will wary in that regard as different people find different things easier or harder to do...
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Carl W.




Location: usa
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2011 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeroen Zuiderwijk wrote:
Quote:
There's a lot of myths around the leafblade:

Myth 1: it brings the COB forwards. This is not the case. The leafblade is created by moving material sideways. The taper is usually quite more severe compared to straight swords.

I tried an amateur, simplified check. I locked a micrometer at 0.1" & slid it over the edge of my Albion Allectus at the waist (narrowest point) & also at the leaf/widest part. It slid in (very) noticeably farther at the widest leaf part, so the steel is notably thinner there. So I'm convinced - wider appearance does not (necessarily) mean more weight in that area to cause further out COB.

As another very simplified check (not strict apples-apples as different pommels etc.) the ratio of COB to blade length for Albion's gladius are:
Allectus Mainz 4.125/20.25 = 0.20
Augustus Mainz 4.00/20.25 = 0.20
Pedite Pompeii 4.25/19.25 = 0.22
Trajan Pompeii 5.25/20.25 = 0.26

Unless those calcs are useless due to oversimplification the COB is closer to the grip for those leaf blades than the "otherwise similar" straight blades. It would be interesting to hear from someone who handles both types a lot.

Are thinned out leafs the norm for well made swords? If so, do we agree that forward COB for leaf blades (blade forward chopper etc.) is a myth? If so, it is commonly stated & perhaps should be corrected.
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