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Michael Pikula
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun, 2011 2:26 pm    Post subject: Castillion inspired XVIII :)         Reply with quote

I just finished up a XVIII and I used as a study for a possible production run later on this summer. While this sword isn't designed after one specific find, I wanted to shoot for something that has the same visual feel and aesthetics. I think it turned out rather well.

Length overall: 35.7"
Blade length: 28.8"
Blade width at guard: 2.8"
Weight: 2lb. 8oz. (1.136Kg)
Point of balance: 2.7" Forward of guard

The blade is a little wider then what I think the documented originals that I've looked up, but overall I think it works and is true to the style of the originals. I had to regrind the blade to remove some more mass once I got the fitting done and seated, and the overall feel is really nice. The point stays right where you want it, there is ample stiffness in the blade to deliver a trust, while the edges are very capable, and sharp enough, to easily cut. I went a little crazy on the risers, but in the end they really help keep your hand exactly where you want it and minimize any slipping. I think the pommel came out a little thinner then I would have liked.... But I haven't seen enough angled shots of originals to really have a firm idea to base my assumption on. I think that forging the pommel like I understand originals were forged, making them more hollow on the inside would allow for a more massive look on the outside. However I still feel like it works, and the sword is properly balanced and alive in the hand which I think is the main idea Happy

I am asking $1350 plus shipping for this sword

**If purchased prior to June 10th I am offering free shipping continental US plus 10% off for $1215 shipped to your door



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Last edited by Michael Pikula on Mon 06 Jun, 2011 11:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Julien M




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun, 2011 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Splendid sword Michael!

I'm a great fan of castillon swords and you did a great job at capturing the style. That's a bunch of pictures I'm sure to come back here to check two dozen times in the weeks to come Happy. It looks to me more like a type XVIII (the tapering towards the point seems to retain a bit more width than on your typical type XV) but Oakeshott ranks castillon swords in both types anyway.

I don't see a problem with your thin pommel, different from what I have seen on historical examples but very elegant indeed. It seems you had to drastically flatten your grip below the pommel though, to get it to be thinner than the disc itself. There must not be much wood around the tang at that point but it looks damn good.

Cheers,

Julien

edit:
Michael Pikula wrote:
I went a little crazy on the risers

Nonsense! That grip looks perfect to me, very true to period and beautifully executed.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun, 2011 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really impressive work and sort of worth remembering for a later order ( Production run for late Summer ! Well, something to seriously think of saving some money for. Wink Big Grin Cool ).

The thin pommel is very interesting and as you mentioned we don't get to see profile pics of originals often enough to know how typically thick or thin those might be ?

Once you have decided on the diameter of pommel the thickness is where you can tweak the mass of the pommel.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Michael Pikula
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 7:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Julien! Yes, I had to get the wood grip super thin, but I did a cord wrap over the wood to help keep everything together tight and secure:)

Hi Jean, Later on in the summer I am trying to coax another smith or two to join me for a two week frenzy of forging and grinding a batch of 15 or so swords based on the finds. They would all be a group effort, no sole authorship, and using some historically inspired tooling to help keep production time down. Still looking for some fellow craftsmen, and working on a cloning machine as a back up option;)

Truth be told I don't know what historical thicknesses would have been. The one example I've seen was much thicker, about twice as much at the middle section that has the most meat. But you are correct, I got a chunk of steel that was the diameter that I wanted, I made the slot and fitted it to the tang and then started removing material until it felt right. Most of the tweeking happened as I changed the radius of the wheel that I was grinding the rounded bevel on the pommel. I think I started at 4" and worked my way down to 1", and then reground the blade Happy
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Brian K.
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sweetness. You're really cranking out some beautiful work!
Brian Kunz
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! That is just gorgeous! I love the pommel. Just a great sword altogether! The crispness of the cross is really nice too. Really impressive work Michael!
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David Sutton




PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful sword Michael - really captures the look of some of the Castillion swords. I agree with Julien though, it looks to be more of a Type XVIII than your typical XV.

Hope you can get the joint smithing project going, it sounds very interesting.

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

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Last edited by David Sutton on Fri 03 Jun, 2011 10:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to add to this topic that your grip treatments on this and your recently completed Type XIIIb sword are really attractive and your prices are incredibly reasonable.

Keep up the good work.

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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the hilt very much - - the shape of the grip, and the best looking type J1 pommel that I've seen. Both this XV and the Lost XIIIb have a lot of Attitude.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 10:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
I have to add to this topic that your grip treatments on this and your recently completed Type XIIIb sword are really attractive and your prices are incredibly reasonable.

Keep up the good work.


I have to agree completely with Nathan here on all points but also add that for the price of a high end production sword one is actually getting customs work and a forged blade for an incredibly affordable price for the quality of the work in materials, design and historically credible interpretations.

Also, having bought pieces from Michael numerous times, including full custom work to my design, that the process was pleasant and efficient with great customer service.

Be very glad that his work is still affordable and wait times still reasonably short ( for now Wink ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Michael Pikula
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun, 2011 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Beautiful sword Michael - really captures the look of some of the Castillion swords. I agree with Julien though, it looks to be more of a Type XVIII than your typical XV.

Thank you very much, this is exactly what I was going for! On a second glace I think you guys are right, it does seem to fit more as a XVIII then a XV. My original plan was to have the sword be a different example of a XVIII but I lost too much width at the tip for what I wanted so I decided to remove more but I guess I was on the right track all along Happy

At Nathan, Thank you! Leather work is one of the areas that I feel I really need to grow in and have been working on getting better. I'm happy to see it showing Happy

At Roger, I really like your comment about them having a lot of attitude. While I was making the shipping boxes I had both of them hanging out together and they both seemed to be saying a lot, even though they are so different.

Hi Jean, Thank you very much for your comments! I know that my prices should be a little higher but I feel the the economy still isn't up and pumping as strong as it should and I see a lot of people around me hurting and struggling to make ends meet. Swords really are a luxury item, not a necessity, so I am sticking with my same mindset of "do the best work you can, for the best price you can, and let the rest sort itself out."

On a side note the box is done and the sword is ready for shipping. I will be out of the shop from Saturday the 11th to Tuesday the 21st and won't be reachable so if a message or e-mail is sent at that time I will respond as soon as I get back to civilization:)
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Michael Pikula
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jun, 2011 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Today at midnight the 10% discount and free shipping expire. Thanks again for all the comments!
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Mike Capanelli




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Aug, 2011 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thought I'd give a bump for a really nice and unique sword. I'd love to see a video of this one cutting soft targets.
Winter is coming
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2011 8:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well Michael had his Winter sale/auction and I couldn't resist this one. Wink Laughing Out Loud So it's now officially mine and Michael will be again making a simple wood core/leather storage scabbard for me before shipping it.

When I bought Michael's type XIIIb Lost Oakeshoot I must admit it was touch and go for a few minutes before I decided which of these two swords to buy, and I'm glad that due to his auction/sale that brought the price closer to my price " comfort zone " I could also get this sword.

As to the discussion about it being either a type XVIII or type XV I think it all depends on the last few inches of blade curving into the point rather than if the basic triangular shape of the blade continuing on in forming a much more needle like point with a perfectly triangular sword profile.

I sort of see it as really a sword being a bit of both types but closer to a type XV in blade shape over most of it's length ..... except for the point.

I could be wrong but to me an ideal type XVIII should have gently curved edges over the entire length of the blade maybe accelerating in curvature to the point in the final 3" / 6".

All this nit picking aside this is really an appealing blade design to me aesthetically and functionally giving a somewhat broader cutting tip than the needle tip of a true type XV, not losing much in penetrative qualities of the needle type tip but a bit more effective in tip cuts and maybe less fragile assuming close to equal thickness at the point. ( Note the needle point might well be thicker and not any more fragile but this thickness would tend to stick/drag rather than cut in a tip cut I assume ).

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William Swiger




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2011 8:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations on picking up this very nice sword. Cool
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2011 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats Jean! This sword is a beauty and I'm sure you'll love it. As you know, Michael's work is top notch. Enjoy it! Post your impressions of the sword "in hand" when you get it.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 6:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
I could be wrong but to me an ideal type XVIII should have gently curved edges over the entire length of the blade maybe accelerating in curvature to the point in the final 3" / 6".


I believe many (perhaps most) examples of the XVIII fmaily will have some areas where the egdes run parallel. It would be difficult to have the curve the entire time, especially in longer length. I see this blade form as combining some elements of both the old parallel-edged cutting swords and the sharply tapering thusting swords.

But that's neither here nor there. Happy Congrats on a beautiful sword.

Happy

ChadA

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Ben Potter
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful sword! Very clean and rich.
Ben Potter Bladesmith

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For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations on getting that beautiful sword, Jean. I was very tempted to buy it myself.

My vote is for type XV.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
Congratulations on getting that beautiful sword, Jean. I was very tempted to buy it myself.

My vote is for type XV.


I agree Michael's rendition is more XV than XVIII.

Happy

ChadA

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