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Ben Potter
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Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2011 10:02 am    Post subject: Ben Potter, Bladesmith, New sword         Reply with quote

I finally did a sword from the Middle Ages.
Here's a peek at the specs and a picture.
The blade is closest to a type XIIIb and was forged by the MAD Dwarf Workshop of Damascus steel (1075/L6)
The hilt has a style 1 cross and a type b pommel of hundred year old wrought iron with a wire wrapped hardwood grip.
I will be doing the final polish today and posting full pictures and a price on Monday.
It will be available on my website on a first come first served basis.


Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.


Last edited by Ben Potter on Sun 24 Jul, 2011 12:08 am; edited 2 times in total
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2011 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, that's a nice teaser pic...now show us the rest of the sword Laughing Out Loud .
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Ben Potter
Industry Professional



Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 342

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2011 4:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is the finished sword:


Here is the Specs:
LOA: 36"
Blade: 29 3/4"
Grip: 4 3/4"
Cross: 7"

Weight: 1lb, 11oz.

Pob: 5 1/2"
PP: 21"
CoP: 19"
SN: -1 1/4"

It is available on my site: Available Page

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben,

It's a nice piece; the wire wrap grip is quite elegant. However, it's not actually an XIIIb. You'll notice that XIII swords are characterized by having very broad, spatulate points, even more so in some cases than a Type X. To me, it doesn't look like it cleanly fits in Oakeshott's typology- The blade looks like an Xa with the breadth of its fuller, but the fuller terminates early, more like an XII blade.
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
Likes: 14 pages
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 226

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Ben,

It's a nice piece; the wire wrap grip is quite elegant. However, it's not actually an XIIIb. You'll notice that XIII swords are characterized by having very broad, spatulate points, even more so in some cases than a Type X. To me, it doesn't look like it cleanly fits in Oakeshott's typology- The blade looks like an Xa with the breadth of its fuller, but the fuller terminates early, more like an XII blade.


Here are some XIII blades that illustrate the point you are making about the spatulate points.
(Image uploaded by Cornelis Tromp)


Also, the topology from this site's "Spotlight: Oakeshott Type XIII Swords" is a good reference.
http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_spotxiii.html
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah definately not a XIIIB blade. Could be a XII with a short fuller I suppose but it seems closer to a XIV to me as far as the blade goes.
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Ben Potter
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Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 342

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2011 11:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words.


Regarding the XIIIb designation:
You are of course correct that it is not the archetypical type XIIIb, the designation came after the blade was forged rather then making the blade to the type.
However, when I began work designing the hilt for this blade I researched Oakeshott's types and chose the XIIIb as the closest match to this blade. True the tip is narrower then most XIIIb swords but as is pointed out in the feature article here on myArmoury:

"Oakeshott considered his typology to be incomplete and said he was sure someone would come along to further elaborate on it. Taking into account the vast variety of swords in the Middle Ages, he also pointed out that not all swords fit neatly into a particular category. The typology is designed for use as a starting or reference point and not for defining absolutes."

Unlike the types that share the blade profile/ fuller configuration (save for the XIIIb) this sword has a lenticular cross section (ruling out types: XV and higher) and has a narrower blade then types XII and XIV. Also, at 29 3/4" the blade is shorter than most other types. The other type that could have worked is the Type XVIIIa however this blade's tang was too short for this type and again the cross section would be wrong. As the XIIIb is an earlier type I thought that it would be a more historically accurate match with the pattern-welded blade, as the later you go the less Damascus steel is seen (with a few notable exceptions).


P.S. I edited the original post for more clarity on the typology.

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.


Last edited by Ben Potter on Sun 24 Jul, 2011 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
Likes: 14 pages
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 226

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2011 12:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben, regarding your beautiful sword's classification, I believe that although the topology is of course incomplete (and always will be), it is still worth at last noting the blade is an "interpretation of an XIIIb blade", rather than calling it simply XIIIb.

My reasoning is simply that if you did that, a potential buyer who lacked the background to recognize the sword is not in the archetypal XIIIb configuration would not purchase the sword with the intention to have a reproduction of a archetypal XIIIb.

I do not mean you, or your very fine product, any disrespect. My personal opinion is that only historical blades should re-define the Oakeshott typology. If every craftsmen that created a sword that did not confirm (mostly) to a given category, chose to still label it as being of that type, there would be endless confusion within the community.

Again beautiful work, thank you for sharing it with us. I for one would not be deterred as a buyer if a fine blade such as this was labelled as an interpretation of a given class of the Oakeshott typology, rather than a plain classification number.

Edited for typo.
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Ben Potter
Industry Professional



Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 342

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2011 12:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Arndt wrote:
Ben, regarding your beautiful sword's classification, I believe that although the topology is of course incomplete (and always will be), it is still worth at last noting the blade is an "interpretation of an XIIIb blade", rather than calling it simply XIIIb.
.


Thanks for pointing that out- I agree. Please note the P.S. at the end of my last post and the correction to the original post.

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ben Potter
Industry Professional



Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 342

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I should have mentioned in the original post that this sword has period authentic construction (peened tang etc.) and materials.
Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Neil Gagel




Location: Oklahoma City
Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 55

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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2011 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a beautiful blade, no doubt about it!
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben Potter wrote:

Unlike the types that share the blade profile/ fuller configuration (save for the XIIIb) this sword has a lenticular cross section (ruling out types: XV and higher) and has a narrower blade then types XII and XIV. Also, at 29 3/4" the blade is shorter than most other types. The other type that could have worked is the Type XVIIIa however this blade's tang was too short for this type and again the cross section would be wrong. As the XIIIb is an earlier type I thought that it would be a more historically accurate match with the pattern-welded blade, as the later you go the less Damascus steel is seen (with a few notable exceptions).


Not all XII and XIV had wide bases. The fuller and blade length is on the short side for your typical XII, but not so for a XIV...hence why I am leaning towards calling this a XIV blade. In fact XIV.3 in record seems to be pretty dang close to this sword blade.
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