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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011 9:42 am    Post subject: sword blade thickness.         Reply with quote

I have been asking the makers of $500.00ish swords and it seems that most, if not all, start from blanks of 1/4" stock. The Albion measurements taken from KoA show that while some Albions do use 1/4" stock, the ones I'm interested in (Munich, Fiore, Talhoffer etc.) start with 3/8" stock.

From what I understand, the greater thickness at the top of the blade adds stiffness for halfswording, and pulls the weight back towards the grip, and possibly makes for a faster sword?

So how important is that greater thickness to handling and other dynamics? Is Albion the only game in town for swords starting from 3/8" stock?

Thank you for your thoughts,
Matthew
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: sword blade thickness.         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
So how important is that greater thickness to handling and other dynamics? Is Albion the only game in town for swords starting from 3/8" stock?


Albion is not the only game in town.

A&A, for instance, uses various thicknesses across their line of products. Others use 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", etc., depending on the model. I've had some Windlass swords (which are forged and have quite a lot of variance from piece to piece) that were a bit over 3/8" at the hilt. I believe Gus Trim (ATRIM) has used various stock thicknesses for his swords, too.

The real question is more about what are these replica swords trying to recreate and what was the blade thickness of the antiques on which they are based.

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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 456

PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the quick response Nathan.

I did not look at Arms and Armor, and they do indeed have varying thickness in there models. They don't seem to have anything thicker then the 6.3 mm black prince. I would assume though that this is because none of the antiques that they are replicating were that thick, not that they can't or won't use 3/8" stock.

I did look at Atrims however. I contacted Tried and True and was told that Gus uses 1/4 inch stock for all his blades. I'm not saying that's a negative, I know of the well deserved reputation his cutters have, and I would be very excited to include several of his models in my meager collection, but at the moment I'm looking into two handed thrusters. Something for piercing the weak points in plate armor and also for drilling in Fiore's long sword techniques.

Here is part of the review for the AT1593 from this site.

"When attempting the half sword techniques that are often seen in medieval fencing treatises, where the swordsman would grasp the blade with the off hand to use in close quarters combat as a short spear or lever for grappling, I found the sword was adequate though not ideal. The blade is very sharp, so a glove would be necessary to prevent injury, and it is just barely wobbly, making thrusting into dense foam a little bit awkward; I could feel the blade occasionally slip in my hand. A stiffer sword would be more ideal for this particular type of fighting."

If I were looking for a dedicated cutter, my search would have ended right there with an Atrim. But I'm really more interested in something designed for "close quarters combat as a short spear or lever".

The reason my question wasn't "can someone recommend a sword designed for halfsword and levering?" is that I am also interested the whys and hows of sword dynamics. I have a feeling that having more material in the tang, under the cross, and in the strong of the blade would pull the balance back to the grip without resorting to an overly heavy pommel that would slow the weapon in motion? Maybe it effects the vibration nodes?
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