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D Garrett





Joined: 13 Jul 2011
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: Hanwei Tinker Great Sword of War modified into Viking sword         Reply with quote

I'm always looking for a nice looking, solid, good handling viking sword in my price range.

I noticed the Windlass Stiklestad Viking sword and decided it might be one to purchase. After reading a couple of reviews and several positive posts I decided it fit my requirements. I found a used one for sale and went ahead and bought it.

Unfortunately it turned out to have a very thin blade. The blade at the thickest point (near the hilt) was only 0.106" thick.. The weight of the sword was 2lbs. The specifications on Kult of Athenas' website (I refer to the specifications listed on KoA often as I find them usually more accurate than the manufacturers specifications) list the blade as 3.5mm thick (0.138") and 2lbs 5ozs in weight. The sword didn't feel the way I prefer a viking sword to feel. I wanted more blade presence.

So I decided to use the guard and pommel from the Stiklestad and fit them to a different blade. At first I considered using the Hanwei Tinker Viking sword blade, but ended up rejecting it because I already own the H/T Viking sword. I didn't want two viking swords using the same blade. In the end I decided to use the blade from a H/T Great Sword of War.

I already owned the GSOW and didn't really like it. The blade flexed under its' own weight more than I preferred. I felt using the blade as the basis for a viking sword, and cutting 6 inches of the tip end, would eliminate the excessive flex.

First I cut the blade to length. Then tip of the blade was given a spatulate shape.

Next I trimmed 3/8" off the blade shoulder in order to increase the tang width at the blade shoulder. This was done to allow the Stiklestad guard to be fitted very tightly (press fit) to the blade. The blade shoulder / tang junction was radiused to help prevent stress fractures. Next the tang and blade shoulder were heated with a propane torch until they oxidized to a blue color in order to reduce the hardness in those areas.

I then polished the blade to a higher grit finish and re-finished the hilt components using a gray scotch bright pad.

Next the guard was driven onto the tang / blade shoulder and the pommel hot peened to the end of the tang.

The grip was made at this point. Using seasoned Poplar I made the new grip and epoxied it to the tang. After the epoxy was thoroughly cured I wrapped the grip in vegetable tanned leather, with a riser set at the top and bottom of the grip. Finally I dyed the grip a reddish brown color and wrapped it with cord to give the grip additional texture.

All in all I am very satisfied with the way this sword has turned out. It feels very solid and handles quite well for a viking sword. It doesn't feel quite as lively the H/T Viking sword, but handles better than my Kris Cutlery Viking sword. I prefer it to both the H/T and the KC viking swords.

Here are the sword specifications:
Overall length 36"
Blade length 29 3/4"
Blade width at guard 2 1/4"
Blade width 3" from the tip 1 1/2"
Distal taper .210" at guard to .120" 3" from tip
POB 6 1/2" from the guard
COP 21" from the guard
Weight 2lbs 8ozs

EDIT: Needed to update the sword specifications (those previously shown were measured prior to cutting the tang to length and shifting the pommel closer to the guard). The POB is 6 1/2" not 5 1/2" as previously shown. For reference my H/T Viking has a POB of 5 1/2" and the Kris Cutlery Viking has a POB of 6 1/2"

Here are pictures of the sword:

Sword






Hilt






Blade




Last edited by D Garrett on Mon 19 Sep, 2011 9:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 2:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good work!
Never thought of doing that, but of course this shows new possibilites for custom-building. With this method one could make swords with a super wide super sturdy tang also.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice. My first thought was "The GSOW? Does it even have a fuller? This doesn't sound good..." (Don't know why I thought it didn't have a fuller.)

However, you clearly know what you're doing and the finished product is great.

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
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D Garrett





Joined: 13 Jul 2011
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys. I'm glad you like the sword.

I'm currently working on another sword project (Windlass Sword of Pavia shortened and hilted with the GSOW pommel and guard), but when I'm finished I will be making another viking sword. This one will use a guard and pommel made by me. Probably a two piece five lobe pommel. I haven't decided on a blade yet.
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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is pretty far out, Mr. Garrett. Your grip wrap looks very good.

If you don't mind, how did you cut the length off the blade? My GSOW has a few spots where the edge is just shy of blunt, and I can barely get a file to bite. I hope you didn't use a hacksaw...!

Cheers,
Eric
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D Garrett





Joined: 13 Jul 2011
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To cut the blade I used a cutoff wheel on a dremel tool. The tip was shaped using a small 1" x 30" belt sander. I worked slowly, periodically cooling the blade tip in a bucket of water. I never allowed the blade to get hotter than I could tolerate while holding it with my bare hands.

Last edited by D Garrett on Sun 18 Sep, 2011 6:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 601

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting project. I was not very happy with my GSOW as it came either, and am currently re-doing mine as a single-hander also. Great minds think alike, I guess. My blade had some very pronounced wavy grinds, which I do not see in the pics of your blade. Also, the fuller termination looks much better on yours than on mine. Great work, thank you for posting.
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D Garrett





Joined: 13 Jul 2011
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Scott.

I think you will definitely prefer the single handed sword with the shortened GSOW blade.
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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Posts: 601

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, I didn't say shortened, not for this one, but I am considering getting another to experiment with shortening, especially after seeing how good your blade looks. My blade has been modified by adding some very subtle convex profile taper and considerable distal taper in the last 8 inches of the blade. These very subtle modifications made a huge difference in the feel of the blade, making it much less saggy and whippy. My sword is finished except for the pommel. One of my main conerns is the relatively narrow tang. I am afraid to add too heavy of a pommel on such a weak-looking tang for fear that the tang will flex too much in use or even break. ( I did draw the temper in the tang and shoulders.) How heavy is your pommel? Before modification, my GSOW's tang would flex a lot inside the loose, hollow grip with use, this was why it only stayed in unmodified form for a few hours before I decided to cut the tang short and make a single-hander, hoping that shortening the tang would fix this short-coming and as an added bonus give me a sword with some blade presence.
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D Garrett





Joined: 13 Jul 2011
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2011 7:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can see how changing the profile and distal taper would improve the handling. When I was working with my GSOW blade I noticed, obviously the same thing you noticed, that the last seven or eight inches of the blade had little profile taper and no distal taper.

Off hand I don't remember the weight of the Stiklestad pommel. I'll check to see if I wrote the weight down (I hope I remembered to, as I weigh all the components when I disassemble a hilt for future reference) and post it here later. The GSOW pommel weighs 11ozs and the guard 7ozs.

The new hilt is a definite improvement over the original hilt. Much more solid. I'm sure this is due to the shorter tang, tightly fitted guard and pommel, and the epoxy used to hold the grip on.
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