Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Pommel reduction for moving balance point Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Vincent C




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 24 Aug 2009

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Pommel reduction for moving balance point         Reply with quote

Hello All.

A sword I recently purchased from armory marek to practice montante forms has a very, very low center of balance, literally on the quillons.

I didn't mind it at first, but the complete lack of fluidity at speeds that aren't really, really, really slow coupled with the wrenching on my body whenever I start to move or stop it have made this more than a little tiresome and irritating. The fact that my wooden montante waster handles better is quite disturbing.

The pommel on this sword is beyond big, it's almost the size of my fist and made of solid iron.

The sword itself is very nice, the only problem being it's balance, so I would like to move the balance a little higher along the blade so that it'll (hopefully) perform better, and figured the simplest way to do this would be to literally shave some weight from the pommel.

I was wondering who could do this, I was hoping for someplace near to Virginia state or Maryland state, but I'm open to any suggestions.

Seriously, my fist, I've never seen a pommel this big on any other sword. It's peened on and nut hex-nutted, so it can't easily be removed, hence pommel shaving as opposed to replacement.

Honor, compassion, knowledge.
View user's profile Send private message
J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,604

PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2011 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting that you are complaining about balance being too close to the cross - I've been expressing similar views lately to the person working on my current project (although your case is clearly extreme).

Forumite Dan Dickinson does these sort of modifications/customizations and does very skilled work.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
P. Cha




PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The biggest issue your gonna have is that the harmonics will get tossed if you remove too much weight from just the pommel. If you just doing dry handling, it shouldn't matter but any impact and the harmonics changes can make for a pretty uncomfortable to use sword.
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,176

PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 11:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
The biggest issue your gonna have is that the harmonics will get tossed if you remove too much weight from just the pommel. If you just doing dry handling, it shouldn't matter but any impact and the harmonics changes can make for a pretty uncomfortable to use sword.


It depends: Are the harmonics good at this moment with the overweight pommel ? If they are currently bad or indifferent removing some weight from the pommel might improve things. Wink Question

Seems to me that " good handling " became synonymous with having a close to the guard POB and that some people went too far with the concept in reaction to bad handling swords with very high POBs numbers.

I find that what is considered good handling comes with experience with differently handling, but good handling swords, who differ in handling due to what the specific design is optimized for.

What type of pommel, I don't think you mentioned it ? A Spherical or scent bottle pommel would be a different " shaving " challenge from a disk pommel I think and if you want to preserve it's style and general look or don't mind hacking of big gobs of it by changing it's shape considerably i.e. taking a fat scent bottle pommel that is basically cylindrical and giving it facets by making it it octagonal or hexagonal for example.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
P. Cha




PostPosted: Sat 26 Nov, 2011 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hehe, well jean I was under the impression that the sword was properly made of course. If the sword already has bad harmonics and you get a bone jarring twang when you hit something with it...then by all means start hacking away. At worst, you will just make it equally unsuitable as a weapon and at best you could get lucky.

Oh another fix could be to grind down your forte CAREFULLY if your distal profile has a very thick base and a thin tip. This will have a smaller impact on harmonics then playing with the pommel. MOST important thing however is to do things in small measures and see what is slowly happening to your sword.
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,176

PostPosted: Sat 26 Nov, 2011 11:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:

Oh another fix could be to grind down your forte CAREFULLY if your distal profile has a very thick base and a thin tip. This will have a smaller impact on harmonics then playing with the pommel. MOST important thing however is to do things in small measures and see what is slowly happening to your sword.


Oh, and unless the person doing the work is very skilled the results could be very messed up grinds lines, overheated blade and at the very least a scratchy heavily tool marked finish.

I guess the prerequisite is having someone competent to do modifications on swords. Wink Big Grin Cool

Actually someone that good should be able to dismount the heavy pommel, make a new one and re-pean it in place and do any work on the blade while the hilt furniture has been removed: Doing the work without removing pommel, handle and guard is " possible " but much more difficult and awkward to almost impossible if a lot has to be done !

Also assuming someone who knows the feel they are trying to achieve and knows what to do to preserve or get good harmonics.

This is sounding like it might get to be more expensive than just buying a better sword. WTF?!

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 612

PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 7:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Any decent machinist could fix that in five minutes on the lathe. The trick is getting the pommel off. Wink

Don't just start hacking at it willy-nilly. You could spend days grinding, filing or sanding the pommel while trying to manipulate that big sword on an improvised work bench, only to end up with a dogs breakfast. Give the project more consideration and you may get a very nice product to train with.

You said:
It's peened on and nut hex-nutted

I am more than a little confused by your description. Peened on is one fastening method that does not require any other. Hex nuts are a cheesy way to fasten shelves together. Do you perhaps mean hex screw? Why then would it be peened on? Confused

Take a close shot of that pommel fastening and maybe we can make a better suggestion. A montante waster I recently played with had a similar problem. Turning off 2/10 of a pound of steel at the end of the pommel shifted the COB an inch and a half forward from the previous point. It made a world of difference to the flow of the simulator. Really, that little made a huge difference.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Vincent C




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 24 Aug 2009

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all for the replies, I'll try to answer the questions you all have raised.

Firstly it's a very large scent-stopper pommel, and it's peened on and NOT hex nutted, the "nut" in the original came from my mind getting ahead of my hands while typing. I've attached a picture.

The blade harmonics aren't terrible, but enough to give me a feeling of being tickled in the arms closest to the hilt while holding it after being smacked.

The ricasso is about 6mm thick, and the tip is about 4mm thick, in terms of taking from the blade to help harmonics. The cross guard is also very thick in places, but not too much so. A little could be taken from it if it was thought it would help the harmonics.

Again, thank you all for the replies.

For size reference in the picture, the sword is 5' blade ~42"



 Attachment: 61.03 KB
Montante.jpg


Honor, compassion, knowledge.
View user's profile Send private message
Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 843

PostPosted: Mon 28 Nov, 2011 12:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Given the symptoms described (lack of fluidity, wrenching of the arms) I think removing weight from the pommel can only prove beneficial. The question is how much weight, of course that can't be established without more info on the sword (read my article Happy, from the description I'd guess the dynamic length is too big on that sword).

Of course acting on the pommel will only get you so far if the blade is not right either, but it should make things better at least.

I doubt harmonics will be a problem at all. From everything I've gathered if you get the balance distribution right the harmonics will be too, and if the mass distribution is wrong (as seems to be the case) the harmonics can't be good either.

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
P. Cha




PostPosted: Mon 28 Nov, 2011 1:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It sounds like your blade does have bad harmonics. Removal of some pommel weight sounds like it can be helpful from what you describe. It sounds like your have a node about a finger or two down from the hilt to cause that tingle.

And correct balance doesn't = good harmonics. A lot of the cheaper sword makers will get the "right" balance by using a uber heavy cross and a small pommel. This does not produce a good harmonic blade as it causes the mass distribution of a sword to be all wrong, even if it balances within what is typical for the type.
View user's profile Send private message
Vincent C




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 24 Aug 2009

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon 28 Nov, 2011 9:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well... those of you who've been talking about the nodes are going to get a kick out of this.

You guys got me curious so I went to find the actual nodes, holding my hand in the standard place under the cross I couldn't get it to vibrate long enough to see the nodes. So I tried other hand positions while smacking the pommel.

Where my hand goes right underneath the cross? Yah... it's actually an anti-node, the amplitude is greatest right on the cross (where the balance point is too..) The hilt node is one or two inches from the center of grip instead of at the cross. The center of percussion is likewise a few inches shy of the center of the blade.

So Dan Dickinson was recommended, I don't really know any of his work, though. Does anyone else recommend him? I really need this worked on...

Honor, compassion, knowledge.
View user's profile Send private message
Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Mon 28 Nov, 2011 11:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Seems to me that " good handling " became synonymous with having a close to the guard POB and that some people went too far with the concept in reaction to bad handling swords with very high POBs numbers.
...
I find that what is considered good handling comes with experience with differently handling, but good handling swords, who differ in handling due to what the specific design is optimized for.


Well said! Some HEMA schools will swear by close to the guard POB because of how they perform techniques, or in some cases because it weakens the cut and therefore lessens the risk of injury to some degree, while sharp cutters want some decent blade presence but still control.
Ironically I think on a medieval battlefield meeting someone in full armour you'd probably want a solid, "tip heavy" sword to bash them senseless with (if you didn't have better tools at hand). It would still need some life to it though to be possible to handle by a human being.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
This is sounding like it might get to be more expensive than just buying a better sword. WTF?!


I second that.

Vincent, perhaps this piece can find a better home and then you can get a really nice sword from Albion or similar quality that's perfect as it is rahter than getting expensive remodeling done on it? Just an idea.

On the other hand, if it's an inexpensive piece then just go ahead and work on it yourself, it's a learning experience to change around the pommel weight and modify the balance and it teaches a lot about swordmaking -even when doing it on inexpensive swords.

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


Last edited by Johan Gemvik on Tue 29 Nov, 2011 12:00 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 843

PostPosted: Mon 28 Nov, 2011 11:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent C wrote:
Where my hand goes right underneath the cross? Yah... it's actually an anti-node, the amplitude is greatest right on the cross (where the balance point is too..) The hilt node is one or two inches from the center of grip instead of at the cross. The center of percussion is likewise a few inches shy of the center of the blade.

That's to be expected since the CoG cannot possibly be a node...
As I said the mass distribution influences where these nodes are, so to me that's just another proof that the mass distribution isn't right.

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,176

PostPosted: Tue 29 Nov, 2011 12:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
This is sounding like it might get to be more expensive than just buying a better sword. WTF?!


I second that.

Vincent, perhaps this piece can find a better home and then you can get a really nice sword from Albion or similar quality that's perfect as it is rahter than getting expensive remodeling done on it? Just an idea.

On the other hand, if it's an inexpensive piece then just go ahead and work on it yourself, it's a learning experience to change around the pommel weight and modify the balance and it teaches a lot about swordmaking -even when doing it on inexpensive swords.


Maybe the Montante trainer from A&A ?

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/train233.html

Or for a sharp the A&A English Longsword which is certainly long enough for a Montante and uses very similar aesthetics:

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword156.html

I have one of these and although big and with good blade presence it's easy to handle using both hands but too heavy for easy one handed use.

Blade length seems very close to the training Montante and the P.O.B. is at 6" : A bit more than the trainer that has the P.O.B. at 3.5" but that makes sense for a trainer to have a bit less blade presence to make it safer to use.

For solo form " only " I would go for the sharp as it's the real thing but I might consider dulling the edges to butter knife sharp for safety reasons or leave it sharp and be " extra careful ". Wink

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,900

PostPosted: Tue 29 Nov, 2011 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds like it would be easiest just to file down the peen enough to remove the pommel and replace with a large spherical pommel from Alchem. That's just a bit of filing, drilling through the Alchem and re-peening the tang. Pretty easy stuff, but you'd really need a $20 bench vise and a table edge to mount it.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Vincent C




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 24 Aug 2009

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue 29 Nov, 2011 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Sounds like it would be easiest just to file down the peen enough to remove the pommel and replace with a large spherical pommel from Alchem. That's just a bit of filing, drilling through the Alchem and re-peening the tang. Pretty easy stuff, but you'd really need a $20 bench vise and a table edge to mount it.


This actually sounds like a lot of fun... I have the vise, but I don't have any metal drills to drill through the alchem pommel, not to mention anything to re-peen it with.

The heaviest alchem pommel is 16oz. though.. is there any way to calculate whether that would be too light?


As for replacing the sword...
It cost me about $460 plus bank exchange fee, and with a new semester coming up I shouldn't spend vast amounts of money, and I'd feel bad trading someone a sword they'd have to work on.

Th only blunt replacements I could find at that price range are the armourclass two-handed and clamshell claymores, which are very nice, but I doubt someone would trade one for this sword considering the work it needs.

Honor, compassion, knowledge.
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,900

PostPosted: Tue 29 Nov, 2011 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Alchem pommel wouldn't be appropriate for many swords, but the complex hilt of yours puts it in the right era to make a spherical pommel plausible. I'm going to use one for a project of the same period (early 16th c.).

The Alchem pommels are not hard. I've drilled two of them. It won't be difficult to find a bit at any home improvement store. Get one the size of your tang and rated for stainless steel and it'll go right through the Alchem. As for weight--consider the Albion Dane: http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...hander.htm

58" OA and a POB at 4" below the cross. Note the relatively small pommel.

In my experience, it can be very hard to move a POB even one inch, much less four. I think you'd be grinding away the existing pommel to a degree that justifies just getting a different pommel.

In your shoes, I think I'd first make a clay ball the diameter of the Alchem pommel, cut it in half and press it onto the existing pommel flush with the top of the grip, just to get an idea for whether you'd like the look of it. If it passes that test, order the pommel. When I ordered mine, these were $13. Took forever, but you certainly don't have much to lose in terms of investment. When it arrives, eyeball it again with the hilt to make sure it looks alright. Then attack that peen with the bastard file or grinder and hope that it's not also epoxied to the tang or grip core (if it is, a sharp blow with a hammer might break it free).

If the existing pommel hole is flat and fitted to the tang, you'll have some extra work to do on the Alchem--either file a small slot on each side of the hole to sit in whatever shoulder exists on the tang or simply JB Weld the pommel to the tang when you're ready to mount it (to prevent it from turning). In theory, an oblong or rectangular slot on the top of the pommel under the peen should prevent it from turning as well, as the peen will fill in that slot and lock the pommel in place.

If you're determined to fix the sword, somebody is going to have to remove the pommel. You might as well do that yourself and save a bit of money. If you get it off and decide not to tackle installing a new pommel, you're still better off than you were. Ditto if you can fit the new pommel but don't want to try peening. You might find that without the pommel the grip and cross will come off as well, giving you the opportunity to examine the bare blade and get a sense for how other work might change its dynamics.

If you do decide to peen--with cross and grip in placce-- you can wrap the exposed tang in a wet cloth and heat the very tip to glowing with a torch, slap some prepared JB Weld on the cool part of the tang, install the pommel and peen quickly. If you install the pommel and then try to heat it will (A) take forever, if ever, to get the exposed tang hot enough due to the heat sink effect of the pommel, and (B) threaten the grip core.

At any stage you can quit and see if somebody else can assist, and each stage gets you closer to what you want.

As for tools: a ball-pein hammer is cheap, and in truth any hammer will suffice. I tend to use the flat of the hammer more when peening anyway, so even a simple claw hammer would work for me. I use a small propane bottle with a trigger nozzle but if I hadit to do over again I'd get MAP gas and an appropriate nozzle. Propane just takes longer. None of this stuff is very expensive.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Alen L




Location: Ljubljana, SLovenia
Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue 29 Nov, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello my friend! Seems like we have similar issues. Happy I also own a Marek longsword, and though i was happy with it at first, i soon figured out that the extremely close PoB was tough on my arms and wrists. So i took it to a local blacksmith to shave some of the pomel off. Was a VERY good move. The thing is, he was afraid of screwing up the harmonics too, so he didn't shave off as much as he could have.

Well, recently, i got a couple of new swords, and couldn't sell this one, so i decided to give it to the smith as a gift, and let him do whatever he wanted. He took it apart. The pommel was nigh impossible to get off.



As for the peening, I'll have to check with the smith, but I think the assembly was weird. The tang didn't go all the way through the pommel, but just about to halfway. Apparently, the pommel was then heated to hell and back and then put on, so that there was no chance in hell that it'd budge once it shrank. For now, this is just slander, though, i really have to check with the smith.

The sword seems to be made for showfights, as the tang is almost as wide as the blade (literally only a few mm less); the blade itself, though is of very good quality according to the smith that took it appart. Nigh indestructible, he said. I'm still awaiting to get the sword (we jointly decided that what could be learned from the sword was learned and it should go on to find a new owner), but the smith seems to be happy with the harmonics.... At a rough guess, i'd say he took off approximately 30-40% off of the pommel alltogether...

Bottom line... Hells yeah, grind that pommel to oblivion. Happy
View user's profile Send private message
Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2011 1:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So it's a super durable blade and tang, that sounds like it could make a good cutter or a long lasting sparring blade. Clearly worth modifying to get the balance one wants then.
"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
View user's profile Send private message
Alen L




Location: Ljubljana, SLovenia
Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2011 2:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alen L wrote:
Hello my friend! Seems like we have similar issues. Happy I also own a Marek longsword, and though i was happy with it at first, i soon figured out that the extremely close PoB was tough on my arms and wrists. So i took it to a local blacksmith to shave some of the pomel off. Was a VERY good move. The thing is, he was afraid of screwing up the harmonics too, so he didn't shave off as much as he could have.

Well, recently, i got a couple of new swords, and couldn't sell this one, so i decided to give it to the smith as a gift, and let him do whatever he wanted. He took it apart. The pommel was nigh impossible to get off.



As for the peening, I'll have to check with the smith, but I think the assembly was weird. The tang didn't go all the way through the pommel, but just about to halfway. Apparently, the pommel was then heated to hell and back and then put on, so that there was no chance in hell that it'd budge once it shrank. For now, this is just slander, though, i really have to check with the smith.

The sword seems to be made for showfights, as the tang is almost as wide as the blade (literally only a few mm less); the blade itself, though is of very good quality according to the smith that took it appart. Nigh indestructible, he said. I'm still awaiting to get the sword (we jointly decided that what could be learned from the sword was learned and it should go on to find a new owner), but the smith seems to be happy with the harmonics.... At a rough guess, i'd say he took off approximately 30-40% off of the pommel alltogether...

EDIT:

Called the smith; It's true, the blade goes about 30mm in the pommel; then the pommel is flooded with molten metal from a hole in the top, which is then also hammered down. This makes the pommel as secure as can be, and a really b!tch to get off.

Also, the sword arrived today - the blade harmonics are better than they were. I think that if a bit more of the pommel was shaved off, they'd be even better....

Hope it helps! If you need pictures, say so and i'll try to send them to you.

Bottom line... Hells yeah, grind that pommel to oblivion. Happy
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Pommel reduction for moving balance point
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum