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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Wed 25 Jan, 2012 4:20 pm    Post subject: transitional blade styles         Reply with quote

i've been looking over the post concerning blade cross sections and it looks like i've got a similar question about a blade i'm planning on currently.

i'm intrigued that historical examples of thin tapering swords are not a flexible as they may seem to be as described in that post ,and i moved this to my own little thread because i'm working with a certain sword rather than comparing different models.

i'm working on plans based off of a two handed fechtschwert sword from about 1530. it's fairly slender, what got me into the project is the actual elegance of the profile taper of the blade, and i've got a similar sword (hand and half) that comes to about the same taper (very wiggly diamond cross section). the difference in the fechtschwert sword from my research of it, it begins as a hexagonal cross section after the ricasso, but follows the taper of the blade until it transitions into a diamond cross section near the tip at about 3.5 mm thick in cross section.

from what i understand the sword is fairly blade heavy and once a cut is started it's difficult to back off of the action. after that understanding and making up the 'blue prints' and factoring in the weight of nearly 4 lbs, i'm interested in what it's cutting potential could be. now i do understand that a fechtschwert sword is more of a blunt trainer or used for tournaments, but i'm looking over some of the information i've been building up and thinking, that blade looks rather deceptive. at first glance i believed it to be a 'thrust' favored sword that may be a little flimsy, but the cross section makes me wonder a lot about it's characteristics.

based off of your experiences, how do you think a blade like this may act towards cutting and thrusting?
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jan, 2012 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In blunt form as a trainer I have used one against an Albion Liechtenauer and vise versa.

Extremely flexible blade along it's entire length and even more so in the foible but if one kept one's edges aligned properly one could feel it being as rigid at the Liechtenauer in the bind: This was an illusion quickly lost if one misaligned the sword by accident but one could use this deliberately to escape the bind and fool the opponent.

A sharp version even at this extreme flexibility should be able to cut very well, but only with perfect edge alignment.

In the trust/estoc, the blade was deliberately way too flexible to be effective as a real sword but perfect as a training sword one could trust safely into a training partner with a low risk of causing any injury past a little bruising if one over did it.

As a design for a sharp and real weapon I think one could make one effective if a little more rigid for a trust against someone not wearing armour.

This type of sword just to be sure we are talking of the same thing:
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/train187.html

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Thu 26 Jan, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well Jean, the sword i've been researching as best i can without getting my hands on it, is considered fechtschwert, but has a much different design than the A&A sword posted. it looks much more like this blade pictured below that was recently in a post about two handed falchions.

this blade is fairly similar, but without a closer picture i can't tell of the blades ridge line weather if follows the tapering of the sword much like the one i'm working with. at first my ignorance led me to believe that these were just a different style of two hander because of the parring lugs. the distaper of the blade follows what i'd believe is found in other two handed swords, about 7mm tapering to about 3 mm

the only comparison i believe it's closest to is the albion dane with a different cross section. remove the central ridge for a hexagonal one that follows the taper of the blade (and the recessed ricasso), and give it a more robust tip and that would be rather close.

it makes me wonder if this sword was used just for show - or just a training implement. but if it's for training why such a extreme tip? i look it over and the numbers to me look like it's a little more ridge than what i first expected, and looks like if you truly meant to use the thing you'd sure know if you got wacked with it.

i'm not exactly a fan of wiggly blades. i like the idea that a sword that has a balance between both rigidness and flexing, that way it can be used a little more versatility. i'm looking at a sword that may have those qualities, i'm just not sure because of my limited experience with handling big blades.



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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Jan, 2012 5:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks to me to be a standard twohander with small parrying hooks and only distantly similar to the training swords: In other words a real sword for real fighting without any of the compromises in flexibility desirable in a " SAFE " training blunt.

If the sword shown is really still a training sword then it would have unsharpened edges but since it still has a dangerous looking point it may be that in period they where willing to train taking risks with pointy things we would consider to be unwise and dangerous.

Well, I could be completely wrong but it still looks like areal fighting sword to me whatever it is labelled to be ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 4:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i've been under the same impression too Jean.

i posted a while back in the historical section here and got an article that explained that some fechtschwert swords were made for a tournament event, which i'm leaning to because of the decoration of the original sword. or like you said maybe a few guys thought i was ok to spar with pointy swords. it's all fun until someone loses an eye.

the information i have points to a very graceful looking blade that looks like if bladed would have a good bit of power behind it despite its thin nature. and i would believe a two hander to be fairly strong due to the way their intended to be used. for instance isn't there a term 'axe handling' where a blade is held by both hands and you intend to strike with the pummel? (i should also get a book on two handers while i'm at this project)

below i've got a shot of tip of the blade for the project i'm researching. maybe it will give you a little more of an idea of what i'm working with and why i've been coming up with so many questions about it.



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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Wallace wrote:
i've been under the same impression too Jean.

i posted a while back in the historical section here and got an article that explained that some fechtschwert swords were made for a tournament event, which i'm leaning to because of the decoration of the original sword. or like you said maybe a few guys thought i was ok to spar with pointy swords. it's all fun until someone loses an eye.

the information i have points to a very graceful looking blade that looks like if bladed would have a good bit of power behind it despite its thin nature. and i would believe a two hander to be fairly strong due to the way their intended to be used. for instance isn't there a term 'axe handling' where a blade is held by both hands and you intend to strike with the pummel? (i should also get a book on two handers while i'm at this project)

below i've got a shot of tip of the blade for the project i'm researching. maybe it will give you a little more of an idea of what i'm working with and why i've been coming up with so many questions about it.


If the blade is thick and stiff it would still be able to cut fairly well.

Pummel strikes AKA Murder Blow in English and Mordschlag in German. ( But maybe a technique used more with the Longsword rather than the really huge two handers Question ).

From the drawing I see the point as a good one for effective thrusts although not of the extreme needle point type and this kind of point is very good for tip cuts using the last few inches of blade and point.

In any case a dedicated training blunt will be designed differently than a sharp and if you are planning on making a sharp then you can make it stiff by having a prominent central ridge and hollow ground bevels or by having a hexagonal cross section with or without functional or mostly decorative fullers.

But others with more specialized knowledge of this type of sword should chime in as Im mostly giving you personal opinion plus a little of guesswork hopefully logical. Wink Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your insight Jean, I've got several examples of similar blades. but i don't have access to their measurements, so i can't make a true comparison.

I was able to get more information about the blade i'm researching. and found out that it is a sharp. if i switch my brain over the craftsmens side, this makes sense. this blade may not be very broad, but the cross section measurements i have point to a pretty massy blade. i did however think about changing the blade to a central ridge diamond cross section, to sturdy it up. but the more i got the drawing down i feel like it wouldn't be necessary. it seems to me - that at the point where this blade would have the most flex, it beings to transition into the diamond cross section.

it is also fullered (very narrowly) for the first 1/3 of the blade with the ricasso, but the information point to there's something at work here. i'm just not knowledgeable enough in sword handling to guess at its characteristics. it's as if someone made this sword knowing exactly what they wanted, and knew how to achieve that and translated it into this blade.

these thinly tapering two handed swords all seem to be a little on the short side as well. the information from the what i've gather is showing an average of 4lbs and within in the low 50 inch range. very close to what a true two hander is classified as, but yet small enough to be an over sized hand and half. most true two handers are seem to be ranging from 5-7lbs at 60 + inches so it makes me wonder if these sword styles are the transition to later zweihanders.
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