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Josh Wilson




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: How It's Made         Reply with quote

I thought you all may enjoy this. Its how reproduction swords are made in a modern factory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru-0GwYGUzY&feature=related
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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I prefer this one, myself. Wink
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTg0Oc0mQy4
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David Wilson




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep, that's Albion. Both Albion and Gus Trim use the CNC method of blade production, and finish them by hand. There's a lot of ignorance shown on the comments in response to these videos, as well as some gems of reasonable thinking. The fact is, the CNC method has proven itself as a valid and reliable method of producing functional blades. To get a forged blade that is superior (in performance) to these blades (if such superiority is even possible), you're going to pay for it.

Appearance is another matter. Some forged blades just look better, admittedly. But some don't, and there's the cost factor again.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Years ago, I had an aversion to blades created with CNC equipment. But, as I owned numerous swords created through the use of modern equipment over the years, I actually grew to prefer the uniformity and tight tolerances found in machine-made blades. Now, I have several handmade pieces which I adore, but I've no qualms with anything CNCed these days. It gives consistancy to a product line (for example, I know my Sovereign or Mercenary will handle identically to others of the type) and its the only way to create an exacting replica of a specific sword in a mass production level. Of course, hand finishing does create individuality for even CNCed pieces, so it cannot be said that a sword is not unique unto itself - even if there are 1000 of the same model floating around. They all the same, yet they all have subtle differences to give them their own character.

I agree that there is a certian nostalgia to having some handmade pieces, but for me, it really does not matter. The replica is either good or bad in my book. I judge a sword on it's individual merits without paying too much attention to 'how it's made'... Happy

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Julian Reynolds




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmmmm. Call me old-fashioned but I like to own something entirely made by a human being, rather than something made by a million dollars of milling machine and just finished off by man......

There's something about seeing the 'soul' in a sword......and like everything with a soul, it has its flaws.
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Reece Nelson




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 9:11 pm    Post subject: how its made         Reply with quote

That's been my only real complaint with Albion swords (apart from there prices) Is they list on there site that they are "Hand-made, limited edition museum-quality swords"

They are hand handled after the blade has been cut out from the machine and there hilt components are cast from wax molds...

I do believe they make a better product that way...keeping every blade to exact specifications and close to the original as possible.

-Reece
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Jan J. Gahy




Location: Slovakia
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, few of my friends have swords like this and their hilts started to fall apart after so much fighting we do (we are little bit hardcore sometimes Happy). I had once one-and-half sword and it has welded pommel to the handle :/ Laziness...
But guess what? Welding broke along with good part of the blade so all i can do is to throw it away Sad
Now I am waiting one-and-half sword entirely made by blacksmith, custom made for my hands. With all the custom measurements I made that sword should be +2 :-D
Maybe it wouldnt look all shiny or nice machine-made, but I dont care about looks, I care about functionality. And my experience with mass-made swords are not good...
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M. Curk




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 10:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well when it comes to swordmaking I think this video here is something you shouldn't miss. And don't forget to watch other parts too!
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Le4Rd7GB5A )

Cheers
Miha
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jan J. Gahy wrote:

Maybe it wouldnt look all shiny or nice machine-made, but I dont care about looks, I care about functionality. And my experience with mass-made swords are not good...


Well, the degree of finishing can certainly vary, but a forged sword is often finished on sanding belts and can look as perfect as a machined made sword as they both are generally finished the same way and both could be ruined in the last stages of finishing by a slip at the grinder.

One can opt for leaving a more fresh from the hammer tooled finish or a forged swords could have wandering lines and crooked fullers left that way by choice or if there is not enough extra meat/material that grinding could take off to leave a near perfect finish.

I have hand forged swords that look as geometrically perfect as swords that where first CNC machined before being hand finished.

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




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 11:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Curk wrote:
Well when it comes to swordmaking I think this video here is something you shouldn't miss. And don't forget to watch other parts too!
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Le4Rd7GB5A )

Cheers
Miha

Good video, but I'd take some of that with a grain of salt. For example they seem to infer that milling/grinding of fullers is not a historical way of making a fuller or that it affects the integrity of the sword There is historical evidence of both ground and forged fullers.

There is plenty to like about old fashioned hand forged steel. I have my first custom sword being worked on right now by Jeff Helmes, and will be posting an "in progress" thread fairly soon. So I understand the attraction. But...

Don't kid yourself. If medieval smiths had the technology available to them, they would be making them like modern makers like Albion or A&A. They would give their right arm for a CNC and modern alloy heat treated steel...

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2012 6:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jan J. Gahy wrote:
Maybe it wouldnt look all shiny or nice machine-made, but I dont care about looks, I care about functionality. And my experience with mass-made swords are not good...


Do you have any experience with Albion's stuff? Not all mass-produced swords are the same. And Albion doesn't "mass" produce in the same numbers as other companies.

How a sword is made (CNC/cast vs. forged or something else) has little to nothing to do with its durability. Durability is mostly about quality of material, quality of design, and care of assembly. There are very few reports of Albions coming loose or falling apart. Much less than other companies in my experience.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Jan J. Gahy wrote:
Maybe it wouldnt look all shiny or nice machine-made, but I dont care about looks, I care about functionality. And my experience with mass-made swords are not good...


Do you have any experience with Albion's stuff? Not all mass-produced swords are the same. And Albion doesn't "mass" produce in the same numbers as other companies.

How a sword is made (CNC/cast vs. forged or something else) has little to nothing to do with its durability. Durability is mostly about quality of material, quality of design, and care of assembly. There are very few reports of Albions coming loose or falling apart. Much less than other companies in my experience.

Additionally, their method of actually holding the sword together: hot peening/sandwiched grips/tightly wedged guard and pommel is exactly the same as that used by top custom smiths and in history. And in fact, the CNC machining means that they can get those parts to fit quite precisely...

...After all there is a reason that many historical pieces had to have small wedges to hold the pommel or grip. Those holes can't be driven with the same precision a modern casting can be made with.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Eric Meulemans
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While entertaining and informative, one should remember that the How it's Made format tends towards one serious distortion - time compression. Whether it's swords, socks, or fire trucks, they take thousands of individual processes and dozens or hundreds of hours of skilled, specialized, and/or technical work and condense it into five minutes. This tends to make attaining the finished result look simple to accomplish. Look! Some guy turns on a machine and out comes aircraft engines! It's simply not so straightforward.

With the present example of CNC milling, it is part of a long overall process, and although an important part of it by no means the bulk of work that goes into the total product. It is often also forgotten that someone runs those machines, and this also requires experience and knowledge few of us have. It is a tool, and like any tool requires skill to use effectively.
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Jan J. Gahy




Location: Slovakia
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2012 8:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Jan J. Gahy wrote:
Maybe it wouldnt look all shiny or nice machine-made, but I dont care about looks, I care about functionality. And my experience with mass-made swords are not good...


Do you have any experience with Albion's stuff? Not all mass-produced swords are the same. And Albion doesn't "mass" produce in the same numbers as other companies.

How a sword is made (CNC/cast vs. forged or something else) has little to nothing to do with its durability. Durability is mostly about quality of material, quality of design, and care of assembly. There are very few reports of Albions coming loose or falling apart. Much less than other companies in my experience.


I havent tried Albion swords yet. But you know, there is always some good manufacturer and a bad manufacturer. And probably I and my friends only met the bad ones Sad I know its difference when some company got objections for example 100 swords a year or company with 10 swords objections a year, you can tell which one puts more effort in it and which company makes more durable swords. (well it depends from user too, if he want sword just for scenic fighting and practicing or for hardcore combat at steel battles Happy)
Im not saying that all the mass-produced swords are instantly bad, but all I saw and tried fall apart in short time :/
(ok, maybe I am a little bit biased Big Grin)
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2012 3:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all,
I think CNC is synonymous with precision.
This is true, but it is less true with swords.
The couplings, in general, if done well, are obtained manually.
I believe that 65% of the time to make a good sword is made of handwork, even when using a CNC.

Ciao
Maurizio
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David Wilson




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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maurizio D'Angelo wrote:
Hi all,
I think CNC is synonymous with precision.
This is true, but it is less true with swords.
The couplings, in general, if done well, are obtained manually.
I believe that 65% of the time to make a good sword is made of handwork, even when using a CNC.


True. A lot of that "hand finishing" is much more than just polishing. Grinding, edging, finishing the fullers, there's a lot more to it. So even when the blade is milled out on CNC, there's still a lot of work done by hand.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591


Last edited by David Wilson on Tue 26 Jun, 2012 3:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jan J. Gahy wrote:

I havent tried Albion swords yet. But you know, there is always some good manufacturer and a bad manufacturer. And probably I and my friends only met the bad ones Sad I know its difference when some company got objections for example 100 swords a year or company with 10 swords objections a year, you can tell which one puts more effort in it and which company makes more durable swords. (well it depends from user too, if he want sword just for scenic fighting and practicing or for hardcore combat at steel battles Happy)
Im not saying that all the mass-produced swords are instantly bad, but all I saw and tried fall apart in short time :/
(ok, maybe I am a little bit biased Big Grin)


But many of the lower-quality mass-produced swords are actually forged, or milled out by hand. Forging does not automatically gaurantee a better sword. Some of the lousiest swords I've had were "forged by hand".

Quality of steel and quality of heat treat are the most important factors.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jun, 2012 8:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the hand forged idea seems to add some credit to lower value knives and swords. when really it's just an advertisement device. tons of lower end knife makers (and even the better makers) that mass produce blades have them stamped out of a steel of steel, then ground or CNCed then maybe assembled by hand.

i honestly don't see much difference between a CNC blade and anything traditional. in a way i don't even see CNC as being anything different than the stock removal process to make blades. the human factor is just a little more removed from the process. but it is true that i would value a totally hand made blade hammered and forged all by hand vs a cnc blade - but the cnc blade would probably cost half as much as the forged blade.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jun, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Forged, hand held grinding, CNC are all ways to get to getting a sword close to finished dimensions ( blank ) and the final look and quality of finish then depends on hand work in all cases.

If the forged blade blank has many flaws like wandering fullers but still has a lot of material to remove it can be made to look as good as a better and closer to final dimensioned forging that will only need a small amount of material removed to correct the geometry of the sword.

In any case, the final quality of the results will depend on many other factors being well executed like heat treat assuming that good materials where used in the first place.

So, CNC machining is just a quick and cost effective way of getting a precision blank that will need less hand work to finish and obsessing about the methods used is sort of a waste of time.

I too admire and value a high quality forged sword but next to a quality Albion one would be hard pressed to see the differences except maybe for the beauty of pattern welding on some forged swords.

Oh, and forged swords can be made with much more subtle and complex curves, flat bottom fuller etc. that are much harder to do by grinding on fixed diameter belt wheels.

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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jun, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To me, it's not inaccurate for them to call the swords "hand-made". The CNC process allows them to make a blank that is fairly close to the final dimensions and shape. A forging process wouldn't give you a superior blank, and even "back in the day", all of the finishing work was done by grinding as well.

The CNC allows for a faster and more cost effective method to get a reasonably high quality blank. After that, all of the finishing and assembly is still done by hand.

Here's an example. If you bought and scavenged all of the individual parts to make a car, and assembled it yourself, you'd probably say you were the one who made it, by hand. Of course it's understood that you didn't fabricate all of the parts yourself. You did all of the assembly and finishing work, and perhaps some refurbishing. Just as you wouldn't give the construction credit to Toyota or Ford, I don't think it's fair to give all of the sword's assembly credit to the CNC.

-Ed T. Toton III
ed.toton.org | ModernChivalry.org
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