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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 1:13 pm    Post subject: Boar Sword         Reply with quote

I've wanted to make one of these for as long as I've been tinkering with swords, all I've been waiting for is a suitable 'donor' sword that wasn't too expensive should it all go horribly wrong (!). About a year ago, I got to handle a Windlass German Bastard Sword (indeed!) and the cogs started whirring in my head......

Anyway, I eventually ordered one, but was a little concerned that the blade may not be up to much as there has been talk of Windlass blades being thin and whippy. I was expecting to have a blade made up by a UK maker, as a standby. As it happens, when it arrived, it was a perfect candidate for conversion. It was rigid and thick enough, and very well tempered and hardened. A real surprise.

Anyway, I got to work shaping the blade into the characteristic (early) form for this type of sword. Later ones look like a piece of iron rod with a blade on the end, which I didn't like - I prefer the more 'quasi-sword' shaped ones. It was slow going, to keep the metal cool and to cut through that tempered steel! I thought taking off so much steel would make the blade more flexible, but it had no effect and it still only moves a few inches to either side at the tip, which is what you need for a stiff boar sword.

The double ring guard was far too heavy and bulky to be found in the hands of a hunter chasing a boar through the undergrowth, so I took one ring off (and also got rid of the twirly finials to the quillons - this is a plain 'working' tool, after all).

All that remains is to turn the cross-bar that goes through the end of the blade, which will mirror the shape of the quillons (much like the bar in the sword in the attached pic from Blackmore's 'Hunting Weapons').

It is beautifully balanced (POB is just where the ricasso ends, although that will change once the cross-bar is added).

It's not a conversion for the faint-hearted, and took a lot of work, but well worth it when you consider I have been quoted up to $1500 for a custom boar sword not massively dissimilar.

I've been pondering the scabbard and suspension, and considering using a 'Roman Gladius' style vertical hanging baldrick - the logic being that this would simply have been hanging about whilst carried on horseback, then the scabbard hurriedly ditched, the cross-bar added, and the sword carried in the hand to where the dogs would be holding the boar at bay.......

(If I were a piggy and saw this, I would squeal and turn tail as fast as my trotters could take me...........!)



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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A couple more shots:


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Boar Sword 2.JPG


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Phil D.




Location: Texas
Joined: 23 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good job.I look forward to seeing it finished.
"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cheers Phil, need to book some time on my mate's lathe.......

Here's a better shot to get some idea of the proportions: (frankly, the blade as it comes from Windlass looks too short and squat for the length of the hilt - it looks vastly more elegant once it's been thinned down....)



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Boar Sword 1.JPG

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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks really good!
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Cole B





Joined: 05 Mar 2008

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 5:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very cool. How did you do the 'stock' removal?
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jun, 2012 10:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cheers guys,

Cole - I mark out where I want to go with a sharpie, then very carefully lay out the cutting lines with a dremel-type tool with a thin cutting disc. I use this to start it off, then it's a hacksaw and lots of elbow grease........I work in the stainless business so I'm used to working very slowly with very hard material........
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jul, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:
Cheers guys,

Cole - I mark out where I want to go with a sharpie, then very carefully lay out the cutting lines with a dremel-type tool with a thin cutting disc. I use this to start it off, then it's a hacksaw and lots of elbow grease........I work in the stainless business so I'm used to working very slowly with very hard material........



Lots of patience is probably a wild understatement, as it would be " WORK " with mild steel but a hardened steel blade is not that easy to cut assuming that it's around 50 r.c.

Very aesthetically pleasing. Big Grin Cool

Should any " local Boars " (Or Bores .... sorry couldn't resist a bad pun ) be hiding ? Are you planning to use it for a real boar hunt ?

Pig trotters: I have a couple in the freezer and this is making me hungry. Boiled pig trotters, sauerkraut and beer or BBK ribs ..... DELICIOUS. Big Grin Cool

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




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 01 Jul, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cheers Jean,

The blade was hard enough to trash a drill bit (carbide coated, too, and used slowly with cutting fluid....). It was a labour of love, put it that way!

I wanted it to be made good enough for practical use (otherwise there's no point, is there, in making a useless wall-hanger), but I doubt I will ever put it to the test in my lifetime.....

Can't say I share your enthusiasm for pig's trotters - it's a taste I never acquired, even after trying them. My late father did his best to teach me how to prepare, cook and serve them (he loved 'em) but I never had the stomach to eat a whole one.....

Julian
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jul, 2012 9:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:
Cheers Jean,

The blade was hard enough to trash a drill bit (carbide coated, too, and used slowly with cutting fluid....). It was a labour of love, put it that way!

I wanted it to be made good enough for practical use (otherwise there's no point, is there, in making a useless wall-hanger), but I doubt I will ever put it to the test in my lifetime.....

Can't say I share your enthusiasm for pig's trotters - it's a taste I never acquired, even after trying them. My late father did his best to teach me how to prepare, cook and serve them (he loved 'em) but I never had the stomach to eat a whole one.....

Julian



Yes, I completely understand the point of making it " REAL " otherwise might as well carve it out of wood and paint it silver. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool I own sharps for the same reason of wanting real swords but I don't expect duelling with them for real, but there are some people who still hunt boar the old fashion way with a spear where it is legal, but it is as dangerous today as it was in period. Might as well go hunt Lions in Africa with a throwing spear ..... exciting but maybe too exciting and a good way to have a short life !

Good to know about the quality of heat treat of some Windlass swords: I like some of their production and have a few of their swords and daggers although I sort of see them as lower end but decent swords when I want to sample a design or type of sword but not ready to commit to an expensive custom sword.

Pig trotters: It helps if one appreciates the 1/2" layer of sweet fat on top of the meat, although if one only eats the meat that is reasonably lean. I don't eat these more than a few times a year as they would be great artery cloggers if one ate them weekly or worse daily ..... Heart attack on a plate food. Eek! Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool

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




Location: Trentino, Italia
Joined: 20 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jul, 2012 12:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Julian!
Thanks for the posts! You reminded me a question that intrigued me for a long time: could this sword be a boar sword?
The picture is from the Pisani-Dossi manuscript of Flos Duellatorum.



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Ciao a tutti!
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Mon 02 Jul, 2012 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Antonio, that looks very much like a boar-sword - it has all the characteristics (even the length, as they come in many different lengths). The cross-bar, the spear-head shaped tip and the blunt main section of the blade are all key features. The only thing I'm a little dubious about is the sharply tapered pommel - considering you are likely to end up with it coming back at you once you stick your pig, I would have expected something a little blunter!!

Julian
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Antonio Ganarini




Location: Trentino, Italia
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jul, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:
considering you are likely to end up with it coming back at you once you stick your pig, I would have expected something a little blunter!!
Julian


Laughing Out Loud You're right! It could be very dangerous!

The "caption" for this drawing in the manuscript is:
Questa spada me scusa per spada e per aza:
In arme e senša chi me p˛ fare, me faša.

That means, plus or less (forgive my english!):
This sword serves me both as a sword and as an 'azza' (in italian... maybe poleaxe? WTF?! ):
with or without weapons, who can hurt me, do it.


I'm not sure if this is actually "in topic", but I've just found that Guy Windsor too, in his "Swordman's companion" (p.17), suggests that Fiore's sword could be a boar sword Happy !
And he compares it with the one showed in Filippo Vadi's De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi ("spada in arme", Verso 27):
http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/VadiNewImages/Untitled-jv3B.jpg
Vadi says that the reason of the tapering pommel, is to hurt with all the parts of the hilt!
Interesting!

Ciao a tutti!
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jul, 2012 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yup, Azza is generally translated to mean pol ax. Hmm, never thought to use a boar spear with pol ax techniques, that wants some looking into.
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Antonio Ganarini




Location: Trentino, Italia
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jul, 2012 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Right!!!

Maybe this could be in a new topic? Or, if Julian agrees, we could use this one to collect infos and toughts on the argument!

Confused also there is a couple (three actually!) of threads on boar swords worth to be resurrected:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19446
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=13439
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=788

So? Question

Ciao a tutti!
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Mon 02 Jul, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I guess if you took out the cross-bar on a boar-sword, it would act a bit like a feder with a sharp spear point, and would obviously be a good thrusting or half-swording weapon. Adding a sharply tapering pommel would give it a further capability for pommel strikes. And if it were long enough, and the quillons tough/pointed enough, you could could use it as a makeshift pole weapon by holding it by the 'wrong' end and swinging it: after all, the blade is rigid and not sharp for most of its length........

Quite a ubiquitous weapon, and not just for use against piggies!

Oh, and I don't mind expanding the topic to include thoughts on using this type of sword against two-legged adversaries - it's not something I initially thought of, but swinging mine around, it feels like it may be up to the job......

Julian
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