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Daniel Wallace

Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Thu 05 Jul, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject: Toy Montante         Reply with quote

I've been kicking around the idea of a custom sword for a long time now. and after a few considerations i've been sticking with strictly researching the two handed sword referred to as montante. After getting a little information on their basic dimensions over the past few months i decided to just make a little toy to see if I could understand the sword a little better.

honestly before i make any knife from scratch for a customer of my own i usually make a wooden blank of all the parts before i begin to work in steel. it's easier to build in wood first and make adjustments there before attempting steel. so i though about doing the same with with my Montante information.

pictures below show what i came up with. it's crude only because i was being a little lazy and didn't go and pick up choice lumber for the project, but just used whatever i had laying around.

i did pay particular attention to the blade. it's accurate to the measurements that i've been gathering all accept for distal taper. i cut two matching slats of lee wood into the desired dimensions and glued them together. this gave me about the proper cross section with at the hilt, and also just added some strength for the represented blade.

the hilt, grip, and pummel are all put together just like the sword should be, though i didn't spend as much time on the grip as i would have liked to because it was a last minute change. the original sword this model is based from was actually short in the grip section. only about 8-9 inches. when i noticed how short it was when cutting out the blade section, i decided to leave as much grip as possible and work out what i would be comfortable with as i was building the model. turned out i like a little more grip, nearly 12inches plus a little with the pummel.

i made each pice of hilt and grip with the intention to be modified to my personal liking before i ever truly commit to something in steel. weather i attempt to make it myself or break down one day and send it off to a professional maker. but with all the talk about Lutel lately, i can see one of there models as being a very feasible option for all that i may be looking for.

i tried a few simple rules from the "memorial" and found the literature much easier to understand when acted out. until i got to rule 4, then i started to get a little confused. i did notice, that with a smaller grip 8-9 inches the actions where a little more difficult to preform, with more and more grip it got easier. as of right now, the model stands to the top of my shoulder - nearly 58 inches. as this is fairly close to the original, i left out any quillon rings, but it's the next modification i can think to add.

 Attachment: 41.68 KB

 Attachment: 90.9 KB
the glove is there to give a point of reference of just how slender this blade would be.

 Attachment: 98.4 KB

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Matthew P. Adams

Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 462

PostPosted: Thu 05 Jul, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a Montante trainer from Purpleheart armory that I ordered customized for more length than the standard 60 inches. It's 67" total with a grip of 16 3/8" (without pommel, with its 17 1/2") and I really like this length grip.

My Hanwei Lowlander has an 18" grip, 20" with pommel, and I find it too long for me. Not unusable, just less than Ideal (or more than ideal in this case). It also has a point of rotation that is too far away from the tip, up on the blade. I've made a solid pommel that puts the point of rotation right at the tip, and I'm wondering if that will make the grip feel less awkward, since that should help with the handling overall.

Someday I want a sharp steel version of that trainer. It feels like and ideal size for me. I'm 5'10" so it is just 3 inches shorter than I am, but its surprisingly natural to move with, and surprisingly quick to recover. I have spared with a spear and it really is an excellent tool for that purpose.

That's a great rough out you have put together! I can't wait to see how the steel turns out. I wish I had the skill set to do something like that. Right now I'll stick to modding existing items for a while!

Have you checked out Peter Johnssons ratio video? Sounds like deciding proper grip length would be a great way to explore his hypothesis.

"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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Daniel Wallace

Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Mon 09 Jul, 2012 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i've seen the trainers, they are much more robust for contact where as my little toy is made for a guide to build with, and can be used just as long as i don't get too frisky with it. it is pretty sturdy, but there is a good chance it will crack under contact. i had also thought about putting weights in the blade and pummel to give it a more realistic feel, but still being unable to handel an original, i can't tell where the balance point is. other than these being blade heavy, theres not much else for me go on for how to distribute the weight.

i haven't been able to look at any of those videos just yet, but i have been looking for some insight on how the length of a sword will effect its balance harmonically. i think it would stink that i put nearly 6 months of planning into work then possibly spend tons of cash on a steel version that just wabbles out of your hand, then trying to correct that, might mean a good bit more work.

the original of the sword when put down on paper felt more like a bigger long sword than a two hander, the tight grip just made some of the rules difficult. the 12 inch grip i have on it now makes me feel comfortable, but i could bump it up to 15inchs just to see a comparison. though the longer the grip the more advanced the user or so i understood from a video that was linked here some time back.

there no doubt in my mind that if i could be my hands on a pice of heat treated spring steel big enough i'd probably take a stab at making this myself by stock removal method, it would probably take me over a year though. and i still would been a forge to make the hilt and pummel. or else i'd have to send those to a machine shop to bore out the pieces for the tang.
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