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John Giles




Location: Northwest Florida
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Point Of Balance         Reply with quote

Is there any general rules for what the best point of balance is for certain types of weapons? Rapier, Smallsword, Longsword, etc... I was just curious. Not sure if it would be a personal preference thing, or if there's a more strict rule of measure. I know it would depend on certain aspects of each individual blade. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Also, if this has already been discussed in a previous post, my apologies. Thanks!
True Courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one.
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John Giles




Location: Northwest Florida
Joined: 19 Aug 2011
Likes: 3 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok, I do see there's an article that touches on the subject, but I'd still like to hear some thoughts from different members. Thanks again!
True Courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one.
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Chad Arnow
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Check out this Spotlight Topic for starters: Point of Balance of Historical Blades or this thread: Importance of point of balance . And there are more that the search function will find.

I would ask everyone to add to an existing thread, not this one, as this topic has been covered quite extensively already. It's good to avoid having similar info in multiple places whenever possible. Thanks!

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,836

PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am sure you could read for days just looking at handling preferences and trends. It might be worth reading about different types of swords and their characteristics, even if just looking at reviews and feature articles here at myArmoury.

There are both objective and subjective reasonings as to what a given type of sword might balance out at statically. A problem there is trying to place an absolute across so, so many types of swords. There are quite light swords with little hilt mass and balance out at eight or nine inches from the grip, while feeling they might be more like three or four inches out. Such a sword underlines that a handling and dynamic value may be more useful to some than just looking at dry specifications. All those numbers can surely be a gross look at what one might expect but without handling a great number of variations within a class, you may be easily fooled.

I can throw out one generalization here and say that of three dozen or so 18th and 19th century swords I have in my hand here, the average would be at a little more than four inches from the guard. Some feel like real dogs and some feel wonderful, even within an even more narrowed class of swords. I am speaking of epee type blades, wider spadroons and sabres/pallasch out to more than forty inches and over three pounds.

Two ATrim swords I own are a XIIIa and a XIIa. The XIIa right at three pounds, the XIIIa lighter and a shade longer. Despite the similarities in overall length and the XIIIa actually thinner stock at the point, the XIIa could be said to be a lot more lively and as effective a cutter as a heavier Albion counterpart (the Baron) All three lovely swords with balance out there a bit.

So, the subjective outlook is really something you will only realize until you have handled a good number of swords but remember, there is a lot to actually working with a sword for awhile before dismissing a given sword out of hand.

I cannot agree at all with those that feel a rapier is all wrist and a close balance is preferred but they are entitled to their opinion. It is a bit like auto dynamics concerning mass distribution and application of forces. Both front and rear wheel drive cars can be handled. The differences in front and rear engine forces can be handled. Mid engine just may be the best way to achieve a truly neutral dynamic. Is such a dynamic what all might want in a sword? I dunno, I just drive 'em to the best of both abilities Wink I prefer a little nose heavy for all sword actions but I am not a sports fencer playing with fencing epee. Close balance to me handles like throttle trailing oversteer on a Porsche 911. A big American rear drive can power out some oversteer all too easily. A front wheel drive car oversteers at the limits of G and traction with a generally understeering character until you back off the throttle. Ironically, some of the same feel as rear engine trailing throttle oversteer except the mass in motion at the point of force. In other words, a rapier or other thruster with ample span (that old four to six range) can (imo) be a better handler than such a sword with the balance (even dynamically) all in the hand.


I think I run my rap on it every few years and really haven't changed my opinion. Statistics cannot say everything but they can be a guide.

Cheers

GC
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John Giles




Location: Northwest Florida
Joined: 19 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2012 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen, thanks for the response!! I like the car analogy as I'm a automobile fan also. That's basically what I'm beginning to understand. We were playing with the balance on a Hanwei Hutton saber, and made it more "lively" feeling by adding some weight to the grip end. Although it did liven it up some, it just didn't feel right. I guess it really comes down to "get it in your hand and feel it". They're all going to be a bit different depending on what type of weapon, what the use is, and how the person handles it. Thanks again!!
True Courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one.
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2012 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't resist tooting my own horn Happy

If you're looking for data that is more meaningful and complete than simple point of balance, you should take a look at my article...

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,836

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2012 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
I can't resist tooting my own horn Happy

If you're looking for data that is more meaningful and complete than simple point of balance, you should take a look at my article...

Regards,


Blow your horn loud and long Vincent. Each new season will find more looking for the same answers.

I will also always say that it is easier to learn a given sword's best thatn re-inventing most everyday objects. (not to say there are only good swords)

Cheers

GC
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