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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 9:45 am    Post subject: Looking for suggestions on modifications for pieces         Reply with quote

I have a Cold Steel Grosse Messer and Pole Axe that I got some time ago, and my standards have changed somewhat. I've been trying to sell them, but as I don't have any takers, I was thinking I'm going to have to keep them. As such, I was wondering how I should try to modify them to make them more interesting.

I only have woodworking tools myself, but I have a blacksmith friend and a farrier friend, both of whom could assist with just about any type of modification we can think up.

For the Grosse Messer, I was thinking it absolutely has to be re-hilted with something better, and the false edge sharpened. Not sure if it's worth the trouble to try to re-profile it to have some distal taper. I already have an Albion Knecht, so changing the styling substantially seems more appealing than just making a decent messer out of it.

For the Pole Axe, I'm thinking of cutting off the hammer and making it an axe, or cutting off the axe and making it a better hammer. If I leave it a poll ax, I much prefer the style with with a hammer and backspike.

Thanks!

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

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Lloyd Winter




Location: Los Angeles
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a new guard made for my Grosse Messer and it really changed the look and feel. I still need a new handle and pommel since my smith didn't do that when he made the new guard.

Here's a pic of the new guard
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lloyd Winter wrote:
I had a new guard made for my Grosse Messer and it really changed the look and feel. I still need a new handle and pommel since my smith didn't do that when he made the new guard.


That new guard is relatively awesome!

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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice!

What were you thinking for the grip and pommel? I was actually thinking of going with an enclosed grip and pear pommel rather than a new slab grip. I think it'd look very nice with a cross similar to yours.

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

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Lloyd Winter




Location: Los Angeles
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 11:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't really got that far in the thought process.
An enclosed grip could pose some difficulties give the width of the tang. I'm not sure how I'd feel about grinding the tang down.
I like the messer style pommel, just not the ugly POS that Cold Steel put on their's Happy

I've also given some serious thought to re-purposing that guard and getting rid of the old blade but I haven't decided what I would use the guard for. As I recall it's modeled after a late 15th century Italian falchion but I don't remember exactly where I found it.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have that messer on my to-do list, too. What a mess! Here's what I plan to do with mine. That means an altered profile and taking some blade to create a longer tang. As you know, this blade is badly balanced. Bringing down a new guard and removing the clipped distal profile should help. I'll also be grinding a subtle step-down a few inches below the gaurd and continuing that the length of the blade, which also will help the balance. If I'm feeling bold I'll address the distal taper.

Another option would be to shorten this to single-hand proportions, fit a new guard and modify the pommel to create something more historically appropriate.



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Terry Thompson




Location: Suburbs of Wash D.C.
Joined: 17 Sep 2010

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just removing the gosh awful black paint could change your perspective on the pole axe. I modified a cold steel mace (you can pick them up for $50 on ebay even though they're out of production). And even after shortening the head and re-shaping the flanges, I still didn't like the look. Then I stripped off the rest of the black paint. And I'm glad I did. I think it looks much better than the stock piece.



Here's a post from the sword buyer guide forum where someone did a pole axe modification of removing the paint, and then re-shaping the tube of steel on the bottom.
http://forum.sword-buyers-guide.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=5788
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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct, 2012 11:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice looking mods on the poleax, but I'm still thinking I'd prefer to separate the axe and hammer. I think together they're too heavy, and just don't look right to me. The axe blade is a lot more "Dane axe" shaped than "poll ax" shaped.

Does anyone think it would be possible to split the socket down the middle without ruining both? I'm thinking probably not, but that would let me make a separate axe and hammer out of it.

Just can't really see a good way to cut them apart and leave some socket on each. Hmm.

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct, 2012 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, Scot....I viewed the SBG article that Terry mentioned, and the pole axe looked 100% better once the awful black paint was removed. You might just try that...and maybe sand the shine off the haft and give it a rich stain to bring out the wood grain. Also a partial leather wrap on the haft with a few steel or brass tacks for deco really change it up. Try the simple mods first before you apply torch or band saw...you could be left with nothing. I've done the same mods to several Cold Steel hawks and axes and you might just be suprised. With a little TLC and a couple of hours on the workbench, that big ol' hammeraxe just might start to grow on ya! Just my two coppers.......best,....mcm.
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct, 2012 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay....sorry....here's my other two coppers...I totally agree with Lloyd on the messer mods. His guard treatment looks spot on. The fact that you have a smith nearby could be a great advantage, inthat the smith could build you a new guard and also do something with that wretched screw-on pommel. By lengthening the tang, you will move the blade weight back some towards the hilt and give more room on the tang for a proper pommel treatment. Also by a regrind on the upper blade edge, you will further decrease the blade weight. Be careful though , or you'll wind up with a hilt-heavy butcher knife. Remember...a messer is a chopper. Don't try for perfect harmonics on it. Now ya got four o' me coppers....want 'em or not. Laughing Out Loud best....mcm.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct, 2012 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
Remember...a messer is a chopper. Don't try for perfect harmonics on it.


I once believed that the grossemesser is a chopper. I don't believe that any longer. I've been corrected by people I respect and have been told that they were, by and large, nimble and lightweight weapons that are dynamically similar to swords of a similar size and weight. The brutish and overweight modern-made examples have created an unfortunate misunderstanding of these weapons.

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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct, 2012 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Nathan, grosse messers are not choppers in my opinion. I have Albion's Knecht, and it is as wonderfully balanced as any of their other swords. Haven't handled any of the pieces at the museum, but I could probably get my hands on a messer or two to get a feel for the "real deal".
Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could do something like the attached photos. This piece was auctioned off at Hermann Historica and is attributed to the 16th century. I'm not sure about that, as it appears to me like it might be more modern. Regardless, it has a single side ring on it. When I wrote my original hands-on review of the Cold Steel grossemesser, I mentioned I had not seen a hilt like this on such a sword. Well, here is one. Note how much more detailed the shaping of the hilt parts are compared to the Cold Steel offering and you'll understand why I was so critical of the modern piece. This is in spite of this antique piece still being suspiciously simplified in shape.

Hermann Historica wrote:
Lot Nr. 1355
A German long knife, 1st half of the 16th century


Strong single-edged blade with double-edged point, the upper half with three grooves on both sides. The obverse side with struck waves´ mark between two crosses. Slightly S-shaped, curved quillons with large guard ring on the obverse side. Distinct tang with one-piece forged pommel. Riveted grip panels made from staghorn, each with seven iron rivets with ball heads. One grip panel is broken. Attached to it an old collection number made from brass "G 282". Length 129 cm.
Provenance: Ernst August Collection, Crown Prince of Hanover, Cumberland Castle. Cf. Dr. Ono Klopp "Schloss seiner königlichen Hoheit des Herzogs von Cumberland, Braunschweig und Lüneburg", 1890, group X, no. 282.



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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Fri 12 Oct, 2012 12:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not two coppers, but maybe a halfpence...I guess I shoulda said 'slicer' instead of 'chopper'. Messers were (and still are) incredible cut-n-thrusters. Big Grin best,....mcm.
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