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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Mar, 2013 9:06 am    Post subject: Custom twohander by Alojz Krišto in 16th century Swiss style         Reply with quote

After a few months of moving up the Alojz's waiting list and exhausting research about such a difficult subject as Swiss two handers of the first half of the 16th century, this sword is finally materialized and mine. Happy It is based on several very similar two handers from the first half of the 16th century situated in Bern museum, Morges castle and some private ones. It seems that most Swiss museum collections have at least a few two handers from this family. Some have dozens.

Swiss soldiers were obviously quite in love with long handled swords, but true two handers were during some periods outlawed for the field use by at least some and maybe all cantons of the Confederation. But it is not known how well were these orders obeyed because Swiss chronicles show two handed swords quite regularly. After the Marignano or Pavia it is possible that two handers were introduced as a possible mean to equal evolving tactics of the Landsknechts and neutralize the advantage Landsknechts gained during these years by accepting new tactics and warfare philosophy. Also, after the Reformation began, catholic cantons accepted two handers and used them to great effect against reformed cantons during the Second Kappel War in 1531. In the second half of the 16th century two hander gained greater popularity across the Confederation, but mainly for the defense of the town fortifications so they are regularly purchased by towns for their armouries even into 17th century. For defensive use in sieges they are probably used through all these periods.

Considering all that it is hard to date this specific family of swords which is so well represented in the Swiss museums and collections and from which most specimens are extremely similar. Blades are different, some have parrier haken, some not, cross sections are hexagonal, flattened diamond, with or without fullers. Some have those "rosary" like engravings on them.

Hilts are all very similar and distinctive. High, slightly mushroomy scent stopper pommels, hourglass shaped grips and crossguards mostly straight with either scent stopper ends, ends looking like the end of a trumpet and some flared with ball finals. Some of them are S recurved and some are written. Many swiss longswords have those hilts too.

So, without further ado, here some originals that inspired me, and then my sword, made by Alojz Krišto. I found the pictures of the originals both on this forum, vikingsword.com forum and many other pages across the internet, but I will post only a few. If anyone is interested, I can e-mail you a few more Wink


Originals:














My sword:









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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Mar, 2013 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote



























It is 170cm long, the blade is 120.5cm long, 4.8cm wide at the base. I have no accurate scale at the moment, but it is about 2.5kg. The point of balance is right at the end of the ricasso, so at about 17cm or 18cm from the crossguard. Thickness of the ricasso is 6mm. The grip is walnut covered with hemp string soaked in linseed oil and glued to the wooden core.
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Mar, 2013 9:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! That thing is a beast! It's so rare to see reproductions of this kind of sword. Thanks for posting it and congratulations.
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William Swiger




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Mar, 2013 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That sure is a beast of a sword. Cool
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Mar, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks! Since I first posted this thread before the crash of the forum I got it sharpened, but no cutting videos yet since it is still snowy here and I don't have much time. I will probably do some cutting during the week after the Easter...
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2015 4:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I realized I never uploaded the cutting videos, so here they are now. Low quality mobile phone, but it's all I had at the moment.

http://youtu.be/6kw5jt4ez1I

http://youtu.be/U7X_Aht_Qcc

http://youtu.be/nzeIgeEx9TI
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2015 6:48 am    Post subject: Custom twohander by Alojz Krišto in 16th century Swiss style         Reply with quote

Just watched all 3 of your videos, Luka.
Test-cutting with two-handed swords looks wicked to me.

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb, 2015 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is also my favorite style and it's awesome to see a reproduction made and used!

If you'd allow me to critique two things... I'd have liked to see the fullers extend through the ricasso and under the cross guard. The plain ricasso doesn't look right to my eye. Also the grip's longer than I would want in my reproduction. I've found that having a grip that's too long to allow the pommel to pass inside my elbow to hinder the blades motion in use.

I've seen this in a lot of reproductions and I think it's the result of using too thin bar stock for the blade blank. If the ricasso thickness had been 9-12 mm thick, with the corresponding thickness in the tang you could have the same balance point with a shorter grip. But this means an aggressive distal taper needs to be ground into the long blade.

On the wider blades two-handers you do see thinner ricassos. And I don't know how the demensions were determined for this one, everyone's "ideal" sword will of course be different.

I REALLY like yours a lot, and my critiques are about what I would want in one that I would have commissioned for myself. I think the (hemp?) grip wrap looks fantastic, and that's not something I would have thought of before seeing yours.

Also, thank you for the videos, that's the first two hand sword cutting that I've seen! Do you know of any more? Have you tried rising cuts, and moulinets yet?

Here on Cape Cod we have about three feet of snow but once it melts I'll be loading up some cutting vids with my two hander. It's a big type XX A&A blade mounted by Glory Ships. Not my preferred style but a beautiful big mean cutter non the less. I want to try it out on some soaked newspaper rolls.

"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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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb, 2015 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
This is also my favorite style and it's awesome to see a reproduction made and used!

If you'd allow me to critique two things... I'd have liked to see the fullers extend through the ricasso and under the cross guard. The plain ricasso doesn't look right to my eye. Also the grip's longer than I would want in my reproduction. I've found that having a grip that's too long to allow the pommel to pass inside my elbow to hinder the blades motion in use.

I've seen this in a lot of reproductions and I think it's the result of using too thin bar stock for the blade blank. If the ricasso thickness had been 9-12 mm thick, with the corresponding thickness in the tang you could have the same balance point with a shorter grip. But this means an aggressive distal taper needs to be ground into the long blade.

On the wider blades two-handers you do see thinner ricassos. And I don't know how the demensions were determined for this one, everyone's "ideal" sword will of course be different.

I REALLY like yours a lot, and my critiques are about what I would want in one that I would have commissioned for myself. I think the (hemp?) grip wrap looks fantastic, and that's not something I would have thought of before seeing yours.

Also, thank you for the videos, that's the first two hand sword cutting that I've seen! Do you know of any more? Have you tried rising cuts, and moulinets yet?

Here on Cape Cod we have about three feet of snow but once it melts I'll be loading up some cutting vids with my two hander. It's a big type XX A&A blade mounted by Glory Ships. Not my preferred style but a beautiful big mean cutter non the less. I want to try it out on some soaked newspaper rolls.


The fullers were supposed to go through the riccasso and under the guard, but Alojz forgot that it was supposed to be that way. That is the problem when you work with a maker who doesn't have prior experience with a sword type you ordered from him. If he had experience with similar swords, he would have known it's usual for the fullers to go all the way to the tang. But I didn't want to make a big deal out of it.
About the thickness of the blade, I agree, thicker stock with more aggressive distal taper would make for a better mass distribution and stiffer blade, but this project was limited with my financial boundaries and thicker stock would send it too far over the planned budget, it ended up more expensive than it should have been even without that. These big swords are not easy to make. Wink
About the grip length, I measured the proportions I found I like and can handle well and we went with them. Thicker stock wouldn't change the proportions, I am satisfied with them as they are. Happy
Hemp is a great grip, I'm very satisfied with it. I didn't try any more complex cutting moves with it yet, it was the first time I cut with such a big sword and I wasn't secure enough yet, but I will try some more when weather is nicer, it's still snow here too. I didn't see any cutting with such big swords before and I look forward to seeing your cutting. Happy
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2015 8:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a big sword no doubt about it.... or perhaps you are three feet tall. Wink Can you fill us in on the dimensions, length, weight etc? My experience with these swords is fairly limited I did a Vladimir Cervenka version up for a customer a few years ago. I remember thinking at the time that the sword was more polearm than sword, at least it handled more like my halberd then any sword I've dealt with.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Feb, 2015 2:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
That is a big sword no doubt about it.... or perhaps you are three feet tall. Wink Can you fill us in on the dimensions, length, weight etc? My experience with these swords is fairly limited I did a Vladimir Cervenka version up for a customer a few years ago. I remember thinking at the time that the sword was more polearm than sword, at least it handled more like my halberd then any sword I've dealt with.


The stats were below the pictures but here they are again. Wink Btw, I am quite short, 162cm. Happy

It is 170cm long, the blade is 120.5cm long, 4.8cm wide at the base. I have no accurate scale at the moment, but it is about 2.5kg. The point of balance is right at the end of the riccasso, so at about 17cm or 18cm from the crossguard. Thickness of the riccasso is 6mm.
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