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Benjamin Floyd II





Joined: 13 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr, 2013 2:23 pm    Post subject: Type XX (or similiar) 'floppy' blades         Reply with quote

I'm looking for some specs on swords similiar in obvious proportions to Albion's Maximilian, which I own, but that sag under their own weight. Meaning, the sword isn't as rigid to the end. Many modern collectors despise these 'floppy' blades, and there has been a corresponding market response where no proper swords of this type are made. Yet, soldiers and otherwise inclined individuals had these swords made for them. I'd like to have one made, but I have no idea of the basic stats for this kind of weapon.

Albion's Maximilian, though very large, is not in any way a sword I would describe as one of the type I'm asking about stats for because it is rigid.

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P. Schontzler




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Apr, 2013 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll admit my own ignorance here: why do you want a floppy blade? And how historically accurate would that be?
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Benjamin Floyd II





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PostPosted: Fri 26 Apr, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Floppy is a bit of a misnomer. They weren't completely floppy like a thin sheet of metal. What I'm talking about are bigger blades which aren't as rigid as most blades. From my understanding, the end of the blade is where most of the 'extra' flexibility is found.

Historically they existed, so they're very historical.

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P. Schontzler




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Apr, 2013 5:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What is the advantage of the increased flexibility?
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Apr, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The advantage isn't in the flexibility, it's in the weight distribution and weight savings. It's how much you can shave off and still have a functional sword. True two handers often have a bit of droop or sag when held out horizontally. When in motion they straighten out. Think of an airplane wing, it's just ridged enough to get the job done.

I don't have any examples to offer but I'm sure someone on here does.

"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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Benjamin Floyd II





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PostPosted: Fri 26 Apr, 2013 10:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't have any examples to offer but I'm sure someone on here does.


...and that's why I posted. Happy

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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am surprised to hear that the Maximillian is so stiff, I would have expected it to be a little on the "floppy" side. One of the few original swords I have had the opportunity to handle was a 16th C blade that was similar to what you are looking for ( loooong blade, maybe about 105-110 cm long, hexagonal section, very gentle profile taper) and it was quite floppy, with a sag of about 10cm when held horizontally, IIRC. Many replicas that I have seen that are somewhat "floppy" are "floppy" in the wrong way, with not enough distal taper and too much mass at the tip relative to the blades stiffness. Perhaps your best bet other than a custom blade would be to have an Albion Maximillian modified?
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Bryan Heff




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 4:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think blade droop is desired in any sword, but it is accepted, expected and cannot be avoided many times because the physics of steel when it comes to length vs weight vs blade thickness etc.

My guess is if a blade of the same weight, length, thickness, mass distribution, temper etc could be made with out any droop, it would be vs droop.
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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

rigidity may have been another trade off that a swordsman may have bring into account when they chose their sword. not to also mention that from period examples there are both very good examples and very poor in the quality of swords. a sword can be too floppy to the point that it will not preform a cut very well. once an overly floppy blade contacts a target, the wiggle of the blade may become so great that it prevents and blade from being dragged through the cut.

as Matthew states, it many just simply have been that a cutler or smith honed down a blade to get the most effective cutting edge possible for its intended use.
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Benjamin Floyd II





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PostPosted: Wed 01 May, 2013 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
My guess is if a blade of the same weight, length, thickness, mass distribution, temper etc could be made with out any droop, it would be vs droop.


That's probably true, but that would be magic. Physics being what they are, people had quality swords made which had droop in the blade. Why would they want a sword with such? My guess is a compromise with handling, cutting ability, and weight. A large sword which is completely rigid is likely to be heavy overall and have a very forward center of gravity. The compromise may be to retain enough cutting ability while improving handling. There are sabers out there with very thin, very flexible blades that don't droop, but they are much shorter. The very thin last third on those blades assists in improving handling while not compromising performance too much.

There's also the context of usage. Maybe these swords were intended for usage where they aren't likely to encounter armor.

There's no way for me to know the qualities of such a blade until I have one. I don't pretend my thought experiments and prejudices are better than the knowledge of people who depended on these weapons with their lives.

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Phil D.




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PostPosted: Wed 01 May, 2013 11:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You may want to chat with Michael Pikula.If I remember correctly he made a couple of the large somewhat " floppy " blades...
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Bryan Heff




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PostPosted: Wed 01 May, 2013 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin Floyd II wrote:
Quote:
My guess is if a blade of the same weight, length, thickness, mass distribution, temper etc could be made with out any droop, it would be vs droop.


That's probably true, but that would be magic. Physics being what they are, people had quality swords made which had droop in the blade.


I agree 100%, its simply a trade off in my mind. You want a sword that can cut, is broad, is very long AND can still handle nicely you will need to have a lot of distal taper and you will have to have a thinner blade. Unless the sword is made from some high tech space age material and not carbon steel, the trade off will be a thin blade that may droop.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 01 May, 2013 12:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Droopiness" in a blade is not so much the result of a very thin point section, but rather of a distal taper that is less drastic (less difference in thickness of the base compared to the point). If you keep the distal taper low, you will find that the mid section of the blade will not be able to keep the outer section straight: the point will droop or sag. Increasing the thickness of the base and the mid body of the blade will reduce this effect, while keeping the point thin and nice and light (and so resulting in a sword tat is quick and manoverable) but it will also increase the weight of the blade somewhat.
When you find swords that have a marked droop when held horizntal, it is a result of wanting to keep the mass of the point and body of the bladeto an absolute minimum. You can use a blade like this very well, as long as you are able to place cuts with a degree of precision, but you will run into a risk of a tendency for the point of your blade wanting to twist in the cut if you place the cut less than perfectly straight and clean.

A thin point can be made with less of a droop in the blade if the base of the blade is kept a bit thicker, while the point section is kept thin. It is a matter of total weight and using mass to best advantage. It depends on what criteria you find most important in your sword.

It is true that you find original blades that are quite droopy. You will also find original swords with equally thin points but with less of a sagging effect. There is a whole wide range of variation to be found in original blades.

The sag of the blade is in of itself not something you really want. Rather, it is something you are willing to accept, since it can make the overall weight of your sword a bit lower.
In any sword, you could reduce thickness in the point and main body of the blade, but you would then risk running into a situation when the point will want to twist in the cut, if you do not place it perfectly. There is also a limit to how thin and light you want to make your point as too low of a mass and rigidity in the end will prove detrimental to cutting performance.

It is all about balancing different aspects of the sword.

When I designed the XIIIa blade that is used for the Tyrolean, Maximilian and the Archduke I wanted to hit that nice balance between light and nimble point with a good and sturdy main body of the blade. The design is not at all outside what you find in original blades. On the contrary, it is fairly typical for many swords of this kind.
But, as is always the case, you will find swords with both more and less sag in the blade.
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Benjamin Floyd II





Joined: 13 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 01 May, 2013 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
*excellent post*


What you posted is exactly what I suspected. Now I just need to get my hands on a blade with more 'droop' than the Albion to round out swords of the type. Using any type of sword is a compromise of some type. No one blade is perfect in every way.

Phil D- Michael Pikula did immediately come to mind when I considered having a blade of this type made.

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