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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 10:21 am    Post subject: Windlass quality         Reply with quote

Hello

I'm not posting this thread to degrade windlass in any means, but I just think it's kinda of ridiculous how a sword tang would snap right after the first couple cuts. I do however admit it was a bad cut, because it hit the intented target and the wooden block under it, and that's how the tang snapped. But I never had this problem with other windlass swords, has anyone else ever had this problem before?

Ed



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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 11:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ouch! I have no objective data for what I'm going to say here, so please take it with a grain of salt.

I had a thick Windlass knife blade from Atlanta cutlery. I chopped into the edge of a stump once and that started a crack from the edge inward. I have little doubt the crack would have spread through to make a clean break of this kind if I had continued to chop. My conclusion is that the blade was too hard.

In my experience, cold peening a Windlass sword tang is very, very difficult because the steel is usually so hard. Maybe they want it hard so the threads won't strip on screw-pommel swords. Anyway, the point is that they might be taking their hardening a bit too far in some cases, making the steel brittle and prone to this kind of catastrophic failure against a hard target. Policy? QC issue? Who knows, but of course there are many surviving, but broken, swords out there. A sword that can survive any shock probably is no sword at all.

The good news is that although you no longer have a whole sword, you have a whole (if shorter) blade as well as a pommel and guard. PM me if you're interested in selling those bits.

BUT, if you bought this new you should try for a refund. Windlass/MRL should stand behind that product. I don't think your cutting is outside the expectations for their swords.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Mr.Flynt

You are absolutely right about the blade being too hard. When I received the sword yesterday, I was under the impression that the blade was not whippy at all. It was solid, everything else was solid too. I did some cutting with the sword, and it did perform well. However, the last cut I made went through the target and hit the wooden block, that's how it snapped. Good thing the blade didn't bounce back at me, even if it did I was wearing armor anyways Laughing Out Loud .

Ed


Last edited by Edward Lee on Tue 22 Oct, 2013 2:19 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I owned that sword once and was impressed with it. Very robust. That break is at the thickest part of the blade, too. I'm pretty surprised by that failure.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Yeah, I owned that sword once and was impressed with it. Very robust. That break is at the thickest part of the blade, too. I'm pretty surprised by that failure.

I have the German Bastard Sword, too, and have not had any unforeseen issues with it. It's certainly withstood more abuse than this!

This one does seem to have broken pretty much where and how I'd expect a too hard tang to break, though. With Windlass, based on past experience, my first guess would be a quality control issue (just a guess, mind). They have (or had?) a well known history of QC problems, but on the other hand there's been dramatic improvement since some years back.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Dean F. Marino




Location: Midland MI USA
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 229

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Possibly too hard. But also possibly too SOFT.

I base my data on ONE experimental point - to get GOOD data, I would have to repeat my experience at least 9 more times Happy.

The sword in question was a Windlass European Sword (http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=500664). I tore this sword down for regriping.

First, I was a bit amazed at how thin the tang was, compared to other swords I had torn down (at least 15) - MAYBE 4mm thick. And as I worked on the tang area, I became aware of how SOFT it was, compared to others.

This is the only sword I have EVER torn down that suffered from a snapped tang during the reconstruction process. I salvaged all the fittings, cut the blade down, and turned what was left into a nice dagger:



Could I have gotten a dud? Absolutely - the Windlass European Sword actually has a pretty good reputation. But in the course of making that dagger, I had to cut the main blade for a new tang, and DRILL it. I've worked a bit of steel... what I did was just a wee bit too easy - leading me to believe that the steel was relatively soft.

In edhil, hai edhil. In edain, hai edain.
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
I have the German Bastard Sword, too, and have not had any unforeseen issues with it. It's certainly withstood more abuse than this!


Absolutely, mine snapped off after the first blow to a hard surface(wooden stand). I had many other windlass swords before, I abused them to it's limit and nothing happened.
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dean F. Marino wrote:
Possibly too hard. But also possibly too SOFT.

I base my data on ONE experimental point - to get GOOD data, I would have to repeat my experience at least 9 more times Happy.

The sword in question was a Windlass European Sword (http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=500664). I tore this sword down for regriping.

First, I was a bit amazed at how thin the tang was, compared to other swords I had torn down (at least 15) - MAYBE 4mm thick. And as I worked on the tang area, I became aware of how SOFT it was, compared to others.

This is the only sword I have EVER torn down that suffered from a snapped tang during the reconstruction process. I salvaged all the fittings, cut the blade down, and turned what was left into a nice dagger:



Could I have gotten a dud? Absolutely - the Windlass European Sword actually has a pretty good reputation. But in the course of making that dagger, I had to cut the main blade for a new tang, and DRILL it. I've worked a bit of steel... what I did was just a wee bit too easy - leading me to believe that the steel was relatively soft.


Now that's a nice dagger and scabbard Happy . Speak of thin tang, I think windlass two handers all have incredibly thin tang.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Lee wrote:

You are absolutely right about the blade being too hard. When I received the sword yesterday, I was under the impression that the blade was not whippy at all.


"Whippy" says nothing about the hardness (unless you snap the blade while trying to see how far you can flex it). Experience + a file might tell you about the hardness, or, better still, a set of hardness-testing files.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Tim Harris
Industry Professional



Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 06 Sep 2006

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 7:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can offer you a similar experience, right at the root of the tang, although not with a Windlass.

It was one of my own blades, one of the first processed a new heat treater. They kindly tested the remains for me and found that the hardness at the break was 57 Rockwell C . Clearly, much too hard. It turned out to be a case of operator error, and the tang hadn't been shielded properly in some part of the process.
Since specifying that tangs are to be left unhardened, the problem hasn't happened again.
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Dean Collard




Location: Victoria, Australia
Joined: 18 May 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 25 Oct, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The same thing happened to me last week with a brand new Windlass Xiv, broke in the same place, too.
For Edward, The Black Prince, Saint George... and CAKE!
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Fri 25 Oct, 2013 7:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dean Collard wrote:
The same thing happened to me last week with a brand new Windlass Xiv, broke in the same place, too.


Sorry to hear that. I've never had any problem with windlass swords. The ones before I've abused to the limit did not break. The worst that happened was a small chip.

I'm getting a replacement of the same sword. I hope it doesn't happen again. I think you can also get a replacement, at least that's what I was told about windlass warranty.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,492

PostPosted: Fri 25 Oct, 2013 8:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've heard of a few of these kind of Windlass cases in the past but they tend to be few and far between (and almost everyone has a failure now and then). Remember seeing video of a Towton snapping in ARMA forum (I think). I've had one of those Type XIV's and to hear of one snapping is a surprise. Mine from years ago was very robust. Perhaps they have a bit of a rough batch they're working through from whatever cause?
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Dean Collard




Location: Victoria, Australia
Joined: 18 May 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 30 Oct, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Lee wrote:
"Sorry to hear that. I've never had any problem with windlass swords. The ones before I've abused to the limit did not break. The worst that happened was a small chip.

I'm getting a replacement of the same sword. I hope it doesn't happen again. I think you can also get a replacement, at least that's what I was told about windlass warranty.



Yep, the fellas I purchased through are sending out another one ASAP (which, as it's no fault of theirs is pretty decent of them Happy ). Personally, I was positively gobsmacked when mine snapped, as I had read so many posts and reviews on how sturdy they were. As Joe Fults said, hopefully it's just a bad apple and the next one holds out a bit better.

As a side note, I also purchased one of their Thorpe Falchions, and that one is solid as a rock.

For Edward, The Black Prince, Saint George... and CAKE!
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