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Nicolas Gauthier




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PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2014 2:38 pm    Post subject: Distal taper of Albion single-hand swords         Reply with quote

I'd like to know which of these Albion swords has the more distal taper, and which one has the less distal taper. It's not a data that is always given in the reviews or descriptions of the swords.

Also, is there one of these sword that is more stiff, or do they pretty much all have the same level of flexibility ?

Norman / Senlac
Templar
Reeve / Bayeux
Hospitaller
Ritter
Knight

I currently have an Albion Crecy. I bought a few days ago an Albion Knight from a seller on this forum. So i'm wondering what kind of distal taper the Knight has compared to the other single-hand swords.

thx !!
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Bryan Heff




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PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2014 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These 3 I own/owned and I would rank them this way from most taper to least. This is completely unscientific as my only set of calipers are not at all very precise, so take it for what its worth.

1 - Reeve (most flexible, seemed like it was the thinnest)
2 - Senlac
3 - Templar (least flexible, seemed to be the thickest and remained so for longer)

Again, just my perceptions, not measured.

The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Harlan Hastings
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2014 4:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Norman and Senlac are built using the same blade as are the Hospitaller and Ritter. Stiffness and distal taper between swords in each pair will be virtually the same.

It's been a while since I have handled any of them but as I remember the type XIs (Hospitaller/Ritter) had the most flex of those you listed.
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Mar, 2014 4:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harlan Hastings wrote:
The Norman and Senlac are built using the same blade as are the Hospitaller and Ritter. Stiffness and distal taper between swords in each pair will be virtually the same.

.


It doesn't seem true, stats are different, and they look different as well:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/albioneurope/6093922690/sizes/o/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/albioneurope/6092152413/sizes/o/


Different shape of the tip section, and fullers terminate at different points as well. Not to mention that Senlac/Norman fuller/blade proportions look different all around.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Mar, 2014 4:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bartek Strojek wrote:
Harlan Hastings wrote:
The Norman and Senlac are built using the same blade as are the Hospitaller and Ritter. Stiffness and distal taper between swords in each pair will be virtually the same.

.


It doesn't seem true, stats are different, and they look different as well:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/albioneurope/6093922690/sizes/o/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/albioneurope/6092152413/sizes/o/


Different shape of the tip section, and fullers terminate at different points as well. Not to mention that Senlac/Norman fuller/blade proportions look different all around.


Harlan meant that Norman and Senlac have the same blade and Hospitaller and Ritter the same blade, not that all 4 share the same blade.
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Mar, 2014 4:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ugh, yeah, that's an reading comprehension fail from me, dunno how I've missed that. WTF?!

To save something from that discussion, Albion page lists Count/Steward as having the same blade as Ritter as well, which always seemed weird to me, since they seem to have a bit different profiles.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Mar, 2014 5:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicolas, of the swords you have listed the Templar has the stiffest blade.
It is also the one that is the least agile.
It will appeal to swordsmen who like a sword with a lot of blade presence.

The Reeve and Bayeaux swords have the blades of least thickness, but since they are also not very long, they are not "whippy" but can rather be described as fast and agile. Very different from the Templar.

The Norman/Senlac swords have a blade that is thicker at the base but with a bit more distal taper than the Reeve/Bayeaux. This blade retains a fair bit of thickness down to the middle, something that increase stiffness. Its point is fairly thin which helps with speed and agility.

Hospitaller/Ritter also share the same blade. It is the longest of these three and because of this has greater reach which is good from horse back.

Flexibility: Hospitaller/Ritter and Norman/Senlac are very similar in flexibility (as in how much force it takes to bend them) but since the Hospitaller/Ritter is longer it *feels* slightly more felxible when struck on the pommel. The thin and wide Reeve/Bayeaux blad is the stiffest of these three blades despite boing the one that is most thin.

Agility: Reeve/Bayeaux is the most agile blade, followed by the Norman/Senlac and lastly the Hospitaller/Ritter. Note that this is based on just idly swinging the sword around in front of you. This may not reflect on how the sword feels in actual intended use (kind of armour worn, fighting from horseback or on foot, what kind of shield used and so on, will demand different things from a sword).
In agility I here mean how easy it is to manipulate the sword while it is in motion.

Blade Presence: Again, Reeve/Bayeax has the lightest feel of these combinations followed by Norman/Senlac and the Hospitaller/Ritter last. This is an effect of increasing blade length as much as anything else.

I cannot put the Templar up in direct comparison since I donīt have access to that sword at the moment.
It would be the stiffest, least "agile" and probably the one with most blade presence.

If stiffness is what you most appreciate in a sword, you will like the Templar. With stiffness comes other characteristics as well that one may or may not like. To me it is difficult to pick just one characteristic as the basis of choice.

I feel I must also add one thing in regards to the question of distal taper and stiffness. While a blade with a lot of distal taper might be easier to bend, it can behave stiffer than another blade with little or no distal taper when used in cutting. This seems like a paradox but it is true non the less. A broad cutting blade that has little or no distal taper may suffer from three problems or shortcomings.
1: Its point can be too heavy. A heavy point will have great inertia which will make the blade slow and cumbersome.
2: Its mid body can be under dimensioned compared to the point and therefore "weak". When put under stress such a blade will bend at its weakest point: it will have its maximum flex moved closer towards the hilt and in extreme cases cause the junction between blade and tang to become stressed too far. Because of this many badly designed blades break at the base of the blade where tang and blade meet.
3: A blade with little or no distal taper may therefore be more wobbly than a sword will a well adjusted distal taper.
A heavy overbuilt point will want to keep moving and bend the weak main body of the blade.
Especially in long and slim blades that have too little distal taper (and a pommel that is very large to counteract the heavy point), this will result in a sword that wiggles like a protesting snake.
-Just some food for thought.
:-)

Personally I like swords that are far apart in character, size, weight and function if they fulfill their task well. -Diversity is a good thing!

Hope this helps.
:-)
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Nicolas Gauthier




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Mar, 2014 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
Nicolas, of the swords you have listed the Templar has the stiffest blade.
It is also the one that is the least agile.
It will appeal to swordsmen who like a sword with a lot of blade presence.

The Reeve and Bayeaux swords have the blades of least thickness, but since they are also not very long, they are not "whippy" but can rather be described as fast and agile. Very different from the Templar.

The Norman/Senlac swords have a blade that is thicker at the base but with a bit more distal taper than the Reeve/Bayeaux. This blade retains a fair bit of thickness down to the middle, something that increase stiffness. Its point is fairly thin which helps with speed and agility.

Hospitaller/Ritter also share the same blade. It is the longest of these three and because of this has greater reach which is good from horse back.

Flexibility: Hospitaller/Ritter and Norman/Senlac are very similar in flexibility (as in how much force it takes to bend them) but since the Hospitaller/Ritter is longer it *feels* slightly more felxible when struck on the pommel. The thin and wide Reeve/Bayeaux blad is the stiffest of these three blades despite boing the one that is most thin.

Agility: Reeve/Bayeaux is the most agile blade, followed by the Norman/Senlac and lastly the Hospitaller/Ritter. Note that this is based on just idly swinging the sword around in front of you. This may not reflect on how the sword feels in actual intended use (kind of armour worn, fighting from horseback or on foot, what kind of shield used and so on, will demand different things from a sword).
In agility I here mean how easy it is to manipulate the sword while it is in motion.

Blade Presence: Again, Reeve/Bayeax has the lightest feel of these combinations followed by Norman/Senlac and the Hospitaller/Ritter last. This is an effect of increasing blade length as much as anything else.

I cannot put the Templar up in direct comparison since I donīt have access to that sword at the moment.
It would be the stiffest, least "agile" and probably the one with most blade presence.

If stiffness is what you most appreciate in a sword, you will like the Templar. With stiffness comes other characteristics as well that one may or may not like. To me it is difficult to pick just one characteristic as the basis of choice.

I feel I must also add one thing in regards to the question of distal taper and stiffness. While a blade with a lot of distal taper might be easier to bend, it can behave stiffer than another blade with little or no distal taper when used in cutting. This seems like a paradox but it is true non the less. A broad cutting blade that has little or no distal taper may suffer from three problems or shortcomings.
1: Its point can be too heavy. A heavy point will have great inertia which will make the blade slow and cumbersome.
2: Its mid body can be under dimensioned compared to the point and therefore "weak". When put under stress such a blade will bend at its weakest point: it will have its maximum flex moved closer towards the hilt and in extreme cases cause the junction between blade and tang to become stressed too far. Because of this many badly designed blades break at the base of the blade where tang and blade meet.
3: A blade with little or no distal taper may therefore be more wobbly than a sword will a well adjusted distal taper.
A heavy overbuilt point will want to keep moving and bend the weak main body of the blade.
Especially in long and slim blades that have too little distal taper (and a pommel that is very large to counteract the heavy point), this will result in a sword that wiggles like a protesting snake.
-Just some food for thought.
:-)

Personally I like swords that are far apart in character, size, weight and function if they fulfill their task well. -Diversity is a good thing!

Hope this helps.
:-)


Thx a lot for the information, very interesting !

How would the albion knight compare with these swords ? Which one is the closest to the Knight ?

The Knight is described as ''having the perfect balance between power and agility'' and ''exhibits more flexibility than swords dedicated to thrust, but also improved penetration against the improving mail armor, when compared to earlier designs''.
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William M




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Mar, 2014 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good question! I have an Albion knight and although it is much celebrated for its excellent handling and balanced performance I sometimes wish for a slightly shorter, handier sword.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Mar, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Knight is very close in handling to both the Reeve/Bayeaux and the Norman/Senlac (The sword I have used in this comparison is the Knut that also shares the same blade as the Norman/Senlac and handles pretty much the same).

These three blades are also very close to each other in stiffness.

I suspect that the small difference you will always find between individual swords will make these criteria overlap when you ask people respond to questions and comparisons.

William, you will probably like the Reeve/Bayeaux, the Thegn or the Kern (even if it is longer). The Kern especially often surprises people with its lightness and nimbleness. The Thegn is both light and short compared to most other medieval and viking period swords in the NG line.
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William M




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2014 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the response Peter! I like the sound of those swords with regards to the light handling and short blades but the bayeux is perhaps a bit too plain from the photos and I am not overly sure on if I like brazil nut pommels or not. Really due to the cost of these swords I need to handle them before purchase. Hopefully Tod will hold another Albion handling day some day soon! Happy
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Nicolas Gauthier




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PostPosted: Tue 01 Apr, 2014 11:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I received my Albion Knight yesterday ! It arrived in perfect condition, thx to Kareem Dimashkie !

I really like this sword so far, not going to post a review here, but all i have to say is that it's a joy to handle Happy Good blade presence, yet not too heavy and easy recover. Sharpening job by Albion is simply perfect, beautifully excuted apple seed edge, couldnt ask better. it's paper sharp, but still has some meat behind it.

The portion of the blade after the fuller ends is totally flat. Does the other Albion swords of this type/period are also made like that ? Does the Norman/senlac blade also feature a flat blade after the fuller ?
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Bryan Heff




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PostPosted: Tue 01 Apr, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicolas Gauthier wrote:
I received my Albion Knight yesterday ! It arrived in perfect condition, thx to Kareem Dimashkie !

I really like this sword so far, not going to post a review here, but all i have to say is that it's a joy to handle Happy Good blade presence, yet not too heavy and easy recover. Sharpening job by Albion is simply perfect, beautifully excuted apple seed edge, couldnt ask better. it's paper sharp, but still has some meat behind it.

The portion of the blade after the fuller ends is totally flat. Does the other Albion swords of this type/period are also made like that ? Does the Norman/senlac blade also feature a flat blade after the fuller ?


Yup. Albion does a GREAT job at getting the right cross section on their blades. X, XI, XII, XIII all have a lenticular cross section, and the tips should be "flat" as you see in your Knight. My Senlac, squire line Clontarf and Baron all have a nice smooth lenticular cross section past the fuller to the tip.

The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Nicolas Gauthier




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PostPosted: Tue 01 Apr, 2014 3:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hum, by the way, after looking at it more closely and measuring it, the fuller on one side is not totally centered, it's about 1mm off. Sad It's hard to notice, but its there. I'm a bit disappointed.

Is this normal for an Albion of this price ?
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Jeffrey Faulk




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PostPosted: Tue 01 Apr, 2014 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicolas Gauthier wrote:
Hum, by the way, after looking at it more closely and measuring it, the fuller on one side is not totally centered, it's about 1mm off. Sad It's hard to notice, but its there. I'm a bit disappointed.

Is this normal for an Albion of this price ?


It happens. The blades are first CNC milled to a rough shape; they would be perfectly symmetrical then.

However, after that they are then hand-ground to shape, and at that point asymmetry is sometimes introduced. As long as the sword meets their production specs (which have some minor margins for variation) and isn't visibly out of shape, they'll still go ahead and finish it in order to meet their costs. It's a fine line between not allowing any error and making the price higher, and allowing minor errors (as you said, 1mm) allows them to keep the already respectable price down.

I believe there's a thread around here somewhere with the stats of various members' Knights, and there's something like as much as 4mm variation in length (that's what I remember for some reason, I could be getting the number from somewhere else...)
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Apr, 2014 10:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A fuller that is of by such a small margin does in no way inhibit or damage function, or even aesthetics (to my mind).
Some customers claim Albion swords are *too* perfect.
Others return a perfectly good sword because there is a pin prick sized black spot in the hilt furniture from the casting.
Customer satisfaction is of the highest priority, but it is interesting to note that the same sword that is too perfect for one customer will be flawed in the eyes of another because of a discrepancy in the fuller length or an imperfection in the hilt (that by the way looks like the remains of forging scale that you can sometimes see on well preserved original swords).

Measuring original swords you can find greater discrepancy than 4 m in length between fullers. It is simply not a critical element for design or function.

Quite contrary to what many believe, Albion swords are hand made to a great extent.
Hilt furniture is made from cast components and blades are based on milled blanks, but this does not remove the need for skill and attention in shaping and finishing. This work is done completely by hand without fixtures or jigs.
It adds a bit of irregularity to each sword.

-This is a *good* thing! Personally I think it is the crowning achievement of the artisans that work at Albion. Joe and Eric are very skilled at what they are doing. Working at speed and still care about fit and finish to the degree they do is not something everyone can do. It takes dedication, a keen eye and staying power to keep doing this year out and year in.

Without these small irregularities Albion made swords would look sterile and dead and nothing like the original swords they are based on.
If you look for it, you will see the traces of hand work all over the sword. This is what makes each sword unique and not just a stamped out product.

-Sorry for the rant. I hope my words are understood in the spirit they are meant: it pains me that some of the finest aspect of quality in Albion made swords are often overlooked or misunderstood. The use of CNC machining overshadows the skill and dedication it takes to make them. The traces they have of the human touch is one of the things that connect them to the look and feel of original medieval swords.
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Nicolas Gauthier




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PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2014 5:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thx for your explanation, i appreciate it. I'm solaced Happy

I didn't mean to criticize Albion's work by the way. Just wanted to know if this kind of irregularity is frequent. I admit sometimes i can be a little too picky on the produtcs i buy. The little irregularity i described is very minor and very hard to notice. No big deal.

Actually, i'm not even sure if it's the fuller that is off center by 1mm, or if it's simply the right edge that is 1mm larger than the left edge. Either way, no big deal.

I agree it's a good thing that a sword is not too perfect. Makes each swords of the same model unique. And like you said, swords produced in the middle age were surely far from being perfect Happy

I own 2 Albions, and i'll surely buy a few more eventually Happy
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