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Carl Goff




Location: Florida
Joined: 27 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 12:32 am    Post subject: Is scavenging the hilt from a sword-like-object feasible?         Reply with quote

So, I'd like to get one of the Albion bare blades that they're turning out. (http://www.albion-swords.com/bareblades.htm)

However, I'm not sure that I can put together a decent hilt by myself, and it would be extremely time-consuming. Ordering a custom hilt would be expensive. So I'm wondering if I can order a decorative sword-like object from somewhere else, remove the hilt, and use that hilt for the Albion blade.

I don't know if this is a workable idea, though. I can think of at least one possible problem already.

Potential problem #1: A sword-like object's hilt might not have enough depth or width to fit the new blade's tang.

Does anyone else think this could work, or will I be better off trying to make a hilt myself?

Oh, East of sands and sunlit gulf, your blood is thin, your gods are few;
You could not break the Northern wolf and now the wolf has turned on you.
The fires that light the coasts of Spain fling shadows on the Eastern strand.
Master, your slave has come again with torch and axe in his right hand!
-Robert E. Howard
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 2:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is difficult to find a cheap sword with decent fittings... And most would need some level of modifying to fit an Albion blade...
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 305

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 4:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I guess it would depend a fair bit on the *uses* you plan to make of the sword ? Do you plan to make a cutter of it - or just a wall/dress display item ? Most SLO's have hilts/pommels of cast pot metal or similar and aren't likely to withstand the stresses of actual use. Modifying a pot metal type guard, pommel should be relatively easy with the judicious use of a Dremel-type tool and fine needle files- just take a fair amount of elbow grease.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As observed previously, the majority of SLO's have pot-metal hilts and are unsuitable for use on a proper sword.

Some clarification may be in order:

'Pot metal' is a generic term for castings from cheap alloys of zinc. It used to be mostly pewter, but that has been reduced due to safety concerns (pewter contains lead, from what I recall). It holds good detail and casts easily, but it doesn't have much strength of its own and breaks reasonably easily. As in, if you have it hanging on the wall and it suddenly drops, that can break it. It is also fairly heavy compared to steel as well.

On the other hand, 'proper' swords tend to have steel, iron or bronze fittings, usually steel-- bronze is only used if cast fittings are necessary, such as you see on ornate pieces like Asian blades or fantasy swords like Albion's Conan swords. Steel is robust enough to take blows and general knocking about without breaking (barring a flaw in the metal itself, which does happen on occasion-- but much less than with pot-metal). Steel fittings are typically not cast, although some of the higher-end makers do this; they can afford to as it's easier for them versus forging each one individually.

So in general most pot-metal SLO fittings are unsuitable for anything but display or light cutting (very light). The shock from hitting any target is transferred through the blade, and if it shakes the pot-metal fittings up enough, they will eventually fracture.

I suggest pursuing alternative courses for your fittings. There are a number of guys out there that do fittings, or you can make your own with a little work.

But if nothing else, playing with a pot-metal fitting will give you some experience... that's always a good thing Happy
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Michael Couture




Location: Canada
Joined: 08 Sep 2014

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 8:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could always try asking other vendors if you can buy some of their production parts, rather than having some custom made. Sonny Suttles at VA put some of his fittings on my H/T Bastard blade. Also I know DSA sells hilt parts.
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M. Adair Orr





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's usually the hilts of modern reproduction swords that I am most critical of. Many seem to be either too "machine perfect", cast with total abstraction from the intended original, or fabricated with poor attention to fitting and transitions. A nice set of files can improve most replicas, but they rarely make a sufficient approximation of the originals. I suspect the amount of tools and skill required to modify hilt components for a new blade may be on par with those required to make your own hilt depending on complexity and determination.
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 11:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For the same money and oft times less money you can buy a sword from Museum Replicas and have a decent sword with no fear of failure do to pot metal fittings and improper fit. I am not a huge fan of Museum Replicas but there is nothing wrong with their swords.
David L Smith
MSG (RET)
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Lewis Smith wrote:
For the same money and oft times less money you can buy a sword from Museum Replicas and have a decent sword with no fear of failure do to pot metal fittings and improper fit. I am not a huge fan of Museum Replicas but there is nothing wrong with their swords.


Windlass does make ok swords for the price and they are safe to use, but Albion blades should be worth finding someone to make a fittings for them...
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Windlass/MRL hilt components can be altered to fit Albion or A&A. Windlass guard openings tend to be much larger than the relatively thin Windlass blades, so you might find a better fit between Windlass and Albion than between Windlass and Windlass.

Windlass pommels typically have .25" round bores--some only half-way, some through-and-through. Albion blades have rectangular tang section. That means a Windlass pommel can turn if you don't devise some way to secure it. An oblong countersink for the peen would help, but I'd still consider a globular pommel that could be slightly out of alignment without looking terrible. I'd avoid wheel pommels for that reason. If I were mounting a Windlass pommel on an Albion blade, I'd round-off the edges of the tang and create a shelf for the pommel to rest on during peening.

Watch the Deal of the Day listings patiently and you'll find a bargain. Sell the blade in the marketplace here.

Don't try to bend Windlass guards cold. They'll break. Use a propane torch to heat to orange and work patiently.

Having said all that, I'd probably buy a Hanwei-Tinker blade for this kind of project. Those will be sharp, heat-treated, undamaged and cheap.

-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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Dean F. Marino




Location: Midland MI USA
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 229

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Is scavenging the hilt from a sword-like-object feasible         Reply with quote

Carl Goff wrote:
So, I'd like to get one of the Albion bare blades that they're turning out. (http://www.albion-swords.com/bareblades.htm)

However, I'm not sure that I can put together a decent hilt by myself, and it would be extremely time-consuming. Ordering a custom hilt would be expensive. So I'm wondering if I can order a decorative sword-like object from somewhere else, remove the hilt, and use that hilt for the Albion blade.

I don't know if this is a workable idea, though. I can think of at least one possible problem already.

Potential problem #1: A sword-like object's hilt might not have enough depth or width to fit the new blade's tang.

Does anyone else think this could work, or will I be better off trying to make a hilt myself?


OK - first? KUDOS for building up from a very good blade Happy.

Cast fittings - while I have, on occasion, used these on a DAGGER build? Please don't use something that weak and puny on a good sword blade....

If you contact Ernie, at Yeshua Sword? Given your tang dimensions, you may obtain proper solid STEEL components for your build - SUPREME quality, TIGHT, and worthy of that blade. And YOU may choose designs that are what you want - or have custom ones made. You WILL have to wait about 4 months.

You MAY choose to buy one of Darksword Armory's hilt sets... about $65 US plus shipping. Again, most are STEEL, the guards will need proper steel shimming (they tend to be overcut), pommels threaded 1/4x20 inches US - but they MAY be drilled out for hot or cold peening.

In edhil, hai edhil. In edain, hai edain.
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Carl Goff




Location: Florida
Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 196

PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2014 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Many thanks to everyone in this thread for their advice and opinions.

I think I'll take Dean's advice first, and if the quote from Yeshua's Sword is significantly more expensive than getting an item from Windlass, then I'll follow Sean's advice.

Oh, East of sands and sunlit gulf, your blood is thin, your gods are few;
You could not break the Northern wolf and now the wolf has turned on you.
The fires that light the coasts of Spain fling shadows on the Eastern strand.
Master, your slave has come again with torch and axe in his right hand!
-Robert E. Howard
View user's profile Send private message


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