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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
Joined: 04 Mar 2012
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 355

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2015 3:45 am    Post subject: Windlass Sword of Roven (AKA Longsword) reworked DIY project         Reply with quote

Thought I would share I recent project of mine.

Here are the details of what I did -

1 - Removed approx. 2 oz total of original blade weight by draw filing the blade, most of the removal took place after the fuller. So now it has some distal taper, not a ton but some and that is better than none. I did this by draw filing the blade with a 12" mill file. It Took a LONG time but its almost therapeutic after a while. I also decided to change the profile from diamond to hex on that final 1/3....b/c I like hex blades and figured what the heck...


2 - Removed a little under an inch of blade at the shoulders to increase the tang length and cut in additional threading on the round rod. The reason for this was I wanted to get the pommel down further on the tang but end up with the same grip length of 6". By pushing the pommel further down I moved the pommel from the round rod section of the tang end down towards the tang proper which is rectangle in shape. I keyed the bottom of the pommel some by needle filing square shaped cut outs on opposite sides of the pommel hole, not a major keying but enough that the keyed section of the pommel fits "around" the rectangle cross section of the tang....I HATE the idea of a non "circular" pommel (like a scent stopper type) fitted to a round tang section. Round hole + round tang = strong possibility of that pommel turning, then you have an out of alignment pommel which looks like crap. That problem has been solved.


3 - With the removal of blade section I was also able to increase the width of the tang where it meets the shoulders, and radius those 2 spots as the stock blade was not real rounded...possible weak spots fixed + thicker tang at that critical junction plus the wider tang now fills the overly large slot that was cut into the cross guard.

4 - Steel shimmed and wedged the cross guard into place. Blade was ringing with just the cross in place. It should not come loose.

5 - Made a new poplar grip. I went with a wasted grip with the upper section being octagon in cross section and the lower elliptical in shape. Getting the facets was a pain but I got it and am happy with it. Cord was then TIGHTLY wrapped around the core all the way top to bottom and covered with goat skin leather that I dyed red. The leather treatment on this one is my best attempt yet. I am blown away at how nice this one turned out.

6 - Blackened the fittings with gun blue. The fitting on the Roven are pretty nice. The only thing I had to fix was the langlets on the cross, where a bit slanted at the very top, a straightened them out so they are square at the top instead of looking like Gumby's head.

Showing the increased tang length and radius corners


Grip prior to pommel nut being attached


Hex cross section, not as crisp as I wanted but..







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




Location: Reston, VA
Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 442

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2015 6:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice work. You going to make a new scabbard for it?
Non Timebo Mala
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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2015 8:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well done Bryan! You've pretty much gone and addressed all the design flaws inherent in Windlass's manufacturing methods- spin-y pommels, blades that grow thicker after the fuller terminates - that bug me the most. Have you noticed any difference in handling now that it's lost that mass at the tip?
The sword looks great, grip shape and wrap especially. Thanks for sharing it.
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Joel Chesser




Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 23 Oct 2003

Posts: 714

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2015 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful upgrade, I have always liked that sword, and your improvements have made it all the more appealing. Thank you for sharing!
..." The person who dosen't have a sword should sell his coat and buy one."

- Luke 22:36
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Kuo Xie




Location: Chicago, IL
Joined: 29 Feb 2012

Posts: 76

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2015 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One of the nicest home-made sword modifications Iíve seen. Really great excellent work on that grip wrap, it looks like a completely different sword. Have you given any thought to thinning the point a bit to make it more of a needle profile? I think that would look great with the overall lines of the weapon.
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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
Joined: 04 Mar 2012
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 355

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2015 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments fellas.

@William - I may make a scabbard for this but its not at the top of my list at the moment. Got at least 1 scabbard project ahead of it, a Lutel longsword that needs doing up.

@Eric - Yes I do notice a better handling sword. It handled fairly well stock, but I felt it did have a bit too much blade forward feel to it. Feels and handles better now, not a complete transformation but some difference and its positive.

@Kuo - I never really considered re-profiling the tip, I hear what you are saying but I like the lines as they are

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




Location: 831
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 512

PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2015 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, what a beauty of a re-creation.. Awesome work..!
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Ben Coomer




Location: Colorado
Joined: 06 Sep 2011

Posts: 184

PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2015 2:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks great.

I recently got this sword for my Brother in Law and while its decent stock, some modifications like you have done are in the works. So it is nice to see that some of my ideas look like they'd work well.

Thanks.
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Lukas MG
Industry Professional



Location: Germany
Joined: 23 Feb 2010

Posts: 314

PostPosted: Sun 12 Apr, 2015 3:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent work. I really like your idea of going with a hexagonal cross section, looks great. Clean, too.
Custom sword maker:

http://www.lukasmaestlegoer.com
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