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William M




Location: Buckinghamshire , England
Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 258

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr, 2015 12:12 pm    Post subject: Optimal grip width for medieval swords         Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have been working on my windlass xiv for a while and have recently gone into the grip stage.

I have thinned the wooden grip, installed risers and a leather wrap.
Now I am wondering if perhaps I made the grip too thick. It feels OK in my hand but is thicker than the grip on my Albion knight.

Looking at the photos below do you think the grip is too thick for my hand size? Also is there an optimal width where say for example a good grip is where all the fingers can just about touch the palm when holding the sword in a hammer grip.

Hammer grip
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Tim Harris
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 06 Sep 2006

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr, 2015 8:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I find something that allows the second finger to touch the base of the thumb is generally quite comfortable. This might not be the case for everyone.
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William M




Location: Buckinghamshire , England
Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 258

PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2015 12:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Tim! Is that preference for medieval swords?
I am leaning towards ripping off the grip and thinning it down further. Shame, it was looking so good up until now.
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2015 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks nice William!

I especially like the pound in the pommel recess Happy

Cheers,

J

ps: you owned the windlass 'dracula' - would you say the very praised windlass type XIV is way better?
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J. Hargis




Location: Pacific Palisades, California
Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Likes: 22 pages

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PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2015 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Harris wrote:
I find something that allows the second finger to touch the base of the thumb is generally quite comfortable. This might not be the case for everyone.

I generally agree here. I would thin the grip down a bit so that the fingers wrapped around a bit more, less space between your finger tips and your hand.
That's what works for me anyway.

Regardless, nice looking work.

Thanks William.

Jon

A poorly maintained weapon is likely to belong to an unsafe and careless fighter.
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Craig Johnson
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Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2015 1:49 pm    Post subject: Grip dimensions         Reply with quote

Hi William

From the pic I would say you have a nice shape but probably 10 to 15% to big. The grip on a sword should allow the hand to adjust and move freely while still controlling the sword and remaining secure in the hand.

Today, folks error on the side of to large for grips in most cases. Whether sword or rapier I have seen many, with out experience with originals, do the grips so large they are difficult to control and allow one to be disarmed.

The dimension side to side (in plane with the edges) is pretty close on yours to my eye. I think the front to back dimension maybe the issue. The grips on originals are thinner in this dimension and it is rarely depicted as everyone pictures the swords in profile. I think Tim's comment is good as a general rule of thumb that having the fingers tips touching the hand helps keep the sword in your hand.

Hope that helps and good job the piece looks quite nice!

Craig
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William M




Location: Buckinghamshire , England
Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 258

PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was hoping that I would be OK as I had spent quite a bit of time thinning down the original grip, however it looks like I didn't go far enough. Anyways thank you all for the replies, you have confirmed my suspicions and so I will cut up the handle and start again with a thinner handle that I will be happy with. Luckily I have plenty of leather left, though I don't look forward to the lengthy shimming.

@Julian Good memory!! The Dracula sword was one of my first swords many moons ago. The plastic grip was too long and slippery. A re-wrap would had helped but as it was plastic you would have to make one from wood. The pommel on the Drac was nicer (though cruder) but you couldn't do fun things with coins and the like. With regards to the blade I seem to remember it had a much better balance than the XIV due to it being overall thinner with a wider fuller. The cross section in the tip area had a less prominent ridge, which would had helped move the POB closer.

I am glad you like the pound coin, I was surprised it fitted perfectly! On the reverse I have a French Euro coin, which I thought was appropriate due to being 1/2 English and 1/2 French myself. Happy

Once I have finished with the polish I will post it up on the forum! At the moment I still have work to do with grinding the blade and of course.. now re-doing the grip.

Finished grip without the dye.
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William M




Location: Buckinghamshire , England
Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 258

PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2015 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:
Looks nice William!
ps: you owned the windlass 'dracula' - would you say the very praised windlass type XIV is way better?


Whops, I just realised that I haven't directly answered your question.
My answer would be a no, I think the dracula was the better sword. The XIV I received seemed to have a much heavier weight and further POB than the sword on the myArmoury review.

To try and correct this I have removed the diamond cross section entirely and have reshaped the guard too. Handles quite well now.
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Tim Harris
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 06 Sep 2006

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2015 10:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William M wrote:
Thanks for the reply Tim! Is that preference for medieval swords?
I am leaning towards ripping off the grip and thinning it down further. Shame, it was looking so good up until now.


That's what works for me for longswords. It's the "just right" for my hands - which are medium to large.
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