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Ellery I.J von Dassow




Location: Washington
Joined: 09 Dec 2015
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Jan, 2016 8:19 pm    Post subject: Is This Sword I Commissioned Historical?         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I was hoping for some input regarding the design of a sharp sword (digitally render design linked below) I commissioned from well-known sword smith Peter Regenyei in Hungary. Being about a year into independent HEMA practice, my training partner and I cannot yet call ourselves formal students, but we train with as much authenticity and intent as we can based on years of prior asian and filipino martial arts experience plus online sources, the historical sources that are easily available, and the excellent books by Mr. Windsor, Mondschein, and Lindholm. We decided months ago that we would like at least one sword for each of us in order to experiment with sharps, practice what cannot be done with blunts and feders, and also simply to possess a functional example of the weapons in which we're both interested and involved.



We train both Fiore and Ringeck's longsword but our regimen has been diluted by the innumerable outside sources one will find on the internet that are just too enticing to avoid simply for a sense of purity. Thus, I asked for a sword with a stiffer blade and a hexagonal/appleseed cross section. All the other specifications are on the shown image. My main concerns are the harmony (or lack thereof) between the cross and pommel phenotypes (although I imagine there's plenty of room in what is historically plausible for that). Additionally, I am vaguely concerned that the blade geometry and the length of the fuller might not be a very historical pair. The only Oakeshott type that I can really identify this sword with from memory would be a type XVII or XVII, although the cross section I specified was more rather a lenticular shape with a single central fuller as opposed to something basically hexagonal.

At any rate, if anyone has thoughts or is willing to lend their experience to my curiosity I would certainly appreciate it and value the input as so my next custom sword purchase might be more accurate in terms of historical feasibility. I think ultimately the sword will function well as I hear Peter's sharps are getting better and better (and more distinguished from his blunts) and although it's a long piece for me (5'8" on a good day) I like its look and hope its proportions are manageable. If anyone's interested I'll update this post with pictures of the real thing when it arrives (due to be finished by the end of this month, having been ordered six months ago).

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from some of you! The image is posted below:

- Ellery



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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Jan, 2016 8:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks like a very attractive design to me, the only thing I question from a historical perspective is the length of fuller on this type XVII looking blade based mostly on the blade's profile taper ?

A hexagonal cross section with a short fuller or simply a triangular flat section on the first 1/3 of the blade might have been better ?

I would be concerned that with the blade becoming very narrow past the middle point of the blade than the long fuller would tend to make the blade's distal taper too much or the bevels would have to be obtuse in cross section to maintain some thickness ? It's mostly a question of geometry I think.

The blade could have been hexagonal with the flat or short fuller I suggest above and at the end of the fuller or flat transition to a diamonds section maintaining almost the full thickness of the blade near the guard: When a blade tapers to a needle like point it doesn't need much distal taper as it is already tapering a great deal in profile.

Just take this as questions and suggestions maybe for a future project if it's too late to change the blade characteristic at this time.

A good idea in general is to get the opinion of the maker and let him change the design according to what his experience of making blades would suggest: If it's a good maker he can tell if the design drawing will work when translated into a 3D shape.

As to the blade being " historical " I can't really say for sure as some blades where unique and didn't always fit neatly into the typology, and there might be swords exactly like this that I haven't seen ?

Hope this is helpful and my comments are meant as positive criticism ..... and I could be wrong ..... Wink Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Ellery I.J von Dassow




Location: Washington
Joined: 09 Dec 2015
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Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun 10 Jan, 2016 8:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
It looks like a very attractive design to me, the only thing I question from a historical perspective is the length of fuller on this type XVII looking blade based mostly on the blade's profile taper ?

A hexagonal cross section with a short fuller or simply a triangular flat section on the first 1/3 of the blade might have been better ?

I would be concerned that with the blade becoming very narrow past the middle point of the blade than the long fuller would tend to make the blade's distal taper too much or the bevels would have to be obtuse in cross section to maintain some thickness ? It's mostly a question of geometry I think.

The blade could have been hexagonal with the flat or short fuller I suggest above and at the end of the fuller or flat transition to a diamonds section maintaining almost the full thickness of the blade near the guard: When a blade tapers to a needle like point it doesn't need much distal taper as it is already tapering a great deal in profile.

Just take this as questions and suggestions maybe for a future project if it's too late to change the blade characteristic at this time.

A good idea in general is to get the opinion of the maker and let him change the design according to what his experience of making blades would suggest: If it's a good maker he can tell if the design drawing will work when translated into a 3D shape.

As to the blade being " historical " I can't really say for sure as some blades where unique and didn't always fit neatly into the typology, and there might be swords exactly like this that I haven't seen ?

Hope this is helpful and my comments are meant as positive criticism ..... and I could be wrong ..... Wink Big Grin Cool


Thanks so much for your input! I certainly can see what you're saying regarding the distal taper and the questionable width of the blade if the fuller keeps with it that long. Regenyei has likely dealt with al lot of people trying to adapt sword from fantasy and also has his own touches, so part of what you're saying about his having his own input is something I was counting on. Again, thanks for replying and I'll take your advice into account next time I'm trying to design a plausible sword to be custom-made.

Thanks,

- Ellery
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Jan, 2016 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd have had the guard made as wide as the grip is long. That's a common error, and it's a pet peeve of mine. Other than that I really like the over all look and demensions. I have a similar custom hilted Atrim, and I really like how it moves.
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Jan, 2016 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ellery I.J von Dassow wrote:


Thanks so much for your input! I certainly can see what you're saying regarding the distal taper and the questionable width of the blade if the fuller keeps with it that long. Regenyei has likely dealt with al lot of people trying to adapt sword from fantasy and also has his own touches, so part of what you're saying about his having his own input is something I was counting on. Again, thanks for replying and I'll take your advice into account next time I'm trying to design a plausible sword to be custom-made.

Thanks,

- Ellery


Well, yes I do mean that when designing a sword with a maker you should ask their opinion and if they see any issues or problems with the design. Makers will often try to please the customer and do exactly what the customer asks for, as long as it's not totally impossible, but it's good to discuss in detail how much you are willing to let the maker make changes to the design using his own best judgement.

Before the work starts any design changes should have been discussed and approved, but if at some point the maker feels that he has to change something because it might not work he should get back to you and explain what and why he wants to change something.

The other way to go is to give general instruction as what you want but let a maker you trust make all the detailed decisions without micromanaging him.

My best custom projects have had a lot of back and forth communication at all the design/idea stages and during the making of the project with good communication going in both directions.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Andrew Gill





Joined: 19 Feb 2015

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue 12 Jan, 2016 1:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are two things which I would personally change, based on on the historical examples I've seen (although probably influence by my own aesthetic preferences):
Firstly, I'd not only shorten the fuller, but make it taper gradually in width from the hilt towards the tip. This is more difficult for the sword maker, particularly if he's using stock removal, but is definitely more common historically (and also looks nicer to me). It might also avoid some possible structural issues near the end of the fuller, especially if you keep it as long as in the illustration.

Secondly, I would alter the grip profile to be less waisted, or even very slightly barrel-shaped with gradual taper down to the pommel. Most of the longswords with wasted grips are from near the end of the period of longsword usage I think, and often these flare more near the middle riser than near the cross (almost cone-shaped), then reduce suddenly to a smaller diameter, nearly cylindrical section which then taper gently and evenly from the riser to the pommel. Look at pictures of that famous type xviiib longsword in Munich with the tooled leather grip to see what I mean, or at the later complex-hilted longswords for more exaggerated examples of the same type.

These are probably both nitpicks, but would bother me if the sword were mine.
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Ellery I.J von Dassow




Location: Washington
Joined: 09 Dec 2015
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2016 3:08 pm    Post subject: Finished Swords         Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your responses, I feel that the comments both confirmed some of my earlier concerns and brought up things about proportion and geometry that I ought to have researched/realized beforehand. All that said, Peter recently (a few days ago) emailed me a photo of the finished swords. My training partner and I are very happy with their appearance and trueness to the original design, even if said design has several flaws.

As I suspected, the fuller was ground of a uniform depth and width (probably to save time and cost), however Peter tastefully kept it pretty narrow, and ultimately I don't think it detracts from the aesthetic of the sword even if it looks a little modern/machined. The hilt is very long for the blade length. I was modeling it after Peter's training feders, since we've been using those for free play, however ultimately the most noticeable deviation from sensible proportions is what Andrew brought up and that is that the cross is pronouncedly shorter than the handle length, and I can imagine that putting my hands out of the protective angles of the quillons. As this is not a sword we intend to spar with (it being sharp), I suppose that won't make a huge difference in how it works but as a functional weapon it's a detail I wish I had given more thought.

The blade appears to have a somewhat softened point, and I don't know how to feel about that. Ultimately, since I am inclined to feel satisfied with the sword (paying what to a college student is a very pretty penny for it, also having waited half a year), I am grateful that it is not so sharp as it's my first sword and I haven't honestly practiced handling sharp swords.

I am very happy about the grip shape and think that it will have a commanding amount of leverage over that comparatively shorter blade (100cm), and I'm looking forward to experimenting with the ergonomics of that wheel pommel. I will post a review as soon as I've had some time with it. Again, thanks everyone for your input and sorry for the poor picture quality.

PICTURE BELOW:



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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan, 2016 4:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They look very nice. The blade reminds me of my Swedish M1893 heavy cavalry pallash.
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan, 2016 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those are probably ten times nicer than about 99% of this forums first sharp swords, so I think you've done VERY well. My first was a hanwei Tinker long sword, and if you'd ever like to trade you can let me know. 😉
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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