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Michael Pitt




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 23 Apr 2016

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue 26 Apr, 2016 12:17 pm    Post subject: Albion swords handling.         Reply with quote

Hi folks,

I would like to ask about the distal taper in swords, how does it work?

I am also looking for the relationship between the point of balance and handling of a sword, specifically looking at swords such as the albion poitiers and getting measurements for use in my upcoming projects.

would be very keen to talk with someone who owns any albion swords.



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MMFC, West Midlands, United Kingdom.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 26 Apr, 2016 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suggest you find Angus Trim on Facebook. His page has a number of articles on this exact subject you're wanting to know about. Not Albions specifically, mind you, but the data is fairly applicable.

Michael Tinker Pearce, Tom Kinder, and a number of other sword-makers also occasionally comment on weight, point of balance, percussion, and so forth. The 'All Swords' and 'Sword Buyers Guide' groups are useful for information.
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: 05 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Apr, 2016 8:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You may want to start with this very good article by Patrick kelly here on this very site:
http://myArmoury.com/feature_properties.html
Also, try searching the forums. Lots of talk about this very subject over the years...
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Michael Pitt




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 23 Apr 2016

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 27 Apr, 2016 9:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm really looking for figures/measurements at different sections of the blade.
MMFC, West Midlands, United Kingdom.
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Michael Beeching





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 160

PostPosted: Wed 27 Apr, 2016 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson of Arms & Armor might be willing to strike up a conversation - perhaps you could try to get a hold of Peter Johnsson himself if you are investigating general blade characteristics?

If the question is in relation to a specific sword, I think it would be better to contact someone over the forum directly than to try and contact contact Albion. I recall asking Albion customer service for two general measurements (thicknesses on points of a blade) on a Type XVa sword they offer, and they would not disclose that data. The project which required that information was not serious or for profit, so I was a bit miffed about the tight-lipped attitude.

In general, there are two general properties I'd start with when attempting to model sword performance - the two "moments of inertia," the first being the rotational moment of inertia, I = [Sigma, or the sum of](m*r^2), where m = local mass and r = distance from the reference point; consider using the center of mass as the reference point. The second is the second moment of area, which will determine how a sword flexes at any given point. I've written some of my thoughts on this matter on these forums - I could link to relevant posts when I have the time. Perhaps I made some errors in judgement at the time of those writings, but our understandings are evolving all the time.

There are other mechanical aspects of swords I do not feel I've yet gained mastery in understanding yet, but that again ties into that whole changing of understandings process.
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T. Kew




Location: Cambridge, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed 27 Apr, 2016 10:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Specific data about swords is actually quite valuable information, especially for a sword making company like Albion who specialise in the accuracy of their designs.

This overall question is far too broad. I would suggest you peruse a good fraction of the resources available, and then come back with more specific questions.

Offhand, some things which might be worth looking at:

The catalogue for Das Schwert: Gestalt und Gedanke. This has a lot of good technical data about original swords in it, along with some informative essays by Peter Johnsson on design principles and sword handling (with Vincent Chevalier).

Vincent's website also has some excellent material about modelling the dynamical properties of swords.

Peter Johnsson has a Youtube channel, which contains a number of videos, mostly discussing geometric design principles.

There are also some excellent lectures available through the Arctic Fire Youtube channel, including a very detailed discussion of how the handling of a sword can be affected by the hilt.

Instructor and scholar, Cambridge HEMA
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Apr, 2016 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you are looking for distal taper measurements for the Poitiers, you can see a couple over at KOA - http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=AMS1515 - Unfortunately, they only give you two thickness measurements - at the guard, and near the tip. But that's more than most vendors will give you.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 27 Apr, 2016 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something to note is that Albions, while CNC milled initially, are hand-ground the rest of the way. As such there is a certain degree of individual variation between the blades. This is more pronounced with some models than others-- I recall a thread around here regarding the Albion Knight, there was as much as an inch difference in length among the swords measured. So I would not say with authority that every Poitiers, for example, is going to be identical. They may vary in distal taper by... say 1/16, 1/32 or whatever.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Posts: 2,229

PostPosted: Fri 29 Apr, 2016 1:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
Something to note is that Albions, while CNC milled initially, are hand-ground the rest of the way. As such there is a certain degree of individual variation between the blades. This is more pronounced with some models than others-- I recall a thread around here regarding the Albion Knight, there was as much as an inch difference in length among the swords measured. So I would not say with authority that every Poitiers, for example, is going to be identical. They may vary in distal taper by... say 1/16, 1/32 or whatever.


1/16" is quite a bit of a difference in thickness. If a, let's say, a Gaddhjalt should be 3mm thick at point of percussion, 4,5mm would be more than one should tolerate.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,822

PostPosted: Fri 29 Apr, 2016 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry but the Albion Poitiers is one of the "generic" builds they have made. It is not a Museum Line quality sword, so there are some generalities and compromises in this line of swords from Albion. Well thought out but with less specific detail then their Museum line swords.

Peter's musings are well worth viewing and reading.

One thing that affects all of the recreations is that many start with flat stock, often thinner than the original sword's thickness at the guard. Sub 6mm sword thickness is quite common in reproductions and distal taper quite linear, vs mass distribution through starting with thicker stock, then a less linear distal taper. The type of sword can greatly affect choice parameters as well, so I would not say the Poitiers is a horrible build but for a blade that short and the typology of the blade, I'd say if I were recreating a similar sword, the Albion might not be my choice to copy.

One generality I have noticed in later swords into the 19th century and no doubt part of the generic formula is blade thickness reducing by near a third by the center of gravity and a more shallow distal to the forward point of rotation and then to the point. With a type XV or XVA, there might be less distal taper overall but my hunch would be that a historical example probably starts the equation with that first reduction in distal taper, putting mass toward the hilt. Even other types with very percussive foibles often start with that extreme concave distal taper property.

Cheers

GC
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