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Guilherme C.





Joined: 06 Mar 2017

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon 06 Mar, 2017 12:01 pm    Post subject: So, I'm starting a wooden sword project...         Reply with quote

Hail all!
I'm starting the project of a wooden sword, my very first one. I'm working with longsword dimensions, 40'' blade, 8'' on the hilt.
I will use pine, as its a rather cheap material...
Question is, with these dimensions, it's still suitable to use it one handed?
(I'm planning to learn some HEMA with it, but without testing stress)
And I must state, altough I love swords and stuff, I know little about technical terms and so on. I'm looking forward to learn with you guys!
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Bram Verbeek





Joined: 27 Mar 2007

Posts: 217

PostPosted: Mon 06 Mar, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm sorry to have to rain on your parade, but this will not work.

If you want a sword that is meant to use in one hand, it's not a longsword, it could be used in one, but if you really wanted to, even a Montante could. Hema practices longsword most often, so the single hand is not really an issue.

There is a reason pine is not used in commercially available training weapons, nor was it a material of choice for hafted weapons, it's splintery, not strong, and too light to simulate a weapon. I would not like to spar with someone that handled a pine weapon, and would be hesistant to even drill techniques.

If you want a cheap solution, bamboo would be better as it's much more flexible. A shinai could be made into a starter HEMA weapon, or hickory or ash dowels (handles of garden equipment), but the much more accurate synthetic wasters are not that expensive and would be made for the task.
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Erik Heller





Joined: 10 Jun 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 07 Mar, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've never made a longsword (though I've bought a some), but I made a couple wooden messers and I found that to be a fun project.

I second most of what Bram said, however, I don't think pine would be a big issue if you are not planning to hit anything with it, and you don't make it very thin. It isn't ideal, but it should work. The dimensions seem fine and since pine is light, you won't have an issue using it in one hand. Although as far as I know in HEMA, it is almost always used in two hands.

The amount of wood you need for a wooden sword is usually not terribly expensive, so you could look at that instead, or maybe go for some nicer wood once you have a chance to practice making the first one. If you do plan to spar, or even hit a pell or something, then I don't recommend pine.
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Guillaume Vauthier




Location: France
Joined: 16 Jun 2016

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2017 1:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have also made a sword scale model with pine wood, and it was pretty nice, but it was more a model to have a better representation of the real sword dimensions. I think it is a good project, as long as you don't use it to fence.

And my opinion is the same that Bram: a longsword is made to be used with both hands. In some exceptional circumstances you must use it with one hand only (e.g. wrestling), but it is designed to be used with both hands.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,222

PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2017 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wouldn't use pine, if I were you. Hardwood is not that much more expensive, lasts longer, and is more durable. Plus--hardwoods come in different colors.(I know, you can stain pine any color.) I once made a wooden waster with an elm blade and black walnut guard and pommel, with a simple leather cord wrapped grip. It looked fantastic and lasted for years, even against synthetic wasters. Now that I think of it, I still have the guard and pommel....somewhere. May start up my own weekend project! Happy .......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Mike O'Hara




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 109

PostPosted: Thu 09 Mar, 2017 6:41 pm    Post subject: Wooden wasters         Reply with quote

Hi Guilherme

I'd echo what the other respondents said.

If you plan to do ANY contact work, whether sword to sword or to pell, you will need a long grained hardwood. Pine is likely to splinter and break dangerously and you can easily hurt yourself or someone else.

Even if it is purely display, oak really looks the part especially if you use an iron gall stain and linseed. You can get the grain to pop amazingly

Recommended woods
Oak - relatively easy to work, excellent grain
Ash - again, good and hard but tends to have more issues with tear out when working
Hickory - like oak.

I tried a short grained hardwood (jarrah) - not a great success!

A while ago i wrote down all the steps for making both a longsword waster and spadone waster. They are a bit large (pictures) but if you PM me an email address, happy to share.
regards
mike

MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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Guilherme C.





Joined: 06 Mar 2017

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon 13 Mar, 2017 12:06 pm    Post subject: So..         Reply with quote

Hail guys! Thanks for all the advice! I didn't take any in the end, because I had no internet connection last week.
I've made the sword, but piece by piece, and now it costed me functionality. It is a useless prop. I should've made it whole from a single chunk of wood, but, live and learn. I'll do another when I buy proper tools, I've used very primitive and simple tools to do it.
As for the functionality, I will try to fix the pieces with some glue and resin, see if it works better than screws, but I'm not hoping to anchieve anything.
I didn't use pine after all, I used a local wood named "cedrinho", I couldn't find the english name... It's a pretty though wood, that I can tell, working with it was extremely hard. I think I'll use it for other swords, when I buy electric tools.
Anyway, thanks! I'll continue posting here for advice and even showing my works to you!
Thanks all!
And here is a picture of my useless prop waiting to the glue to dry out, so maybe it can be useful at all:



 Attachment: 81.71 KB
WhatsApp Image 2017-03-13 at 11sss.08.45.jpg

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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,222

PostPosted: Mon 13 Mar, 2017 2:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's pretty good for a first attempt! Happy Keep on trying...your next one will be better...and then the next one...and the next...... Big Grin .....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Mike O'Hara




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 109

PostPosted: Mon 13 Mar, 2017 9:21 pm    Post subject: Next wooden sword         Reply with quote

Hi Guilherme

If you can start with a plank that is the right width and roughly the right thickness you can probably make a good quality waster with the following hand tools
1. Coping saw
2. Decent small hand saw
3. Spokeshave
4. Card scraper
5. Pencil
6. Ruler
7. Square

Keep at it!
cheers
mike

MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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Bram Verbeek





Joined: 27 Mar 2007

Posts: 217

PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This does look like it could start you on the journey.

If you want a sword that has the same weight you'd need 10x the amount of material it has in steel, the density of oak is .78 and the density of steel is 7.8 if I recall correctly. I'm going to generalise a lot of things in the next few sentences, take them as you will

Near the tip, a longsword can be as thin as 3mm, and since it's diamond shaped, it's only half the volume. A 1.5cm rectangular plank the width of the sword near the tip would be exactly as heavy.

Near the base, the sword could be 6mm or even more, wood 3cm thick of the same width as the sword would be needed.

That's not easy to get into planks, so you could use a plank that's of even width, say 2cm, and have it taper a bit more.

Say we have a sword that is 3cm near the tip, and 4.5cm near the base, and we'd want to emulate this in wood.

3cm(width)*0.3cm(thickness in steel)*5(ten times as heavy, divided by 2 due to diamond shape vs rectangular)=4.5cm squared
Our plank of 2cm thickness would need to be 4.5cm2/2cm = 2.25 cm wide.

At the base we make the same calculation 4.5cm*0.6cm*5=13.5 cm2, our plank of 2cm thickness would need to be 6.75 cm wide.

Round off all edges of the wood, which costs a bit of materal, but you can then practice with it a lot safer.

I'd use a 1:3 or 1:3.5 grip+pommel to blade dimension, so a 40" total length would have a 10" grip+pommel. I'd also use a pommel that does not have a larger circle than 5.5 cm. It is stated that the guard should be handle length, but there is a lot of variance. Can't hurt to keep it at that though. The guard can be easily made of the same plank, a slot made into it, and fitted in place with glue and a few screws.

You'll find it is hard to balance the sword all in wood, drilling a hole into the pommel and filling that with lead does help.

If you're making a 40" longsword, it's easy to make two of them from a 45-50"*4" plank.
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Guilherme C.





Joined: 06 Mar 2017

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whoa, thanks for the technical information, I will use it in future projects!
This was a 40'' Longsword, but I've made some mistakes that costed me lenght...
I won't do these same mistakes with proper tools XD
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Mike O'Hara




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 109

PostPosted: Thu 16 Mar, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject: Waster dimensions         Reply with quote

Hi All

I have made ~40 longsword wasters on the following dimensions 1200mm long, 45mm wide 25-28 mm thick in oak, we have yet to have a breakage and they are used weekly.

The grip is 300mm, blade 900mm. The thickness is 25-28mm thick at the cross and tapers to 15mm at tip.

I've put fullers into some and made flattened diamond sections for the others.

I've poured lead pommels and these are screw threaded into the grip, most of the waster balance a hand's width from the cross.

What I think really matters is that
1. They need to have a straight grain running the length of the waster.
2. Rounding the edges spreads the blow from waster to waster contact
3. The taper makes them perform more like a sword as does the pommel.
4. A long soak (~2 weeks) in linseed gives back some resilience to dry wood

It IS a waster and they certainly get dinged up - we have had a number of cross-guards break but they are not hard to replace
cheers
mike



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MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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