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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Fletcher wrote:
Chad Arnow wrote:
As a sword lover, I get tired of people seeing a POB listed on a stat sheet and saying "That sounds too close" or "Wouldn't that make it slow?" The numbers don't necessarily tell the whole story. Combine it with feel, purpose, etc. and you can get the whole picture.

Hello Chad & All,

This is indeed a very interesting thread and I agree with the concepts being discussed. I would, however, like to remind those who are annoyed by sword lovers who display a keen interest in "the numbers" that the reason for this is that MANY (if not most) do not get the opportunity to "feel" all of these wonderful swords that you get to handle and inspect. All most of us have to go on are some two-dimensional photos and "the numbers".

Most folks are not wealthy enough to belong to the "Sword-of-the-Month" club. Many folks do not have the opportunity to visit a smith or manufacturer in person. Most Ren Faires do not offer an opportunity to see and handle quality blades. Very few of us are sent swords by the manufacturer for testing and review. Getting to handle actual antique swords - what a wonderful, but rare gift most will never get to experience! Attending the Atlanta bladeshow is not possible for everyone.

If every cutlery store in every mall carried a nice selection of quality swords from A&A, ATrim, Albion, etc. everyone would have the opportunity to "feel" what you are talking about. Until then, please cut the "number crunchers" a little slack.

Regards,

Mike


Thus far this thread has been very interesting and informative, let's keep it that way. (Yes, this is an official warning)

No one is degrading "number crunchers", in fact, I haven't read a single derogatory handle like that mentioned until your post Mike. The whole point of this topic is not to criticize the aspect of weights and measures, it is to help fellow sword lovers realize that these things are only the beginning of the story. They are not an end and a means unto themselves. If we are going to grasp the full history and design of the sword we have to look at the bigger picture, not just the individual details. You're right, many folks can't afford the time or expense of doing this research. Some of us choose to spend what extra time and disposable income we have in the pursuit of our hobby. Part of the enjoyment of sword collecting is sharing what you've learned with others, not criticizing them because they don't have the opportunity, that's not what we're about.

This thread is not a personal attack, don't view it as one.
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ciaran,

Thanks for rephrasing yourself, that does make more sense. While it's true that common knowledge is gained through experience there still has to be a groundwork of information to start with. After making blades for as long as he has Gus may not have to consciously think "Okay, fit tab A into slot B." on every blade he makes. On the other hand, if you asked him to explain to you why he performed a given step of manufacture in a certain way, I'm sure that he'd be able to give you a good explanation why.
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 12:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For what little it is worth, I agree with what Mr Fletcher said. I also think that he said it politely.
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whether or not Mike stated his case politely isn't the issue Geoff. He obviously took offense, someone else will probably take offense at his statement, and will respond................. That's how flame wars get started, hence the warning (not to Mike specifically but to the entire readership).

Once again, no one is giving anyone a hard time, although Chad could have phrased his statement a bit better. The simple facts are that at certain times some of us will know more, and some will know less. Those who know more should be willing to empart their knowledge without looking down their noses at those of less experience. At the same time those of less experience should be willing to accept that knowledge without assuming that offense has been given.

That's how we all learn as a community.

I would now advise that we get back on topic, and suggest that any further discussion of these matters be taken to PM.
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geoff Wood wrote:
For what little it is worth, I agree with what Mr Fletcher said. I also think that he said it politely.


Hi Geoff

If I can interject here, I for one do not believe that anyone is intentionally knocking folks for wanting to know the "hard numbers". I think what Pat and others are saying, trying to say in this imperfect medium, is that there is more to the game than what the numbers can tell you. The numbers sometimes actually lie.........

I also realize that if one cannot handle a particular sword, that what one sees in print, and in photos is all one can go by. That's one of the reasons that Josh and I will take back a sword we sell, if it doesn't fit a buyer's expectations. I think most others in the game will too.......

On the "numbers" game, lets take one of my models. I made the AT1518 in the past, because of a "numbers game". One of my customers wanted a relatively short hand and a half, that would balance close to the hand. At the time, I had already prototyped out a sword using the same blade. I played with the pommel types, until I came up with a combo that was harmonically balanced, and got us to that 4 inch range.....

But you know what? It made the sword more sluggish, made it feel heavier, slower. The tracking lost a bit, and the thrusting wasn't as "natural". But, it weighed approx 2.25lbs, with a blade length of 31 inches, and had a cog at 4 inches.......Just what the customer wanted.

I still offered, and do offer, the AT1518hp. Basically the same sword with a lighter pommel, and just a bit different treatment of the tang. The sword weighs 2lbs, has the cog slide out over 5 inches. The sword feels lighter, is one heck of a lot more responsive, tracks better, thrusts naturally, with the sword following the point nicely, even in an "offline", looping thrust. Is much livelier in the hand, and even feels better "static" than the other treatment of the blade.

Recently, Josh and I had two 1518s ordered in the same week, and both were finished together. Josh was floored that the one with the "cog" out there a bit further, would be so much better in every way........

Yes, so much of this is subjective, its not funny. And there's no easy answer for folks shopping and buying on the internet.

This one time, please believe me, that no one is shooting at "number crunchers". I think everyone understands how difficult it is to judge things on the internet, and how difficult it is to trust subjective judgements over hard numbers.... my customer last year didn't trust my words on the subject...... and I understand he loves his sword.

That's all that counts, right?

swords are fun
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Mike Fletcher




Location: Auburn, CA USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geoff Wood wrote:
For what little it is worth, I agree with what Mr Fletcher said. I also think that he said it politely.

Thanks Geoff and Hello Patrick,

I DO appreciate the sharing of knowledge and experience very much. I apologize if my attempt to remind us WHY some sword enthusiasts get so caught up in the numbers came across the wrong way. My wish is that we could all have first-hand knowledge of the "full picture" - wouldn't that be great!

Regards,

Mike

Edit: Gus just beat me and summed things up very well. Thank you Mr. Trim Big Grin


Last edited by Mike Fletcher on Thu 02 Oct, 2003 1:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Fletcher wrote:
Geoff Wood wrote:
For what little it is worth, I agree with what Mr Fletcher said. I also think that he said it politely.

Thanks Geoff and Hello Patrick,

I DO appreciate the sharing of knowledge and experience very much. I apologize if my attempt to remind us WHY some sword enthusiasts get so caught up in the numbers came across the wrong way. My wish is that we could all have first-hand knowledge of the "full picture" - wouldn't that be great!

Regards,

Mike


No problem Mike, it's all good !
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Fletcher wrote:
Geoff Wood wrote:
For what little it is worth, I agree with what Mr Fletcher said. I also think that he said it politely.

Thanks Geoff


You're welcome.
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 5:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Fletcher wrote:
Geoff Wood wrote:
For what little it is worth, I agree with what Mr Fletcher said. I also think that he said it politely.

Thanks Geoff and Hello Patrick,

I DO appreciate the sharing of knowledge and experience very much. I apologize if my attempt to remind us WHY some sword enthusiasts get so caught up in the numbers came across the wrong way. My wish is that we could all have first-hand knowledge of the "full picture" - wouldn't that be great!

Regards,

Mike

Edit: Gus just beat me and summed things up very well. Thank you Mr. Trim Big Grin


As I was the one who introduced "number crunching" in the discussion, I would like to respond. Mike, I understand what you mean, but a big problem with the repro sword business has been swords made after pics in books, with at best overall length and blade length supplied. This has resulted in swords that look like the originals in a front view, but which has missed out distal taper, POB placement, node placement, etc - in short, a bad sword. I often use an analogy: you can watch the pics of the Playmate of the Month, check all the measurements, and try to imagine what it feels to handle what you see in the pic, but nothing beats doing it for real Big Grin John Clements, the big prude Wink used a sports car analogy instead, but it is basically the same - theory and practice are two different things. What I mean by number crunching is the belief that a few stats will tell you all about a sword. Gus summed it up very well in his description of the swords he had made, and it is this which makes the whole thing organic.

So, with the emergence of Internet fora where makers, collectors and enthusiasts can meet, some of us fortunate to be able to handle originals and the top-notch stuff can share what we know. Most of us started out as newbies with a crappy wallhanger as a first sword, and few of us are by any means rich, or even well off. A few years ago, there wasn't much in the way of good swords or knowledge readily available, but this has changed. The bad results of number crunching are challenged, and in the end, that will mean better swords for all of us, hopefully even "budget" swords.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 6:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Once again, no one is giving anyone a hard time, although Chad could have phrased his statement a bit better.


True, I could have said it better. Mea culpa. I'm getting married in two days, so I may seem a little worn thin on patience. Again, my apologies.

My point was simply that numbers don't tell the whole story. But I have seen some people (not necessarily anyone here) who go strictly by numbers, without considering type, period, purpose, etc.

The point about not being able to handle items before purchase is valid and understandable. I've never been able to handle any swords I bought before I bought them. I relied on places like this to get feedback from other people who have handled the piece in question. I find that more illuminating than just the numbers. With the group of collectors around that we have, especially ones like Bjorn, Patrick, Mac, and Nathan, et al, you can usually find someone who has owned or handled any sword you might be looking at.

Sorry if I pushed some people's buttons.

Swords are fun!

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"I'm getting married in two days.............."

It's a wonder you aren't completely insane by now !

Congrats Big Grin
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 6:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
"I'm getting married in two days.............."

It's a wonder you aren't completely insane by now !

Congrats Big Grin


I was completely insane before this whole wedding thing came about..............

Eek!

Happy

ChadA

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