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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Sat 29 Sep, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: New purchase: planning begins!         Reply with quote

Howdy folks!

I have that wonderful giddy feel of having made a new purchase. I bought the Windlass "Sword of Roven" (apparently now simply called "Long Sword").

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Long+Sword

A few questions before I begin: Does anybody know whether this is based on a historical sword? "Sword of Roven" made me think it was, but I have no idea who or what Roven is. Does it fall in line accurately with any period or area?

What tipped the scale:

Good reviews, basically - the geometry sounds cruddy, it is apparently made blunt (from what I've read it sounds like it's more blunt than the standard 'windlass sharp' which must bean it's REALLY blunt) but I can fix that with patience and draw filing. I think the sword is generally very attractive - the ricasso is interesting, the pommel looks great to me and I find the pommel nut... interesting. Apparently, it has a round pommel nut on a threaded tang so it appears to be a tang peened over a pommel cap. The sheath seems to be the typical awful windlass all-leather sheath - but at least I can nab the chape!

The plans!

Firstly I want to remove the leather-covered wood grip and throw it away. I will replace it with a more coffin-shaped oak piece, possibly faceted if I can muster the patience. Right now I think that I will stain it walnut or mahogany and oil it, though I may cover it with black chamois leather. I'm kinda thinking that a deep red-brown would look good with it and I don't think I could get the look I'm going for with leather, so it will probably stay wood. I have much more experience with wood than with leather.

The steel fittings will be removed, polished and blackened in my forge - that is, actually blackened with forge-scale rather than just fire bluing. Then I'll use fine steel wool to finish them off to a dark uneven sheen. Hopefully.

The pommel nut will be squared or replaced with a square one - this will allow me to undo it with a wrench rather than mar it with pliers. The nut will probably be blackened, although I'm thinking of fire-coloring it blue or purple as a bit of contrast from the rest of the sword.

The ricasso will probably be covered with leather. I know this is best known on Zweihanders with an additional integral crossguard and claymores (not sure of the historicity of claymores with leather-covered ricassos, but unfortunately braveheart said so) but honestly - I don't really like ricassos that much at all, and when I do, it's generally because they have a leather cover, so I feel obliged to at least try it to see how it looks. I will likely try and match the leather color with the color of the grip. This could also allow me to fill in the gap between the crossguard and blade, as one review I read stated it is there.

The sheath will be thrown as far as I can throw it, with the exception of the chape, which will be polished and darkened if it is steel. I will make a new scabbard, probably from poplar and unfortunately using a chisel (as I haven't invested in a dremel router yet). It will likely be leather covered and as such will probably take much longer than everything else because that's a fair amount of thin veg tan to buy!

The blade will simply have the polish toned down to a 600 grit or so. No likey mirror finishes!

Well I guess that's about it. Long- and bastard swords are far from my area of familiarity, and I'm sure that my finished product will not be close to the pinnacle of historical authenticity. Maybe I've been watching too much Game of Thrones lately Eek! Any opinions, experience, advice and suggestions are more than welcome. If anyone can suggest anything to maintain historicity, that would also be appreciated.

Thanks,
Pete
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,707

PostPosted: Sat 29 Sep, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: New purchase: planning begins!         Reply with quote

Peter Messent wrote:

A few questions before I begin: Does anybody know whether this is based on a historical sword? "Sword of Roven" made me think it was, but I have no idea who or what Roven is. Does it fall in line accurately with any period or area?


Peter, I suspect this is loosely modeled on a pair of very similar swords (XIX 8/9) housed in Rome and pictured on page 206 of Oakeshott's 'Records of the Medieval Sword'. Oakeshott dates them to 1400-1425 but states the find place is unknown.

I have the Windlass version and think its quite good for the money. It doesn't really fit with my current collecting interests but I keep it for sentimental value. My lab gave it to me when I was promoted to 'full prof' in 2005. It gets some funny looks from people when they enter my work office for the first time.

Good luck with your project.
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep, 2012 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the response! I wish I had the book, it's on the list but I've grown so accustomed to relying on the Internet for information that my book reading has diminished Blush I'll try out the library and see if they have it.

Sounds like a nice office piece Big Grin
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep, 2012 8:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really like this sword. For the money, I don't think you could do much better. The sword is solid, the blade is not overly flexible, and it's well-balanced for a sword of it's size. The only think I did not like about it is that the peen block is actually a round nut, much like with Tinker and ATrim stuff. However, if you shave a tad off the grip, and tighten it down a bit further, you can peen it just fine with very little difficulty.

I worked one up a while back like this for a customer:







I am planning on getting one of these in the near future myself and doing some custom work to it.

Be sure to post what you do to yours! Happy

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep, 2012 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is beautiful work! I love the adjustable suspension straps - by any chance do you have an image of the reverse side to show how those knots are finished? The simple elegance of that scabbard suits the sword very well.

I thought about peening the tang over the nut, though I feel that for a while, I will take advantage of being able to take it apart and experiment - initially I was planning to buy a bare blade and forge out the crossguard and pommel myself. That plan went south, which led to this purchase, but I already rough-worked a guard into shape (which needs to be reworked anyway - first time I tried forge-slitting a hole for a tang, it came out crooked!) so I'm not completely sure yet whether I want to stick with the existing cross/pommel or make new ones - though I do admit I love the pommel on this one. As for the cross, I'm in two minds about keeping it - if keeping the existing guard, I will possibly filework the ends into thistles (by no means a scottish sword, I know, but my mind always seems to go home!). On the other hand I think this sword would look great with either a downward curve on the guard or a downward angle and spatulate terminals. The blade profile just seems to allow for a great deal of variation in hilt components and I'm not sure if I'll be ready any time soon to let the hammer fall on that tang! I'll probably have to invent a very interesting character for this sword to explain the geographical array of hilt furniture Blush
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T.F. McCraken




Location: Ingleside, Illinois
Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 128

PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just got this sword from Bruce Brookhart's sale. What a great handling blade. I read a lot of the reviews on this one and most said it was a nice blade. So, I picked it up from Bruce and turned around and stripped it of it's hilt. Since I'm a proud Irishman, I had to convert it to an Irish hilt, so, I scavenged the crossguard and ring from another blade it was gracing and made a quick grip to bridge the gap.

Before and after.










The hilt is temporary. I'm going to design a nice Irish crossguard myself and have Ken Nelson at Iron Wolf Forge build it. I have two key-style crossguards in the collection already and three with the spatulated ends, both "S" and flat, plus the A&A Irish. I want to come up with something unique and one-of-a-kind. I'm going to whip up a scabbard for it, myself as it came bare to me.

I'm excited for you. Re-hilting is a lot of fun! Go nuts!

Murphy


Murphy Cool

aka "Murphy"
See ya at Bristol Renaissance Faire!

The decisions we make, dictate the life we lead.

"I drank what?" -Socrates
www.celticfuryproduction.com
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Mon 01 Oct, 2012 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's stunning! I was thinking about a ring hilt myself, and that looks great! That's exactly what I had in mind for the thistle-terminal crossguard, too!
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T.F. McCraken




Location: Ingleside, Illinois
Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 128

PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 7:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Heck, when I have my new crossguard made, I might just sell ya this one!

When MRL released it on their Irish two-hander, I loved it, but, now that I have it, I'm not so thrilled with it. I mean, it looks nice and all, but, it's too Scottish in my opinion and doesn't lend to the "Irish" feel I was hoping for.

We shall see.

Murphy Cool

aka "Murphy"
See ya at Bristol Renaissance Faire!

The decisions we make, dictate the life we lead.

"I drank what?" -Socrates
www.celticfuryproduction.com
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
Joined: 03 Jan 2009

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can certainly see what you mean about having a more scottish feel. A lovely combination nonetheless Big Grin
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,707

PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T.F. McCraken wrote:
Heck, when I have my new crossguard made, I might just sell ya this one!

When MRL released it on their Irish two-hander, I loved it, but, now that I have it, I'm not so thrilled with it. I mean, it looks nice and all, but, it's too Scottish in my opinion and doesn't lend to the "Irish" feel I was hoping for.

We shall see.

Murphy Cool


Too Scottish? How can anything be too Scottish? Happy

Maybe that's why I like your combination so much! Hey, I've got an old two-hand Windlass Irish sword hanging around too; maybe I should try the same thing. By the way, I just remembered I got my Windlass Longsword in 2004, not 2005. Time sure flies.
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T.F. McCraken




Location: Ingleside, Illinois
Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 128

PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct, 2012 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ach!

Dunna git me wrong, Laddies! The Scots have rich and colorful heritage!

I'm just Irish! Big Grin

I like the current configuration enough that it proudly hangs on the wall, but, there are FAR too little Irish hilts out there and a custom, one-of-a-kind Irish crossguard is too easy for me to have made to pass up. I'd love to do something without the typical "Spatula" style and something MORE that the less-seen "Key" style guard. However, trying to find examples of Irish hilts is daunting. You find, literally, 6 or 7 examples and MOST are the "S" shaped spatulas. The Irish couldn't have been THAT limited in their scope, right? But, no real luck finding others, so, I'm going to design it.

Makes sense, right?

Murphy Cool

aka "Murphy"
See ya at Bristol Renaissance Faire!

The decisions we make, dictate the life we lead.

"I drank what?" -Socrates
www.celticfuryproduction.com
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