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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 10 Nov, 2019 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Final progress shots: linen under-wrap for more handle stability, cord over-wrap for that Albion-style grip texture.

Thank you Eric for all this detail - I hope the budding sword-smiths out there appreciate this master-class on assembly and finishing!



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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Nov, 2019 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's the grip reveal, although it needs cleaning. Apparently the other side is perfect and this is the slightly uneven side, but I don't see anything unusual. I guess the riser on the right has a slight wiggle? Hardly worth writing home.


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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 11 Nov, 2019 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for posting these shots of the grip being finished. It is fascinating to see what goes into it to make it turn out the way that it does.
Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Nov, 2019 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

FYI, I have the sword in hand and will post a review when I have time.

One thing I'd like to say is that Eric was very nice to deal with through this process. Very professional (he starts with a formal proposal and contract), and then once things 'heated up' he was in constant contact over every detail.

Thank you Eric!
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Nov, 2019 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks really nice JD. I'm excited that I have a long dagger in the works from him in 2020!
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Nov, 2019 7:13 pm    Post subject: Pictures         Reply with quote

Pictures first, words to follow...


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Full length, profile view

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Ice, Ice baby

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Fire

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Ice II

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Hilt

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Beautiful Peen Job

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Point of the story

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History in the making

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Happy customer
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Nov, 2019 9:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! That looks great!!! Eric does such great work.
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Nov, 2019 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks great! Looking forward to a review on this one!

This is one of my favorite type XII reproductions.
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 25 Nov, 2019 6:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sword looks great J.D.! Is the grip the same color that Eric described for the original one that he made?
Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Nov, 2019 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:
The sword looks great J.D.! Is the grip the same color that Eric described for the original one that he made?


I asked for basic black on this one because I plan to display it with a couple of other black-gripped swords of that era: a Tritonia XIIIb and the A&A type O/XII shown in my avatar. I recently splurged on a custom display case...I figured that after years of collecting, one might as well spend as much on a display case as we spend on a sword.

Thanks guys for the comments, I'm sure Eric appreciates them if he's looking. I'm a bit overwhelmed right now with other stuff, but will try to get the written review 'down to paper' on the weekend.
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Nov, 2019 11:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! Very nice.
Éirinn go Brách
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec, 2019 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And the Review:

Introduction

The Bladesmith: Eric McHugh (according to his web-site) has been a bladesmith since 2002. He later joined Albion Armorers (now Albion Swords), becoming head cutler and currently VP Research & Design. While with Albion he played an iconic role in shaping the current state of construction, collection, and use of modern sword replicas by creating the famed ‘Next Generation’ line in collaboration with Peter Johnson (P.J.). While pursuing other career options along the way, he set up his own forge and has been doing more and more custom work of his own, employing design principles developed by P.J. and in some cases Albion equipment (e.g., for tempering). Eric forges the blade blanks himself, and then grinds the blade steel (in this case 80CRV2) to shape.

The Process: The blade in question is one of Eric’s own custom pieces, commissioned at my request. At the time of commissioning, Eric provided a contract and an accurate estimate of how long it would take to get started. When the project neared completion he was in constant touch with me about the details. Finally, he was very prompt about shipping, and it arrive in an Albion box. Altogether, the purchase was a pleasant experience.

The Sword: This piece is based on a large type XII sword from St. Annen Museum in in Lübeck Germany. Many became familiar with this sword through the famous exhibition ‘The Sword — Form and Thought’ and resulting book. The sword has some damage, especially near the tip, so P.J.’s design principles have been used to reconstruct the current design, which is Eric’s second version of the sword. The current sword may depart from the original in a few details. First, by my request, the disc-shaped pommel has been made of mild steel, rather than Bronze. Second, according to the book, the pommel is Oakeshott type J, which implies some concave scalloping around the edges of the pommel. The current pommel is a straight-beveled H/I, which I happen to prefer. Finally, my eye tells me the new blade has a slightly stronger profile taper than the original, but I can’t swear to that. Otherwise, it is a faithful reproduction.

Vital Stats (inches/cm, unless indicated otherwise):

Oakeshott typology: type XII blade, type II cross, intermediate H/I pommel.
BL: 35.5 / 90.5
FL: 25 / 63.5
CL: 7.125 / 18
GL: 4.125 / 10.5
PW: 1.9 / 4.8
BW (at cross): 2.19 / 5.5
Profile taper: nearly linear, from 2” beyond slight flare near cross to 1” before final tip.
Distal taper: approximately linear, from ~4.5 near cross to ~2mm before tip.
CoG: 5.5 / 14
Forward Pivot Point: ~10.5 / 27 from tip.
Distal Harmonic Node (optimal striking point): ~12 / 30 from tip
Proximal Harmonic Node: just inside grip, at index finger
Mass: 3 lbs / 1.36 kg

Handling / Performance

XII blades are characterized by a shorter fuller and more profile taper than their Xa predecessors, but otherwise take many forms; some shorter or longer, and each following various profile geometries. With its long reach and handling characteristics, this one is most definitely a horseman’s sword. It inherits some characteristics of earlier XI cavalry swords, but has a different, more hand-centered feel. One can’t expect a sword of this size to be nimble, especially with only room for one hand. Nevertheless, Eric has done an excellent job at reducing mass toward the tip and placing the performance measures (CoG, Pivot points, harmonics) in the right place. There’s simply not enough space inside to swing this sword effectively and the weather has not been very cooperative, but I had a chance last weekend to get outside with the sword on my deck. Pretty soon it was whistling through the air through large, scary arcs. It’s a cutter: its stiff and pointy enough to penetrate light armour (I think), but its not very comfortable on the thrust. The grip is slightly slick and long for my bare hand, but these factors are mitigated by a thick glove. I don’t have access to a horse (although they’re all over the place where I live), but one can easily imagine charging with this blade point-forward in prime position, ready to ‘spear’ an opponent rider or windmill back, down, and forward to meet a lower target in the direction one is riding, with all that momentum behind it. After a few dull inches at the cross the sword is ‘sword sharp’ (not paper cutting sharp) with integral edge geometry (as opposed to a secondary bevel), so I expect it would cut like a demon.

Fit and Finish

Eric has excelled here. As documented in the development thread above, he has taken care to remove blemishes and even hide the peen. All the lines, through blade, fuller, cross and pommel are straight and clean. If one looks very closely, beneath the satin finish one can see just enough subtle irregularity to announce a hand-made product (likely grinds, rather than hammer marks as I first thought), but these are subtle indeed. The overall construction is of the standard that one would expect from a similar Albion product.

Conclusion

Overall, I’m very happy with this sword. As noted in the development thread above, it has a very classic and typical hilt combination, coupled to a rather long and elegant blade. Despite its apparent simplicity, it has a different look and visual impression compared to the other swords I own now or the many I’ve had in the past. With its pleasing handling characteristics and fine finish, I expect to cherish this piece for a long time. Thanks Eric.
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 793

PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec, 2019 3:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the great review on this piece J.D. It is truly an impressive sword. It really makes me look forward to next year around this time when my place should come up on Eric's list!
Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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