Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > The Balance of period rapiers against reproduction blades Reply to topic
This is a Spotlight Topic Go to page Previous  1, 2 
Author Message
David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Sat 05 Mar, 2005 10:58 pm    Post subject: Thanks for that         Reply with quote

Thank you Peter.

I'm increasingly convinced that Cutlers are a missing link. Rapiers are,as far as I can tell, finished by a cutler assembling a hilt, guard and pommel. Most cutlers would have had a number of rapiers pre assembled, for customers to try, and very possibly could have the option to re-balance the rapier with different pommels for a customer.

It would be nice to know more about the blade itself, shape and weight distribution factors should affect the size and weight of hilt fitted to get the PoB. As you say different factors may very well give the same feel in the hand to two different rapiers. The relative smallness of the deviation in PoB may indicate that that is the desired "area" in which PoB should fall for a rapier to give the control wanted over the point of the rapier

A half formed vague idea is floating around my head that blade dynamics aren't as important as they are for cutting swords. My thinking is forming around the fact that rapiers thrust. A round bar with a point on it won't move as well as a slim blade or a needle but is the shape of the blade related to the need to get a sharp point in the right place, or to the need to achieve a good depth of penetration. The aim, the whole 'point' of a Rapier is to stick the top 2" or 3" into someone. Cutting is somewhat of an optional extra. I don't know if I'll be able to finish that idea but I'll try!

A lot of my thinking is running around leverage and fulcrum theory. The PoB is chosen because it allows little moves at one end to make big moves at the other.
View user's profile Send private message
David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 3:47 am    Post subject: More facts nad figures...dull but sometimes useful         Reply with quote

Making a very crude assumption about mass distribution. That is to say. If half the weight of the rapier lies either side of the PoB then a crude estimation of the density of the blade can be made. This doesn't allow for that chunk of the blade on the other side of the PoB but it might just help ! The figures for 23 rapiers can be checked and calculated. This gives us a range of 0.407 qz per inch of blade to 0.70277 oz per inch of Blade. The average is 0.54811 oz per inch of blade. The deviation from that average is 0.0539 oz. The only fact that seems to pop out is that the longer the blade the lower the density. The lowest figure is for a rapier blade some 52" long. The largest figure is for a rapier with a blade some 36" long. I'm going to to crunch the figures I can using Gregory Stauf's linear blade density formulla to see what pops up.
View user's profile Send private message
Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,244

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 7:26 am    Post subject: Re: More facts nad figures...dull but sometimes useful         Reply with quote

David Evans wrote:
Making a very crude assumption about mass distribution. That is to say. If half the weight of the rapier lies either side of the PoB then a crude estimation of the density of the blade can be made. This doesn't allow for that chunk of the blade on the other side of the PoB but it might just help !


Im not sure this is going to work. What follows are some thoughts that crossed my severely coffee-deficient brain, and I am trying to be critical of the problem, not of you physics is arrogant, not me. Please note that Ive not studied the physics of motion for a decade or more, so I hope my recollection is accurate I believe it to be. If not, someone please correct for all of us.

1) The assumption is that this 3-D object can be simplified to a 2-D one. This is fair, since rotation should occur in the x-y plane without torsion in z.
2) Levers generate mechanical advantage. A mass of 10 g at 10 cm will balance a mass of 5 g at 20 cm, 20 g at 5 cm, 10 g at 10 cm, etc.
3) A moment is rotation about a point defined by Force x Distance.
4) At the PoB, the moment defined by the blade past the fulcrum negates the moment defined by the blade/hilt before the fulcrum.
5) The Force in the moment equation is the effective point mass of the section in question at the CG, accelerated by gravity. In effect, what we are doing is wadding up the section in question (blade or hilt) into a tiny ball, and placing the full mass at the CG.
6) The Distance in the moment equation is the distance of the CG from the fulcrum.
7) Zero rotation at the PoB is determined solely by canceling moments. Given a fixed hilt-section moment, there are still infinite options for blade geometry and mass distribution of the blade section which could cancel this moment.
8) One cannot assume the weight is on either side of the fulcrum, just that the effective moment created by the section of blade which is past the fulcrum and how it's mass is distributed generates a moment equal and opposite to the moment which is caused by the hilt about the PoB.


I don't know if this was useful, or if it further confused the issue. I hope for the former... either way, I'm enjoying the thread!

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 8:02 am    Post subject: Re: More facts nad figures...dull but sometimes useful         Reply with quote

David Evans wrote:

...The figures for 23 rapiers can be checked and calculated. This gives us a range of 0.407 qz per inch of blade to 0.70277 oz per inch of Blade. The average is 0.54811 oz per inch of blade. The deviation from that average is 0.0539 oz.


David - I don't have your data, but I gather from the relative values that you mentions that, when you say "deviation", you are actually referring to "standard deviation". Also, you mention that you are looking for correlations. Are you simply looking by observation of the data, or are you performing statistical analysis?
View user's profile Send private message
Alexi Goranov
myArmoury Alumni


myArmoury Alumni

Location: San Francisco, CA
Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Reading list: 72 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 9:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I personally feel that a sword (or a rapier) cannot be reduced to a 2D object and I will elaborate on that later. I also think that the fulcrum during motion is not the PoB but at the guard, where the hand is holding the sword. I may be wrong.

Peter has done a great job explaining the complexity of the blade geometry and the danger of reducing the blade to length, mass, and PoB. I cannot add anything to that but an example. I own a XVIIIb sword wich has 37" blade, weighs 3lb 8oz ,and has PoB of 5.25". I also own a XIIa with 37.25" inch blade, 3lb 11oz weight, and 5.25" PoB. On paper these are remarkably similar swords in terms of physical characteristics. What is not immediately obvious is the thikness of the blade and 3D blade geometry. The XVIIIb sword is almost 2x as thick as the XIIa at the guard and tappers distally and in profile faster than the XIIa, at least at some regions of the blade.

these difference make for a marked difference in feel when held and especially when set in motion. And I mean clear difference. The way these swords track and the way they fell and pull on the hand is very different. I would have never put these two swords in the same weight range based on their "feel" alone. The XVIIIb is faster even than a sword that weighs 3lb 4oz but has more mass towards the point (XIIIa that I own). For that matter, the heavier XIIa is easier to set in motion than the 7oz lighter XIIIa. Note that all three swords are performing the task they were intended, and the slower swords are not inferior, they have different purpose and different strong performance characteristics (the ability to cut tremendously well)

To me this is the genius of sword design.

I assume with rapiers it would be similar if not the same.

I have stopped looking at PoB and mass as means to judge a sword. these give very little useful information in terms of what this weapon will fell like in the hand and how it would perform.

This is not to devaluate the aspect of gathering data about the lengths, mass, and PoB of weapons. This is useful information, but it would be much more useful if blade geometry and pivot points were also available.

Alexi
View user's profile Send private message
Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 870

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexi Goranov wrote:
I personally feel that a sword (or a rapier) cannot be reduced to a 2D object and I will elaborate on that later. I also think that the fulcrum during motion is not the PoB but at the guard, where the hand is holding the sword. I may be wrong.

Peter has done a great job explaining the complexity of the blade geometry and the danger of reducing the blade to length, mass, and PoB. I cannot add anything to that but an example. I own a XVIIIb sword wich has 37" blade, weighs 3lb 8oz ,and has PoB of 5.25". I also own a XIIa with 37.25" inch blade, 3lb 11oz weight, and 5.25" PoB. On paper these are remarkably similar swords in terms of physical characteristics. What is not immediately obvious is the thikness of the blade and 3D blade geometry. The XVIIIb sword is almost 2x as thick as the XIIa at the guard and tappers distally and in profile faster than the XIIa, at least at some regions of the blade.

these difference make for a marked difference in feel when held and especially when set in motion. And I mean clear difference. The way these swords track and the way they fell and pull on the hand is very different. I would have never put these two swords in the same weight range based on their "feel" alone. The XVIIIb is faster even than a sword that weighs 3lb 4oz but has more mass towards the point (XIIIa that I own). For that matter, the heavier XIIa is easier to set in motion than the 7oz lighter XIIIa. Note that all three swords are performing the task they were intended, and the slower swords are not inferior, they have different purpose and different strong performance characteristics (the ability to cut tremendously well) Alexi


Yep.........

It always fun though to watch someone stumble into some of this and try and reduce things to a mathematical formula, then tell swordmakers how easy it should be....*g*

The art of making swords and simulators close to what period pieces would feel and act like, is part studying the historical record, part studying the properties of existing antiques, part studying the modern interpretations of dead martial arts, part dealing with feedback from modern martial artists who have interpreted these dead arts, part science, and part art.........

One definitely has to enjoy what one does..........
To me this is the genius of sword design.

I assume with rapiers it would be similar if not the same.

I have stopped looking at PoB and mass as means to judge a sword. these give very little useful information in terms of what this weapon will fell like in the hand and how it would perform.

This is not to devaluate the aspect of gathering data about the lengths, mass, and PoB of weapons. This is useful information, but it would be much more useful if blade geometry and pivot points were also available.

swords are fun
View user's profile Send private message
Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,244

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Angus Trim wrote:
Alexi Goranov wrote:
I personally feel that a sword (or a rapier) cannot be reduced to a 2D object and I will elaborate on that later. I also think that the fulcrum during motion is not the PoB but at the guard, where the hand is holding the sword. I may be wrong.


Yep.........

It always fun though to watch someone stumble into some of this and try and reduce things to a mathematical formula, then tell swordmakers how easy it should be....*g*


1) I'm not stumbling, nor telling you what to or not to do. We're looking at this from different perspectives.
2) I agree, the dynamics of a sword in hand and in motion are very different than the mechanics of one at rest. I wasn't attempting to describe dynamics, rather mechanics. My physics is sound, as is the assumption (for the sake of David's prospective experiment) that the piece may be mechanically described in 2-D, but only in the context of David's calculative efforts.

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 870

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
Angus Trim wrote:
Alexi Goranov wrote:
I personally feel that a sword (or a rapier) cannot be reduced to a 2D object and I will elaborate on that later. I also think that the fulcrum during motion is not the PoB but at the guard, where the hand is holding the sword. I may be wrong.


Yep.........

It always fun though to watch someone stumble into some of this and try and reduce things to a mathematical formula, then tell swordmakers how easy it should be....*g*


1) I'm not stumbling, nor telling you what to or not to do. We're looking at this from different perspectives.
2) I agree, the dynamics of a sword in hand and in motion are very different than the mechanics of one at rest. I wasn't attempting to describe dynamics, rather mechanics. My physics is sound, as is the assumption (for the sake of David's prospective experiment) that the piece may be mechanically described in 2-D, but only in the context of David's calculative efforts.


Hi Aaron

I believe you when you say the physics are sound. However, a sword is more than a 2D object, in fact its hard to describe it in three dimensions. There's an organic presence, or character in a well made sword, that doesn't always get translated properly even when all of the dimensions have been faithfully recreated. Getting all the dimensions faithfully recreated is the first and a very big step, but there's still more.......

And there is something to the center of gravity in an equation. But you can have a swordlike object with no profile and distal taper with a cog of 5.25 inches, and it will behave far differently from a very well designed and made sword {same cog} that has sufficient profile and distal taper {depending on type}.

David's efforts are valuable, and the results are similar to another one six years or so ago, where the average cog on a rapier came out approx 23.5%. There has actually been quite a bit of this done over the last decade or so.

If I have a point, beyond mere rambling, its this. A sword is not a 2D object, nor does it necessarily follow that the cog will really tell you much. As an exercise for conversation, something like this is quite helpful, even educational. But there is a danger here on the internet of seeing something like this, and believing its more valuable than it actually is. I think Peter was kind of warning of the same thing........

swords are fun
View user's profile Send private message
Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,244

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Angus-

I'm not disagreeing with you (or Alexi) at all here - but you are both taking this out of the context my description was in. It's static, not dynamic, in David's situation. The dynamics of a sword are extremely complex. Nowhere in my posts here in this thread have I attempted to describe the handling dynamics of a sword. What I did attempt to do was use the laws of statics (the study of forces on / within a body or structure at rest) to show where the assumption was flawed. My point to the statement in my original post was that, at rest, there was no z-plane influence, and therefore was, effectively, a 2-D problem (not object - my verbage was imprecise). If you'd prefer, it's 3-D, but z is constant at 0. All this says is that the 3-D object isn't trying to fall over sideways while it see-saws up and down about it's fulcrum. David, in his post, made an assumption that half of the weight of the rapier was on the blade, past the PoB. I wasn't disputing a sword, but rather his assumption that half the weight was past the PoB.

I'm sorry if this has caused confusion. I agree 100% that how a sword handles is intensely complex, and that it mustn't be a crayon and scratch paper exercise. Point control, CP, harmonics, function... all of these things are vital. If you look at what I was really getting at, my statements actually support that the blade characteristics can't be so simplified.

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 870

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
Angus-

I'm not disagreeing with you (or Alexi) at all here - but you are both taking this out of the context my description was in. It's static, not dynamic, in David's situation. The dynamics of a sword are extremely complex. Nowhere in my posts here in this thread have I attempted to describe the handling dynamics of a sword. What I did attempt to do was use the laws of statics (the study of forces on / within a body or structure at rest) to show where the assumption was flawed. My point to the statement in my original post was that, at rest, there was no z-plane influence, and therefore was, effectively, a 2-D problem (not object - my verbage was imprecise). If you'd prefer, it's 3-D, but z is constant at 0. All this says is that the 3-D object isn't trying to fall over sideways while it see-saws up and down about it's fulcrum. David, in his post, made an assumption that half of the weight of the rapier was on the blade, past the PoB. I wasn't disputing a sword, but rather his assumption that half the weight was past the PoB.

I'm sorry if this has caused confusion. I agree 100% that how a sword handles is intensely complex, and that it mustn't be a crayon and scratch paper exercise. Point control, CP, harmonics, function... all of these things are vital. If you look at what I was really getting at, my statements actually support that the blade characteristics can't be so simplified.


Hi Aaron

Actually, my first post here was not a disagreement with either you or David {since we're clarifying things}, but rather an agreement with Alexi. In a very general sense, and likely I could have chosen words better.....

Conversations like this have a tendency to veer into the multidimensional world of sword design and sword performance. And this one is creeping into that area too........

Over this last weekend, at 4W, I spent some time with two of the rapier track instructors discussing the fine art of making rapier simulators act like antiques. They both really liked how the 37 incher {my current rapier simulator, 37 inches from tip to cross} handled, both had comments about the 42 incher, and what they wanted. The conversations dipped into the antiques they handled, and what they wanted in the handling they wanted in the rapier simulators. Here the conversation went in a different direction than previous years. When I mentioned that I could give them what they wanted, it would just take more money than most modern fencers {SCA or WMA} were willing to spend at this time, they were both quite attentive. Possibly the community has reached a point where some folks will be willing to spend the money necessary for accurate handling longer simulators. That wasn't the case three years ago.......Then of course three years ago, I'd likely ended the conversation telling both of them that I didn't think it was possible....... strange how much one learns in three years......

The differences cannot be described using things like cog.........

swords are fun
View user's profile Send private message
Alexi Goranov
myArmoury Alumni


myArmoury Alumni

Location: San Francisco, CA
Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Reading list: 72 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
Angus-

I'm not disagreeing with you (or Alexi) at all here - but you are both taking this out of the context my description was in. It's static, not dynamic, in David's situation. The dynamics of a sword are extremely complex. Nowhere in my posts here in this thread have I attempted to describe the handling dynamics of a sword. What I did attempt to do was use the laws of statics (the study of forces on / within a body or structure at rest) to show where the assumption was flawed. My point to the statement in my original post was that, at rest, there was no z-plane influence, and therefore was, effectively, a 2-D problem (not object - my verbage was imprecise). If you'd prefer, it's 3-D, but z is constant at 0. All this says is that the 3-D object isn't trying to fall over sideways while it see-saws up and down about it's fulcrum. David, in his post, made an assumption that half of the weight of the rapier was on the blade, past the PoB. I wasn't disputing a sword, but rather his assumption that half the weight was past the PoB.

I'm sorry if this has caused confusion. I agree 100% that how a sword handles is intensely complex, and that it mustn't be a crayon and scratch paper exercise. Point control, CP, harmonics, function... all of these things are vital. If you look at what I was really getting at, my statements actually support that the blade characteristics can't be so simplified.


Hi Aaron,

I missed the point that you are talking about Statics (the sword is at rest and not in hand). In this case your assumption that the PoB is the fulcrum is correct. But even the way it behaves statically ought to be influenced by its mass distribution (volume in 3D).

The performance of a sword is judged when it is in motion, which means that the value of looking at a swords as a static object is diminished. That is not to say that we cannot learn anything about the sword by looking at it statically, but that the "true" character, and the finer aspects of sword design are revealed once it is set in motion.

Alexi
View user's profile Send private message
Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,244

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexi-

Exactly correct, and a point I never meant to contest. The way a blade handles is so intricate and tied to so, so many things... impossible to describe in a few simple lines of text or a couple of numbers.

On the point of the static example, you are also right - all three dimensions factor in to what the object "wants" to do. I hope I clarified that somewhat in my last post.

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Sun 06 Mar, 2005 10:26 pm    Post subject: Blimey         Reply with quote

Steve
Yes. Standard deviation is what I'm looking at. I should have said that.

Thank you for everyone's thoughts. What I'm trying to see is if there is some connection, some common feature that defines a well made rapier. The correlation between the mass, weight, shape and dynamics of a lump of shaped metal that says. " This is a Rapier ". The hardest part is always going to be expressing that connection, if there is one, in the simplest way possible.

What I'm thinking is that the swordmakers and cutlers between 1525 to 1575 came up with a way of making a sword who's main purpose was to thrust. The Sword Masters who studied, taught and used this sword either influenced it's shaping or came up with ways of using it's shape. From that it would appear, to me, the two then intertwined. The shape of a rapier influencing its use, the use of the rapier influencing its shape.

Sometimes You just have to ask a stupid question to learn :-)
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Tue 08 Mar, 2005 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Blimey         Reply with quote

Hello All

Sorry I have been out of touch for a while nasty flu bug had me down and out for over a week.

Good points by all and one needs to travel through these concepts to get to the more complex understanding of what is really taking place with these pieces.

David the compilation and digestion of those numbers is something I think most of us started with trying to pin down the objective you have stated. Hoping to find that correlation among the examples. The problem is the more one defines and categorizes the more difficult it becomes to truly say something of meaning about the sample. The problems are many but here are a couple that broke through my desire to come up with the rules and look more at the examples as individual pieces and try to understand each as its own unique answer to what makes a good rapier.

First off the items you are looking at may have some problems. The Wallace Collection for example is a great example of this. Many collectors in the late 19th C. had a tendency to adjust pieces to suit their taste. Many of the rapiers in the Wallace Collection have had their hilts and blades rearranged to better fit in the displays of the period. This is also an issue with pieces in other collections and US collections in particular. Some of this is difficult to ascertain unless one has the piece in hand, as many collections would prefer their items to not be of a composite nature.

The second issue is that many collectors of the late 19th C and early 20th C had a particular taste to their collecting and often dealt with one or two dealers or agents. As many of the modern museum collections had one or more of these collections as their core, often you will see a particular bias towards a type. Now, many curators have worked to broaden their collections to be more representative but one has to watch for this as a sampling bias when taking any group of published figures.

An issue that almost overwhelms all others in this type of discussion is that today when we look at this kind of sample of originals we must work from a ragtag collection of published and semi published results. It in no way even comes close to approaching the depth and breadth of types that existed even in a short time frame as you have discussed. My feeling is that in almost any time sample, especially 50 years or more, one can find a group of almost every type of sword/rapier from pure thrusters to wide bladed cutters and everything in between. Just because we focus on a particular group of items it does not necessarily mean they are representative of the time period in any specific region let alone Europe in general. I am not trying to dissuade you here from exploring your ideas just trying to put some context around them that I have found to be helpful.

As an example many of the rapiers I make are very specific in how they handle. I will have WMA participants who want a particular piece but when they try it out they are unhappy with how it moves. This is not the items fault as it is based on an example from the period. It works as someone from that period wanted it to work. It just means they are after something different wether what they want is historical or not that is a completely different question and in my humble opinion sometimes they will desire what they think is right over what the surviving examples demonstrate. But in most cases one can adjust the sword to their liking but it is then a different piece than the one originally replicated. I find this in rapiers far more than swords and the rapiers can demonstrate huge range in the examples out there from any given period and region. Just the fact wether it was meant for daily wear or as a side arm for military or official wear or as a traveling weapon will alter the weapon chosen greatly.

David Evans wrote:
The shape of a rapier influencing its use, the use of the rapier influencing its shape.

Sometimes You just have to ask a stupid question to learn :-)


Not a stupid question at all, in fact a truer statement would be hard to fashion. I would say that this was the way it worked but that at any given time there where examples that could do most things and it was an ebb and flow of fashion of use more than any break through design changes.

Any way I hope the above gives some context and helps clarify some of the broad pallette stuff.

Best
Craig
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,148

PostPosted: Tue 08 Mar, 2005 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Blimey         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:

As an example many of the rapiers I make are very specific in how they handle. I will have WMA participants who want a particular piece but when they try it out they are unhappy with how it moves. This is not the items fault as it is based on an example from the period. It works as someone from that period wanted it to work. It just means they are after something different wether what they want is historical or not that is a completely different question and in my humble opinion sometimes they will desire what they think is right over what the surviving examples demonstrate. But in most cases one can adjust the sword to their liking but it is then a different piece than the one originally replicated. I find this in rapiers far more than swords and the rapiers can demonstrate huge range in the examples out there from any given period and region.


That's a separate aspect that I've come to notice as well. Many modern collectors and practitioners have a certain idea of what a rapier is supposed to feel like, and I think this is due to many people expecting rapier fencing to look like epee fencing. At the most recent Western Martial Arts Workshop I was quite surprised (and excited) to find that A&A set up a booth. But I was also surprised to talk to many rapier fencers during the weekend who said, "The Arms and Armor swords are too heavy and I don't like the balance." While I'll concede that weight and balance are personal preference issues, it still caught me by surprise. What made me even more surprised was when I handled some of the practice rapiers most people were using: They were very light and had the balance points very close to the hand, as if they were just overgrown smallswords (though this is not necessarily wrong for rapiers in the 18th century). When watching much of the free fencing, I also noticed a tendency for people to move like sport fencers (not everyone, just a large number of people). While I'm not trying to say that anyone was right or wrong about their fencing, I am saying that there are many misconceptions about period rapier work, even held by most WMA practitioners. I can see a trend in rapier manufacturers who will cater to that market (and I don't blame them, either), because if people want rapiers that fit their preconceptions, they'll pay for them.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2005 4:12 am    Post subject: Re: Blimey         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
Craig Johnson wrote:

As an example many of the rapiers I make are very specific in how they handle. I will have WMA participants who want a particular piece but when they try it out they are unhappy with how it moves. This is not the items fault as it is based on an example from the period. It works as someone from that period wanted it to work. It just means they are after something different wether what they want is historical or not that is a completely different question and in my humble opinion sometimes they will desire what they think is right over what the surviving examples demonstrate. But in most cases one can adjust the sword to their liking but it is then a different piece than the one originally replicated. I find this in rapiers far more than swords and the rapiers can demonstrate huge range in the examples out there from any given period and region.


That's a separate aspect that I've come to notice as well. Many modern collectors and practitioners have a certain idea of what a rapier is supposed to feel like, and I think this is due to many people expecting rapier fencing to look like epee fencing. ....., I am saying that there are many misconceptions about period rapier work, even held by most WMA practitioners. I can see a trend in rapier manufacturers who will cater to that market (and I don't blame them, either), because if people want rapiers that fit their preconceptions, they'll pay for them.


Bit of a double quote there but rather needed. Hope you're feeling better Craig. Looking forward to getting home at the end of May and seeing My Italian Rapier....Any chance of a pretty picture to whet my tastes buds?

But. I hope, because I've never done modern fence, because I don't expect WMA Rapier to be like anything I've ever seen or done, that I've got no preconpetion of how a rapier should feel in my hand. I have a long delayed trip to the Wallace Collection to handle and measure a few of their rapiers. Ideally I'll get a feel of what I should expect. Till than I have to use what evidence I can when sourcing rapiers for purchase and use. Hopefully I'll get most of it right.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > The Balance of period rapiers against reproduction blades
Page 2 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page Previous  1, 2 All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2019 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum