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Stephanie Maks




Location: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 67

PostPosted: Tue 04 Nov, 2008 8:03 pm    Post subject: My Falchion Project         Reply with quote

I little while ago I got a new Angus Trim Makers Mark sword, the Archangel Falchion. This one caught my eye as soon as I first saw it on Christian Fletcher's site. I find the blade profile to be very attractive, and the specs backed up the aesthetics. I have a few of Angus' tactical swords, but this was my first Makers Mark and I was also eager to see his pommel-nut assembly method up close and in person. The construction method meant that I could 'safely' try some modifications without breaking anything.

When I received it, I could tell right away that I had made the right choice - it handles well, felt very comfortable - except I wasn't very happy with the guard. All in all in fact, the fit and finish seemed a little bit incomplete. I don't mean this to be a slight in any way against Mr. Trim -- the sword I think is meant to be a working cutter, not an exacting historical reproduction.

Anyhow, it didn't take long before I decided I was definately going to try a project with this one. I got in touch with Mike at Albion and ordered up the 'small guard blank' and the 'cocked hat pommel blank' from Albion's Moat Sale page. Using just a hacksaw, a couple files, and some sandpaper, it took two evenings to fashion and polish the guard, and two days to get the pommel shaped and polished.

Initially my plan was to utilize the pommel-nut so that my changes would not be permanent and so I could swap back and forth between my hilt and the stock one. However, as I was shaping the pommel I realized that due to the cocked-hat shape and size, this would result in basicaly the pommel-nut sticking out too far at the top and I felt it would just look bad. After some contemplation, I decided to go for broke and try doing it the 'Albion' way -- I hammered the guard on tightly then hot-peened the pommel in place. It was a bit nerve-wracking, with a torch in one hand and the ballpeen hammer in the other, pounding away at the end of my relatively brandnew sword.

Anyhow, it worked out not too badly, and after some more filing and polishing I had the peen smoothed into the pommel. The grip is an oak core, sandwich construction of course, with a cord wrap, three risers (one at either end and then one between the forefinger and middle finger). The leather is a very lightweight forest green that I got in the 'on sale' pile at Tandy. It's glued and had a tight overwrap while it dried. Finally I sealed it with a wax leather sealer, then buffed it to a dull shine.

Last step was polishing the blade to clean off some of the finger-marks etc that it incurred during all this. I used some 1000 grit then 2000 grit paper, then my recently-received grey scotchbrite pad with a bit of oil, to more or less get that satin-polish that my Albion Thegn has. At this stage, the only dissapointment I have is the grip wrap has a ragged seam that bothers me (an aesthetic issue, functionally it's not an issue). I'm going to finish this with a scabbard, that is now in the design stages.

Pretty much all this has been thanks to the great wealth of knowledge and help to be found here - the forum, the features, the reviews... couldn't have done it (wouldn't have even tried!) without myArmoury. So thanks everyone! I love my Custom Falchion even more than I loved the 'factory' design! Big Grin

Edited to add: My changes have of course altered the specs and handling of the sword slightly:
Length Overall: 33" (was 34")
Weight: about 2 or 3 oz lighter (was 2lb 5oz)
Blade: 27" (unchanged)
Handle: 4.4" (was 4.5")
CoB: ~6" (was 4.5")
CoP: 19-20" (was 18.5")
Although the CoB has moved out a bit, this still doesn't make it too blade-heavy. It does give the blade a bit more presense but feels like a sword, not a machete.



 Attachment: 101.31 KB
falchion1.jpg
My Custom Archangel Falchion

 Attachment: 119.44 KB
falchion2.jpg
Closeup of the hilt - the guard is either a type 3 or a modified (shortened) type 1. The pommel is cocked-hat style. Both are blackened, which I think goes nicely with the dark forest green grip.

 Attachment: 62.96 KB
falchion0.jpg
For reference, this is the sword with its original hilt furniture.


Last edited by Stephanie Maks on Wed 05 Nov, 2008 5:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tony Peterson




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Tue 04 Nov, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice Stephanie. Did you stitch the leather on the handle or is it just stuck down with glue?
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Stephanie Maks




Location: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 67

PostPosted: Tue 04 Nov, 2008 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is just glued. The glue seems to hold pretty well - I actually did the grip wrap twice as I was unhappy with the first attempt, so I know how secure it is, having pulled off the first one.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Nov, 2008 9:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephanie Maks wrote:
It is just glued. The glue seems to hold pretty well - I actually did the grip wrap twice as I was unhappy with the first attempt, so I know how secure it is, having pulled off the first one.


I used Weldbond white glue and it works really well and seems to hold without a problem.

Finishing with a quick wipe on/wipe off of boiled linseed oil and then some Renaissance Wax after the oil has been absorbed and dried to water proof the leather a bit. ( Don't know if this is right or recommended by the professional handle wrappers, but it seems to work for me. Oh, it does harden the surface of the leather a bit and make it semi-glossy ).

Nice work on the falchion. Cool

Do you think it makes it look a little earlier in period than the way it came originally ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Stephanie Maks




Location: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 67

PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 4:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had found some images that I believe were from the Maciejowski Bible which showed this type of hilt furniture on a falchion, but I can't remember where I put my reference now -- it's morning, not enough coffee! Wink

It does give the sword an earlier feel to me - the wheel pommel and the long slightly curved guard (I believe it was style 7) are features I associate with knights in full plate mounted on horses. That mental image to me doesn't mesh with the falchion in general.

Anyhow, I'm still towards the start of the learning curve when it comes to the historical nuances and details. Most of this project was about making the sword 'feel good and look good' to me.

Cheers!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 5:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice mods. Happy Hopefully the oak grip won't be a problem as I've always heard the tannins/oils in oak can be corrosive for steel.
Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love it. I like cocked hat pommels and it's a nice combination overall.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephanie Maks wrote:
I had found some images that I believe were from the Maciejowski Bible which showed this type of hilt furniture on a falchion, but I can't remember where I put my reference now -- it's morning, not enough coffee! Wink

It does give the sword an earlier feel to me - the wheel pommel and the long slightly curved guard (I believe it was style 7) are features I associate with knights in full plate mounted on horses. That mental image to me doesn't mesh with the falchion in general.

Anyhow, I'm still towards the start of the learning curve when it comes to the historical nuances and details. Most of this project was about making the sword 'feel good and look good' to me.

Cheers!


No problem: I'm not a " Historical Accuracy fanatic " but it did seem like an earlier period falchion and I think it works well aesthetically and very nice work. Just thought I'd ask about your inspiration for the modification but not disputing it. Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Stephanie Maks




Location: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 67

PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 8:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments everyone!

I've used oak quite a bit over the years for knives and even hilts on SLOs and have never found any predisposition to rust. I use it as it's relatively easy to work with, attractive, and fairly inexpensive (at least around here it is). I'll keep an eye on this and see how it goes. There isn't really any oak-on-steel contact inside as I did epoxy the grip core in place; that might help the issue as well.

The sabard core will be poplar - I've read suggestions of using poplar, and it's certainly easy to work with. Also fairly inexpensive too.

Cheers!
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Adam S.





Joined: 01 Sep 2006

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Fri 07 Nov, 2008 4:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephanie Maks wrote:
Anyhow, I'm still towards the start of the learning curve when it comes to the historical nuances and details. Most of this project was about making the sword 'feel good and look good' to me.


I'd say you're ahead of the curve. Good on you for being brave with the torch and peening hammer. If the leather is still giving you trouble with fraying try tinning the overlapping edge and trimming it clean.

Again, VERY good work.

~Adam
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