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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 12:04 pm    Post subject: Your Opinion On A New Sword Project         Reply with quote

I'm ready to proceed with a new project based on the Windlass "Saxon hilt sword". By "based" I mean I'll keep the pommel and blade. These, plus a new, slightly recurved cross, will form a bastard sword inspired by the painting below (ca. 1490). In the painting, notice the blade of single-hand length paired with a long grip with "D" shaped chappe, recurved cross and faceted or fluted globular pommel. I won't go so far as to flute my pommel. Experiments with clay grip and cross suggest a balance point approximately 2.50 below the cross, which seems reasonable for a thrust-oriented blade. My photo mashup (see below) is only eyeballed, so final proportions will vary somewhat, but I think this is roughly what I'd end up with. Looking at the image of the saxon hilt sword you can see what I'm planning to do--everything between pommel and lower gaurd will become the hand-and-a-half grip.

Do any of you know of surviving weapons of these proportions? Any late 15th c. bastard swords with Type R pommels? Do you find the proportions of my design reasonable/attractive (sorry I don't have a full-length view)? What would you change?



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Josh MacNeil




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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to say Sean, you ever cease to amaze me with your projects. While I can't speculate on surviving pieces, I think that as far as aesthetics go it's quite attractive. I think it will be a very interesting weapon when finished. Are you making the cross or do you have one that you'll be refitting to the blade?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks! I just bought an old straight Angus Trim cross that appears to be of adaptable length and section. My plan is to file some facets, round the edges a bit and recurve horizontally. The recurving could be a dodgy proposition, and I won't recurve as much as the cross in the painting. I'll apply as much heat as possible with my propane torch and work slowly, probably using hammer and anvil. I'm guessing that the tang hole will be very slightly oversize, which I can fix with shims. This Windlass blade is surprisingly thick (and stiff!) so the fit might turn out to be better than I expect.

The blade of the finished piece will be ~33". Overall, with a new nut/peen block, the sword will be ~41".

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Joel Chesser




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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

are you planning to blue the furniture?
..." The person who dosen't have a sword should sell his coat and buy one."

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 1:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joel Chesser wrote:
are you planning to blue the furniture?


That was my original plan, but I'll first see how it looks bright. If I can't get a decent red color in the grip and chappe I'll fall back on plain black for the leather, in which case I would most likely leave the furniture bright. As is often the case, it's hard to tell if the dark armour and hilt furniture in the painting are depictions of bluing or simply the tarnishing of the silver paint often used in the period. I suspect we're seeing tarnish in this case (blade and hilt are the same color) but I think bluing can look wonderful with red grip and scabbard. No question about the historical appropriateness of the red grip and chappe, though. In Austrian depictions of swords in this period it's the next most common color after black.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This sword's pommel appears to be identical to the one in the painting, and is a perfect chronological match:

http://www.myArmoury.com/view.html?features/p...xxii06.jpg

That's far beyond my skill, so I'll have to be content with the simple facets. Big Grin

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since you asked, the only thing I'd change would be the rain guard. I've never found rain guards on the hilt to be attractive at all...rather, it's like dressing a pretty girl in a pretty outfit and then giving her a crappy hat. Your mileage may vary.

HOWEVER. I think you should go with this project and photolog it for the rest of us nerds to drool over Wink

As for the pommel, the original is a screw-on, correct?

M.

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Nat Lamb




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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, going off the artistic source material, that really is a bastard('s) sword...
looks like a cool project though, I have enjoyed watching your other ones unfold.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
As for the pommel, the original is a screw-on, correct?


No. It is bored through and has a pommel nut. The pommel itself is not threaded.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
M. Eversberg II wrote:
As for the pommel, the original is a screw-on, correct?


No. It is bored through and has a pommel nut. The pommel itself is not threaded.


And the nut is so long and thick-walled that it can be shaped as I please. I usually peen the tang after screwing down the nut very tightly. I also make the grip just slightly shorter than the distance between cross and pommel to avoid the compression fit that causes problems over time. I wedge and JB Weld the cross, JB Weld the sandwich-type grip core (this type allows a perfect fit) and JB Weld the pommel, peening before it dries.

It's nice to have the straight-bored pommel. That allows you to align the thing properly and either do a bit of filework at the lip of the lower hole so that it keys to the tang, or simply JB Weld it during assembly.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
Since you asked, the only thing I'd change would be the rain guard. I've never found rain guards on the hilt to be attractive at all...rather, it's like dressing a pretty girl in a pretty outfit and then giving her a crappy hat.


So that's one vote against the chappe Laughing Out Loud The thing is, they're everywhere in Austrian art of this period. I've grown so accustomed to seeing them in that context that a sword doesn't look finished without one. The problem is knowing exactly how they were decorated. Most seem to have been decorated, but there's only the suggestion in the artwork.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2009 10:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great project, Sean, can't wait to see more - post as many "in progress" shots as you have the convenience to, if you would! Some of us live vicariously through threads like this one.
For my part, I'd go with the chappe. It's right for the period & region. I think maybe the one in your photoshopped image might be a bit undersized - enlarge it maybe 15 %? Sometimes the hat just needs to be as well proportioned as the lady sporting it... perhaps a wrap-around type, for such a slim figure?
I've actually been dreaming about the Windlass English Cut and Thrust, thinking that triple-fullered blade might make for a sweet, under-scaled type XX warsword for whichever of my wee bairns shows interest and a cool-enough head. Gotta get Papa a proper sword first, 'tho...
Cheers,
Eric
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2009 12:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great project Sean.

Keep the rain guard, by all means. It makes a lot of the character of the sword. Perhaps a tubular one could be an alternative, but these oval/tounge shaped ones are nice also because they are perhaps a bit more rare.

The painting seems to suggest longitudinal fluting of the pommel, making it look like a peeled orange or garlic. Perhaps that is something you could add to the pommel you have. It is a few hours of file work, but it also makes for a great change in character. (also making the pommel a bit lighter. Sometimes a good thing, sometimes not so good. YouŽll have to find that out when the sword is ready for try fitting.

YouŽll have fun with this one!

CanŽt wait to see the result :-)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2009 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
Great project Sean.

Keep the rain guard, by all means. It makes a lot of the character of the sword. Perhaps a tubular one could be an alternative, but these oval/tounge shaped ones are nice also because they are perhaps a bit more rare.

The painting seems to suggest longitudinal fluting of the pommel, making it look like a peeled orange or garlic. Perhaps that is something you could add to the pommel you have. It is a few hours of file work, but it also makes for a great change in character. (also making the pommel a bit lighter. Sometimes a good thing, sometimes not so good. YouŽll have to find that out when the sword is ready for try fitting.

YouŽll have fun with this one!

CanŽt wait to see the result :-)


The "peeled orange" analogy is perfect. This pommel is probably slightly overweight/oversize. I could use the weight savings of fluting and that does seem to be the type shown in the painting. Maybe I'll summon the courage to try it Eek! Time is the bigger problem--I have to work in such small increments of time that it could take months to complete a few hours of filework.

I made a tubular rain guard for my XVIIIb and I prefer that type. I was thinking about doing the "D" shape this time just for the sake of variety, but I'm not sure I understand the construction. The stitched sides of the tubular type keep it in place but it seems like the "D" type would tend to get pushed up or otherwise displaced. Are they meant to stay in place just by the stiffness of the formed leather? I'll experiment....

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Etienne Hamel




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PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2009 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

sorry if im a little late on this one but here is my opinion : if a rainguard looks ugly just change the color (personnally i like brown on swords) and try put a pattern on it (it sur wouldn't look historical but would be attractive Big Grin ) but again it's my opinion.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2009 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric W. Norenberg wrote:

For my part, I'd go with the chappe. It's right for the period & region. I think maybe the one in your photoshopped image might be a bit undersized - enlarge it maybe 15 %?

I've actually been dreaming about the Windlass English Cut and Thrust, thinking that triple-fullered blade might make for a sweet, under-scaled type XX warsword for whichever of my wee bairns shows interest and a cool-enough head.
Eric


I think you're right about the size. It looks undersized to me, too. The final version will be better proportioned, and I'll have to work with the existing scabbard, of course.

There are some project bargains to be had in the MRL clearance and Deal of the Day pages at their site. You just have to plan on making a new grip and doing some file and finishing work on furniture and blade. Some of their blades are well-made. As you suggest, this is a great way to satisfy a young person's desire for a "real" sword (The Windlass blades I've seen lately are very blunt). For kids old enough to help in the workshop one of these projects could be a wonderful teaching opportunity--poor construction v. good, the implications of historical or non-historical design, etc.

Item #1,333,672 in my List of Great Ideas I Don't Have Time To Develop is a series of reasonably accurate wooden sword models (Roman, Viking, Crusader and late medieval) designed to be completed by parent & child in a single weekend. "Weekend Warrior," I'd call it. Packed in a shipping tube. Relevant (and copyright-free) historical artwork on the shipping label and instructions. Any Chinese investors lurking out there? Laughing Out Loud

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2009 7:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Etienne Hamel wrote:
sorry if im a little late on this one but here is my opinion : if a rainguard looks ugly just change the color (personnally i like brown on swords) and try put a pattern on it (it sur wouldn't look historical but would be attractive Big Grin ) but again it's my opinion.


Actually, as far as I can tell these guards/chappes usually did have decoration. Stamped/incised, at least, and some appear to have been gilded ("shell gold" paint?) or set with decorative metal ornaments (tacks? rivets? stitched-on plates?)

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some possibilities/inspiration:


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2009 11:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:

I was thinking about doing the "D" shape this time just for the sake of variety, but I'm not sure I understand the construction. The stitched sides of the tubular type keep it in place but it seems like the "D" type would tend to get pushed up or otherwise displaced. Are they meant to stay in place just by the stiffness of the formed leather?....


Following the thread on your Durer project, and the subsequent discussions of chappes, I recall some pretty detailed analysis of the "D" shaped version - looking at the photos of the Cluny Museum sword (Gods I love that sword), I couldn't help but suspect that the leather was treated in some way to stiffen it beyond what you'd expect for it's weight. Perhaps something like a glovemaker's couir boulli (that spelled right?), which would increase the material's rot-resistance, as well. Just speculation, 'though.
Odd that you have a "List of Great Ideas...", too. Maybe we should put 'em together, and publish the resulting volume(s).

Excelsior!
Eric
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 13 May, 2009 4:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you make the D-shaped rain guard of leather with an untanned core, it will be hard as board when it is dry.
This kind of leather is traditional for sheaths of puukos and other scandinavian knives. I have a suspicion it was used widely whenever stiffness and decoration demanded plastic sculpting and form setting in case making, scabbard and grip making. Such leather takes well to sculpting, punching and molding. Mind you: it shrinks more during drying, than through treated leather does.
Problem today is finding stuff that is thin enough for all applications. It is normally found in 2-3 mm thickness.
For grips and finer work 1.5 mm thickness would be great.
I think it can be found as Orthopedic Leather.

Even normal vegetable tanned leather will get a bit harder just by being thoroughly wet, molded and then let dry. You could paint the inside of the flaps with some stiffening agent, like shellack also.
When you shape the rain guard, make a template of the scabbard in wood, that slips on to the upper part of the blade and only reaches a little bit further than the length of the grain guard. That way you can make a very nice fit between scabbard and rain guard. You can then work the leather while whet and properly mold it to the outer shape of the scabbard.
It probably means you have to complete the scabbard first to get those measurements...
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