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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Hejdström wrote:
Which reminds me that I have a friends blade lying around in my storage.. Wonder if he'll ever gonna use it...


He can't use it if it isn't finished. Wink You'd be doing him a big favor, really. 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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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 11:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking good Sean!

If you are up for some filing, you may want to consider taking down the size of the bottom face of the pommel a bit. It will be flush with the grip, and these can be rather thin up towards the pommel. I would reduce it by 1/4 or perhaps a bit less.

You will loose some weight as well. With the long tang you ought to have some margin.
Depends on the blade...
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
Looking good Sean!

If you are up for some filing, you may want to consider taking down the size of the bottom face of the pommel a bit. It will be flush with the grip, and these can be rather thin up towards the pommel. I would reduce it by 1/4 or perhaps a bit less.

You will loose some weight as well. With the long tang you ought to have some margin.
Depends on the blade...


I've already done a bit of that and was starting to think it's still too broad at the base. Left as it is, it would need a very robust grip indeed. I would welcome the weight loss there, too, so I'll take your advice. Thanks! Big Grin

Am I correct in observing that the tangs of these swords tend to be peened flush with the top of the pommel?

-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 18 May, 2010 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd already made my key choices before I took much notice of this one, ca. 1450. I think it's probably a much larger sword, but the lines are surprisingly similar. If nothing else, it's a helpful guide to reducing my pommel.


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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: Wed 26 May, 2010 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm on "Plan E" and running out of options. I didn't like anything about my long curved cross, so I ditched it. This thing is driving me crazy, now, but I really want to have something to show for the work, even if that means I take a trip to Fantasy Land. I had a large "Dane" style cross on hand so I cut it down to the size shown on the originals shown below. It's hard to tell from those photos if those crosses are short and straight, longer and re-curved or simply broken. Whatever the case, I assume they're of thin section.

Historical or not, it looks like I'm going to have to use this cross. There is no "Plan F". I've thinned the arms a bit and will continue that work as roughly indicated by the red lines. I still want to use an octagonal grip (and I know that this rough model is assymetrical, just like some originals Big Grin ). The pommel is looking better after some reduction per Peter's suggestion. If this has to be a fantasy piece, at least it'll be inspired by these fascinating N. European weapons.



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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: Wed 16 Jun, 2010 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Found this on a Swedish site. I was looking for more information about the Vättern sword or a reproduction (no luck) but this one caught my eye. It almost appears to have the bare wood grip as described by Peter. Doesn't appear to have wire binding. This one looks more like what mine is turning into. I wonder who made it.


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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)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Wed 16 Jun, 2010 1:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 16 Jun, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Found this, too. Proportions seem to be close to my project, though I like this fellow's pommel and cross sizes better. I'll take his kit, too. Big Grin


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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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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Jun, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Found this on a Swedish site. I was looking for more information about the Vättern sword or a reproduction (no luck) but this one caught my eye. It almost appears to have the bare wood grip as described by Peter. Doesn't appear to have wire binding. This one looks more like what mine is turning into. I wonder who made it.


Thats Albert Collins isn´t it? Looks like a snapshot from the TV4 production, The History of Sweden. I haven´t had a chans to see the Battle of Brunkeberg episode yet, but I would guess it´s from that!

I´ll ask him or someone else in the GoStO about it.

Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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Eric Hejdström




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Jun, 2010 2:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's Albert as the danish king. The sword he's wearing is nice but not really the same proportions as the ones Sean is after I think. The sword Stefan is wearing on the second picture can be seen here: http://histvarld.historiska.se/histvarld/drae...svard.html

Sean, I don't think that you'd like the cost of his harness and helm... I heard they were not very cheap....

More pictures of Alber's armour and sword can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23237388@N06/sets/72157623300694680/
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Jun, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for those links, Eric! I see now that those swords aren't much like my project after all. They are very nice, long-gripped swords, though. And that harness! Oh, my....
-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 21 Jun, 2010 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not any closer to the historical inspiration, but I'm at least a bit closer to finishing the project. Big Grin Still lots of finishing to do on all parts, plus making the scabbard. Feels great so far. Balance is about 2.5"/6.5 cm below cross. I might prefer a slightly longer cross, but I can live with this one and I'm pleased with the proportions overall. I wish I had not chosen this blade for my first experiment in belt sanding. There are some ugly "bites" out of the flats, not visible here but obvious from certain angles. Those didn't bother me before but I'm liking the piece so well now that I wish I had a pristine blade. We'll see how things go from here....


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-Sean

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Christopher H





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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 7:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks marvellous, Sean. Well done!
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 7:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Christopher!

I should have shown a scale there, by the way. The blade is of single-hand proportions so I guess I'd call it a bastard sword. That doesn't seem to match the nearest historical analog (see the illustrations a few posts ago,) which tend to be more of longsword size. Maybe I should just say that this is one of those swords scaled down for a boy. Happy

-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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Christopher H





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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, there's nothing wrong with your piece being inspired by originals!
It does fit some of the proportions Peter outlined in his initial comments though... Happy
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I definitely had my eye on those 44"/114cm swords of the first quarter of the 15th c. My hilt seems to be later, though, and I'm not sure there's an historical precedent for that mash-up. I can't say that for certain, though. This is a new frontier for me and I just don't have much sense for the acceptable variations. In terms of dates, I think it would tend to be somewhere between those with the single-hand length with the long downturned crosses and the very long type Peter just executed for Albion. Maybe ca. 1425-50? I think Peter should write and illustrate a book on Swedish swords, 1350-1550, so we can all drink from this fountain. 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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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
... I think Peter should write and illustrate a book on Swedish swords, 1350-1550, so we can all drink from this fountain. Big Grin


Certainly not the first time one of us has appealled to Peter to begin authoring, likely not the last. I'd hate to see him give up the day job, though. Maybe there is someone else here on mA who could shoulder some of the more laborious parts of the writing task, a co-author with some fabrication experience as well, could be quite a successful pairing.

Sorry if I missed it in some earlier post, but, could you tell us, Sean, a little more about your "belt sanding" on this project? Besides re-tasking the ricasso area, have you made any other changes to the blade?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Jun, 2010 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric W. Norenberg wrote:
...could you tell us, Sean, a little more about your "belt sanding" on this project? Besides re-tasking the ricasso area, have you made any other changes to the blade?


First some notes on my sources, which I don't think I've mentioned yet. My blade and pommel are from the Windlass "15th Century Longsword". I killed the ricasso simply by cutting away that portion of the blade, lengthening the grip at the expense of the blade. The blade came to me in trade and was heavily antiqued, with some deep etching. Abrasion was the only way to reduce the whole surface to the level of the deepest pits so I decided to try my truly awful new tabletop belt sander.* This worked a little too well and I didn't yet have a feel for the work so there are some annoying imperfections that look like dents where I let the belt linger too long in one place. Live and learn. Well, Peter did say some of these swords had second-rate Passau blades. Appropriately, I have a second-rate Windlass blade Laughing Out Loud Actually, it's a good blade--it just has this imperfect finish. The overall shape is as it was originally, albeit imperceptibly narrower because the previous owner had it very sharp and I took that back to "Windlass blunt" with the sander and a steel.

The sander was most useful for the pommel and cross. In fact, I wouldn't/couldn't have worked on this project without it. There was simply too much reshaping to do by file unless I was prepared to take a couple of years on this project (I have only a few minutes a day to work, plus the rare evening or afternoon). The original pommel was faceted but meant to be mounted with the narrow end at top and not even drilled through. I drilled it through, used the sander to grind away its foot, flatten the narrow end and re-grind all of the facets so that the new lower end is much narrower. I faceted the new top with a file, and still have some cleanup to do there.

The cross really would have been almost impossible without the sander. It was very large and thick (an old Windlass piece) and almost perfect if I had wanted to make an XVIIIe a-la the Albion Dane. But for my purposes it was much too thick, especially after I shortened it. The terminals of the cut cross were probably just a bit more than .25" thick. I had to keep most of the thickness around the tang hole but dramatically thin the arms of the cross. If you look closely at some originals with thin cross arms (see earlier posts in this thread) you can see that they thin rather abruptly, without the smooth taper you see on many crosses. It's not the easiest thing in the world to get that abrupt thinning with only a file but the sander can make short work of that. I certainly spent lots of time with the file on the cross and pommel, but I can't imagine taking that much material with only a file. I spent probably more than an hour of actual grinding time rough-shaping the cross alone, first with an 80 grit belt and then a 60 grit belt when I had the good sense to get one. I refined that work with files, sandpaper and a flap wheel on a Dremel. That's to get the finish shown above, which still isn't the final finish.


* I strongly encourage folks to get a small tabletop belt sander if they're going to be doing much of this work. Don't follow my example, though. I got the $80 belt/disc model from Harbor Freight. "What's the worst that could happen?," I asked myself. As it turns out, the worst (so far) is that it could be so poorly designed that in the first hour of use the belt cuts through all of the screws securing the belt shield. It's a tank, it works and it's cheap (and it apparently is stable now) but if I had it to do over, I'd go down the street to Lowe's and pay $40 more for a brand-name sander with better design, complete and comprehensible instructions, etc. I didn't pay attention to power, either, and one of the reasons my grinding took so long is because my sander isn't very powerful. If I press too hard on the drum the belt will quickly slow and stop.

-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 22 Jun, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to clarify: The project is incomplete as shown above. In addition to the finish work I will be covering the grip and making a two-sided chappe. The crude, single-side clay chappe shown here is just to help me judge proportions and visualize the finished piece.
-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: Fri 16 Jul, 2010 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is temporarily assembled with (and by) an ugly nut, but it's mostly finished. I can't decide whether I should flush-peen the tang or use a block (and if a block, plain or decorative?). Looks like the 1400-1425 swords tend to be flush-peened, with blocks being a bit later--maybe after 1450 (?). But, since this sword departs from the historical precedent in other ways I don't mind a slight anachronism. I would guess that this sword would be 1425-1450 but that's based only on what I've seen in this thread. Which method do y'all think would look best and/or be most appropriate?

I'm planning to decorate the chape with an historic design using gold paint, but I'm not married to that idea. That might be too rich a treatment for this sword.

The scabbard halves are marked, and I'm planning to make a scabbard along the lines of the one with the Vättern sword. I'm not sure about the suspension, though. There doesn't appear to be a riser near the mouth of that scabbard, and I wonder if the knot can simply be tight enough that it doesn't need that "stop" to be secure. Does anybody know if the typical fist-like knot of the later 15th c. would be appropriate here?

You builders might be interested in the construction of the chappe. This is the first of the "D" type I've made so I wasn't sure about how it should be secured. Some artwork of the period depicts the chappe without any obvious extension of the grip leather (which is typical in later periods and appears to be stitched to the chappe, which is how I make the later tubular type of chappe). I didn't want to stitch this piece but I wanted it to be secure. It doesn't fit UNDER the grip core, by the way. The base of the grip core fits INTO a cutout in the chappe (traced the base of the core and cut out that shape). I don't know if that's historically correct, but it doesn't make sense to me to insert what is essentially a leather washer between grip and cross because the leather will compress, dry and shrink over time, loosening the construction somewhat. It occurred to me that a riser just barely above the base of the grip core would press against the chappe and keep it from slipping up. In other words, the distance between the base of the core and bottom of the riser is just slightly less than the thickness of the chappe leather. I don't know if this is historically correct, but it's simple and it works.



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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 19 Jul, 2010 7:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This thing is finished--my Swedish-Sword-Like Object. Now I know why so many swords have been found in rivers---They were flung into the drink by embarrassed smiths and cutlers. Laughing Out Loud My project feels good and looks good but my construction is weak. There's a slight rattle in the cross and the pommel can be twisted out of line with sufficient force (round hole, round tang). I should probably drop this into the Warrior River on my way to work but I'll probably either strip and salvage the parts or give it to my young nephew.

HOWEVER, I learned an enormous amount about Swedish swords thanks to the folks who kindly shared their research and observations. Thanks, fellas! I STILL want one of these swords and I now have a head start on the next Swedish project. 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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