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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2003 3:10 pm    Post subject: Organic vs Mechanic         Reply with quote

When human beings become involved in any kind of endeavor we tend to gain experience as we go. We grab onto small kernels of knowledge and cling to them as if our lives depended on it. We do this for several reasons.

Firstly, we're gratified that we've learned something and we want to share that knowledge, sometimes for the betterment of others, sometimes as a means of impressing others with our "expertise". Secondly, we cling to our bits of knowledge out of defense. All too often we tend to close our minds to new ideas in the fear that we will be proven wrong, or inadequate. We cling to our narrow ideas out of a sense of insecurity, because to admit ignorance is to admit defeat.

How does this relate to swords you ask? It does, in a very big way.

All too often we become fixated on the small individual details of a swords construction. We will have long debates on the proper points of balance for a given type. We will tirelessly discuss the proper weight of a certain design. We fixate on these specific details as if they were the be-all and end-all of a swords function. An excellent example is the concept of harmonic balancing. There's nothing magical about this aspect of sword making, yet it has created many debates over its existence. Recently an article was written by George Turner, an ARMA member, in which Mr. Turner discussed the concept of pivot points within a swords design. While there was much to be found of merit in Mr. Turners article it seemed to be written as a refutation of the principal of harmonic balance.

(This is not a criticism, or defense, of either concept. It is simply an example.)

The problem is that both of these phenomenons exist in sword design. They exist side by side, with one benefitting from the other. Neither are mutually exclusive. When we become fixated on proving the validity of our particular theory at the expense of the larger picture we loose sight of the real truth. Pivot points and harmonics cannot stand alone as the building blocks of sword design. We cannot fixate on a particular point of balance, a particular weight, or a particular edge geometry. After all, these factors are determined by the swords function not by personal wishes. One aspect of sword design that is rarely discussed, and is critical to our understanding, is that of mass distribution.

All of these smaller factors, weight, POB, pivot points, and harmonics, lie in the foundation of mass distribution. Overall weight isn't nearly as important as how that weight and mass is distributed. This will in turn effect points of balance, pivot points, and harmonic node placement. We need to ask ourselves, what is the swords intended purpose? How do the particular design elements achieve that purpose? By understanding the intent and purpose of a swords design we will be able to realize whether or not the interperation of that design is adequate. We have to open our minds and take in the broader view of what sword design really is. The study and handling of originals, or true recreations of originals, is crucial in this understanding. The sword makers of old possessed a deep understanding of the swords mechanics which we are still searching for today. They did it for real, it wasn't a hobby. Even if our tastes run to modern fantasy designs we must have a firm understanding of the original designs if we are to determine if our desires can yield a truly functional sword.

As sword enthusiasts we need to stop fixating on the mechanical particulars of a swords design when determining quality or desirability. When taken alone each of these features mean very little. We *must* take a more organic approach to our search for knowledge. The sword must be viewed by the sum of its parts, not by its details taken in microcosm.

Thoughts?
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Randal Graham
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2003 3:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very, very cool....I am so glad to hear someone besides one of us makers talk like that, realize these things.
so extremely important to see the macro.

R.H.Graham
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2003 4:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great post, Patrick. I guess what it comes down to, is that you take all these diverse factors, which, when they get tweaked, will influence all the other factors in complex and maybe unexpected ways. So then you have to start using your intuition. Maybe you'll end up with something useless, or maybe something wonderful.
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Angus Trim




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2003 5:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Throw in static and dynamic balance, and your picture is getting more complete......

Particularly dynamic balance, as that fits into the total "organic" picture that much more....and is so much of what handling and function of any type of sword is........

swords are fun
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2003 5:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That pretty much explains why one cannot develop some convenient mathematical formula, where the desired result is derieved from the input of length, POB, etc. into the equation. The subtleness of sword design results in so many variables, that it must be easier to go by feel and experience, than crunching a lot of numbers and getting something ahistorical.
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Angus Trim




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2003 8:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Björn Hellqvist wrote:
That pretty much explains why one cannot develop some convenient mathematical formula, where the desired result is derieved from the input of length, POB, etc. into the equation. The subtleness of sword design results in so many variables, that it must be easier to go by feel and experience, than crunching a lot of numbers and getting something ahistorical.


Hi Bjorn

I don't think you can discount math altogether though.... Number crunching is still important, particularly at the beginning of the process.

Reproducing a migration era sword he got to inspect and take copious measurements of, a fella named Kevin Cashen claimed to take measurements every two inches along the blade during the grind operation, to keep the distal taper right.

I recall reading another respected smith, one Dan Marigni, saying pretty much the same thing.

Then, even Peter Johnsson takes copious measurements of the swords, and I'm sure that he also religiously measures things in the early stages of the process. He also mentioned right here on this forum, using volumes to get the weight of a cast pommel right..... in other words, the math was a part of the process from the getgo.........

I can't speak for anyone else, but math is a part of my process, from the beginning, well into the grind after heat treat process. It isn't until I have the blade ground to 100 grit, and the tang fitted, that experience and feel take over. At this point, I will grab a new blade style by the tang, fore finger up against the shoulder, and get the feel of the naked blade's tracking, thrusting, and recovery characteristics. If it feels right, I proceed, if it doesn't, then I use the belt grinder to adjust things until it "feels" right. Its from this early "feel", that I will eventually finish the sword..... I want that same character after the sword is mounted.....And then math takes over again, as I need to record what I have so I can either edit the machining media, or do another program {machinist jargon for machining media} altogether.

And I suspect that math was a part of the process "in period". Peter discussed how ratios were used "in period" during his talk at WMAW. What are ratios if not math?

I think you'll find that anyone that becomes moderately good at any portion of this craft, whether smith, maker, or fabricator, eventually becomes math intuitive.......

You see, I agree, that you can't just sit at a desk, or in front of a computer, and plug numbers in, and come up with a great sword blade, or a decent functional sword.

Yet, part of this has to be the geometry of the blade......

But then, we've focussed to much on that portion of this......

Part of the game is the steel itself. Anyone handle a sword with decent blade geometry, with a dead soft blade? Give you a different feel than one with a well tempered blade? Does for me.........

Then we have the shape of the guard, and how the operator of the sword reacts to that...........

How about the shape of the handle? The size of the handle? The covering of the handle? Having started out offering nothing but hardwood handles, I can tell you that there is a bit of an education going to wrapped handles...... and the wrapping makes a tremendous difference to the "feel", handling, and even some to the performance of a sword.......

Ohh, yeah, and now we get to the pommel.........

You see, the sword if done right, should be "balanced" pretty much in the way the blade and tang are processed. The pommel just finishes it {the balancing}, or tunes it if you prefer {as I do today}. The pommel can screw the balance up, but the pommel really cannot properly balance a puirly done blade.......

"Harmonic balance" is only a part of this, as Patrick pretty much said. Today I focus more on the dynamic balance than the harmonics.... and only look at the harmonics after I get what I want on the "dynamic balance"....... over confidence maybe, but its now my experience, that once the dynamic balance is as good as I can get it, at my state of the art, the harmonics I desire are going to be there........

And I definitly understand where Pat is coming from on the folks who focus on what he calls the mechanical part of this {I think he's referring to cog, cop, etc} and I refer to as the "hard numbers". I used to measure all of this religiously when first starting making {oh, excuse me, fabricating} swords. Now, I'm not to worried about it, and don't really check on this stuff, unless asked on a new model. In my part of the business {sword fabricator under $500}, I still need to be able to answer those kinds of questions...... even when the answers give a false picture of how a sword will feel and handle {let alone perform}.

swords are fun
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2003 8:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Gus in that math is/was a part of the process. The point is that it's only a part of the process, not an end unto itself. The more you study the sword the more facets you discover in its construction. It's fascinating that an object can seem so simple on the surface yet can be so complicated. It really shows us that the ancient smiths really had more going on than we give them credit for.

The whole concept of looking at the sword in a bigger and more intuitive way is something that I've been thinking on for quite some time. Peter and I had many lengthly discussions on this last week, which really cemented my thinking on the subject.

Afterall, I'm just an ignorant flatfoot, but Peter Johnsson is a man who knows what he's talking about. Idea
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Ciaran Flanagan




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 3:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While not as versed in the ways of antiques and sword reproductions as the likes Of PJ etc or versed in the maths of it all Like gus I to have questioned the obsession with "the little things". It is my personal belief that the smiths of old did not use as much math as some advocate they did. It all boils down to organic plain and simple. Take distil taper, this has been argued time and time again and I personally believe a lot of the arguments are regarding copying of distil taper as opposed to its existence or intended existence ( a certain forumite continually advocates it didnt exist because its not documanted). If you want to reproduce an origional you have to meticulously measure this taper but that doesn't mean nessisarilly that the taper was their by intended design rather its there organically. Smiths make things better as they gain experience and part of the forging process and blade shaping naturally creates distil taper. A sword with distil taper can feel more alive in the hand then one without. A smith with experience would know if a sword feels right or not and knows how to make it through experience. Id say ask him to explain it he'd answer, I don't know how or why but I know what feels good. So basically what i'm saying is I believe we give to much credit to the smiths of old in certain regards, They probably never even thought twice about the specific tapers or node placement, all they knew was how to make a sword feel "right" which is an organic thing that we have the technology nowadays to mathematically reproduce, Just like remastering an analouge (vinal) recording of a symphony orchestra and digitally putting it on cd..The trombonist has no idea of the maths of it all but can make beautiful music through experience and practise but the digital re-masterer does understand the math


Hope this makes some sense :-)

C

Ciaran

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ciaran Flanagan wrote:
Just like remastering an analouge (vinal) recording of a symphony orchestra and digitally putting it on cd..The trombonist has no idea of the maths of it all but can make beautiful music through experience and practise but the digital re-masterer does understand the math


Yeah, we trombonists just have to count to four. Happy

That's why God gave us five fingers. Four to count on, one as a spare......

Happy

Happy

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Ciaran Flanagan




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 8:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

LOL....Should have put in "random member of orchestra". My bro Used to play lead trumpet in the Irish National Youth Orchestra and had a similatr saying about trumpet playing..

C

Ciaran

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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ciaran Flanagan wrote:
Take distil taper, this has been argued time and time again and I personally believe a lot of the arguments are regarding copying of distil taper as opposed to its existence or intended existence ( a certain forumite continually advocates it didnt exist because its not documanted).


I know who you mean, and his main arguments are 1) distal taper isn't mentioned in the Icelandic sagas, and 2) he likes sword with a certain heft, like his father used to make them. The fact that distal taper is readily observed in many hundreds of surviving swords, and in greater numbers than those that which are without, doesn't make him change his opinion.

Quote:
A sword with distil taper can feel more alive in the hand then one without.


It will feel more alive, unless it has a lot of profile taper instead, like a type XIV.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Björn Hellqvist wrote:


I know who you mean, and his main arguments are 1) distal taper isn't mentioned in the Icelandic sagas, and 2) he likes sword with a certain heft, like his father used to make them. The fact that distal taper is readily observed in many hundreds of surviving swords, and in greater numbers than those that which are without, doesn't make him change his opinion.


Along his line of argument, Bjorn, since profile taper is never mentioned in the sagas (at least I don't think it is), then all medieval swords have no profile taper - as can certainly be seen in photos of many original swords. Laughing Out Loud
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Angus Trim




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 12:07 pm    Post subject: This brings up something else.....         Reply with quote

When discussing antique baskethilts, with a knowledgeable guy like Mac, it is ussually commented on how in many of the antiques {and the ones most of us like the best}, the "cutting areas of the blade", from the cop to the tip, are "really fine", meaning thin in crossection. Yet, there is a lot of variation, one also can find antique teastrainers that don't have a lot of distal taper {and feel like clunkers}.....

The guy widely renowned as the world's best modern teastrainer maker, makes his baskethilted swords, like what many of us consider the finest of the antiques, ie with a distal taper that makes for a thin crossection in the "cutting areas of the blade"....

Of course, most folks that plunk $2000 on the table for a Vince Evans masterpiece, aren't going to slam the sword into a helmet on a pole either.......*g*

Then we get to medieval and earlier antiques...... Peter Johnsson once stated on SFI that many of the antiques he had studied were roughly 3 to 3.5mm {.118 to .137 inch} thick at the cop, and distal tapered down from there. Talking to Peter's evil twin, Craig Johnson this morning, our discussion touched on how many of the antique cutting swords, got "really fine" out towards the tip, and how these would fare in today's world of test cutting chopping trees down, or cutting helmets on poles......

I don't have the extensive background in antiques these gents do, but I can think of a couple of antiques that wouldn't do that well today, one of them I have specs for provided by Bjorn. I type XIX that comes down to approx .08 inch {2mm} 4 inches from the tip, swells a bit from there, and behind the point is approx .08 inch again......

Another is the famous Moonbrand owned by Ewart Oakeshott. This sword is only about .125 inches thick at the base {approx 3.25mm}, distal tapers quickly, then "flattens out", and "behind the point" is only about .06 inches thick {approx 1.5mm}.

These last two antiques are likely military use swords, but neither would do well cutting trees down, nor on the now infamous helmet bashing test.........

So, when it comes time to design and make a sword, one has to think about not only the historical record, but what possible use a modern sword will get. Its lookin' to me more and more, like price point might have a lot to do with the potential use a sword'll get. And price point might also have a lot to do with the education someone might have on just what a sword really is.........

At my price point, I still need to design in a little ability to live thru some reasonable abuse.......

*g*

swords are fun
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 12:22 pm    Post subject: Re: This brings up something else.....         Reply with quote

Angus Trim wrote:
I don't have the extensive background in antiques these gents do, but I can think of a couple of antiques that wouldn't do that well today, one of them I have specs for provided by Bjorn. I type XIX that comes down to approx .08 inch {2mm} 4 inches from the tip, swells a bit from there, and behind the point is approx .08 inch again......


It's the sword from ALexandria http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_alexandria.html. The stats are as follows: Blade thickness at base: 0.2" (5mm), 4" (100mm) from the point: 0.1" (2mm), 1.6" (40mm) from the point: 0.1" (2mm, reinforced). The reinforced tip starts 40 mm from the point, which means that it isn't 0.1" all the way. It is possible that the reinforced point was intended for armour-piercing thrusts.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: This brings up something else.....         Reply with quote

Björn Hellqvist wrote:

It's the sword from ALexandria http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_alexandria.html. The stats are as follows: Blade thickness at base: 0.2" (5mm), 4" (100mm) from the point: 0.1" (2mm), 1.6" (40mm) from the point: 0.1" (2mm, reinforced). The reinforced tip starts 40 mm from the point, which means that it isn't 0.1" all the way. It is possible that the reinforced point was intended for armour-piercing thrusts.


For what it's worth, when I commisioned ArmArt to make a replica of that sword (using Bjorn's stats), Pavel was a little nervous about starting the blade out at 5mm. We decided to start it out at 6mm and taper down from there. They didn't do the tip reinforcement. Overall distal taper - 58%. It is a little heavier than the original, but still a mighty fine sword.

Below, another gratuitous picture of my ArmArt Alexandrian sword:



 Attachment: 66.02 KB
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ciaran Flanagan wrote:
While not as versed in the ways of antiques and sword reproductions as the likes Of PJ etc or versed in the maths of it all Like gus I to have questioned the obsession with "the little things". It is my personal belief that the smiths of old did not use as much math as some advocate they did. It all boils down to organic plain and simple. Take distil taper, this has been argued time and time again and I personally believe a lot of the arguments are regarding copying of distil taper as opposed to its existence or intended existence ( a certain forumite continually advocates it didnt exist because its not documanted). If you want to reproduce an origional you have to meticulously measure this taper but that doesn't mean nessisarilly that the taper was their by intended design rather its there organically. Smiths make things better as they gain experience and part of the forging process and blade shaping naturally creates distil taper. A sword with distil taper can feel more alive in the hand then one without. A smith with experience would know if a sword feels right or not and knows how to make it through experience. Id say ask him to explain it he'd answer, I don't know how or why but I know what feels good. So basically what i'm saying is I believe we give to much credit to the smiths of old in certain regards, They probably never even thought twice about the specific tapers or node placement, all they knew was how to make a sword feel "right" which is an organic thing that we have the technology nowadays to mathematically reproduce, Just like remastering an analouge (vinal) recording of a symphony orchestra and digitally putting it on cd..The trombonist has no idea of the maths of it all but can make beautiful music through experience and practise but the digital re-masterer does understand the math


Hope this makes some sense :-)

C


I'm afraid that I have to disagree with you Ciaran.

I have no doubt that the smiths of old used a different thought process than we do to arrive at many of their conclusions. On the other hand, believing that we give them too much credit is a wrong train of thought. In regards to something like distal taper, while it is a natural outcome of the forging process, we can't assume that they didn't know what it was and didn't reproduce it at will. Distal taper itself varies in different blade designs, not sword to sword, but from design to design. This aspect shows us that they had a grasp on this feature and were able to reproduce it as they saw fit.

Throughout the swords history we see a clear pattern of design and development, something which purposely changed to accommodate the time and circumstance of the swords use. This shows a clear grasp of mechanics and design. While they didn't have computers and calculators they were still far ahead of us in many ways. The "I don't know what it is but it works" theory will only take you so far, they went much farther than that.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great post, Patrick.

I think many people get fixated on numbers because they appear to be black and white. But they don't tell the whole story.

Math and/or ratios are a starting point, but don't always lead to a great product by themselves. Just as feeling alone won't always produce a great product.

I'm glad Ciaran brought music into the discussion, as I think parallels can be drawn. The notes on the page are a starting point for us, a very black and white item. What we add from our own experiences, emotion, and intuition is what makes the final product. 10 different musicians will give you 12 different interpretations of the same page of music. The notes on the page alone are not the whole products.

As a sword lover, I get tired of people seeing a POB listed on a stat sheet and saying "That sounds too close" or "Wouldn't that make it slow?" The numbers don't necessarily tell the whole story. Combine it with feel, purpose, etc. and you can get the whole picture.

Happy

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Angus Trim




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Oct, 2003 8:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well Chad.......

I want to add to what you said, and what Pat said in his last post.

As a swordmaker, I've learned that there's more than one way to get to "harmonic balance", and that actually, there is more than one set of "rules". I lived by one set of rules for the first three years of my existence as a swordfabricator.....and it worked for me very well.

A year ago, I went to WMAW, and met Craig and Peter face to face. More importantly for this conversation, I got to handle and study X.10 {Records, part of the Oakeshott collection} that Craig had brought. I wanted to test it more, for harmonics, but there must be something about my character {*g*}, as Craig mother henned me, and wouldn't really allow what I wanted to do..... He was still watching me closely like that when I was studying an antique baskethilt {another kool sword, I'd swear the blade was a X}, he wasn't watching Tinker, and Tinker did what I wanted to do.....*g*

As I saw it back then, that sword was not harmonically balanced, but it had great dynamic balance. To my thinkin' at the time, it was quite an anomoly........I even told a couple people about this sword, and that in my view it wasn't harmonically balanced........

Well, a couple months go by, and Tinker tells me that the handle nodes were what the Auld Dawg considers "nominal".......
The sword was indeed harmonically balanced.

This meant a great deal of study and experimenting by both Tink and myself, to see just what was going on.........

The answer is fairly simple. If the blade has the right geometry, some of these blades have *at least* two *sweet spots* as far as the balancing goes. One can adds weight to the pommel, and screws up the node alignment. Add enough more, and all of a sudden, the nodes are there again..........

But the answer is more difficult, because not all blade geometry/ tang geometry combinations will allow this. Its actually kind of rare...........

Which brings me to Patrick's post. You have different ways of distal tapering even in the same types of blades. Lets take two very famous Xa's. Both approx 2.9lbs. The first, the St Maurice sword of Turin. This sword starts roughly .19 inches thick at the base, and has roughly 25 to 30% distal taper. Pretty close to linear distal taper. The center of gravity is "out there" 9.5 inches.

The second sword is the most perfect specimen of surviving medieval swords in the world {according to Oakeshott}, Xa.1 {Records}. It starts roughly .36 inches at the base {thickness}, and has something like 70% distal taper. The cog is something like 4.5 inches........

One sword is likely meant for long sweeping blows from horseback. The other could be used successfully that way, but also could be used on foot in a situation that a really fast recovering sword should be used in.

Which brings up back to folks that obsess on the numbers. I owe two of them on SFI a great deal, simply because the badgering they gave me, had me look into this odd thing of having a ton more weight on the ass end of the sword than I used to think reasonable, and coming up with a harmonically balanced, dynamically balanced, decent cutting sword. Without the accidental discovery of what X.10 had to show Tink and I, and without the badgering, I wouldn't have crossed that threshold, and learned more about the "balancing act".........

Back to Patrick's post. The fact that you see this kind of balancing in a few of the "better surviving antiques" tells me that Patrick is square on with the "fact" that the migration era and medieval swordsmiths and cutlers knew what they were about. The best of them were genius in more than one field......... Kinda like PJ today......... Folks that want to think that the medievals were just a bunch of dumb hammer jocks, really oughtta reconsider...... the evidence is overwhelming that they were "Giants"..........

Now I'm going to caveat this to the effect, I'm talking about the smiths that made the best of the antiques we have today, not the smiths that left the clunkers...........

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Ciaran Flanagan




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 2:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:

I'm afraid that I have to disagree with you Ciaran.

I have no doubt that the smiths of old used a different thought process than we do to arrive at many of their conclusions. On the other hand, believing that we give them too much credit is a wrong train of thought. In regards to something like distal taper, while it is a natural outcome of the forging process, we can't assume that they didn't know what it was and didn't reproduce it at will. Distal taper itself varies in different blade designs, not sword to sword, but from design to design. This aspect shows us that they had a grasp on this feature and were able to reproduce it as they saw fit.

Throughout the swords history we see a clear pattern of design and development, something which purposely changed to accommodate the time and circumstance of the swords use. This shows a clear grasp of mechanics and design. While they didn't have computers and calculators they were still far ahead of us in many ways. The "I don't know what it is but it works" theory will only take you so far, they went much farther than that.



I suppose the term "to much credit" came accross incorrectly. I agree totally with what you said there. What I was trying to say is that they understood distil and profile taper and did use and adapt it but they did not nessisarily know the math of it all. Many many artists, as with the music analagy, know how to produce great works of art but this has often a lot more down to natural talent, instinct and experience then number crunching. I would imagine that when gus started it was all numbers but Ill wager that nowadays with hefting his swords over and over and getting a feel for whats right and wrong he simply Knows whats right without the numbers anymore (of course he machine needs the numbers).

Forumite back in time conversation with smith:
F: How much distil taper is on this blade
S: Huh?
F: I mean how much does it taper from guard to tip
S: As much as it needs to be
F: eh?
S: It as as much sloping as it needs to have to perform well
F: Do you always put this much taper on a blade
S: Ehhh The amount of "taper" thats used is as much as is needed to make the blade perform well.

Ciaran

Ciaran

A wise man is someone who has travelled to heaven and hell and knows the difference.
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Mike Fletcher




Location: Auburn, CA USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 102

PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2003 10:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
As a sword lover, I get tired of people seeing a POB listed on a stat sheet and saying "That sounds too close" or "Wouldn't that make it slow?" The numbers don't necessarily tell the whole story. Combine it with feel, purpose, etc. and you can get the whole picture.

Hello Chad & All,

This is indeed a very interesting thread and I agree with the concepts being discussed. I would, however, like to remind those who are annoyed by sword lovers who display a keen interest in "the numbers" that the reason for this is that MANY (if not most) do not get the opportunity to "feel" all of these wonderful swords that you get to handle and inspect. All most of us have to go on are some two-dimensional photos and "the numbers".

Most folks are not wealthy enough to belong to the "Sword-of-the-Month" club. Many folks do not lhave the opportunity to visit a smith or manufacturer in person. Most Ren Faires do not offer an opportunity to see and handle quality blades. Very few of us are sent swords by the manufacturer for testing and review. Getting to handle actual antique swords - what a wonderful, but rare gift most will never get to experience! Attending the Atlanta bladeshow is not possible for everyone.

If every cutlery store in every mall carried a nice selection of quality swords from A&A, ATrim, Albion, etc. everyone would have the opportunity to "feel" what you are talking about. Until then, please cut the "number crunchers" a little slack.

Regards,

Mike
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