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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr, 2014 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
The idea that peens should be perfect and/or invisible doesn't match historical specimens. Many modern consumers are much pickier than our ancestors were about these things. The peen looks fine. Don't obsess. Happy


I agree, but not completely Happy Peens are very likely not a concern to me the medieval eye. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it can be! (below the peen from the Falstof sword/norwich).

My problem is that am hilting Albion blades, and they exhibit a perfection in symmetry and form that I feel compelled to match with the rest of the components...including the damn peen.



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Sean Flynt
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Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr, 2014 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are invisible historical peens and very coarse ones, for sure. Complicating the issue is the fact that many swords have been apart at some point and reassembled with peens that might be better or worse than they originally had.
-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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Dean F. Marino




Location: Midland MI USA
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 229

PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr, 2014 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think you did a GREAT job. For one thing, rather than whine about some vendor - you took the bull by the horns & tore that sword down YOURSELF. NOW you are in trouble... you'll end up doing this with everything Happy.

As you do these things, you'll slowly discover the "must have" tools - like a simple ball-peen hammer. It never occurred to me, until I did my first peen, what the hell good a hammer with a ball on the end was Happy. Then, there is the absolute do-all Dremmel... that thing can be used to build rifles Happy. I'm not sure what it CAN'T do.

Then there is the value of discovering the tricks to "tighten up" a build. You've worked with guard wedges, you've discovered the issues surrounding individual component fit, you've been exposed to pommel keying, you're cord wrapping grip cores, and soon? You're going to leather wrap that puppy. I'm betting you're going to make a scabbard core, and wrap THAT.

The sword looks great - but really? You could literally toss it out, and the value of having DONE all this would be well worth the cost Happy. Combat (as in making your own) is the BEST teacher.

...and you should see MY first re-build.... tearing this down & re-doing the redo is on my schedule Happy. There is even value to THAT - I'm hoping it fights like hell, meaning I did a pretty fair fundamental job in the first place Happy.

In edhil, hai edhil. In edain, hai edain.
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Will S




Location: Bournemouth, UK
Joined: 25 Nov 2013

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr, 2014 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Haha, awesome reply, thanks Dean. You're absolutely right of course - what comes out at the end of this project is completely irrelevant when compared to the experience I'm gathering while doing it. I really can't wait to try this again.

Scabbard is next on my list - looking forward to that.

When I made my first yew bow, it was a knotty, twisted stick but it fought me tooth and nail from day one. I had to spend literally weeks heating it up and forcing the worst bends out of it. It broke twice while tillering, the horn nocks exploded, my first bowstrings broke... And now it's on the wall as a glorious memory (and I still shoot it. It's lost some weight but it's still a pretty little 65# yew bow)

Every time I look at it I see things I would have done differently had I known, and even issues that could be sorted out today. But like this sword, it gave me my first crucial glimpse into the world of bowmaking /cutlery and of course I was hooked from the start. I already know I'll be doing more swords and won't be happy until I've made my first blade either!
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Will S




Location: Bournemouth, UK
Joined: 25 Nov 2013

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sat 05 Apr, 2014 1:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well here she is, I guess.

I think I'm done. I know there are mistakes and it's not exactly the neatest work, but I'm super happy with it, and grateful for the experience - both practically from working on this, and through you guys who have been so generous and forthcoming with your help and advice.

As an aside - it turns out that making something brand new look like it's been used for many years is HARD work! When I first applied the leather wrap it looked clean, shiny and fresh which is exactly what I was trying to avoid. I had to get right up in there with dirty fingers, rubbing my hands over the wet leather as I re-applied it, denting with fingernails, scuffing as I stretched it over the risers and so on. Pretty pleased with the end result.

It's not been stained - as I applied it the natural veg tan did odd things as a result of the warm water and on a whim I coated the whole grip in white wood glue and it brought out the ridges left by the cord wrap quite nicely. It's had one coat of beeswax polish so far, which has deepened the colour slightly and it's looking (to my inexperienced eyes anyway) like a well-loved, but well-used tool.











I'm looking forward to the scabbard next - my goal is to end up with the same overall colour as I have on the grip as I think that will tie together nicely.
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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
Joined: 04 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Apr, 2014 3:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks great. How does it feel in hand. How do you like the grip width? I would call this project a smashing success.
The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Will S




Location: Bournemouth, UK
Joined: 25 Nov 2013

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sat 05 Apr, 2014 4:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Bryan!

It feels very nice to me, but I've not handled enough "proper" swords to really know if there's something wrong, if that makes sense? It feels solid, and fills the hand nicely without being bulky and difficult to hold comfortably.

The balance point is now exactly 3 7/8" from the handle side of the crossguard. It feels a LOT more functional, solid and "serious" than the original Windlass Erbach that it started life as.
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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
Joined: 04 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Apr, 2014 4:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Will S wrote:
Thanks Bryan!

It feels very nice to me, but I've not handled enough "proper" swords to really know if there's something wrong, if that makes sense? It feels solid, and fills the hand nicely without being bulky and difficult to hold comfortably.

The balance point is now exactly 3 7/8" from the handle side of the crossguard. It feels a LOT more functional, solid and "serious" than the original Windlass Erbach that it started life as.


If its solid and structurally sound and feels good to you, then you have done what you set out to do, which is fantastic. I was curious about the grip thickness, as it looks to be on the thicker side. Some people like a thicker grip, some like a thinner grip. Just curious how it felt to you. I think you captured what you set out to do. It certainly looks loved but used. I like your grip treatment. You said you left it un-dyed correct, apart from some darkening from dirty hands and wax etc?

The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Will S




Location: Bournemouth, UK
Joined: 25 Nov 2013

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sat 05 Apr, 2014 4:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep exactly, it's natural veg-tanned leather (1mm thick) soaked in warm water of course, and stretched over the grip. As I was pulling and stretching, and applying glue to keep things in place, it just got mucky anyway. Once the cord wrap on top came off, there was a stain along the seam from the glue which was darker than the original leather, so I applied the same glue all over the rest of the leather to match. This was then given a single coat of beeswax polish (beeswax, linseed oil and turps) and the excess wiped off.

The resulting grip feels like leather but is super tough and with constant handling will develop a really nice patina and darken in certain areas.

In terms of the thickness of the overall handle - in the thickest part, not including the risers, it's 1.5" across, and 1.25" high.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 06 Apr, 2014 8:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks really nice and well proportioned for a sword that could be used one handed but still with a long enough handle to be used with two hands.

The guard looks very sturdy, and I might have done some file work to lighten the look of it just a bit: But this is hard to judge from just a pic.

Bevel lines around the perimeter of the guard could have given it a more complex geometry and lightened the guard mostly visually ..... but take this as only suggestions for maybe your next project as I think it works really well as it is now.

The grip looks really nice and the slight irregularities in colour sort of give it a " campaign worn " look that is very attractive and should look better and better with use.

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




Location: Bournemouth, UK
Joined: 25 Nov 2013

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sun 06 Apr, 2014 11:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much Jean!

I agree wholeheartedly about the work required on the cross. I did take a file to all the hard edges with the intention of adding bevels, but at the time I was so eager to assemble I left it once everything had been rounded. Definitely something I'll work on for the next one!
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