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Thomas Laible




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 3:48 pm    Post subject: Swords and the golden section?         Reply with quote

Hello all.

Since I've heard that the principle of the golden section has been used on swords, I tried to figure out how this worked.
I got to the university library and checked any book on the golden section I could find, but - unfortunatly and "of course" I found nothing swords-related. I tried to figure it out myself, but I failed - my abilities in mathematics are worth a load of sh** Cool

Can anybody explain this to my dumb brain?

Thanks,
Thomas
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G. Scott H.




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 4:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good Lord, man! Laughing Out Loud Talk about an obscure question. Laughing Out Loud I remember hearing about the Golden Section (Golden Mean?) in geometry class in high school, but my only memory of it is a vaque notion that it has something to do with the proportion and balance (symmetry?) of the rectangle. I believe that this principle has been used in the design of TV screens, business cards, buildings, art, music, etc. WAAAAYYYYY over my own head as well. Hopefully, we have a mathematician or two here who can explain it. Good luck. Laughing Out Loud
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Golden Mean - 1.618 - Phi. It appears (as a ratio or factor) throughout nature as well as many man-made things throughout history. It is pleasing, comfortable, ergonomic, etc.

How it may apply to sword design, though... no clue. I vaguely remember reading something about it in that context a couple of months back, but damn... which of the hundred books... and only 2 of them are here with me now, and the most likely are in the vault, to which nobody has access until I get back home in a couple of weeks. Hopefully someone will have some info... Peter? Angus?

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Thomas Laible




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 5:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
Hopefully, we have a mathematician or two here who can explain it. Good luck. Laughing Out Loud


Oops - maybe i made myself not clear ...

A friend of mine is mathematician and he could explain me the general principle and I understood Laughing Out Loud

But what he couldn't tell me how the golden section is used to design swords. At a knife site I found stated that it is the handle-to-blade-ratio, but this cannot be the whole thing.
Besides that - what works on a knife, does not in general work for swords.
Imagine a sword with an handle-to-blade-ratio of 1 to 1.618 ...

Thomas
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas Laible wrote:

Besides that - what works on a knife, does not in general work for swords.
Imagine a sword with an handle-to-blade-ratio of 1 to 1.618 ...



Doesn't "feel" right, does it? Nice 32-inch blade with a 20-inch hilt Eek!

Now that I think on it a little more... I seem to recall looking at an essay related to hilt/blade ratios on combat knives or something... in relation to the average thigh length or another anatomical measurement...

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter has used the golden section in designing Albion's swords, according to the info on the Squire Line and NG pages:

Quote:
The principles of harmonic proportions, foremost the golden section, are an important design principle that can be observed in historical swords.

Happy

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G. Scott H.




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
Thomas Laible wrote:

Besides that - what works on a knife, does not in general work for swords.
Imagine a sword with an handle-to-blade-ratio of 1 to 1.618 ...



Doesn't "feel" right, does it? Nice 32-inch blade with a 20-inch hilt Eek!

Now that I think on it a little more... I seem to recall looking at an essay related to hilt/blade ratios on combat knives or something... in relation to the average thigh length or another anatomical measurement...


It looks okay to me....... Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud


Sorry, guys. I'll try to keep it serious from now on. I just couldn't resist this one. Laughing Out Loud Happy


Last edited by G. Scott H. on Sun 13 Mar, 2005 5:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Peter has used the golden section in designing Albion's swords, according to the info on the Squire Line and NG pages:

Quote:
The principles of harmonic proportions, foremost the golden section, are an important design principle that can be observed in historical swords.


But to what aspects was the rule applied? I do not think that it is the hilt to blade length ratio. But here is some food for thought:

grip length to cross-length
fuller width to blade width
fuller length to blade length, etc

Alexi
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 5:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexi Goranov wrote:


But to what aspects was the rule applied? I do not think that it is the hilt to blade length ratio. But here is some food for thought:

grip length to cross-length
fuller width to blade width
fuller length to blade length, etc



I am remembering 2 distinct documents or discussions now... one was a discussion on knives and was related to blade/hilt ratio. Specifics elude me...

The other was more obscure - about swords - and it had something to do with vibration waves and harmonics, I think - again, the specifics elude me, but it didn't seem to be something that was measured with a simple ruler from obvious landmarks. At the time, I recall thinking "I'm too tired for this right now..." and don't remember what book I was in... or even if it was one in my own library or one I had borrowed...

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G. Scott H.




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 5:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
But to what aspects was the rule applied? I do not think that it is the hilt to blade length ratio. But here is some food for thought:

grip length to cross-length
fuller width to blade width
fuller length to blade length, etc

I agree that any of these ratios would be more likely and reasonable candidates for such measurement. The goofy PhotoShop picture I posted above would tend to rule out the hilt-blade ratio as the answer, for me. Of course, there could be, and probably is, something that we are leaving out of the equation. Like I said, I'm no mathematician. Happy
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G. Scott H.




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The other was more obscure - about swords - and it had something to do with vibration waves and harmonics, I think - again, the specifics elude me, but it didn't seem to be something that was measured with a simple ruler from obvious landmarks. At the time, I recall thinking "I'm too tired for this right now..." and don't remember what book I was in... or even if it was one in my own library or one I had borrowed...
There is some discussion of blade harmonics in the piece, Understanding Blade Properties, by Patrick Kelly in the Features section of this site. Happy
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 7:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
Quote:
But to what aspects was the rule applied? I do not think that it is the hilt to blade length ratio. But here is some food for thought:

grip length to cross-length
fuller width to blade width
fuller length to blade length, etc

I agree that any of these ratios would be more likely and reasonable candidates for such measurement. The goofy PhotoShop picture I posted above would tend to rule out the hilt-blade ratio as the answer, for me. Of course, there could be, and probably is, something that we are leaving out of the equation. Like I said, I'm no mathematician. Happy


I posted before I saw you picture, so it was not intended against your pic.
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G. Scott H.




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 8:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexi Goranov wrote:
I posted before I saw you picture, so it was not intended against your pic.


Sorry for any misunderstanding, Alexi. I was not trying to be a smart-a$$ when I wrote that response. I was simply agreeing with you that the hilt length to blade length aspect of a sword probably isn't the determinig factor in the equation we have been discussing. I hadn't even considered whether or not you'd seen my picture when I made that post. The picture was only intended to be a humorous view of what a 1:1.618 hilt-to-blade sword might look like. Laughing Out Loud No offense intended, and certainly none taken. Happy
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2005 8:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:


Sorry for any misunderstanding, Alexi. I was not trying to be a smart-a$$ when I wrote that response. I was simply agreeing with you that the hilt length to blade length aspect of a sword probably isn't the determinig factor in the equation we have been discussing. I hadn't even considered whether or not you'd seen my picture when I made that post. The picture was only intended to be a humorous view of what a 1:1.618 hilt-to-blade sword might look like. Laughing Out Loud No offense intended, and certainly none taken. Happy


Big Grin Cool No problem. I should not have replied above, as it created more confusion than it cleared, and my brevity gave a rude feel to the post. Sorry Big Grin Laughing Out Loud

To get back on topic, could placement of the vibration nodes and/or pivot points follow the golden rule? To me this is less likely, as the "golden rule" (as far as I know) is an aesthetic feature and not an engineering one, which what the pivot points and CoP are.

I hope we hear from the swordsmiths.

Alexi
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar, 2005 4:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
Hopefully, we have a mathematician or two here who can explain it. Good luck. Laughing Out Loud

What you need is not a mathematician but an artist. Happy

Wikipedia, BTW, has an excellent entry for the sectio aurea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio

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Blaz Berlec




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar, 2005 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Someone's been reading the Da Vinci Code too much. Big Grin

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Howard Waddell
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar, 2005 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
It looks okay to me....... Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud

Sorry, guys. I'll try to keep it serious from now on. I just couldn't resist this one. Laughing Out Loud Happy


How about this one?

http://albion-swords.com/images/swords/johnss...e-full.jpg

The Svante, Peter discovered, was built by the Golden Section, in virtually every aspect.

Best,

Howy

Albion Swords Ltd
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Thomas Laible




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar, 2005 9:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Howard Waddell wrote:
The Svante, Peter discovered, was built by the Golden Section, in virtually every aspect.


Howy,
could you explain it a little bit more ?

regards,
Thomas
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Thomas Laible




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar, 2005 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexi Goranov wrote:
To get back on topic, could placement of the vibration nodes and/or pivot points follow the golden rule? To me this is less likely, as the "golden rule" (as far as I know) is an aesthetic feature and not an engineering one, which what the pivot points and CoP are. Alexi


Alexi,
the interesting point is, that you can find the golden section as "engineering principle" in nature .
Indeed it is so common, that advocates of creationist theology use it to "proof" the existence of Jahwe. If you ignore the theological aspect, you'll find some interesting and nicely illustrated informations at http://goldennumber.net/.
(unfortunatly nothing about swords Laughing Out Loud )

Thomas
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar, 2005 10:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a thought...

Except for some two-handers, the hilt-to-blade-length ratio of most swords doesn't seem to be based on the golden mean. However, how about hilt-to-blade-MASS ratio? It would seem to me that placing the grip at the golden mean in relation to weight, rather than length, would result in a CoB some way below the cross, at a spot ideal for nimble cut-and-thrust blades...

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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