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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon 07 Sep, 2020 12:53 pm    Post subject: Fitting a real blade the Franklin Mint Sword of Charlemagne         Reply with quote

If you have been around for a while like me then you probably remember the "dark ages" of replica sword collecting, specifically the 1980's. I remember fondly my "Highlander Katana" made from tempered 440c stainless steel! LOL. I also had a handmade sword inspired by the Atlantian sword in Conan The Barbarian, but my favorite sword by far was my Sword of Charlemagne by The Franklin Mint (most likely made by Marto in Spain.) It hung on my wall on a beautiful oak and brass plaque for years. It was a beauty. Heavy 24k gold plated fittings, genuine Lapis Lazuli cabochons, It looks just like Joyeuse, except for the blade, the blade is a heavy 440 stainless unsharpened hunk of steel. In short, My Joyeuse wasn't a real sword. I always wondered if I could put a real blade in the old Franklin Mint fittings. Well, along came the Paul Chen PC2406 Tinker Early Medieval 31.75" Spring Steel Repl. Sword Blade. And it was cheap enough to try it. To my surprise, it was nearly a drop-in replacement. I spent about 20 minutes with a flat file to get it to fit. The original pommel nut is too small as the new blade has larger threads, You will need a T6 by 12mm barrel nut (I had to order one, since I could not find one locally.) I am very pleased with the results and thought I would share.




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Jonathan Fletcher





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 105

PostPosted: Mon 07 Sep, 2020 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is genius Shannon. A great inspiration to all of us amateur modders.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Sep, 2020 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really nice work taking a very very " Wallhanger " with great looking grip furniture and guard and putting onto a real blade, that if not top end it's a very decent serviceable blade.

Assuming that the handle furniture is not very poor pot metal it seems like a worthwhile project. Big Grin Cool

P.S. If the underlying metal under the gilding is brass and the guard not hollow and/or fragile, then it's an even better DIY upgrade.

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





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 262

PostPosted: Mon 07 Sep, 2020 4:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a really slick looking project for sure! Again, I will echo the sentiment that, hopefully, the grip furniture is comfortable in the hand.

...If there's anything loose, it might be worthwhile to use epoxy to tighten up everything, though if you ever want to take it apart after that, you may be in for an interesting experience!

Again, neat project - you'll have to tell us how it handles!
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon 07 Sep, 2020 5:17 pm    Post subject: Thanks         Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the positive comments. I am still waiting for the barrel nut to come in so I can tighten the parts together, so I haven't swung it around yet. I can say it lost about a pound of weight and is now a svelte 3 pounds, 4 ounces. The point of balance is now 3 1/4 inches in front of the guard. The handle parts are all solid, heavy pieces, but I suspect they are of the zinc alloy variety and not solid brass. I exposed some white metal while filing the inside of the guard slot. So, the sword would probably not stand up to heavy abuse, but could handle some light cutting, and it should feel much better in the hand. The grip has always been quite comfortable, but the sword was very blade heavy. I have considered the possibility of filling the grip with epoxy to strengthen everything, But I will wait and see. I don't do any backyard cutting, so It will most likely just get taken down off the wall to be admired from time to time.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Sep, 2020 10:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks surprisingly harmonious! A definite upgrade in aesthetics as well as function.

It also looks very... Howard Pyle, I think? Could easily be from one of his Arthurian or Robin Hood illustrations.

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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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 427

PostPosted: Tue 08 Sep, 2020 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Mikko,

The Hanwei Tinker blade that Shannon used is happily very similar to the blade on the historic original. The Wikipedia article on Joyeuse has photos and some basic measurements, and the OH2406 Hanwei Tinker Single Hand Sword Blade, as it's now designated, is only 28mm shorter and 7.7mm broader at the base than the original, with a similar overall shape (although the Hanwei blade's taper isn't as pronounced and perhaps a bit straighter, and its fuller is narrower and better defined). As you note, it is a remarkably sympathetic (as the restorers say) replacement.

Best,

Mark Millman
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2020 9:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

fantastic! This is a great fit for the hanwei tinker blade!
Too bad for the gold plating, as you could take it a notch further by rounding some of the bulky sharp edges to match the original (below). What are those made of under the gold plating? solid brass? Any chance for a shot of the inside of the hilt?

I've been contemplating doing the same for ages, in my case fitting an albion type XII to the hilt of the Szczerbiec coronation sword. I know it would fit well as I've printed a prototype below...problem is taking a gamble with the quality of the hilt components (solid brass: bingo, pot metal: stuck with a 200 euros useless wall hanger). Haven't fully made up my mind yet but glad someone successfully gave it a go! Happy

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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2020 9:11 pm    Post subject: Joyeuse         Reply with quote

Julien, I believe you posted the Del Tin Copy of Joyeuse. This is the original. The barrel nut I am waiting for should be here tomorrow so I may post more pics then.
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2020 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes indeed wrong upload - should sort my pic archives better! Took a host of pictures last I went to the louvre, but can't seem to find them. The quillons edges of the repo are still too square & sharp to my eye - though pretty true to the original I admit. I understand why Del Tin made the choice to round them up, taking licence with the original.
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2020 7:36 am    Post subject: Jealous         Reply with quote

You have seen Charlemagne's sword in person? Nice! I have never been to France. I think the closest I was to France was Spain, long ago when I was in the Navy.
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2020 7:18 pm    Post subject: All Done!         Reply with quote

The barrel nut is the least authentic part, but it was a very simple blade swap and I think it was worthwhile. The sword feels great in the hand and looks a thousand times better.



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Michael Beeching





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 262

PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2020 5:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice!

Applying gold leaf to that safety screw might hide its true identity better, though if economy is important, you might also consider getting a small jar of Testor's gold enamel model paint. I have used this to touch up the cheap brass plated screws that commonly come with Stanley door hinges when they corrode. It works surprisingly well and also hold up better than you might think. Just make sure you degrease the fastener first - acetone works wonders for that.
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2020 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks. Great idea.
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Fri 18 Sep, 2020 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Jealous         Reply with quote

Shannon Glenn wrote:
You have seen Charlemagne's sword in person? Nice! I have never been to France. I think the closest I was to France was Spain, long ago when I was in the Navy.


Yes I have, and many times too, though I have not documented the sword - that's one of the few advantages of being a french national Happy I think your sword looks great, especially considering the level of effort involved.
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