Hi all!
I have a question for all of you academic types, and maybe some makers. I want to make a Scottish basket hilted sword for cutting exercises, in pursuit of learning highland martial arts with the cateran society. My question is are the pommels for these swords usually hollow, or usually solid? I have looked everywhere, and short of pestering curators and driving across the US to see an example in person, I cannot find anything about it. It seems to me that it would make sense that, given the additional weight of all the bars of the guard, that it would need to be hollow, in order to properly balance the thing, but there are some examples with pretty small pommels out there.
Any information would be greatly appreciated, Thanks!
As a secondary point, for those people that have more extensive experience than me, have you found that a rolled point is safer, or a swelled point. My concern is that with a rolled point, the point can get stress risers from the sharp bend before the point is rolled back on itself. The issue with forging an upset, or swollen point is that it has greater thermal mass, so it could be difficult to heat treat correctly.
Not an expert, but since you aren't getting much traction, maybe a reply will get someone with more knowledge in on the conversation, if for no other reason than to tell me I'm wrong. ;)

Based upon observation, my thoughts on your pommel question breaks down to the size of the pommel used and basic physics: for a larger, more bulbous pommel, I wouldn't be surprised if it is hollow; for a smaller pommel, solid. I've seen both larger and smaller on a variety of swords, and I'd be surprised if they are all made the same. A large hollow and a small solid would likely be close in terms of weight, and the weight is the defining characteristic in helping achieve proper balance for the sword. So, all other aspects being equal (blade size and weight, basket size and weight), I think the answer you're looking for is going to boil down to how big you want your pommel to be, and what kind of weight you need to achieve the proper balance. If you follow Paul MacDonald/MacDonald Armouries on FB, he or someone in his orbit might have the very information you need.

As for your "point" question, is that referring to styles of rebated tip for sparring swords? Obviously, I wouldn't have an answer since I'm not even sure what you're asking, though someone that does know might have a usable answer. :lol:
Thank you so much! I was more or less sure of that, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t misunderstanding, as I don’t know everything. As for the tips, or “points” I’m trying to design a sparring sword and I want to know which is safer, or less prone to snapping. I might just have to do several test runs, and figure that out for myself, but any time and resources I can shave off of the r&d process would be great.

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