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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 8:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
As for the durability of such construction, their may indeed be greater stresses on the hilt, as Patrick suggested, than on a hot peened hilt, but is the difference really great enough to make a lot of practical difference?


This may sound like semantics, but I would love to see people get away from calling Albion's entire method of assembly "hot peening." The peening, hot or cold, is only one step in the assembly and is arguably not the most important. Albion's method of construction might be better called the wedged components assembly. You could hot or cold peen with their method.

The stresses Patrick speaks of are created by the fact that compression holds all the parts together. This can be done either with peening or with a pommel nut holding the components together. Cold peening would be necessary in the compression assembly to keep the grip from being heated up and destroyed.

The hot peening isn't the defining element of Albion's assembly, it's one step. The individual pieces being permanently wedged is what lessens stresses on the parts and helps ensure the solid nature of the assembly. It's a bigger and more important part of the process, IMHO.

Just my 2 cents. Happy

Happy

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad brings up a good point regarding the construction method used by Albion in their production lines, and by Peter J. in his custom work.

The peening/riveting of the tang is one small step in the process. Before that happens the components are tightly wedged together. The riveting is actually only supplying a small amount of the work in holding the assembly together. After the whole thing is assembled there's no way it's coming apart. I think you'd have to intentionally destroy the piece to do it. IMHO this is the superiority of this construction method: no one element is taking the entire load of holding the assembly together. In the case of a compression assembly the entire stress of holding the components together is on that rivet, nut, threaded pommel, etc. This kind of assembly can obviously work as it was commonly used with later period swords like rapiers, basket hilts, sabres, etc. It's obviously used with success by makers like Rob and Gus Trim. It just isn't my preferred method for medieval swords.

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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
The stresses Patrick speaks of are created by the fact that compression holds all the parts together. This can be done either with peening or with a pommel nut holding the components together. Cold peening would be necessary in the compression assembly to keep the grip from being heated up and destroyed.


Just my 2 cents. Happy


Actually Chad........

The few peened tangs I've done have all been heated. I haven't had any problem with heating the handle up..... its all in how you hold the piece and how you apply the cooling touches as you're heating the end of the tang..........

swords are fun
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Angus Trim wrote:
The few peened tangs I've done have all been heated. I haven't had any problem with heating the handle up..... its all in how you hold the piece and how you apply the cooling touches as you're heating the end of the tang..........


Gus,
That's good to know and further proves my point. Since hot or cold peening can be done whether someone uses compression-fitted or wedged components, peening is a useless term for defining an entire assembly method.

Happy

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Angus Trim




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Chad brings up a good point regarding the construction method used by Albion in their production lines, and by Peter J. in his custom work.

The peening/riveting of the tang is one small step in the process. Before that happens the components are tightly wedged together. The riveting is actually only supplying a small amount of the work in holding the assembly together. After the whole thing is assembled there's no way it's coming apart. I think you'd have to intentionally destroy the piece to do it. IMHO this is the superiority of this construction method: no one element is taking the entire load of holding the assembly together. In the case of a compression assembly the entire stress of holding the components together is on that rivet, nut, threaded pommel, etc. This kind of assembly can obviously work as it was commonly used with later period swords like rapiers, basket hilts, sabres, etc. It's obviously used with success by makers like Rob and Gus Trim. It just isn't my preferred method for medieval swords.


Actually, since my name has come up, I thought I'd mention that my construction method has modified a bit over the years. I still prefer a nut, but my handles have been two piece {or you could use the term sandwich I suppose} for quite some time now.

Today, the handles are fitted more accurately to the tang, so that the "loads" are handled by the handle, pommel, and nut. The same "basics", but the application and fit are a bit different.......

Originally, the handles were all bare hardwood, thus the "bored" method was the most likely. Today, all handles are leather over cord, so that the two piece handle works best......

Yes, its still "compression", but not to the same degree as five years ago. The harmonics have improved too, and if there isn't that much "load" transfered to the hilt, compression works just fine..........

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Eric Meulemans
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 9:47 am    Post subject: Fastening         Reply with quote

I have a question regarding this style of pommel nut which I do not think has yet been addressed. I must say that the recessed/countersunk nut Mr. Miller employs does wonders for the appearance of this type of assembly, but I wonder how easily it is tightened and perhaps more importantly, loosened, without marring the nut or pommel finish.

That is to say, that the very feature which makes it look good - being less visible - also would serve to make it difficult to grip with most tools, especially with its rounded features. Is there something I'm not seeing, or is simply hand-torqued? Has any sort of pin/prong, hook, or castellated wrench-style tool been considered as a means to take off/put on the nut? This would probably kill some of the aesthetics, but if takedown is an objective it might serve to more easily allow that.

-Eric
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Lee O'Hagan




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have two swords made by rob,
i have other swords forged and stock removal that feature the hilt construction methods mentioned,just as many makers doing it one way or the other,some makers will let you have your preffered method,
as said when done properly,as robs are,problems dont arise,
when done badly,it doesnt matter which method is used, caks kak,
i speak to rob quite alot and it wasnt long ago he was considering destruction tests of stock over forged,but it comes down to costs,no one wants to spend x amount of hours making a sword just to destroy so others can read the results and think,hmm interesting,
maybe myArmoury could get a blade of each type at cost or donated and do the testing as a feature one month, Cool
i know from reading here and there the stock-forged argument seems never ending,so,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lee O'Hagan wrote:
maybe myArmoury could get a blade of each type at cost or donated and do the testing as a feature one month, Cool
i know from reading here and there the stock-forged argument seems never ending,so,,,,,,,,,,,,


That's been suggested and discussed before. Without two examples that are exactly the same in every shape and measurement, the results would be moot. Even if we did find two swords that met those requirements, it's scientifically unsound to make a judgement of superiority based on such a small sample set of data (1 sword of each type).

If we could get 50 of each, all identical in every spec and shape, and test them all in exactly the same way, then maybe, just maybe, we could get results that would be valid.

Happy

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Rob Miller
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 11:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Phew,you go to work for a day and theres a lot been happening here! the general consensus points towards the method of production and skill used as being the main contributory factor in the equation.I have hot peened tangs before on a couple of pieces,but i had not fitted the components well enough to start with so it was not satisfactory for me,thats been part of my learning curve,so i have chosen this way to be sure that i know the tang is still in a soft annealed state,i would imagine there must be a fair amount of stress placed on the threaded end of the tang,so i use a long recessed nut to share the load on the thread.
I do have one question for those who use heat on the tang,when you say that it is annealed after peening,could anyone elaborate.Obviously you cant anneal simply by applying heat from a torch,as it requires a considerable amount of slow heat soaking to normalise the steel again,how can that be achieved without heating the entire pommel assembly,which would in turn bleed heat into the blade itself?in my limited experience of peening i found that the steel was work hardened and brittle at this point,i could not see a way of softening anything other than the outer skin of the steel,i must be missing something.There is a considerable amount of difference between the material used for the original blades and the homogenous steels that we use today.
I really like the way that the Albion swords are put together and wrapped,it makes a lot of sense and is obviously a time proven way of assembling the components (look at the huge amount of mediaeval swords with pommel and cross intact and uncompromised) I will have to try again, or at least give the customer the choice.
Me? i like the idea of breaking a sword down and changing the cross,the grip,the pommel,My father was a Gunsmith,so i loved the old cased shotguns,all the components in a box that you snapped together .
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 12:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The way I hot peen the protruding tang is like this:

BTW I use a steel that is similar to EN 45 as my normal mono steel. It is a medium alloy steel: about 0,6 %C plus some silica, some manganese and just a tad chrome (3% or so. Far from stainless, but helps in hardenability) Itīs called SIS 2090 and is a deep hardening spring steel used for heavy impact leaf springs and rock drills. Not the ideal steel for kitchen knives, but very good for swords. With careful heat treat it is easy to get 58 HRC in the edge together with impressive recilience: just about impossible to break during any reasonable abuse...
In the text book this steel is not really supposed to behave like this nor react well to the temperatures I use, but I have found it reacts very favourably to low temp forging and repeated normalizations, low soak temp (800 degrees C) in austenization and low tempering (3 times 30 min at 250 degrees C)
As it is deep hardening, requiring slower cooling and still forming martensite, it is important to be aware of temperature when making local heats as during peening of the rivet.
It is still quick enough in transformation that perfectly satisfactory normalizations can be achieved by gas forge or gas torch: just do not overheat or every previous effort will be wasted.

1) Fit cross and pommel carefully to the tang so that by a mild tap the pommel is wedged in place. It should sit so you can hold the pommel between thumb and index finger and the blade will hang supported by friction alone. When the pommel is then tapped more forcibly in place by a hammer it will be seated very firmly in place. You will have to strike it loose with a hammer...
I save pressing the guard in place until after Iīve riveted the tang as the striking of the rivet can loosen the guard again. I save that good friction pinch to the last moment before I mount the grip...
2) The pommel has a countersunk area around the protruding rivet-shank or a rivet block to give room for the rivet to expand below the surface. Riveting flush against a flat top produces a thin rivet head (to be avoided!).
3) A gas torch (oxy-acetylen) is used to heat the protruding tang. I adjust the flame so I get a good solid heat but not so much that I risk overheating too easily. I keep the flame in place even as I hammer the protruding end (striking through the flame) and I adjust the heat slightly above austenizing heat (I think this is a critical detail for sucess). In this temperature there is little risk for grain growth and there will be no stress build up from plastic deformation.
4) As I work the rivet down into the countersinking, or shaping it to a forged protruding rivet head (pyramid or domed) I gradually apply the heat more carefully to make sure I am at austenizing or slightly below when I finish. Dull red is where I want to work at this stage. Very little plastic deformation is now done, only adjusting of shape with very light blows.
5) I now let the rivet cool from brownish red down to black without applying heat at all. As it cools I sometimes use lighter and lighter blows with the hammer, tapping carefully away but usually not as it will be adjusted afterwards to final shape by filing. If I use the hammer at this stage, I use very light blows: only tapping very gently to adjust the odd corner or dimple.
6) I now reapply heat on the rivet head. The pommel is now rather hot in the area around the rivet: brown or blue is not uncommon, but this is not necessary. If possible you can work so quickly that the pommel does not heat up that much, but I usually get this heat when I am finished.
I brush the flame over the rivet head to normalize it several times. It does not take a long soak or hold time and it is possible to see the transition from austenite to pearlite from the irridicense (right word?) as it cools from rea to brown back to red and down to black. I repeat this three or four times. If I am really nit picking I test with a magnet to see I get into the transformation temp.
This step is not really necessary if you have been careful with temperature during shaping. If the last steps are made at around and below aus-temp there will be a normalizing during the last shaping. I still usually reapply heat, just to be sure, if nothing else to make sure there has been no hardening of any part of the rivet head.
7) Lastly I file the rivethead flush to the top of the pommel/rivet block or fine shape a sculpted raised rivet. By doing this I can check if I have any hard spots left in the rivet.
The hardening you can sometimes experience is from the pommel cooling the rivet fast enough to result in martensite. Hardened spots tend to stand out as glassy areas where the file does not quite bite. If so, I go back and anneal again using dull red heat. This can be difficult if the rivet is totally contersunk. In those cases it is even more important to control temp during shaping.

This method has proven very dependable to me.
The trick is to avoid high temps while doing the riveting and going back afterwards to normalize. It is also a good idea to do a thorough normalizing of the tang before fitting the components of the hilt. Thereby an ideal structure is established even before the riveting is done.
Working with a gas torch is effective as it is easy to control the application and amount of heat.

Fitting the components before final mounting is a critical element. This minimizes the need for "good old ultra violence" while peening the rivet. Wink Big Grin Cool


Last edited by Peter Johnsson on Mon 19 Sep, 2005 12:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 12:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A finished example of Peters work.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Awesome post Peter!



Quote:
it is possible to see the transition from austenite to pearlite from the irridicense (right word?


I think you were looking for "recalescence", but I'll bet that one doesn't translate over very well Wink

Jeez, you must have your shop really dark to see that....

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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jesse Frank wrote:
Awesome post Peter!



Quote:
it is possible to see the transition from austenite to pearlite from the irridicense (right word?


I think you were looking for "recalescence", but I'll bet that one doesn't translate over very well Wink

Jeez, you must have your shop really dark to see that....


Thanks!

Yeah, working the night hours you know Big Grin
...only time when the phone does not ring and the daughter is sound asleep. Mostly anyway.
And it does not have anything to do with me not being able to plan my work-time to deadline. Ask any friend of mine (or customer for that matter).
And here I sit wasting away my time in front of the computer. Aj, aj, aj!
Eek!
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Rob Miller
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for that explanation Peter,
will have to try that method some time,it looks great on the finished pommel too.
Now then.....wheres that gas torch....hmm Big Grin
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 5:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! I never thought the thread would turn into to this. This is awesome!
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 9:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Charles Adams wrote:
Wow! I never thought the thread would turn into to this. This is awesome!


Great isn't it? We're very appreciative of the mature way our participants conduct themselves. It's amazing how much great information can be exchanged by people who act in this manner, despite differing opinions.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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G. Scott H.




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
I would love to see people get away from calling Albion's entire method of assembly "hot peening." The peening, hot or cold, is only one step in the assembly and is arguably not the most important. Albion's method of construction might be better called the wedged components assembly. You could hot or cold peen with their method.


Point taken. I hadn't thought about it in those terms before, hence my use of the term "hot peened". I agree, though, that we should make a concerted effort to start referring to these styles perhaps as "wedged hilts" and "compressed hilts" or something similar. Happy
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
Point taken. I hadn't thought about it in those terms before, hence my use of the term "hot peened". I agree, though, that we should make a concerted effort to start referring to these styles perhaps as "wedged hilts" and "compressed hilts" or something similar. Happy


In your defense, though, Albion themselves uses the term to refer to the whole assembly, which is misleading at best:



The captions read "Cold Peened" for the sword on the left and "Hot Peened" for the one on the right.

The image above also implies that cold peened swords aren't full tang.

Happy

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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
In your defense, though, Albion themselves uses the term to refer to the whole assembly, which is misleading at best:


Indeed. Eek! Laughing Out Loud It gets kinda confusing. I guess we could agree, though, that what we're really discussing here is whether or not a given sword's hilt components (cross and pommel) are wedged in place or held via compression, regardless of how the end of the tang finally ends up: hot peened, cold peened, threaded, or threaded and peened. Eek! Happy
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