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John Lundemo
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Location: New Hampton, N.Y.
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 6:38 am    Post subject: Peened or threaded         Reply with quote

Hi, I'm assuming that around here in the historical arms talk section, that the bulk of folks prefer peened tangs to any type of threaded attachement for pommel. What I usually do is forge the tang to a 5/16th dowell and tap it to 5/16x18 threads and key on the pommel and use a handmade 12/inch nut inset into pommel. This is very strong but, not historical really. I want to do alot more peened tangs in the future, but alot of folks like to take apart their swords. For swords that receive alot of heavy use they could start rattling after a time after a some hits on the guard etc., so a little tightening on the nut and it's solid again. On the other hand, a peened can be fixed by taping pommel down tight with a leather mallet and then a couple solid wraps on the peening. I am torn, but think I may be leaning to the peened for strength and historical accuracy. I would appreciate some oppinions, thanks.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For what it's worth, threaded tangs are indeed historical, depending on time period. I believe that we started seeing many pommels secured with a pommel nut in the 17th century.

For me, it depends on what is accurate for the sword and what I'm using the sword for. If I'm ordering a 14th century longsword, I'd prefer peened to threaded because I'd want the sword as close to what would have been seen at the time as possible. For my fencing rapiers, I prefer a threaded tang in case I need to replace a blade. For my longsword blunts in theory I'd want a threaded tang as well for the same reason, but I can go either way with those. If I have a problem and need to replace a longsword blade, these aren't available by themselves commercially (at least not to fit my particular hilts), so I'd have to send the whole thing to the maker to replace it anyway, making the threaded/peened debate moot for me.
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John Lundemo
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Location: New Hampton, N.Y.
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Posts: 239

PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah I can see the logic. The rapier hilt is very complex and the blades replaceable, sounds good.
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 7:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey, John!

I had a nice, long, detailed post, which the friggin' cyberdemons ate... WTF?!

Bottom line - I agree 100% with Bill's assessment.

Highlights of my original post:

Dark Ages/Medieval - my experience has been solely with peened tangs, and with a sword of any significant quality, I have never had an issue. Junk is junk, no matter what you do with it. Some higher-end pieces lasted quite a few years of heavy reenactment and free-sparring use (hundreds of hours!), and actually went on to other homes. I am not so sure I would want to experience a simple threaded pommel on a sword of this type and use... but I'll look at threading methods in a second... Personally, my thought on sparring/reenactment steel is that they are an expendable tool - they will eventually wear out, need service, or something. Without commercially available replacement blades, as Bill said, they'd go back for service or be replaced. Withouth wishing to start a debate on the subject, I personally can't see any reason why one would disassemble a sword of this type. Worried The couple that I have seen that did, wound up with badly misaligned pommels as the grip compressed/wore, or threads stretched. I'm also more interested in historical construction in my high-end, accurate pieces - which I don't spar with, but do forms and cut with heavily.

Rapiers - all of these have had some form of threaded pommel. Some I have had issues with, others have been better. Two of my swept-hilt rapiers are designed on commercially available blades, and have pommels that are tapped clear through. This does allow ready replacement or interchange of blade lengths or types, but is not as secure as I would prefer - I have to pause every few minutes to check and retighten if needed. I did find that a small leather spacer between the quillons and the grip, and the grip and the pommel did help reduce this, as the leather compresses and dampens some of the shock and vibration. Another swept-hilt is similar, but the pommel is not threaded clear through - same song and dance... A third type I have seen is through-threaded, and has a secondary nut that binds agains the pommel, holding things quite snug. This seems to work pretty well, from reports I've heard from those who have used them. A fourth method I have seen used is through-threaded, peened, and ground flush. This is on a high-end production piece that is obviously permenantly mounted. I suppose this is, for intents and purposes, peened... No issues with loosening there, but I don't fence with this, though I do practice against non-living targets.

I possibly would consider the use of a threaded pommel with a backup nut in a sparring weapon, but the first time I felt it perhaps was less than solid, it'd be shelved. It would never be displayed in my collection - it would simply be a tool.

That's my take on this subject... hope it helped!

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Bill and Aaron have covered this pretty well, just to add a minor point...

The problem with having something threaded is that a certain number of customers ARE going to monkey with it whether you recommend it or not. Of that number some of them are not going to have the expertise to put it back together properly and that is inevitably going to lead not to "darn I'm a monkey and I screwed this up" but "hey that Lundemo guy is a monkey and screwed this up." I believe that Mr. Trim has experienced this phenomenon on a couple of occassions and has even stated at least once that he's considered going to peening just to avoid that sort of hassle. Perhaps he will weigh in himself...

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peened. But that's just my preference, since I'm into historical weapons of the era when peening was all that was known.

As long as the peening and assembly are durable you shouldn't have to re-tighten the components. If the components are simply slipped over the tang and the compression of the tang rivet is all that's keeping everything tight, then you may very well have loosening issues. If you individually fit pommel and guard tightly to the tang (either through slightly undersized holes, peening the component against the tang or shimming it with small pieces of metal), it will stay tighter much longer and be more durable over all.

I don't personally have a need for a break-down sword. Makers often say it's for maintenance or cleaning. If that's necessary, then why didn't out ancestors, pragmatically practical people when it comes to weapons, develop a system for that? Threaded pieces (crude versions of the modern wing-nut) were in use in the 15th-16th century or so for bolting on pieces of exchange on multi-use harnesses. If it was so important to have access to the tang for cleaning and maintenance, I'd think they would have adapted that technology for use in dismantling swords. Again, I'd think a tight fit of the components is key. If everything is tight, it will limit how much air/water/blood gets into places they shouldn't. Also, once a surface develops oxidization, that layer can actually act as protection against further oxidization, a la russeting techniques used on armour. A looser fit of components also encourages the parts to shift around and they may wear prematurely and loosen further and further.

So if constructed and used in a historical fashion, loosening shouldn't be much of an issue. Nor should maintenance of the tang.

Just my 2 cents. Happy

Happy

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey, check out this topic: Construction Method Comparison.

Personally, for longswords and swors pre-16th century, I'd go for peened and non-compression fit. It's not that big of a deal for me, as long as it appears historical. I don't like pommel nuts on these types of swords because they look out of place to me. For me, the bigger issue is compression-fititng vs. wedged-into-place. I'd rather have a solid hilt than one that is tightened down and loosens up.

Having said that, for my complex hilts like the various continental basket-hilts I have, I don't have much of a preference. Some of these styles are supposed to have pommel nuts, others are not. As long as they look right and they're tight, I'm good.

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John Lundemo
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Location: New Hampton, N.Y.
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So peened it is! Though, I have not had any failures due to the fat, forged 5/16ths threads with inset handmade nut. I have made all my blunts and most of my sharps this way for about 15 years. But, I tend to be leaning in the peened direction lately. I believe it will become standard on all models, just needed some coaxing, thanks!
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Mark Eskra




Location: Hillsboro Illinois
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jun, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject: the newer they are...         Reply with quote

Ever wonder why sword grips seem to get shorter as they evolve? Its because they are peined, then the peins have to be chopped in order to re-use the blades...thus they get shorter every time. I dont pein my stuff because i temper thru and thru...I do cross pin through a 3/8" threaded tang with a soft 3/32" nail, though. Loose screws, while not as crucial as loose flints (pistol), can be disconcerting in battle. A ittle bit of movemet is all it takes, then its downhill.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jun, 2006 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: the newer they are...         Reply with quote

Mark Eskra wrote:
Ever wonder why sword grips seem to get shorter as they evolve? Its because they are peined, then the peins have to be chopped in order to re-use the blades...thus they get shorter every time. I dont pein my stuff because i temper thru and thru...I do cross pin through a 3/8" threaded tang with a soft 3/32" nail, though. Loose screws, while not as crucial as loose flints (pistol), can be disconcerting in battle. A ittle bit of movemet is all it takes, then its downhill.

I presume you mean "as swords age" rather than "evolve" in that you're talking about the same sword as it has passed through the ages. If this is the case, I'd be curious to know of any sources you have of swords that have been documented throughout their "lifespan". Thank you.

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Christopher Lee




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jun, 2006 3:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

Been a reader for a while, first contribution. Had been looking through some Talhoffer stuff lately and i saw an illustration that may be relevant to this discussion; sword with a threaded tang from the 1459 Talhoffer fechtbuch. I can make no expert comments upon it and contribute so that others may make of it what they will.
Source of the illustration: http://flaez.ch/talhoffer/index.html

Christopher



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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jun, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Christopher,
You know, I've seen that image many a time but this is the first time I've thought about the construction of the one piece. I think you're right, it looks like it's threaded on.

One of the things about Talhoffer's illustrations is that we don't know exactly what they are. Were they real swords Talhoffer designed for duelling? Were they ideas he had and recorded? Were they one-off unusual pieces? Certainly they don't appear to be common if they were real, but that of course also doesn't mean they didn't exist.

Perhaps the reason for the lack of peening in that case has to do with the spiked pommel... the peen may have gotten in the way? I don't know, but it's certainly interesting!

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Mark Eskra




Location: Hillsboro Illinois
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jun, 2006 8:19 am    Post subject: Re: the newer they are...         Reply with quote

well, ageing and evolving kind of go hand in hand...sword form is very closely related to enemy, so when they change, yuo change to match...I'm working on finding documented "pass down evolution" on swords, but examples are scarce. Two and a half hand claymores to basket hilts to dirks is a good example though.
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