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WIP: XII riding sword


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Hi guys,


next project: a handy and compact type XII that would be well suited for sword and buckler fencing. The blade was actually started on some time ago and is already heat treated so I expect quick progress. To give an impression of the finished sword, I put another guard and pommel on it, neither will be used for the actual sword so the appearance will be somewhat different.


Next step is shaping the guard, you can see the rough-out blank.


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Thanks, Dave!

Here is the blade final ground with 400 grit machine finish on the bevels. The fullers are already hand-polished to remove the machine marks.
Blade weight is 620g, length 77cm/30".
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(No, that is not how I grind ;) )
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Groovy. B)

Seems light for a 30" blade... concave distal taper?

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Thanks guys.

 

Groovy. B)

Seems light for a 30" blade... concave distal taper?

 

Exactly. Starts with 6mm at the base, 8cm further down it's already at 4.5mm. 3.5mm at half-way, 2.7mm at the fuller's end and 2mm at the tip. I could still take off more behind the fuller but I want enough mass to give some "oomph" in the cut and it already is pretty light. That remaining mass there also gives it decent stiffness.

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I think it looks wonderful, so far. I don't know enough to comment about weight range for these sorts of blades. Light and fast seems to be the mainstay of the few I have seen/held. Mostly seen, unfortunately.

 

As Dave said, good luck with the hilt.

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Thanks, Alan!


Pommel and guard are rough-finished. There is a LOT of file work in that pommel... my fingers hurt but it was worth it ;)


You may notice that I slightly changed the pommel design, it's a type J now, not a type K. I liked the aesthetics better. The pommel tapers in thickness towards the (to be) peen block, a nice little feature that makes it seem less "blocky".


The guard is absolutely simple, just a short forward-turned cross. Still need to cut in the inlay for the blade shoulders. First, I need to polish the blade now though because the blade needs to be completely finished before I can do the final fitting of the guard.


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Edited by Lukas MG
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Yes, I think it will be :)

 

Guard, pommel and peen block are finished. The blade sits at 180 grit hand polish now, once I have taken it up to 1000, the sword will be ready for assembly.
Overall weight is 910g. The wooden grip will add a little but it is a beautifully light sword.
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The blade is polished, sharpened and all components are in place. Next step will be hot peening the pommel. That part will be a bit tricky with the peen block, it will be a challenge to keep it from spinning out of alignment. On the last one I made the slot rectangular which solves that problem but I wanted a round peen head on this sword.


We'll see :)


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I did consider epoxy but I think the heat from the torch will break the bond before I can even start peening (silver sold on the other hand... not that I have any)... the hidden pin would be an elegant solution but a bit of a hassle to make (bad excuse, I know).

 

I'm thinking if I peen carefully and try to keep it centered (with a pair of tongs maybe?), as soon as the peen has spread a bit, it should tighten things down enough to proceed without further problems. Theoretically anyway...

Edited by Lukas MG
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The sword is finished. As it turned out, peening was no problem at all.


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This sword is inspired by the swords shown in the oldest fencing manual we have, the I.33. It dates to around 1300 and depicts fighting techniques with sword and buckler. The swords presented there all share several characteristics: double-edged blades of medium length with a straight or sometimes almost concave profile taper. Fullers are present though their exact length is not visible in the drawings. The hilts generally are of very simple configuration (with a few exceptions).

Following the Oakeshott typology, these swords could be either type XII or type XIV, there are arguments to make for both and one should always keep in mind that most originals aren‘t clear-cut to fall neatly in one category.


Stats:

weight: 945g (2lbs)

overall length: 92cm (36“)

blade length: 77cm (30.3“)

blade width at guard: 5cm (2“)

grip length: 9cm (3.5“)

PoB: 12cm (4.7“)

CoP: 56cm (22“)

hilt node: 3cm (1.2) before guard in the handle

forward pivot point: 53cm (21“)


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I wanted a handy appereance for this sword, not a long, slender weapon but a stout and fairly compact sidearm. This is a sword for unarmored duelling and self defense situations, easy to carry around, likely in combination with a buckler. The blade is light, with acute edges and lively in handling. It moves swiftly and feels, for lack of a better word, „snappy“, ready to lash out at a moment‘s notice. It is not without blade presence and can absolutely deliver a powerful blow. All in all a good weapon for sword and buckler fencing.


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The fittings are unadorned, a short forward-curved guard and a type J pommel with small peen block. The pommel plays an important part in the handling of the sword. Due to the short grip (something that is very often not done properly on modern reproductions), the heel of the hand and the pinky by necessity nestle into the flare of the pommel. This has a noticeable impact on handling, giving a secure yet responsive and natural grip. My thanks go to Roland Warzecha (Dimicator) whose assistance and expertise on this topic was of great help.

I had plans to add a rain guard to this sword. However, I ran into problems and couldn‘t source suitable leather quickly enough (needed to finish the sword due to an up-coming event). I may still add a rain guard in the future, just for now it will stay as it is.


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While the sword‘s blade geometry shows its bias towards cutting or slicing actions, the tip is absolutely suitable for thrusts into soft targets and the handling encourages such actions as well. The distal taper mirrors the profile taper with an agressive concave tapering over the first few inches that then gradually fades out. This puts more mass near the guard, lightening up the tip to result in a sword with an agile point that reacts well to small movements of the hand. In combination with the placement of the pivot points this makes it easy to orient the sword (back) onto the target during winding actions.

The blade retains enough thickness and width to give a fairly stiff upper half and allow for a bit „omph“ in the cut, considering how rather light and compact this sword is. This facilitates both offensive and defensive actions. Too light a blade is easily displaced.


As usual, you can later expect a cutting video.


The sword will be used for a cutting demonstration at the „Tag des Schwerts“ in Nuremberg on the 25th of June. Then it will be sent to Roland Warzecha (Dimicator) for a review. Roland is one of the most well-known and proficient sword and buckler fencers and intimately familiar with I.33. I am very interested in hearing what he will have to say about this sword :)



Cheers and thanks for looking!


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Sword is beautiful. Watching Roland teach online is what got me interested in I:33.

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Beautiful work.

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Thanks guys.

Wes, you totally SHOULD make swords... come on, you know you want to :) Careful though, you may not want to go back to making knives afterwards... very addictive.

Edited by Lukas MG
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Wes, you totally SHOULD make swords... come on, you know you want to :) Careful though, you may not want to go back to making knives afterwards... very addictive.

 

hahaha, you are completely right :) The only reason I havent, is that I lack the equipment to heat treat them. I want to fix that soon though...

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hahaha, you are completely right :) The only reason I havent, is that I lack the equipment to heat treat them. I want to fix that soon though...

I am in exactly the same place.I have ALWAYS wanted to make swords. I kind of got sidetracked on knives while learning to make blades. :blink:

Sooner or later, I will be making a couple of salt pots........

The swords I see on this forum are inspirational to say the least.

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