Historically Balanced Zweihänder by Sieglatan
(Originally posted to http://board.belegarth.com/viewtopic.php?p=490938#p490938)
This has been a long time coming, so I thought I’d just post pics and type as I go-
The core is 1″ bandshoppe pole that was originally 6 feet long- I ended up cutting it down by five inches to make room for the stab tip and pommel, as well as better suit my height (I don’t want a sword that’s taller than myself, and I’m only 5’11”). Here’s an idea of how big the thing is, with the first blade layer, compared to an average, run-of-the-mill bokuto
I couldn’t use my original method for attaching rigid cross guards, since I was working with hollow material (I usually work with solid fiberglass), so I asked Forkbeard for some advice (Thanks again!), and I made this as a result. The leather is 16-18oz for each layer, formed, steel riveted, and hardened.
Here’s the two put together without making it permanent- I’m probably going to pull the guard towards the pommel by a few inches to better fit the historic model I’m going for. Once the cross-guard is fully dry, I’m going to slather the core with adhesives, draw the guard into place, lace the leather ties as tightly as possible, and let it set overnight!
The six to eight inches below the cross guard are being reserved for the ricasso, protected by a blade-safe set of parierhaken. Ultimately, I’m going to build the entire thing except the pommel, then add lead weights to it until the thing is balanced the way I want. I’m experimenting a bit on this one, and it’s a slightly different direction than the 12.001 oz speed bat that most fighters seem to prize, but I’m already liking it~!
This is close to my proportional goal, minus the blistering steel, and a wee bit shorter. As tempting as it is, I’m going to abstain from making the blade flamberge-style- cutting power doesn’t mean too much in a hit based sport.
Blade is completely done- the green layer is a layer of closed cell stab foam that allows a large weapon to be passed at even the pussiest realms. I’ll probably replace the stab tip, which is currently core-biscuit-yoga-poof brick-yoga, with core-biscuit-yoga-yoga-yoga-poof tip, which has worked better for me in the past. The counterweights are made from carriage bolts which place the center of gravity right at the parierhaken, so I might add more weight when I return in a week…
As much as FB loves doing commissions, I absolutely loathe doing them- I have never had a commission work out well on my end. If I ever do sell stuff, then I plan on making and prettying it up before-hand and selling as is. As such, I’m not sure how much I would charge for a weapon like this.
Blade is the two-hander blade kit from Edhellen (thanks guys!)- I’ve decided to fight against my traditional inclination to shave the corners of the blade, and leave it more box-like. I am (so-far) very satisfied with the parierhaken and ricasso; the former is solid and passes 2″ circle check, and the latter is oblong, and fits nicely with my grip. I personally dislike ricassos that are just bare handles, and have had my fingers crunched by some over-swings, so I’ve generously padded it with scrap Kegg foam. The thickness of it looks like it’s part of the core of the blade (like a real Zweihander), and to that effect, as a final step, I may loosely tie soft soft leather around it to complete the look, and make it contingent with the grip.
I put two layers on the contact edges of the cross guard, but I may shave parts of it down to allow it to pass, but not be so bulky. I plan on giving it a stylized pommel to cover the lead and carriage bolt counterweights, and I’m debating on what I want the grip to look like. I’m choosing between a no-frills functional one that merges with the pommel like this-
Or a fancy one like this museum number (from the Zweihander wiki article)-
Both of which I can replicate with leather.
Note on the tip: As much as I am ingratiated towards Edhellen for their kits, I have a sore spot for their tips- I’ve seen too many cores jut out of that spot over the years. I DAP a layer of Kegg (again, scrap from the kit) over the core, before adding marine foam so core isn’t felt through the suppleness of the stabbing edge. Then I DAP a strip of soft, unyielding leather ( a strip of heavy linen works as well) over the entire tip, and over about a foot of the blade on each side. Then I finish up with cloth tape, and a snazzy cover.
In order for the tip to snap off, the strike would have to be strong enough to snap leather through deceleration alone, which simply hasn’t happened in the other stab tips I’ve done in the same manner. And even if I’ve completely wrecked the blade (awww yeah!), I have a spare blade kit.
I mentioned softening the blade because it felt stiff when a fighter tested some heavy hits on my back before there was any sort of stabbing tip on it, and I felt that it was a bit stiff, but passable. As such, I don’t think my reinvented wheel had anything to do with that-
It wasn’t just one Edhellen sword I’ve seen do this (several in both Salamandastron and Andor), and that’s not a decry against Edhellen, because that seems to be the only thing that fails on them after months of heavy combat. Seriously- their stuff kicks all sorts of ass.
I also had to change the design over the realities of the foam material and core- mainly that the re-blade kit appeared to be made for a 3/4″ fiberglass core and I was working with a 1″ bandshoppe pole with a little rubber end cap. Even if I managed to carve the foam, or force the blade around the core, and then bend the tip of the foam over the tip of the core, then the triangular cut pieces wouldn’t be able to match up, there would be a huge weak spot for cores to jut through, cats and dogs living together, etc. As such, and because everything was purchased with my meager funds, and no lives were at stake, I used my best judgment went with the style that hasn’t failed me yet in the dozen or so heavy weapons I’ve done in this manner.