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Battle Orders \"Roman Sparta\" sword
#16
It certainly is generous, thanks Mithras!

I'm going to keep looking around but so far I've basically found the Deepeeka versions, the "Sparta" (still makes me giggle) and others like it: apparently fairly mass-produced. I've also found an assortment of mouthwateringly beautiful swords that I can't afford! The best compromise, in terms of being individually made but within (or not too far outside) my budget, is by
Paul Binns: http://www.paul-binns-swords.co.uk/In_stock.html towards the bottom of the page. Not convinced by the metal handle but I've asked him about custom versions.

Out of interest, I've seen some with fullers and some without. Is one a horrific no-no?

EDIT: having looked some more I now understand what is meant by a slide. I had been imagining some sort of mechanical device...
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#17
I would find some pictures of a blade you like, then get Paul to make you it. You could handle it yourself, or get him to do it. Confusedmile:
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.comitatus.net">http://www.comitatus.net
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#18
I just read through this thread. It does make me cringe! The Romano Celtic sword is too horrible to contemplate. La Tene has nothing to do with Romans, it is a pre-Roman mid European iron age culture and that blade is soooo wrong in every aspect. Why spend any money on any blade if you have to rework just about everything it comes with?? You are better off buying a piece of flat steel, outlining the shape of a sword, taking of the edges to get a nice swordshape, grinding away till you get something sharp and pointy and take it from there. You can even half-forge a blade in a good hot charcoalfire like a barbeque with an old bellows, banging it out on a bit of railroad track using a pound hammer on the bits you get up to red, just get a strip of mild construction steel and flatten the edges on both sides (hardpacking them), cut the full tang with a powertool or hacksaw and start filing away or use a belt sander till it looks like a sword with an oval cross section. Practice, and you can go for a rhomboid shape.

Some Roman blades have fullers, depends on which type you are doing. Many are either rhomboid (diamond cross section) of oval. Gladii are most often both rhomboid, and oval only the Puttense Vimose Pompeii gladius has fullers as well. A good few spathatypes do have fullers (alongside rhomboid, oval and facetted), but these are mainly later ones.

A word on "tempering", John. A steel blade is returned to its original hardness through quenching after it has been heated to over it's critical temperature (like when forging it). Quenching is done by immersing the steel in either water or oil. Carbon rich steel will become brittle again through quenching. To remove this brittleness, the blade is tempered. It is re-heated to reduce it's brittlenes. This is a pretty exact process, the amount of temper (which is actually weakening it to making the blade less hard/brittle) is judged by the colour of the polished steel. Drawing the temper of a blade makes it fit for use, it prevents the blade from shattering on impact. Overtempering a blade will make it too soft, it will bend on impact. Should you overtemper a sword, it is not lost, just repeat the proces of heating to non-magnetic, quenching and then tempering.

Sorry if this all sounded slightly terse, but I really feel we should move away from discussing Indian crap products as if there was anything to gain buying and reworking them for any sort of re-enactment purposes. This sort of "advise" will do little to help Dan get a half decent sword for bouncing around the countryside. If you want a wallhanger or a conversation piece, please, buy whatever shit is on the market, but stop calling it a "historical Roman sword" or what have you, as many poeple trying to sell you this shit will. Dan, if you want a half decent Roman cavalry sword for the third century, just buy a Deepeeka one with slide and round chape. Do not attempt to hit anything with it, though, please.
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum
Return the Romans to Batavian soil!

Robert P. Wimmers
Foundation Archeological Themepark Limes
>http://www.ferrumantica.eu (The NEW Fabrica of Vvlpivs!)
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#19
OK, I'm going to try to work through that and check I have understood you properly.


I assume that the first paragraph refers to the Paul Binns sword, since that's the only La Tene that has been mentioned. I assum this despite the scorn you pour on those who have been kind enough to offer advice to me, none of whom have recommended that sword...

The first paragraph then talks about having to rework everything it comes with. I assume that you are no longer talking aout the Binns sword but now referring to the "Sparta" sword that John suggested changing. I have to say that if the blade is OK but the rest need changing then John's suggestion does seem easier than cutting and shaping a blade from scratch and making the handle etc. Still, I may try it at some point.

The bit on fullers is very helpful, thanks. If I'm looking at late Roman then I guess fullers are not a bad thing.

The bit about tempering is interesting. I certainly hadn't appreciated the distinction.

The last paragraph is where I get confused. Presumably you're saying that the Indian swords have rubbish blades as well as fittings, since there is nothing to be gained from refitting them? That seems to make sense but you then advise me to get a Deepeeka, which I had thought was Indian but am not sure whether it falls under the heading of "Indian crap" as you describe it. If so then I'm confused as to why you recommend it as a half decent sword, albeit not for hitting anything with (which I assume includes clashing against other swords?).

Then again, John suggests remodelling the handle etc on the "Sparta". You don't suggest this for the Deepeeka ones. Is that because the handles on the Deepeeka ones are adequately historical and practical?

Finally, I'm confused by the reference to a half decent sword for bouncing around the country with. Is that just because you assume that I will be bouncing around the country (whatever that means), or there some particular quality of a sword that would make it suitable for some activity with which I confess myself ignorant?
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#20
Well, I think that his last few paragraphs can be very short:

The off-the-shelf swords from India (Al-hammd, Deepeeka) are display items and will break on first impact. As we're talking about a cavalry spatha here, the blade will be under great strenght when used (be it in the countryside, agains another blade or agains a talget). It will therefore be very dangerous. They are for display only

(and if displaying a spatha is your goal, DPK has a 'more or less okay looking' 3rd century spatha, which may fit your purpose.)

IMHO modifiing a crap blade still give you a crap blade, although one doesn't see it at first sight anymore. I encourage people to modify Indian swords, just to get away from the 'standad' look, but better get away from Indian swords all together, as you can have a much better blade for just a little more money.
________________________________________
Jvrjenivs Peregrinvs Magnvs / FEBRVARIVS
A.K.A. Jurjen Draaisma
CORBVLO and Fectio
ALA I BATAVORUM
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#21
Well, peoples attitiudes to kit varies greatly, and some of us have dearly held opinions.

From my experiance the simple "Sparta" blade will not break. The Indian ones will. Re-worked it is a cheap option.

I often see good blades for sale at re-enactment markets or within groups second hand. Some are even old African blades which are still functional and have a charm of their own.

A smith like Paul can provide you with a good blade. There are currently lots of smiths to chose from with lots of different price structures.

I certainly like non-commercial swords and scabbards with an individual look.

Good luck with your search. :-D
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.comitatus.net">http://www.comitatus.net
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.historicalinterpretations.net">http://www.historicalinterpretations.net
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#22
That was going to be my next question: the Battle Orders sword says it's "combat ready". I wasn't sure how much salt to take with that but it sounds from John as though it's relatively hardy.

There's no rush in any event. Helmet and tunic are the first things, I think...
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#23
Bouncing around the countryside refers to "a late Roman auxiliary cavalryman stationed in Britain, and that won't fall apart just because it's attached to somebody on a galloping horse". I find horses very bouncy.

Addapting a sword takes research for it to be reasonably accurate. Yes, a non commercial look may be achieved, but do try to base that on what we have evidence for and don't just slap on anything that you think "looks right and works". There is no point in addapting it otherwise. There are plenty who will offer you advise on that, as will I. My beef with buying crap swords and addapting them is really that it keeps bad products in the market (they are being sold). You are better of making or having someone make you a blade and start from there anyday. You also learn a lot :grin:

There a various stages in "Indian crap", a whole range of crappyness. Like Jurjen said, the Deepeeka third century sword is half-decent. There are still quite a few things wrong with it, so it is not "historicly correct", but as you wrote from the start, you have limited means and do not wish to pursue "correctness", you can well get a DPK. I have a first century one :wink: The fittings are awfull! Will take that apart one of these days.

John's offer to get Paul to make you a blade for a decent price sounds great! As does Mithras offering you a slide for your scabbard. When making the bone grip, be carefull with the bone dust, it is dangerous to the lungs. Best piece of bone for that is the thick canonbone just above the hoof. I buy those at the petstore, where they are offered as dogchews.

Have fun!
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum
Return the Romans to Batavian soil!

Robert P. Wimmers
Foundation Archeological Themepark Limes
>http://www.ferrumantica.eu (The NEW Fabrica of Vvlpivs!)
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#24
My friend has one of these blades. I have to agree with John C. The blades are actually decent quality and will take a razor sharp edge. A simple bit of modification and you'll have a decent sowrd for the period.
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#25
"Best piece of bone for that is the thick canonbone just above the hoof. I buy those at the petstore, where they are offered as dogchews."

If you do make your own grip, make sure you get a bone from the rear leg rather than the foreleg, as the internal section of the foreleg cannon bone is not suitable for grips. A calf's bone is also better for the purpose than that of an adult animal, which is generally too large.

Crispvs
Who is called \'\'Paul\'\' by no-one other than his wife, parents and brothers. :!: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" />:!:

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.romanarmy.net">www.romanarmy.net
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#26
Quote:If you do make your own grip, make sure you get a bone from the rear leg rather than the foreleg, as the internal section of the foreleg cannon bone is not suitable for grips. A calf's bone is also better for the purpose than that of an adult animal, which is generally too large.

Crispvs
Wow, how the heck did you come by that bit of obscure information, Crispus??
Paul Elliott

Legions in Crisis
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/17815...d_i=468294

Charting the Third Century military crisis - with a focus on the change in weapons and tactics.
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#27
Ahh - you really don't want to know how many cow's feet I bought, dissected and boiled up, only to discover that they were the wrong shape or size for a grip before I started gaining the right skeletal understanding to allow me to start identifying which bones would be right before I bought them. I didn't discover suitable bones in pet shops until somewhat later. I don't really know if that was fortunate or unfortunate. :roll: :wink:

Crispvs
Who is called \'\'Paul\'\' by no-one other than his wife, parents and brothers. :!: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" />:!:

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.romanarmy.net">www.romanarmy.net
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#28
Bone work is great. But pet shop bone while "safe" used to be sterilized or irradiated which altered the way it worked and even looked. I think in the 1990's we all tried it and move back to the good stuff. Perhaps it is better now but I'll stick to my butcher.

I have enjoyed working bone for years and it has never done me any harm........ :lol:

http://www.ashmolean.org/services/public...ing/?id=67

Is of course the standard work. Cheap as well.
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.comitatus.net">http://www.comitatus.net
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.historicalinterpretations.net">http://www.historicalinterpretations.net
<a class="postlink" href="http://lateantiquearchaeology.wordpress.com">http://lateantiquearchaeology.wordpress.com
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#29
For those going for the butchers approach to bone for handles, don't bury it to deflesh it! I have found the acids in the ground will stain the bone. And the internal marrow turns into something really horrible! So best get the hind trotters, cut away the hoof and deflesh the bone as far as it goes, cut of the knobs at one or both ends with a hacksaw and then boil in water with a little bit of bleach. Not too much or it will strip calcium from the bone, desolving it.
For later roman handles, the thicker bones of the adult cattle can be used, as these handles have a thicker cross section, conical, some with fingergrips, but many also either cilindical, conical ovals or barrelshaped with spiral decorations.
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum
Return the Romans to Batavian soil!

Robert P. Wimmers
Foundation Archeological Themepark Limes
>http://www.ferrumantica.eu (The NEW Fabrica of Vvlpivs!)
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#30
Good God Robert,

Get the butcher to do all that!He will have all the right tools and it take seconds. I just boil out the bone marrow and that is it. Make life easy for yourself! :grin:
John Conyard

York

A member of Comitatus Late Roman
Reconstruction Group

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.comitatus.net">http://www.comitatus.net
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.historicalinterpretations.net">http://www.historicalinterpretations.net
<a class="postlink" href="http://lateantiquearchaeology.wordpress.com">http://lateantiquearchaeology.wordpress.com
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