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converting sword for stage combat

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  • Rick
    Here is a dumb question, but I ask out of economic necessity. If you take a good steel wall hanger and remove the pommel, grip and quilliens generally a welded
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 11, 2007
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      Here is a dumb question, but I ask out of economic necessity.

      If you take a good steel wall hanger and remove the pommel, grip and
      quilliens generally a welded screw post is revealed.

      Would a sword of such construction be stronger for stage combat if the
      screw post is removed and the rear end of the blade cut down to fit
      through the quilliens, grip and pommel then peened over?

      Thanks
      ---Rick Allison
      aka Squire Seanne
    • Shelton Browder
      Without seeing the sword, I couldn t say for sure, but if you can remove enough material for the end of the screw to protrude about 1/8 inch through the
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 12, 2007
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        Without seeing the sword, I couldn't say for sure, but if you can remove
        enough material for the end of the screw to protrude about 1/8 inch
        through the pommell (which I presume is threaded), you can just peen the
        end of the screw over and you'll have the added benefit of streads and a
        peened over tang. I would tend to heat the very end of the tang where its
        going to be peened over to soften it (with all the furniture removed, of
        course). If you have a gas stove, heat it through all the temper colors
        to a pale blue. Allow it to slow cool.

        Shel


        Quoting Rick <threeallisons@...>:

        > Here is a dumb question, but I ask out of economic necessity.
        >
        > If you take a good steel wall hanger and remove the pommel, grip and
        > quilliens generally a welded screw post is revealed.
        >
        > Would a sword of such construction be stronger for stage combat if the
        > screw post is removed and the rear end of the blade cut down to fit
        > through the quilliens, grip and pommel then peened over?
        >
        > Thanks
        > ---Rick Allison
        > aka Squire Seanne
        >
        >
        >
      • Crowolf Design
        Hi Rick, I m not an expert on stage combat but I am a fencing instructor (both historical and modern) and I ve done a bit of sword cutlering for Western
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 12, 2007
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          Hi Rick,

          I'm not an expert on stage combat but I am a fencing instructor (both
          historical and modern) and I've done a bit of sword cutlering for Western
          martial arts. It is impossible to judge for sure based on the information
          provided but my advice would be don't use a "wall hanger" for stage combat
          and don't change the temper of the tang by heating it unless you know what
          you are doing. The tang is a likely point for the sword to break and in
          weapons intended for costume and display they are notoriously weak. I can't
          think of any advantage to a peened tang for stage combat other than looking
          more historically accurate. I peened the tang of my daughter's smallsword
          and ended up rethreading it because it loosened too easily. It is a good
          thing to be able to tighten the pommel without having to resort to the
          period solutions of washers and shims. If the blade is not designed for
          stage combat or historical fencing it may be a danger. Even if it is good
          carbon steel the edge is probably thin and designed to be sharpened. If you
          are doing any sort of blade to blade contact in your choreography you might
          be putting your actors and your audience at risk. Practice and stage swords
          have thicker edges designed to withstand repeated blade to blade contact and
          are designed not to injure your acting or training partner. If the sword in
          question is made of stainless steel don't even think about using it.

          There are some suitable inexpensive swords out there. The Paul Chen Hanwei
          practical series swords can be picked up pretty cheaply online and on ebay.
          Make sure the blade is a "practical" one, designed for practice and stage
          use. American Fencers Supply has a good selection of inexpensive stage
          weapons too. You could possibly use the hilt from your wall hanger on a
          suitable blade if the hilt is strong enough. I have seen hilt components
          from display swords break when used this way. If your budget is really
          tight, I would see if you could borrow something from a local historical
          fencing or Western martial arts group or SCA folks that are working with
          steel for rapier combat or in the arts and sciences. I've loaned out my own
          weapons to worthy stage productions on occasion.

          I realize I may be preaching to the choir and you may know these things
          already. Your sword may be just fine for how you plan on using it but I'm
          going by your assessment of it as a "wall hanger". You may know enough about
          metallurgy and swordsmithing to properly peen the tang but I'd err on the
          side of safety. Just my opinion. Hope it helps. I'll post this video link as
          a cautionary tale.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrIEdW5A9cs

          Break a leg!

          John "Jay" Glenn
          Assistant Instructor of rapier and smallsword, Mid Atlantic Society for
          Historical Swordsmanship and
          Instructor at the Chesapeake Fencing Club, Baltimore Maryland.




          On Dec 11, 2007 10:12 AM, Rick <threeallisons@...> wrote:

          > Here is a dumb question, but I ask out of economic necessity.
          >
          > If you take a good steel wall hanger and remove the pommel, grip and
          > quilliens generally a welded screw post is revealed.
          >
          > Would a sword of such construction be stronger for stage combat if the
          > screw post is removed and the rear end of the blade cut down to fit
          > through the quilliens, grip and pommel then peened over?
          >
          > Thanks
          > ---Rick Allison
          > aka Squire Seanne
          >
          >
          >


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