Thursday, October 20, 2011

We need your help... flexibility of blades

We are looking at changing the "Approved Blades List" into simpler criteria with minimum standards, with a high emphasis on the flexibility of the blade.

To validate the plan, we need to gather as much data as possible on the blades currently being used in the SCA for both Heavy Rapier and Cut & Thrust, as well as blades we don't allow, but which might be usable in the SCA. An online survey form has been posted here:

You'll need a 3-oz weight and a 6-oz weight to do the survey. It closes on November 7th.

Please participate, and spread the word.


  1. One interesting point I'd like to throw in to be considered. I've now tested & reported on 12 blades.

    I've noticed a couple of things that might need to be considered when you are evaluating this data (as well as if we move to a completely 'bend test' standard.)

    1) When measuring where the tip bends to, depending upon 'where' you measure, 'might' matter greatly. If you measure just behind the tip (for a clean look at the blade - often easier to see versus many tips) vs the 'extreme tip of the rubber tip' ... on 90% of the swords you get (within 1/64") indistinguishable measurements. However, on blades that are extremely 'tip flexible' instead of bending over the entire blade, this can vary much more severely.

    2) Highly related, the practice of measuring at the 'exact tip' also potentially has some flaws. As the more rubber/etc that you have at the end of your tip, the more exaggerated a deflection can become (especially in the tip-flexible blades). One person (in some kingdoms) might just have a small layer of leather over a tip. But in others such as Atlantia, you might not only have 1/2" of rubber off the end in your bird blunt, but also potentially have a 1/2" added by a nut in the blunt. Extending the length of the blade by a full inch, and therefore changing the measurements.

    Anyway, just sharing what I noticed, in case you might need to take it into account :)

    Thank you for the opportunity to help.

    Barun Siegfried

  2. I have an excel file with various data compiled on a whole bunch of blades, not just flex. There are some pitures available as well - if interested, is there someplace that I can send this?

    Don Ramon Diaz de la Vega

  3. Sorry, my email is donramon at lostware dot com

  4. Any updates? Those of us who submitted stuff have been waiting with baited breath to hear some results. Even if just some raw numbers. Number submitted, etc.

  5. The final deadline was extended for data collection at a big event, Don Thomas de Castellan will be analyzing soon.

    Siegfried, thanks for the thoughts on *where* the weight is placed. Did any of the blades you tested have a significant difference in deflection based on where you placed the weight?

  6. Baroness Eyrny -- Yes, specifically I found that any blade that had it's 'flex' profile such that it bent more near the tip, versus along the whole length of the blade. To be far more sensitive to exact weight placement.

    For example the Hanwei Federschwert (Not currently approved, though I hope it will be under the new rules), is designed with a very thick forte that is inflexible & a very thin foible. The flex profile of the blade is only in the last maybe 1/3 of the blade in it's entirety. On this blade (and others like it), the placement of the weight made more difference (though still small, but measurable).

    This seems to be somewhat the case with any such designed blades. The Alchem Safeflex come to mind as well, with their stronger (fullered) forte and thin/flat foible.

    Versus any much more uniform style blade. Such as the true schlaegers, or many Zen Warrior blades, which are much more uniform across their length.


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