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Gordon Clark




PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct, 2003 10:37 am    Post subject: Peter Johnsson Museum Collection         Reply with quote

A couple of things I would love to know:

Availability - are they 'out' now, and if not, is there a schedule for when they may be available?

More stats - There is a description of good 'mass distribution' for the swords, but no stats on the thickness at the hilt or the distal taper. Can you guys at Albion give us some numbers for the three swords?

Thanks!

Gordon
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Peter Johnsson




PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct, 2003 1:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Peter Johnsson Museum Collection         Reply with quote

Gordon Clark wrote:
A couple of things I would love to know:

Availability - are they 'out' now, and if not, is there a schedule for when they may be available?

More stats - There is a description of good 'mass distribution' for the swords, but no stats on the thickness at the hilt or the distal taper. Can you guys at Albion give us some numbers for the three swords?

Thanks!

Gordon



Hi Gordon,
Museum Line reaching the market: Last visit I made in New Glarus at Albion all three swords were to be finally put together from parts made for production. A small fly entered the soup as the castings of the hilt components came out ever so slightly too small. They were otherwise fine affording a high definition of detail and form. As it is I need to carve new waxes making them 2% larger. As soon as molds are made from these and castings made, the swords will reach the market.
It has been a journey to develop these three swords but one that will also reflect on the swords in the "New Generation". Highly defined blade blanks and methods for finishing, heat treat and cutlery work will not only afford a high level of quality for the mueum recreations but the more generic swords as well.

Stats...I have previously been very open in sharing on the internet specific results of my research in numbers. I have learned the need to be more restrictive about this. I will therefore not reveal the specific details regarding the degrees of taper, actual numbers of angles and rates of proportions and hope you will understand this need of discretion.
What I´d like to point out is this: All museum line swords are based on my own hands on research on the originals inquestion. The data used to recreate them is not available in any books or publishings, but I have hopes and plans to present my finds and theories in some kind of book.
The data I record are specific measurements and notes on shapes and cross sections. I naturally note point of balance, weight as well as node placement and pivot points whenever the state of the original so allowes. When making a reconstruction the state of preservation of the original needs to be taken into account. It helps to have seen and handeled many originals in various stages of crispness or decay to be able to make a good estiamtion of original form and mass.
When a blade is designed to be a representaion of a type rather that a single individual sword I base its shape and proportions on results from several documetations.

By comparing data from several originals of the same type it is possible to see certain patterns in the variations of distal taper and outline of the edge, as well as typical proportions between dimensions of various parts, like thickness, cross section and hilt dimensions. There is something of a hidden logic in how swords were shaped in ancient times. When the same principles for proportions are followed today it is possible to produce swords that strongly express not only the handling and performance of the originals but also share the same aesthetic characterisitcs. The aesthetics of swords are very closely tied to their performance, it is not something that is merely added afterwards as icing on a cake. The real beauty of medieval swords lie in their proportions and that is also the key to unlock the secrets of their handling and performance.

All blades are based on a properly shaped blade blank. This is true both for hand forged swords as well as milled blaks or those manufactured from grinding. Before the final shape is established a blank must be made that incorporates the proper proportions and the right distribution of mass for it to be made into a sharp and well balanced sword.
The Museum Line swords are all based on detailed documentation of individual swords. Aspects like blade thickness, degrees of distal taper, edge angles, balance and pivot points and other dimensions are as would be a of sword when it was new. My ambition when developing these swords together with Albion is to make available to sword enthusiasts swords of a quality and level of detail that only very costly handforged reconstructions would allow. The level of detail in the definition of the blades is the same as any of my handforged swords as it would be when the same data is used in the shaping of the blade blanks.

I hope this lengthy answer has answered your questions.
Best
Peter
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Gordon Clark




PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct, 2003 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the info. I can appreciate the need for you to hold on to 'intellectual property' if that is the right concept,
but I think that if a prospective customer wants to know the thickness of a bade of a production sword before laying out money, that that is a reasonable question. After all, once one of them is in the hands of a 'poster with callipers', the cat will be out of the bag. Perhaps when they are closer to being ready to ship, more info will be available?

Thanks!

Gordon
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct, 2003 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Clark wrote:
Hi Peter,

Thanks for the info. I can appreciate the need for you to hold on to 'intellectual property' if that is the right concept,
but I think that if a prospective customer wants to know the thickness of a bade of a production sword before laying out money, that that is a reasonable question. After all, once one of them is in the hands of a 'poster with callipers', the cat will be out of the bag. Perhaps when they are closer to being ready to ship, more info will be available?

At least let them hit the market, first.

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Patrick Kelly




PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct, 2003 10:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter is hesitant to discuss the hard numbers of these designs, and for good reason. In the past Peter has shared his research on-line and it's been misinterperated, and used as a weapon against him. Consequently he's pretty gunshy about it.

I understand Peters point of view.

We also need to realize that we're talking about business here not charity. The making of swords is not a non-profit community works project. An extreme amount of time and effort has gone into the design and manufacture of the museum line. There's no reason why the parties involved should be expected to provide their competition with the fruits of their labors. This holds true in any other business, swords are no different.

I understand the business point of view.

I also understand the potential buyers desire to know more about the product before spending that hard earned dollar. On the other hand, I've discussed these swords with Peter, at length. There are a lot of different elements to these designs. The hard numbers are only a small percentage of the big picture, as such they really won't tell you much in terms of how the swords will handle and perform dynamically. The thickness of the blade at the hilt won't tell you anything, other than how thick the blade is at the hilt. It won't tell you a thing about cutting ability, balance, durability, or anything else. Measurements of distal taper won't tell you much on paper, especially since many of the designs don't have a steady DT, but are graduated in increments as they should be, and were historically.

Since I spent the better part of an afternoon going at these swords with a pair of calipers I do have all of these figures. I will be sharing them as part of an overall review, but there's nothing there that should be fixated on in and of itself.
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Blaz Berlec




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2003 7:51 am    Post subject: Stats of museum originals         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:



Stats...I have previously been very open in sharing on the internet specific results of my research in numbers. I have learned the need to be more restrictive about this. I will therefore not reveal the specific details regarding the degrees of taper, actual numbers of angles and rates of proportions and hope you will understand this need of discretion.
What I´d like to point out is this: All museum line swords are based on my own hands on research on the originals inquestion. The data used to recreate them is not available in any books or publishings, but I have hopes and plans to present my finds and theories in some kind of book.


Well, I would certainly buy that book at once!

It's kind of sad when the best book with sword measurements and statistics is... Björn Hellqvist's home page :) Ofcourse, just measurements don't tell much for most of us, I'm eagerly awaiting an insight on your finds, theories and interpretations!

I just hope the folks at Albion will not deny their competitors such a "shortcut"!
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2003 11:02 am    Post subject: Re: Stats of museum originals         Reply with quote

Blaz Berlec wrote:

Well, I would certainly buy that book at once!

It's kind of sad when the best book with sword measurements and statistics is... Björn Hellqvist's home page Happy Ofcourse, just measurements don't tell much for most of us, I'm eagerly awaiting an insight on your finds, theories and interpretations!

I just hope the folks at Albion will not deny their competitors such a "shortcut"!


And the sad thing is that my website shows only the most basic stats... Peter's documentation of a sword takes easily an hour, while I spend perhaps 15 minutes with each sword. He is way more meticulous, and a book by him would cause a small revolution in the sword world.
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Peter Johnsson




PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct, 2003 1:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Clark wrote:
Hi Peter,

Thanks for the info. I can appreciate the need for you to hold on to 'intellectual property' if that is the right concept,
but I think that if a prospective customer wants to know the thickness of a bade of a production sword before laying out money, that that is a reasonable question. After all, once one of them is in the hands of a 'poster with callipers', the cat will be out of the bag. Perhaps when they are closer to being ready to ship, more info will be available?

Thanks!

Gordon


Hey Gordon,
You are right of course. Anyone with calipers can get measurements from the swords when the are out there. The thing is that one will only get the information one looks for. If I would describe that mesurements I work from and how I process these, I also describe my methods of analyzing originals. This work method has taken years for me to develop. The approach and method is to me as valuable as the measurements them selves and I feel reluctant to give things like that away for nothing on a public fourm. I always describe what and how I do things and try to help trusted fellow craftsmen whenever I can, but prefer to choose when and to whom I do this.
If I get to realize my dream to make a book on swords and swordmaking, these methods and theories will be illlustrated with ample examples from historical originals to support the ideas.

As to the measurements being a "short-cut" for others attempting to make similar swords, well I guess one can say that to some degree. It is not that simple though. If the full potential of the data is to be used (and one will have to look carefully to see all aspects of the design in each and every sword) the recreation has to be very dedicated and production complex. I´d say it is close to impossible to make cheap knock offs based on the data, as any sword made to those specifications would be time consuming to produce and therefore has to demand a higher price.

To be truthfull, the swords are already out there: original swords are waiting in museums all around Europe and United States. Anyone can approach the museums and ask to take measurements. Again, you will only get the information you look for and then you will have to implement these data in a production method that take advatage of a high degree of definition. My cooperation with Albion is the only way for me as a private researcher to be able to afford spending a large amount of my available wroking time doing anlyzes and documentations of originals in collections around europe.

I hope I do not come across as haughty and arrogant in writing this. It is something that is difficult to describe without resorting to a one hour talk on swordmaking. The best a swordmaker can hope for is enthusiastic, knowledgable and information hugry customers. I welcome your curiosity and hope you understand my point of weiw.
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct, 2003 4:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:

To be truthfull, the swords are already out there: original swords are waiting in museums all around Europe and United States. Anyone can approach the museums and ask to take measurements. Again, you will only get the information you look for and then you will have to implement these data in a production method that take advatage of a high degree of definition. My cooperation with Albion is the only way for me as a private researcher to be able to afford spending a large amount of my available wroking time doing anlyzes and documentations of originals in collections around europe.

I hope I do not come across as haughty and arrogant in writing this. It is something that is difficult to describe without resorting to a one hour talk on swordmaking. The best a swordmaker can hope for is enthusiastic, knowledgable and information hugry customers. I welcome your curiosity and hope you understand my point of weiw.


The problem with the Internet today is that while we want information to be free (as in accessible), very few are prepared to contribute to it by paying for it, or giving information in return, as some want it to be free (as in gratis). Peter's posts, myArmoury and my website are a few examples of how to share information, but the very much detailed information some request often calls for time, money and knowledge to obtain. While not a criticism of the initial poster (those stats aren't remarkable or secret), people in general must understand that there are other people than enthusiasts browsing this and other fora for nuggets they can use without having to do that tedious, expensive research.
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Gordon Clark




PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct, 2003 5:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:

......
I hope I do not come across as haughty and arrogant in writing this. It is something that is difficult to describe without resorting to a one hour talk on swordmaking. The best a swordmaker can hope for is enthusiastic, knowledgable and information hugry customers. I welcome your curiosity and hope you understand my point of weiw.


Of course not Peter! Have never heard you sound that way... In a perfect world you could share everything without worrying, it is too bad that it is not a perfect world. :-)

I have no doubt that the museum line will be great recreations of medieval swords - I just want to have some idea if the sword I am getting is the sword I want (esp in this price range). Since I can't handle them first, I will read reviews (soon Patrick?...) and try to picture them with whatever data is out there.

Thanks.

Gordon
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Blaz Berlec




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct, 2003 7:14 am    Post subject: Swords in museums         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
To be truthful, the swords are already out there: original swords are waiting in museums all around Europe and United States. Anyone can approach the museums and ask to take measurements. ...

...The best a swordmaker can hope for is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and information hungry customers. ...

Yup, anyone can ask to take measurements... But in a country where I am, you cannot even hope to get permission. I live in Slovenia, and our museums have a small number of swords - some bronze age, Celtic, roman and migration period, none of the “Viking swords”, and around 30 medieval swords, all excavated or river finds, but some in very good condition and shape. You can see few of them in a small regional museums, but our main National museum keeps all the rest locked in a depo. The last time they saw the light of day was in the 70’!

And they have very strict rules about making replicas – they are obviously paranoid about forgeries, because by their view a replica must be: a. made of visibly different material than original or b. made on a different scale. So you can hope to get permission to make a small steel letter opener in shape of sword, or a full scale copper sword. And even then you have to get commissioned for replica making before they allow you to see the object. Silly, really. But totally off topic…

Well, we are enthusiastic and information hungry customers enough. Problem is with that “knowledgeable” part – most of the swordsmiths I know can’t claim that one.
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct, 2003 9:52 am    Post subject: Re: Swords in museums         Reply with quote

Blaz Berlec wrote:

...The best a swordmaker can hope for is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and information hungry customers. ...
Yup, anyone can ask to take measurements... But in a country where I am, you cannot even hope to get permission. I live in Slovenia, and our museums have a small number of swords - some bronze age, Celtic, roman and migration period, none of the “Viking swords”, and around 30 medieval swords, all excavated or river finds, but some in very good condition and shape. You can see few of them in a small regional museums, but our main National museum keeps all the rest locked in a depo. The last time they saw the light of day was in the 70’!

And they have very strict rules about making replicas – they are obviously paranoid about forgeries, because by their view a replica must be: a. made of visibly different material than original or b. made on a different scale. So you can hope to get permission to make a small steel letter opener in shape of sword, or a full scale copper sword. And even then you have to get commissioned for replica making before they allow you to see the object. Silly, really. But totally off topic…

Well, we are enthusiastic and information hungry customers enough. Problem is with that “knowledgeable” part – most of the swordsmiths I know can’t claim that one.


It is really sad that state-funded museums can have such an attitude. The people pay the taxes that fund the museums, and the swords are the property of the people. Therefore, they should be accessible to anyone with a wish to study them. As for forgeries, there was a case with ancient Greek coin replicas sold by the British Museum some years ago. They were so well made, that forgers used them as originals for casts that were sold as the real thing. After that, all coin copies are marked "Copy". But the museum doesn't have to know what you are going to use the measurements for. Claim that you study the items for an article (it is a good thing to be a member of a historical arms society, and have an article or two published in a members' newsletter). Anyway, check the laws and claim your right! Battle the dragons! (Peter gets that last thing, recalling his experience a week ago...)


Last edited by Björn Hellqvist on Wed 15 Oct, 2003 11:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Brian M




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct, 2003 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Mr. Johnsson,

I ordered one of the first new Gaddhjalts from Albion a couple of weeks ago. I am curious, when you said the pommel castings came in undersized and had to be reworked, did you mean only the "Museum" line, or the "Next-Generation" line as well?
This is my first sword purchase after two years of reading books, reading online reviews, and asking questions. I look forward to seeing it in person, as well as the upcoming swords in the Next-Generation line -- particularly the XII, XIIa, and XIIIa. I read your description of the XI and XII on an earlier post here; any chance of describing the XIIa and XIIIa for us?

Regards,
Brian Millican
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Jason Dingledine




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct, 2003 8:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian M wrote:
Hello Mr. Johnsson,

I ordered one of the first new Gaddhjalts from Albion a couple of weeks ago. I am curious, when you said the pommel castings came in undersized and had to be reworked, did you mean only the "Museum" line, or the "Next-Generation" line as well?
This is my first sword purchase after two years of reading books, reading online reviews, and asking questions. I look forward to seeing it in person, as well as the upcoming swords in the Next-Generation line -- particularly the XII, XIIa, and XIIIa. I read your description of the XI and XII on an earlier post here; any chance of describing the XIIa and XIIIa for us?

Regards,
Brian Millican


Hi Brian,

Since I'm in the shop, I can answer this one. The Gaddjhalt and other "Next Gen" castings came fine as far as the shrinkage is concerned.

It was only the fittings for the Museum Line that came out too small. When I say too small, I really am only talking about roughly .75mm in width, and about 1mm in heigth, but that is how obsessive we are being. Peter calculated for a 2% shrinkage to casting in his masters, and we got 5%. Bottom line is that they were right, so we aren't going to use them.

Peter is now in the process of recarving new wax masters, which then have to be mailed here, we have to send them to be molded (this is the second round of molds, and the replacements aren't gratis), and then to the foundry. Once we get castings in, we can start the assembly work. The good news is that the blades are programmed, so that major hurdle is over.

Jason Dingledine
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Brian M




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct, 2003 11:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That kind of attention to detail is good to hear. I am sure your customers will appreciate the extra effort and understand the delay. Even though I am not (as yet) buying a Museum sword, it assures me that similar care is being taken with the next-generation swords. I'm very much looking forward to my first sword, although I will have to delay gratification an extra month while a scabbard is made.
Question: Do you project that the economy sale will still be in effect when the second batch of next-gen swords comes out next spring? Or is that just unknowable at this point?

Regards,
Brian M
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 16 Oct, 2003 2:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian M wrote:
Question: Do you project that the economy sale will still be in effect when the second batch of next-gen swords comes out next spring? Or is that just unknowable at this point?

According to the Albion Web site, the sale ends November 30.

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Brian M




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Oct, 2003 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I must've missed that on the website. Well, I consider myself fortunate to have purchased the Gaddhjalt on sale. If I had another $544 laying around I'd purchase a "Vinland" sword, but "classic Viking" swords aren't really my thing, and the money should be saved for a next-gen type-XII.
Unfortunately I am now experiencing the "is it here yet?" syndrome.

Brian M
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Peter Johnsson




PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2003 5:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian M wrote:
Hello Mr. Johnsson,

This is my first sword purchase after two years of reading books, reading online reviews, and asking questions. I look forward to seeing it in person, as well as the upcoming swords in the Next-Generation line -- particularly the XII, XIIa, and XIIIa. I read your description of the XI and XII on an earlier post here; any chance of describing the XIIa and XIIIa for us?

Regards,
Brian Millican


The XIIa will be a big sword with strong profile taper and an acutely pointed point section (but not so much as to make it into a XVIa). It will be broad at the hilt with a crisp and deep fuller with a subtly defined lift at the end. The hilt will most probably be a deep wheel pommel with high rivetblock and a cross with trumpeted ends of round or octagonal section. The grip will be fairly long. A sword bordering to truly two hand dimensions, with a blade length close to 95 cm but still agile for its size.
The XIIIa will ve slightly shorter and perhaps a tad lighter, but still of impressive size. During the development of the Tritonia we saw the superior cleaving power of that blade design. We wanted to offer a generic blade with room for two hands: a great sword version. It has a classic XIIIa silhouette with a distribution of mass inspired from the Tritonia (who is a surprisingly agile sword fo its size). Hilt style will also be classic: any of the wheel pommels and a simple but visually effective cross (there are a few versions to choose from).
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Brian M




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PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2003 9:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great, thanks a lot for taking the time.

Regards,
Brian M
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Gordon Clark




PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2003 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:

The XIIa will be a big sword with strong profile taper and an acutely pointed point section (but not so much as to make it into a XVIa). It will be broad at the hilt with a crisp and deep fuller with a subtly defined lift at the end. The hilt will most probably be a deep wheel pommel with high rivetblock and a cross with trumpeted ends of round or octagonal section. The grip will be fairly long. A sword bordering to truly two hand dimensions, with a blade length close to 95 cm but still agile for its size. ...


Oh man, oh man, oh man...
that one sounds nice.
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