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[Simulator] Comfort fencing Dobringer Federschwert

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[Simulator] Comfort fencing Dobringer Federschwert

Beitragvon jpk » Dienstag 13. Mai 2014, 11:29

Das folgende Stück Text habe ich in Englisch verfasst, da mich der Hersteller darum gebeten hat. Ich werde es nicht übersetzen. Ich denke, es ist auch so verständlich:
Comfort fencing Federschwert Review

The following is a much shortened primitive summary of some thinking of mine. If you really want to know something about sword geometry you better go and ask the experts like Peter Johnson. For this review it is good enough. We start looking at the profile (cross-section) of a sword blade.

Eggs are perfectly designed constructs to absorb forces like impacts from the top. Sounds strange but I won’t dive in the reasons why this is so (ever heard about the egg-drop-challenge?). From the viewpoint of distributing the forces of an impact on the blade your sword is an egg. Not an ellipse because you never get hit on both sides at the same time. When the forces of an impact on one side reached the center of your blade, it is largely distributed along the length and thus it does not react like an ellipsoid or to be more specific like an American football elongated spheroid. So we have two eggs with the same center. Sure it is not a perfect egg because of the length of the blade, but we can ignore that here because what troubles us is not the impact in thrusting but in getting parried. This impact has to be brought to the center and distributed along the full length in such a way that the handle stays calm.

If your weapon is a Messer like a Katana the “egg effect” is even more prominent. Even if the weapon looks like a flat strip of steel it has the “egg effect” as long as it is hand forged. If steel bands are folded and hammered they create the “egg” inside (even more if there is a “egg yolk” using another steel). If the blade is made by industrial steel stripes there no “egg effect” at all – this is why modern (Feder)swords based on stripes mostly lack in doing a good “sword job”. They feel “dead” in our hands.

A lot of weapon blades have at least one fuller which creates two eggs connected with arches. And here starts another problem. The fuller is not only to take the weight away. It must be constructed as a bridge to distribute the forces of an impact to both centers of the two eggs properly. If the arches do not support this feature and e.g. distribute the force not to the center of the second egg, the sword feels good as long as you do not hit anything hard. If hit it will wobble or shake most irritating.

So the sword geometry must have two eggs in the cross-section which bring the impact forces to the center and distribute them to the length. And it must have the correct measures in length and weight such that these forces do not shake the hand(s) and the cutting point but wobble into oblivion at sword parts that do not matter so much.

I did not talk this theory of mine into some sword producers as you know I am a bloody amateur with no knowledge at all about sword making. This is even not really physical testable as the variations of making swords and blades is enormous. Like with all things you produce you can have your theory proven if you want it to by changing the parameters.

Why I am telling you this? Because I recently handled a Federschwert that exactly matched this theory. And as I heard that the fuller of the blade was tested with a bridge simulating software I smiled a lot (I am sure Rafael had no idea why). And the good news for you all: it worked.

The construction of the Dobringer Federschwert is made by two columns which are connected by arches. The arches have the perfect measure to distribute the impact on one column to the center of the second. These are still no eggs. But it comes very close.

So we tested the blade in Dijon 2014 - we got a 1800g Dobringer version - and clashed it heavily in Zornhau-Ort against an old version of Pavel Moc Dürer sword with the weight c. 1900g. It responded very nicely and there was no pause to act in the Indes and switch to any position you like. There was no bouncing in the hands, it did not wobble like hell. We did a bunch of tricky things which are usually slowed down by impacts. No big deal here, everything like we wanted. The point was easily brought to the place we wanted to even fractions of a second after a strike that was parried.

The flexibility of the blade in the thrust is not fool-safe. You can do a lot in t-shirt with this simulator but it will hurt. The thickened point will probably prevent penetrating the skin, but skin and thin cotton is flexible and there is woundable stuff behind those tissues. The blade flexes perfectly good against standard protecting jackets, no need for enhanced plastic armor here. Or use a thin fencing jacket and show up proudly your bruises.

I cannot say much about the durability of that tool. The blade took the impact without getting nicked too much. It is steel against steel, so there will be nicks. It had the look of good hardened steel with no splinters. How long it will survive on daily duty? Time will tell. I did not got one for taking home and do some serious testing on this issue.

The handle, pommel and the crossbar fit to the blade nicely. The mouth of the crossbar which takes the blade could be a bit closer to the blade. It fits good to the tang so I don’t fear it will rattle very soon. But because the handle is wood it will deform on impact on the crossbar and this could damage be reduced by perfect fitting to the blade.

The handle feels good in the hand, and more is not to say about that. The pommel named “Gothic” is like some other “Dürer” versions a pain on the hand inside if you prefer the pommel grip bare handed. So I would recommend another pommel type for such fencers.

All in all this Federschwert is probably the best simulator with the “Feder” in it I handled so far. I like the Albion Meyer too, but it is not as “lively” as the Dobringer types and the Dobringer type add 10cm more reach, additionally the thickened point acts better than the open fuller of the Meyer (they should have ended the fuller some cm before the point).

It is to say that Comfort Fencing lacks in being transparent and handle the customers as they should be handled. There is no problem to wait for a good product some weeks or even several months or a year if you are informed properly. I know that they had serious trouble to get the stuff they needed for their gloves, so they could not deliver them to their customers. This is understandable. But it is no good to keep the customers waiting without telling them why. They really have to work on their customer relationship. It is not enough to have brilliant ideas and really good products.

We are probably going to order a bunch of these simulators. I could have reduced the review to this sentence, but you would probably asked for details anyway.


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