Darkwood economy rapiers?

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Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby admin » 03 Mar 2014 11:14

Hi folks, I have a fair knowledge of these myself, as I've played with quite a few over the years and we have one in the club that I borrow fairly regularly. What I would like to know, is do the rapierists here recommend asking for a different (heavier or lighter) pommel, or getting a particular type of blade. Is the standard blade okay, or too floppy? Etc.
Advice appreciated!

(and no I do not intend to become a rapierist - I want to get one to chop in half with a ninja sword for a video :P )
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Turmine » 03 Mar 2014 16:03

A bit of a 'how long is a bit of string' question there Matt ... because everybody will want something slightly different to suit their tastes. I have the Darkwood Pappenheimer I Rapier with the bated blade and I selected the acorn pommel which I think is the lightest of the lot - I handed it to one of our Provosts the other day, who is about 6ft 4", and he loved the weight and the balance as do I at 6ft tall and hmmmmnghh pounds. I think I have a 39" blade on mine, the bated trainer, and it is not floppy by any means at all. It really will come down to your personal preference and requirements I think ... are you seriously going to chop one with a whinger sword? Can't we just stop feeding the whinger fanboys once and for all ... please? :roll: :lol:

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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby admin » 03 Mar 2014 16:41

Yes I think I am leaning towards the bated blade rather than the standard fencing rapier blade, as I'd like it to be as stiff as reasonably possible. Though I'll go for 45 inches, as I figure if I'm going to have a rapier I may as well make is as 'rapier' as possible. If there was a 48 inch blade I'd go for that! I'm 6'1", so a little above average.
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Turmine » 03 Mar 2014 16:55

At 48" mate ... I think old Swetnam would approve! He liked stuff about 4ft and thought that was pretty damn reasonable. For me personally, the moment you get out to 4ft it starts to get like laying out a builders tape measure - Silver would not approve of such 'bird spits' fit only for the murdering of poultry!

I'm more of a small sword/broadsword/side sword geezer ... so a 39" rapier is about as long as I like em since I want to be able to uncross upon the closing of distance and give em "the stuff!" as Mcbane would say.

P.S Are you getting another economy rapier or will you be selecting something from the upper shelves this time?

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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby admin » 03 Mar 2014 17:10

I only have a Hanwei POS at the moment - I won't be using a rapier very often, but I like to have an occasional play, so rather than always borrowing someone else's Darkwood I thought I should get one of my own. I'll get an economy and maybe customise it later.
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Turmine » 03 Mar 2014 17:24

Well if you are a dab hand at the bench machinery, the econo rapiers clean up very nicely with a bit of polishing work and can be made to look like a high end bright finish with a bit of occupational therapy and TLC. I have strongly considered doing this very thing myself of late.

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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby admin » 03 Mar 2014 17:55

Yeah, I have the skills and the gear, it's just a question of time. I did consider just buying a blade and doing the whole hilt myself, but I'd rather get something I can use and then upgrade if and when I get the inclination/spare time. I clean up and fix antiques fairly regularly.
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Rob » 04 Mar 2014 00:18

I did this with my dish hilt:

Before
Image

After

Image

Knuckle Guard

Image
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Turmine » 04 Mar 2014 00:33

Rob, what a lovely job mate ... my grandfather was a Blacksmith and I myself am training in cutlery so I can fully appreciate the work you did there. Did you use a dremel by the way and which 'bit/bits' were you using for the stock removal and detailing?

P.S Now all you need to do is get into those gaps with a jewellers file to smooth down all those rough edges. :wink:

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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Reinier » 04 Mar 2014 08:07

I prefer the slightly heavier bated blade over the lighter blade. But I think the 45" would be a bit too much to handle for me.
On my Thibault-rapier I have a 42" bated blade, which for me at 1.80 m is a little too short for Thibault-perfection, but closer than a 45" would be. It suits me fine, and I like the balance.

If you do a lot of cutting I would stay away from the wire-wrapped grips. They are very pretty, but on mine from doing my class on how to counter cutting the wire wrap has come loose, twice.

Check what material handle they do with their economy rapiers before you order.
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby admin » 04 Mar 2014 08:43

Really nice work Rob!

Thanks guys, this is really useful - I am definitely going for the bated blade because I want the stiffness and as like the real thing as is safe. I guess if I get the 45 inch bated blade I could always shorten it if I decide I want a bit less length - having fenced against rapiers quite a bit I just feel that one of the defining advantages a rapier has is reach and I don't want to sacrifice that when I'm going against sabruers and backsworders. For the grip I'll either get basic leather wrap or plain wood and wrap myself.
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Turmine » 04 Mar 2014 09:25

Matt ... I went with the plain oak grip on mine and have not been sorry, like Reinier says, the wire grips are pretty but they are not practical in my view for real work and are really better suited to dress or show. As you know, you will sweat through your gloves and I don't like wire in those circumstances and have found a plain wooden grip to be perfectly stable and non slip. In fact here are a few pics of my Darkwood Pappenheimer with the the 39" bated trainer ... should give you a few ideas of what to expect.

Image

Image

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Image

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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Rob » 04 Mar 2014 10:54

@Turmine, finished it off last year chap.

Matt, the more I've worked on rapier, the more I've found that it's the guard (along with tempo, distance, blah blah) that benefits play rather than the length of the blade. Bated blades are fine, and if I went for one I'd probably go for a 42-43".

However, Darkwood blades have a tendency to bend 3-5" from the tip, not so as they break (which their rapier foil blades do - avoid), but you do get a kink. I've noticed over the years that many bated blades end up looking like a flattened out 'z'.
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby admin » 04 Mar 2014 12:58

So, are the bated blades more likely to get bent because they are stiffer? What do you prefer out of the bated and normal blades?
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Turmine » 04 Mar 2014 19:39

Matt,

I have used my bated blade extensively and yes they are stiffer but I have NEVER had one bend and take a set -and while any blade CAN be bent, with a bated rapier blade if you are doing it right and have control of your weapon, proper technique should not allow it. You want a bated blade ever the more because if you are getting a longer one you want a bit more starch in there so that blade actions remain functional - you really don't want all that wobble and whippy stuff going on. Go bated and go for a plain wooden grip is my suggestion ... take that as you find it.

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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Rob » 05 Mar 2014 00:00

Loving the unspoken criticism
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Turmine » 05 Mar 2014 00:37

Rob ... seriously? Not my intention at all ... merely sharing my own experience and view of the bated blades. Peace, love and banana fritters mate.

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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Rob » 05 Mar 2014 00:46

Of course not. Matt, my experience with the bated blades is that they will do just fine, but they can and as I have seen, do bend at the point already stated. This has happened to individuals from different parts of Europe studying different styles in different groups. Some of us even try to apply correct technique. It's not a problem, as with continued use any blade will fail, it's just something to be aware of.
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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby Turmine » 05 Mar 2014 00:56

Shame you feel that way ... I tried.

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Re: Darkwood economy rapiers?

Postby StevenJ4810 » 05 Mar 2014 02:00

Turmine wrote:Rob ... seriously? Not my intention at all ... merely sharing my own experience and view of the bated blades. Peace, love and banana fritters mate.

T.


Same, I have a Darkwood Pappenheimer that looks almost exactly same as yours. The only difference with mine is that it has extra bars and I added a leather over cord warp over mine. Matt, I concur with Turmine, the bated blades are fine. My Pappenheimer had the regular rapier blade and mine took a set and s curved after thrusting into an opponent one time and my opponent rushed into my thrust, bending the blade 90 degrees. Now the bated will take sets, but not as badly.

Image

These are my two, and I also have a Darkwood Saber blade as pictured below.

Image

Darkwood replaced the bent blade with the more expensive bated blade at not cost except shipping of course.
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