We’ve been working closely with the Legacy Arms forge on changing several aspects of their medieval swords for the last several months. One of the most important changes we are going to begin to see shortly is in how each sword is put together. In the past, as with many sword production companies, Legacy Arms used a modified threaded pommel / peen construction. The gist is that the pommels are drilled and threaded and the tangs are tapered and threaded for the last several inches. The guard, grip and any spacers are fitted then the pommel screwed on to provide the necessary compression of the hilt. Once the pommel is seated the end of the threaded tang is peened over the pommel.
There are two main reasons why we have decided to move away from this method:
It is not as strong as a full (non threaded) tang. Legacy Arms blades are designed to stand up to a lot of hard use. When cutting a large amount of force is applied to the handle in two places; the blade / tang junction (shoulder) and at the pommel. Proper heat treatment of the threaded portion can make a strong connection between tang and pommel, but you still have to remove metal to do it, and removing metal weakens the sword at a critical point.
Threaded tangs / pommels shows up much later historically than any of the Legacy Arms medieval swords. Exacting historical reproductions are not our goal, but this is an important point, if medieval artisans thought there was a better way they would have done it.
New Peening Method
So, from now on the swords from the Legacy Arms forge will no longer feature a threaded tang, with the exception of a handful where we need to make design changes (Roman Mainz, Roman Gladius, Musso Bowie and Chaos Sword).
Instead a more traditional method of construction has been in place over the last several months and we expect all of the swords except those noted above to feature this new method before the end of the year, here are the steps involved:
- The guard is press fit into place.
- The keyed pommel is press fit into place and the end of the tang peened over the pommel.
- The wood grip halves are glued in place.
Simpler is better, don’t you think?
What about the Tinker designed threaded tangs?
Tinker’s sword designs produced by Hanwei feature a pommel that is “keyed” (rectangular blade tang into rectangular hole) to the tang and reduced to a threaded portion. A recessed allen nut is used to then compression fit the guard / grip and pommel. Keying the pommel keeps the force of a strike onto the strong part of the tang, effectively making the design as strong as a properly peened pommel.