Cold Steel Grossemesser Customization: From Crowbar to Sword Mar 31, 2020 22:22:33 GMT
Post by rowan on Mar 31, 2020 22:22:33 GMT
Hey, friends. HEMA practitioner and amateur bladesmith here. Given that there are a scarce few reproduction messers on the market, coupled with the fact that most of those that are available are also ludicrously expensive, I recently gambled with the sword gods and purchased a Cold Steel Grossemesser. As many others have mentioned, it handles like an unwieldy beast, half splitting maul and half crowbar. Just so, with ample time on my hands, forced isolation at home, and a desire to have a functional, nimble messer, I decided to transmogrify this beastly bar into a proper sword, er, I mean "knife". (N.B: I don't own a belt grinder, so all this work was done with my trusty Dremel, and the unapologetic sacrifice of dozens of grinding and sanding wheels.)
Alterations include: the historically-accurate channel down the grip and pommel, massive reduction of the weight of the pommel (it was almost 1 of 5 total pounds on the default piece!), flatting the pommel and grip overall, grinding off an absurdly uncomfortable and sharp protrusion on the non-nagel side of the crossguard, grinding down and reducing weight in the quillons, rounding and smoothing every surface on the crossguard and nagel as they were fairly sharp and painful by default, extending the fuller 3 inches on both sides of the blade, grinding in distal taper on the blade itself, and, finally, removing the hideously synthetic-looking gun bluing on the pommel and crossguard and applying a forced patina with vinegar to antique the whole piece.
I'm very pleased to say that I achieved what I set out to accomplish. What once was a bludgeon is now (mostly) a sword. It handles much more nimbly, point control is much more precise and controlled, and the whole piece now actually makes the proper cutting "swoosh" when throwing a cut with correct edge alignment. So, brief conclusion: out of the box, from the factory, this sword is everything people claim it is, but with a little love, diligence, and labor, it can become an actual sword, and one worth having at that.
P.S.: I either got super-lucky or CS has improved their quality control, as the crossguard and general fit and finish on my particular grossemesser were outstanding. The thing sings like a choir when tapped or flicked, and I've had no issue with the crossguard coming loose (even after repeatedly assaulting it with a hammer).
P.P.S. As a side note, for all the haters claiming that the CS grossemesser looks too "modern" and simplistic (including Skall, you handsome devil), I've included a pic of a museum grosse/kriegsmesser that looks almost identical to the Cold Steel, and must've surely inspired the creation of CS's offering.