The work for the exhibit The Sword — Form & Thought has had a tremendous impact on my research about sword dynamic properties. The availability of new data and the need to develop new tools to investigate the properties has led to a more or less complete revamp of my approach, although the basic notions are still the same. I am now in the position where I can see how to publish the various methods, computations and applications in a consistent whole. This will still need time, however, and more data is always welcome!
In this context, I have realised that there was no document describing the measurement protocol that I use in a single place. It was all dispatched across blog posts, old articles, forum discussions, and mixed with outdated interpretations and conclusions. This has made it difficult to discuss opportunities to measure original swords, as there was no reference outlining what to measure and how. My first private measurement session in a museum also made it clear that it was better to have a clear outline set down in order to be as efficient as possible in the documentation, and not forget important details.
I have therefore written the protocol down in details:
The protocol includes a measuring sheet that I make available on its own in two different formats:
I am sharing in the hope that other people who wish to document swords, either modern or original, have a basis to ensure that their measurements include the maximum information. Although the protocol has be developed together with the Weapon Dynamics Computer, it is not tied to it and in fact describes a superset of the measurements currently used in this tool.
I would of course welcome all feedback and will update this as my research progresses!