June 21st, 2013

Inara

[ANON POST] Sharpening A Sword By Hand?

Setting: Fantasy world roughly akin to the High Middle Ages (1000-1299)
Search terms: whetstones, how to sharpen a sword, sword sharpening. I played around in ARMA's forums too, but didn't find anything.

I have a character who is on a long journey, and over the course of that journey I'm assuming his sword is going to get a bit dull. Normally I'm assuming a warrior would take his sword to the local blacksmith to get the edge fine-tuned, but I'm guessing a self-sufficient soldier would know how to do it himself, and carry a whetstone for that purpose. I've got a scene in mind where he sharpens his sword, and I'm hoping to be able to put some detail into it because he's doing it as sort of a calming, tactile, meditative process, but I don't have the first idea how to sharpen a sword! I can find a lot of information on sharpening a knife with a whetstone, but I'm assuming things would be different with a longer blade - it would be tricky to maintain the same angle for the full length of the sword, for one. Any information is welcome. How does he hold the sword? What kind of motion does the whetstone make? What does it sound like? Does he need any other tools beside the stone, water, and maybe a rag? If worse comes to worse I can muddle my way through it, but I'm hoping to find some authentic details here.