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#111330 - 05/14/03 03:22 AM folds
evil Offline

Registered: 05/14/03
Posts: 38
Loc: Tucson
i'm curious to know about "folds" in swords. i've heard that most Japanese swordsmiths would "fold" the blade, and that the number of folds in the blade could range in the thousands. i'm curious if someone could explain the folding process and it's relevance to sword strength. i'm also curious to know how many times the average blade is folded.


#111331 - 05/14/03 05:02 PM Re: folds
Jamoni Offline

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
Folding is just what it sounds like. You heat the metal, then hammer it down to a thin plate, or long bar, and then bend it, folding it back on itself. You then hammer it back on itself, welding the two bent halves together. This has two effects. First, it mixes carbon from the forge in with the steel. A high carbon content allows the steel to become harder during heat treating. Second, it helps remove any air pockets or impurities from the metal, creating a stronger blade. Also, different types of steel can be folded in, to create damascene patterns and other neat stuff. Incidentally, one of the reasons japanese swords were folded so much is that large quantities of quality steel were hard to come by, so they had to forge swords out of smaller ingots.

#111332 - 05/16/03 01:25 AM Re: folds
evil Offline

Registered: 05/14/03
Posts: 38
Loc: Tucson
one more question: on average, how many times would the smith fold the blade?


p.s. thanks for the help

#111333 - 05/16/03 04:40 AM Re: folds
Jamoni Offline

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
I haven't the foggiest. My guess would be 20 to 100 times, but that's just a guess.
You might try this link.


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