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#274534 - 07/25/06 03:52 PM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: bloodyrath15]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
I don't know how much you know, so I'll summarize this briefly. You want two things in a sword, hardness and ductility. Hardness keeps the steel in it's shape. A hard blade will keep it's edge and will not take a bend. Ductility preserves the blade. If a sword was made from diamond, it would shatter. If a sword is not ductile, its edge will chip and the blade itself will break. Unfortunately, the two are inversly related. On the chemical level, more carbon makes the steel harder.

The phrase "carbon steel" is (depending on your point of view) either an oxymoron or redundant, as steel is by definition, an alloy of iron and carbon. "Carbon steel" generally refers to steel with iron, carbon, and nothing else. You have two main variations of this that are used for swords. 1050 steel has .5% carbon and the rest iron. It is an easy to work with, nice steel, but it is really too soft for practical blade use. Significant hardening is needed to make it useful. I know of no good swordsmiths who use 1050 for the edge of a blade. It can be done, but why add unnecessary work?

Then, there is 1065/1075, with (you guessed it) .65% and .75% carbon respectively. 1075 is a good starting steel for swords, though it will still need hardening, you have a higher starting hardness throughout the blade, so it doesn't have a tendency to case harden (where the outer layer is hard, but the inside is soft). 1075 is a commonly used starting steel, and I have heard of katana forged with a 1075 edge and a 1050 spine. There are a number of other, more complex alloys that work well with swords. Read into it.

Now stainless has chromium in it, up to 25%. Above 1% chromium makes steel brittle. Stainless isn't bad for knives, as the steel isn't put through too much strain, however, swords put way too much strain on the blade, and they snap or shatter. There are some non-rusting alloys that aren't brittle, such as the maraging steel in fencing blade, but they are too soft to hold an edge.

One final thing, look into hype before you buy. A lot of the information available is obviously biased either for or against certain smiths (The best example I've ever found is this: On an otherwise very informative page, the review of S7 on is a clear attack against Angelsword). No one is unbiased, so take nothing on faith. For example, that page I mentioned earlier is very informative, but one of it's main deciding points is which steels can show hammons well, which in my opinion, is rating appearance over the actual strength of the blade.

Caveat Emptor, may the buyer beware
_________________________
Fencing Club at UH

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#274535 - 07/25/06 05:31 PM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: Benjamin1986]
Sorin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Oxford, MS
I'm a bit curious about what companies/smiths some people on the forum use to get their good quality swords.
It might help out our sword seeking friend here a bit. I personally am looking at www.museumreplicas.com.
Most of their swords are made by Windlass Steelcraft, which I've heard a few good things about. Although my interest
at the moment isn't for practice but more for collecting.

Sorin

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#274536 - 07/25/06 06:35 PM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: Sorin]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
I like Angelsword myself. I like the artistry combined with science that has actual data to back it's claims. The kingdom-come warranty doesn't hurt either. I don't agree with some of their energy-art-chi stuff, but their strength clams are based on real science

I'm pretty sure that Charles still swears by SwordStore

Also recomended is Bugei (the highest line of Paul Chen)

Angus Trim - Good fittings and good workmanship, but severely underhardened edges. Personally, not on my recomended list, though good for reinactments/stage

Museum Replicas - Better than some, but not for practical use. Windlass blades can't hold an edge while cutting air. The thing is, they are historically accurate, and once properly dulled would also be good for reinactment or stage.

Then, you have a number of master smiths who go by name alone. Beautiful blades, but if you have to ask, you can't afford them.

Alright, I'm tired of typing, and my boss is getting onto me about the approaching WF deadline. Someone else do the typing. I'm not going to look at this for a few days because I can't help myself.


Edited by Benjamin1986 (07/25/06 06:47 PM)

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#274537 - 07/25/06 08:44 PM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: Benjamin1986]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
I personally liked the Atrim swords that I've seen. Didn't think they were too soft at all.

I also think that Angelsword is a bit overpriced, but that's the beauty of swords. Everyone has there own favorites.

The Paul Chen/Hanwei line of swords are all better than the average stainless steel wallhangers. Nihonzashi has good prices on their lower end swords ... http://www.nihonzashi.com/

For higher end western swords, there's Christian Fletcher ... http://www.christianfletcher.com/Site/Welcome.html

Albion Swords ... http://www.albion-swords.com/

Arms and Armor ... http://www.armor.com/
_________________________
Paul

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#274538 - 07/26/06 12:19 AM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: pgsmith]
bloodyrath15 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 12
are there any good places around dfw in tx to check out swords like a musem about swords or collections?

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#274539 - 07/26/06 09:49 AM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: bloodyrath15]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
There are a number of places in the DFW area where you can see the swords folks actually train with. Paul Smith has a dojo up in McKinney and I train at a dojo in Denton. There is also an Kendo place in Addison which does Iaido as well. They should have a few swords for you to look at.

Oh and the city of Denton has a Hizen Tadayoshi on display at city hall. It was presented to the city by Kogushi Osamu a few years ago. Very nice, if a bit short for my taste.


Edited by Charles Mahan (07/26/06 09:50 AM)
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#274540 - 07/26/06 01:58 PM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Saarna Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 56
I've heard that most of the wallhangers are made with a tang that is just a small metal pin that goes into the handle and that when you swing them to hard or swing them fast and come to a fast halt(i.e. hitting the sword on something) the pin can break and then it is possible for the blade of the sword to fly off and possibly hit something or worse, someone.
_________________________
“Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.” -Miyamoto Musashi

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#274541 - 07/26/06 03:16 PM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: Saarna]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
That's what we call a rat-tail tang.

There is a disection of a wallhanger at the following link. The wallhanger being disected does have a rat tang tail.

http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?threadid=43606&highlight=second+mekugi
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#274542 - 07/26/06 10:45 PM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Saarna Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 56
Don't want to be around that when the blade takes flight It's a time bomb waiting to happen that can lead to death .
_________________________
“Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.” -Miyamoto Musashi

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#274543 - 07/28/06 12:16 AM Re: are thease swords any good? [Re: Saarna]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
a number of blade manufacturers make full tang katana, such as last legend and kris cutlery. both make blades that are durable and perfectly acceptable for dojo cutting.

I've been toying with the idea of buying a few cheness swords recently. Their prices are good and they have a few blades in the sizes I have been looking for. Consider looking at them. They would make ideal project blades because the furniture included is not very good, but you can increase your knowledge and skill with Japanese swords by replacing tsuba, rewrapping, carving stuka and saya, etc.. by yourself.

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