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How do you make the perfect sword?

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posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 11:13 PM
I have been obsessesed about katana's for quite a while now... and I have learned a few things about forging the perfect one along the way. I'd like to offer what I have learned, and ask... what do you at ATS know?

1) It is best to jacket a sword of springy steel with a high carbon steel in the forging process.

2) It is better to forge a bloodgroove than to grind one out, and bloodgrooved swords are stronger per pound than non-bloodgrooved because of the inherent "I" beam.

3) The curve of a katana serves two purposes... A) it helps in drawing the sword smoothly (and a sword's curve should be in proportion to the owner's armspan). B) the curve serves to make the angle of the blade more accute relative to the path of motion, at the point of contact.

4) Alternating thicknesses of clay can be used at the egde of the blade before final heat treating. The varying thicknesses will act as buffers when cooling causing varying patterns of hardness at the edge... hamon sp? I believe.

5) the rhythm and strength which you strike the steel during forging plays a huge role.

6) it is a misconception that most "damascus" blades are folded thousands of times. They are actually folded 6-20 times causing thousands of layers. 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128... folding too much will actually remove carbon from the steel, leaving soft iron.

7) weaving and braiding steel cable then forging is a common way to make strong steel.

These are trying times. Primative weapons may come to play a vital role.

Interested in your thoughts... especially the Master's out there.

Sri Oracle

ps... if you are building these things, make sure they stay in hands of righteous people; there is something to be said for a perfect katana

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 07:53 AM
Sri Oracle I found your thread very interesting.

Last night here in the UK, I watch Ray Mears in one of his survival programmes. He was in Sweden and visited a world renown survival knife and hunting knife maker.

During the shoot, the knife maker heated then hammered out a length of steel. He repeatedly heated, shaped then reheated the metal until it was the required shape. He then placed a piece of cold steel in the centre of the hot metal, bent the hot metal round the cold piece, then reheated them both.

This he did several times until he was ready to start shaping the blade. With great skill and precision, the guy hammered out a knife blade and using a 'hot and cold' technique, turned out this beautifully shaped knife blade. The edge was finally 'ground' to shape on a high speed sharpening wheel and hey presto! The knife blade was ready. All this took place within ten minutes. I was amazed.

As to the so called 'blood groove', it isn't. The grooves cut or ground into a blade are to enable gasses in the stomach to flow up or along the blade, easing it's removal, otherwise it just sticks in the body. Bayonets work on the same principle.

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 08:25 AM
as a practicing swordsman myself this thread is very intresting to me I myself use a Katana as i prefer curved blades to staight ones and a scimitar id too curved for me as I am a lilttle man lol and they have too much weight behind them for my liking yes I have tried to use them I've used a various number of blades during my training but I always come back to my katana

folded blades are nice yes, but I've always thought there should be somethign better I've seen titanium blades but never got to use one for practice It is kinda light as for strengh I wouldnt know in a real fight even though it is titinium

I am awaiting reply to this thread bad lol

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 08:53 AM
Ask Hanzo Hattori!!!

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 09:35 AM
i'd rather have a soulslayer from the anime "Bleach" think about walking downtown with Zangetsu stripped to your back

Zangetsu translation meaning "Cutting Moon" and for good reason

[edit on 12-9-2005 by Lamagraa]

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 09:48 AM
I know someone who had a Titanium blade for re enactment - it snapped teh first time he used it - he was NOT happy

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 09:53 AM
thats why I stray away from them my wife took me to a SCA event where they were fight some dude had titanium FULL PLATE
NO JOKE he said it cost him a mint no wonder why but ya heard bad things about titanium blades....prolly some factory shooting them out its what we like to call a "shallow forge"

posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 06:47 PM
Titanium, hah!

There is a reason that the best swords have been made from carbon steel (Iron, Carbon and sometimes nickel etc)!

Titanium has its uses as a lightweight and relatively strong metal (used in spacecraft etc) but not as blade material.
Likewise, stainless steel is only satisfactory for cutlery and divers knives.
Why is it used at all then you say? Because it is not going to require maintenance and is hygienic.

Carbon steel of varying hardness (a Katana is harder on the cutting edge and softer on the 'spine' of the sword) is very useful in curved weapons.
On a basic straight sword it would be all one hardness for simplicity and use as a double edged weapon.

No metal is going to perfect for use untreated, that is why swordsmiths trained so hard to perfect their craft.

posted on Sep, 18 2005 @ 03:48 PM
MY friend a few years back had the idea of coating a carbon/steel katana blade with diamond dust like they do with razors. Our chem teacher said it would work pretty well.

posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 09:10 AM
Well, one of the best looking blades are probably these.

The anicent ways are lost but laterly people rediscover the ways, although not sure how accurate. But hell, sure makes like a real old school Damascus blades.

posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 02:32 PM
Anyone heard of the Dragonslayer project carried out by Greg Olsen at Northwestern University?

Now that is ultimate steel...

posted on Nov, 24 2008 @ 02:25 AM
actually if u want to make a perfect blade(sword), your balde must be a bit longer than the length of your shoulder to your tip of your middle finger, the holding place(sorry but i don't know the name) can be the length of your two fist . try to make the sword smotth as possible, don't make the blade too thick for it will look ugly.

posted on Jan, 4 2009 @ 08:31 PM
reply to post by Sri Oracle

Seems you need to read up more dude
- No such thing as a blood groove mate, that 'groove' as you call it is called a 'Fuller' and serves no purpose other than to lighten the blade and does not increase strength, infact it decreases it slightly.

posted on Jan, 4 2009 @ 08:35 PM
in fairness, the term 'blood groove' is a common misconception mostly predicated by westerners and hollywood, i bet.

posted on Jan, 4 2009 @ 08:41 PM
the best sword...
I agree katana the curved blade allows for a more efficient cut, following the direction of natural travel as the blade 'cuts' means more edge actually makes contact with the object being cut, inherently meaning a deeper cut.

Titanium would be an excellent choice, but has no flexibility and thus would need a similiar composition to carbon steel blades i.e. harder on front, flexible on back - something as far as im aware you cannot achieve with Titanium through traditional forging techniques due to the crystal lattice structure of Titanium and its high melting point.

If a metal was found that could hold a monomolecular (single molecule thick) edge, that would cut through anything and everything - but raises the issue of how to contain it, and what if 2 monomolecular edges made contact? would it, theoretically, split the atom so to speak? Or would the 2 single molecule thick edges just rebound of each other as insufficient force is behind them to actually split the molecule of the contacted edge?

Interesting stuff.....

posted on Jan, 4 2009 @ 08:50 PM
I have a fiend who makes large Bowie's. He buys 4130 bars and old files and melts them together accordins to various weights of each. He adds carbon when forging and reheating useing ash from oak and sometimes aspen. His blades NEVER break and keep and edge thats downright dangerous if not carefully handled. His personal Bowie is 18 inches long wsith a full tang for strength and he uses it as a machete and camp knife and strips limbs with it when he goes Carbon hunting to make more blades. He uses a Damascas style of forging and does not polish the blades. The only shiny part of the blades are the very fine, sharp edge.


posted on Jan, 4 2009 @ 11:58 PM

Originally posted by Quadraphobe
reply to post by Sri Oracle

Seems you need to read up more dude
- No such thing as a blood groove mate, that 'groove' as you call it is called a 'Fuller' and serves no purpose other than to lighten the blade and does not increase strength, infact it decreases it slightly.

Seems you need to read up more. The fuller stiffens and lightens the blade and its been prooven hundreds of times.
Google is your friend.

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 01:31 AM
To find the perfect sword you would need to define it first.

A quick overview of what cutting actually is - by having a edge on a bladed weapon, you have a tiny area for all the force to be exerted on, therefore a region where there will be high pressure which basically breaks the bonds of molecules in the way. (Not the same as slicing with a serrated blade)

Therefore, if you have a sword and a metal bar, (say 1cm thickness) and use them to apply the same pressure they will both "cut" though equally as effective (given the target is big enough), although the bar will need a massive force to match the pressure of the sword.

Since most modern materials cannot withstand the pressure when the blade is extremely thin, a "perfect sword" in my opinion would need a different way to break the bonds in the matter in front of it, maybe the same way as those new plasma scalpels, or extreme heat etc.

Of course this is assuming you don't care about beauty and tradition in swords

[edit on 22-6-2010 by iealchemist]

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 01:37 AM
About titanium alloy, while it does have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than carbon steel, its strength-to-volume/area is actually much less. So even if you found a way to make it as hard as steel, it would still suck at holding a good edge without chipping and deforming.

Oh, and I also would rather have zangetsu.
Seriously, that bankai is badass.

[edit on 22-6-2010 by iealchemist]

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 08:33 AM
perfect for what ?

there is IMHO no such thing as a single " perfect sword "

what ever design you think is " perfect " is infact optimised to your favoured prenotions of idealised combat in conditions of your chosing and against your ` favoured ` oponent

change any one of thouse parameters and your " perfect sword " will demostrate its shortcomings / flaws

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