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Thread: Modern Swordsmithing

  1. #21
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    If I ever get the time when I am older, I would love to pick this up as a side project. I love olde world things, especially weapons. I love axes and maces the most. I would love to make such things, because I have so many different styles that I think about. Most of what I have seen is crappy/ninjitsu/fantasy/computer game type of weapons. They look odd and non-functional. If it is not broken, do not fix it.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Neophyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    Indeed, one of the best documentaries on the Sword, it resonates with me; one of the reasons I'd like to get into the craft.

    What I like most about it is that it focuses on Western martial arts (yet they could have delved more into Bronze-Iron age weaponry), something far too overlooked in Western culture.
    I know, I have looked for similar videos about bronze weapons and their use, but have not found anything. Bronze age swords are generally much shorter than their later iron counterparts, and often leaf shaped, so I suspect that there is a very different philosophy of use behind them. I think that their cutting/slashing design (they are more cutlasses with recurve edges than swords) tells of use at shorter distances against opponents with deficient armour.

    Anyone with some good info?

  3. #23
    Senior Member Wittmann's Avatar
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    I sure wish that one day I could work with tools, but at the same time I am far too greedy and power hungry to work with my hands. I have the desires of a White Collar profession, but find enjoyment in honest labour, woe are we, the despised Middle Class man, who grew up with the ideals of the Working Class, yet were taught to strive to be upper middle class. How the tides have turned against the honest man. Apologies on the poetics, I mean to say that I wish the world turned back 600 years.
    Ein Kampf, Ein Sieg! Fur Prussia!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neophyte View Post
    snip
    Well, the advantages of the Bronze age sword, based on my knowledge, was just the availability at the time. Copper and tin were lucrative products being traded along the Atlantic seaboard and exchanged with their Mediterranean neighbors. Once it was discovered that you could smelt Iron form stone (enter the Iron age) the technology of weapons changed. You could now make a longer sword that wasn't as malleable as bronze (hence why they're usually shorter swords), so the technology of armor had to go along with it. Armors cater to different sword styles: slashing, stabbing, the like.
    So yes, the philosophy of the Bronze age sword, in my opinion, would be held at higher regard, because in those days swords were harder to come by for our Northern European ancestors. The act of casting Bronze into stone would have been a magical experience.

  5. #25
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    Quality on swords went down right when they went over to use iron, but it improved.

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    Senior Member Neophyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    Quality on swords went down right when they went over to use iron, but it improved.
    Indeed. Early iron swords were inferior to bronze swords, but iron was in so much greater supply that metal weapons became available. The beginning of the iron age is also marked by social upheavals and the downfall of the then present aristocratic governments.

    My hunch is that this is what caused the Greed dark ages, the ruling bronze age elite was simply unable to enforce their rule against a population armed with iron weapons, however bad the relative quality of those weapons might have been.

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    It is much speculated that early iron came from what is called bog iron, these are pure iron lumps that form in iron rich bogs. When high carbon steel was first produced was when the bronze sword seen its last days. Even though the high carbon steel was made in only very small batches at the time, a smith could weld those pieces into rods and then weld the rods together into a sword billet. This process is called pattern welding and it seems to have developed in North Western Europe. These pattern welded blades were highly valued during the great migration period of the Germanic peoples. IMHO these were the finest blades ever produced, but then again I'm very biased on the matter.

    A note on bronze and early pure iron blades, they were hardened by pounding the edges cold to create a very brittle edge that could then to sharpened to razor sharpness. The process is now called work hardening in machine shops and by modern smiths, it happens now by accident from working the metal cold and not taking the time to heat it properly.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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    Senior Member Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpearBrave View Post
    IMHO these were the finest blades ever produced, but then again I'm very biased on the matter.
    Masamune disagrees.
    Omnia risus et omnis pulvis et omnia nihil - HPL

    "Oh, you should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about." - Willy Wonka

    “niemand bleibt hier” - Maria Orsic

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    Oh, nooo we had this debate already, the Germanic migration period sword won.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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    Worth the watch even if you don't speak German. I can get the just of it.

    Jap sword vs real sword I



    Jap sword vs real sword II


    I like the last test in the part II video, it says it all.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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