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Etienne Hamel




Location: Acton Vale (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 424

PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 7:56 am    Post subject: density question         Reply with quote

Hi, i would like to know how could i calculate the amount of material i need to make a cossguard (how big my metal chunk should be?)

I see the shape and the dimensions of it but can't figure out how to calculate it...

There is a web site that a bunch of you probably know full well http://www.thearma.org/essays/2HGS.html
this site made me realise many things by itself but it was for the density of a swords (i know it probably works for all weight stuff)

Do i take the measurements of the bar i'll use or should i try to find all the 3d measurements of the crossguard all made?
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Craig Johnson
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Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 8:24 am    Post subject: Query to help         Reply with quote

Etienne,

Are you looking for the weight of the item you will make? The density would not be something you would calculate with dimensions but rather a factor one would use to figure the weight of the item once you had the volume of the piece figured out. While this is very doable it would not be the way smiths of the past would have approached the issue they would have made a guard based on experience and objective.

If you are trying to calculate the weight of an existing piece there are a couple ways too do this. But in most cases a rough guess will get you by.

Best
Craig
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Acton Vale (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 424

PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the thing i want to express is like how much metal should i take to have no waste of material by forging it because if i take my observation on the subject (stop me if im wrong) there is a weight for every piece made and the metal can be form into many shape so knowing the weight of a piece would be great to forge stuff and i know that there is more than one kind of metal and their density is not the same as the others so knowing the sort of steel would help too but again im confuse because i can't find the right material for pommel and guard...
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
Joined: 02 Sep 2008

Posts: 239

PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To have a scientific approach at the question, you have to calculate the volume of the piece you inteded to do, then multiply said volume by the specific weight of the material you would use (ie. 1 kg/dm3 for water, 7,8 kg/dm3 for steel, and so on).

N.B.: So you can have a good estimate of the quantity of, say, iron you need, but you also have to compensate for the production loss and the form: if you have to do a crossguard of 20cm of lenght, you can't start with a ball of iron of 15 cm. Unless you are in melt casting.

As said by Craig, old ironsmith will use knowledge and experience to determin how big a piece they needed to do a crossguard, but you can always do with good backtracking (trial and error. I'm currently studing algorithms).
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that Étienne is more looking for an estimate or a way to figure out what size of metal bar, round section or square section he needs to produce a specific guard for a sword he wants to make or have made i.e. using a blade from a supplier but maybe making the guard himself.

I'm guessing a bar around 1/2" or 3/4" in square section could be curved and flattened at the ends to produce the type of guard he wants to make.

For the hole to accommodate the tang maybe using a cold chisel to cut a slot in the middle of the heat bar and then widen it and cleaning up the whole thing using files or belt grinder or angle grinder and finishing using abrasive paper ?

Just guessing that he is not yet ready or talking about making his own steel from scratch or forging a ball of steel into shape. Wink Big Grin

I think for starters he could work with and acetylene torch, some sort of improvised anvil etc .... and he could use advice how how to set himself up for " forging 101 " and not the " doctorate " level of metal working, at least not yet .....

So, how did you guys learn how to forge and any tips for beginners would probably be what he needs most. Wink Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Craig Johnson
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Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 10:51 am    Post subject: Working easy not hard.         Reply with quote

I would like to address it in a way one would as a smith making or forming the piece by hand. There is a crucial way of looking at work that is inherent in how a crafts person approaches most pieces and it is an aspect many in modern society do not comprehend when they see a finished piece. This is not their fault; the hand producers in any craft have been regulated to the sidelines in most cases in modern industrial society.

When a modern production concept is used one looks at the piece as a contained part with specific weight and structure. If you wanted to make it, one would say I need x amount of material.

The way a smith would approach such a piece is knowing where you want to start on the parts formation and beginning to shape the piece. But it would still be integral to a much larger chunk of material. In the case of a cross guard you would start forming from a bar of material that had significant amount of length to hold one end in your hand while the other is red hot. You shape your item adjust the specifics to size and blade shape, drift the tang pass through and get it pretty much looking like a guard then cut it free from its source. One can work and refine from there and then clean the piece down to the finished shape and weight desired but it would not be predetermined in the smiths mind. This is what an old smith once told me was the "way to work easy not hard".

One can see evidence of such a process on almost any period sword. This is why one will see the arms of the guard often not being of equal length, as a good example.

I hope this gives you a different perspective if you are making a guard yourself. It is the way most smiths of any type would work in period and it allows an organicness in form and process that is far more functional in the way a crafts person works in a shop as opposed to designing a part to be mass produced.

It does not detract from the value of knowing the information you are seeking for study or construction but it is a different approach then you may need to make the part you like.

Best

Craig
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to say what Craig said in a different way and just a " fun " suggestion: get a piece of plasticine at a toy store ( assuming they still sell it ) shape it into a strait bar 3/4" X 3/4 " a bit shorter than the finished length of the guard you want to make and play with it by flattening the ends, bend it to the right shape, make the hole for the tang etc ....

This obviously isn't steel and it isn't forging but the shape transitions you go through should resemble the shape transitions you will have to make in steel, but harder to do that with plasticine Laughing Out Loud

You can sort of plan out how you have to move around material to go from one shape to the next before you try it out for real.

I can sort of do this in my mind but then I'm a graphic artist and I have done some sculpture in art school in various materials.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Sun 28 Jun, 2009 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Craig Johnson
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Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Jun, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
a " fun " suggestion: get a piece of plasticine at a toy store


Hi Jean

Not just fun but practical. Happy We and several smiths and armorers I know have clay about for this very reason. It is a quick way to check and plan a new shape. Most smiths will not need it for something basic but as a beginner or for something dramatic and different it can help to see where you need to go.

Best
Craig
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