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Nicholas Rettig




Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Joined: 12 Jul 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject: Is there anywhere to get non-steel weapons on the internet?         Reply with quote

I have been through a good many websites selling steal weapons, many of them beautiful, and completely out of my price range. As much as I like what I've seen, the BC has always held the most interest for me. And I was wondering if there were any places that Iron or bronze weapons could be purchased, or maybe even stone. I've been through most of the reviews on this website and have yet to see one. Any help would be appreciated.
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Eric Meulemans
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Location: Southern Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you're interested in bronze, I think you might want to head over to Neil Burridge's site at http://www.bronze-age-craft.com. I'm not sure what your price range is, but he has some beautiful work. If you're in a do-it-yourself mood and looking for a deal, there are still a couple smaller pieces in Albion's moat.

Going as far back as stone, I'm not so familiar with making purchases, but would recommend you look for groups and gatherings related to primitive living and skills. In your area there should be a number of such and possibly some knap-ins (a sort of flintknappers rendezvous). Check with the Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Group (MAPS) to start.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,315

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Definitely check Neil Burridge first! He has a new site, too:

http://www.bronze-age-swords.com/

I think his old ones are still up and running,

http://www.bronze-age-craft.com/swords_for_sale.htm
http://www.bronze-age-craft.com/products.htm

Other options:

Warrior Art Online--Chris Levatino, New York. http://www.warriorartonline.com . As well as excellent sculpture, he also produces a number of lovely bronze weapons. He says his blades are still coming out a little heavy, but he is refining his techniques constantly and they are always improving.

Bronze Age Foundry--Dave Chapman, UK. http://www.bronzeagefoundry.com/ . Very accurate weapons and other items, and great prices. Weapons are sold unfinished (rough from the mold) and without shafts or hilts.

The Albion Moat bronzes are cheap and quick to get, but too thick! They weigh 2 or 3 times as much as they should, and the alloy is pretty soft. The tangs aren't right, either. I've converted a few of those to something respectable, but unless you like grinding, or if you want historical accuracy right out of the box, better to stick with the other places.

For an iron sword, you'd have to go with a custom bladesmith. And you'd want to dig around and find some reliable data on early iron swords, because they might have a surprising carbon content. The first iron swords were direct copies of bronze ones, and I honestly don't know if they were straight wrought iron, or a low-grade steel, or some mix of the two, or what. But it apparently wasn't long before ironworkers figured out how to get better metal, and as I recall there was decent steel to be found as early as 500 BC. The Romans were certainly making a variety of blades, from "piled" cores with good steel edges down to homogenous "mild steel" blades. As with anything else, quality varied!

You might find more information over on the Bronze Age Center,

http://s8.invisionfree.com/Bronze_Age_Center/index.php?

Good luck!

Matthew
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Nicholas Rettig




Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Joined: 12 Jul 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the links, though apparently Neil Burridge doesn't want me on his site, as it has refused to load but the others were nice. Can anyone load the site or am I alone in that. I looked through Bronze aged crafts and though affordable i think putting a finish on a sword is a little above my capabilities (or maybe not, maybe it's simple). And if anyone knows, what does sharpening a bronze sword entail, can i pull it off with just a whet stone?
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 3:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You first have to harden the edge via compression. This involves a hammer and a small hard die, like a tiny steel cylinder. After that, the stone.

M.

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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 5:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wacky, both of Neil's sites seem to be down! Don't worry, it's not just you.

Yes, you can sharpen a finished bronze blade with whetstone, but generally the process starts with hammer-hardening the edge. It's a little tricky to do it neatly! Best to make a sort of jig with a pair of rounded chisels, like teeth, and a trusted friend to lend an extra pair of hands.

Matthew
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Wacky, both of Neil's sites seem to be down! Don't worry, it's not just you.

Yes, you can sharpen a finished bronze blade with whetstone, but generally the process starts with hammer-hardening the edge. It's a little tricky to do it neatly! Best to make a sort of jig with a pair of rounded chisels, like teeth, and a trusted friend to lend an extra pair of hands.

Matthew


I imagine that having the right kind of Bronze might be important: The wrong kind might be brittle, not very work hardenable and even if it's a good Bronze for work hardening one would have to know how much force to use and when to stop before the hardening starts damaging the molecular structure of the bronze past the point of optimum hardness/durability ?

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Nicholas Rettig




Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Joined: 12 Jul 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So if the edge is already hardened, then would I be able to sharpen it with just a stone? As much as I like learning new skills and working with my hands a 400 dollar investment is a little too significant for me to experiment with.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicholas Rettig wrote:
So if the edge is already hardened, then would I be able to sharpen it with just a stone? As much as I like learning new skills and working with my hands a 400 dollar investment is a little too significant for me to experiment with.


Yes but if someone already did all the hand work to harden the edges they would probably have finished the job and sharpened it also ?

I guess you would have to ask if the edges have been worked hardened, if it's from a custom maker of bronze weapons they should be able to tell you or offer it hardened or hardener and sharpened.

If it's just cast bronze weapons like the one's Albion used to sell then they are probably not worked hardened and you would have to ask if the bronze is of a type that can bed worked hardened and then learn how to do it right as I mentioned in my previous post.

I have one of those Albion bronze swords and I would try hardening the edges without getting the information about the bronze first ! Albion might know but I never asked them about it.

I did sharpen mine but without the hardening of the edges done first: A decent paper cutting edge but nothing close to a good steel edge.

It is said that bronze razors where in use in ancient times so a good edge is possible even if probably not as durable as a very good high carbon steel edge.

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




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2009 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, if the edge is already hardened you should be able to sharpen it with a stone without much trouble. Most any copper-tin alloy can be work-hardened, since that was even done with copper and arsenical copper weapons. A higher tin content just means it's a harder alloy right off the bat. But yes, determining how much hammering is enough is the tricky part, since "too much" means a crack. That's bad!

For "mystery meat" alloys like Indian-made pieces from Albion, I believe hammering will still do some hardening, but without knowing the alloy, there's no way to even look up the metal's exact properties. Albion isn't going to know the alloy content, and probably the Indians who made it wouldn't even be sure. I've seen the color vary quite a bit, so it's not consistent. But I don't think there are any copper alloys that should *not* be hammer-hardened.

Matthew
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Jul, 2009 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Y But yes, determining how much hammering is enough is the tricky part, since "too much" means a crack. That's bad!

But I don't think there are any copper alloys that should *not* be hammer-hardened.

Matthew


Yeah, I think almost all copper alloys might be work hardenable but I would worry about what is too much with a mystery alloy and I've never tried doing it so the actually best way to do it is something that I would have to find out before even thinking of hardening the edges of my bronze Albion.

Pure copper certainly was when I tried it.

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