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Michael Pikula
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Aug, 2010 11:20 am    Post subject: How would you test a sword?         Reply with quote

If you were handed a sword and asked to test it out, do some test cutting, and return it in similar condition, what are 2 tests that you would put the sword through?

If you were handed a sword and to test it out, do some test cutting, and return it in ANY condition, what are 2 tests that you would put the sword through?

I have been testing more of my blades and am planning on putting together a little video showing some tests, so I'd like to get some input as to what you might like to see.

Thanks!
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Aug, 2010 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Depends on the sword.

Against some meat in some cloth would be main point.

Second would be probably against pieces of wood set to imitate shield as closely as possible.


That's my 2 cents.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 19 Aug, 2010 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Depends on how intense one want to be: A functional test while avoiding any abuse of the blade but still challenging enough that a poor quality sword might take some damage.

Destructive testing is more to see the limits of what the sword can survive and beyond what one would expect it to survive.
A truly superior sword would still take damage but it might be challenging to actually destroy it ! Naturally if one takes the definition of destructive testing seriously one would keep getting more and more extreme until the sword was ruined.

Now this may be useful for research reasons but certainly not something one would do to one's expensive custom sword.

One thing that would be good would be to know how much testing the maker has done to check on the quality of his work: This would still be non-abusive testing but more than what the eventual owner would want to risk doing.

Things like flex testing or some impact testing to be sure that the blade is resilient beyond normal use.

I see this testing a bit like proofing a firearm by shooting a double charge/double weight of projectile. Such tests prove that the firearm is safe in normal use but one doesn't expect the owner to also proof the gun by double charging it. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Oh, such proofing done a small number of times is useful but at some point too many proof loads would actually weaken the firearm: In the same way flex testing a sword to just before it would deform permanently should be done by the maker but not be done by the owner.

Since I haven't seen my custom swords flexed to their maximum I may be overestimating the amount of of damage that light flexing might do i.e. I baby my swords maybe more than necessary out of fear that if I bend them too much I might be unpleasantly surprised. Wink Eek! Laughing Out Loud

So maybe some documentation from the maker giving a description of his testing done before shipping to be sure that all is O.K. with the sword would be useful. Question


An example of this is my RavenWolf sword from OlliN: I don't actually know how much I can safely flex the blade before it either takes a set of breaks ! I do have confidence that the blade can take a lot of flex but I'd rather not put it to the test.

Also. Mark at OlliN made 3 blades before having the fourth blade turn out successfully and they found out that the first 3 where not O.K. because they tested the blades: The first 2 where too soft because of errors in heat treat by an outside vendor and the steel stock not being what they where told it was. Blade number 3 broke in testing ...... so, even though I don't know exactly how they tested the final blade I'm pretty sure they made sure that there wasn't any flaw in the heat treat.

The second thing to test would be cutting ability consistent with the type of blade and the type of edge is normally should have i.e. sword sharp for that type of sword and not some unrealistic razor sharpness unless it's a design meant to be that sharp. The effectiveness being as much a function of blade section/profile, distal taper and profile taper and the type of edge wanted.

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Matthew Stagmer
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Aug, 2010 3:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One test that I have always liked for distructive testing is clamping the blade in a vise at about the shoulders and bending the tip as far over as you can go on one side and going back to the other side and repeating untill it snaps or doesnt.
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Ken Nelson




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Aug, 2010 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some materials that I have used for demonstrations at events have done well to hold a crowd's attention, and show different properties of a sword.

One of the things I stress though, is what a demonstration actually shows, I do not want to misinform, or overly hype my blades.

Some light cutting materials include pop bottles, beer and soda cans, and pool noodles. Pool noodles are actually the hardest of these three to cut. These show that you have a good technique, first, and sharp blade second. If you have both, you can cut a bottle or can, and leave the bottom on the stump, and pool noodles have a tendency to bend and flop unless you hit them directly with the edge. None of these should require more than wiping down to clean. Well, perhaps a light buff with the cans, they don't scratch the steel, but can smear onto it.

heavier cutting that may require more clean up in the form of buffing or polishing would be materials like Tatami mats, meats(a bone-in ham can work well) rolled up newspapers, or rope. Many of these materials can rub, or scratch the finish of a sword, and they are providing more resistance to the blade. These materials are also getting to the point where a bad cut can twist the blade and try to flex and bend it. I have even seen a 500+ year old katana break going through a mat because of a bad swing.

Two other materials I have done, but not often are splitting wood, and my mock-ups. Swords are meant to cut flesh, not wood, but this will tell me a bit how a sword will act when hitting a shield. And my mock-ups can get expensive, but show very closely how a sword will act going through a person. My mock-ups are made from ballistic gel with UHMW to represent the bone. These show the toughness of the blade more than the sharpness. It also lets you know just how far off the sweet spot your swing was, as stopping the blade in a chunk of UHMW can transmit a lot of shock to your hand.

I have had a few people come up to my shop talking about how great a blade must be to have been able to do X, and many of the tests actually show nothing. For example, one demo was stabbing a knife through several pennies. the crowd was told that it was difficult to do, and only the steel that they used and their special heat treat could accomplish it. I grabbed a stack of pennies, and a common nail. after pounding the nail through twice as many pennies, I showed them that the point was undamaged, and that zinc, what pennies are made of, is much softer than steel, any steel.

Remember that flex is as dependent on geometry as heat treat, so while it looks good, and can be a good indicator, it is not an end all test, as two blades of the same material and heat treat may perform quite differently.

Unfortunately for show, the most telling and important tests are quite boring to the average sword user.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Aug, 2010 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ken Nelson wrote:

Some light cutting materials include pop bottles, beer and soda cans, and pool noodles. Pool noodles are actually the hardest of these three to cut. These show that you have a good technique, first, and sharp blade second. If you have both, you can cut a bottle or can, and leave the bottom on the stump, and pool noodles have a tendency to bend and flop unless you hit them directly with the edge.


When cutting pool noodles, I always cut them in half first. That makes them quite a bit less likely to flop around. You still have to have good blade speed and edge alignment, but I've cut half noodles with dull swords before (MRL factory edge).

Happy

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PostPosted: Fri 20 Aug, 2010 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For me, the concept of testing swords is largely irrelevant.

For a test to be meaningful for me I would want a sword to be tested in situations that replicated a sword of a similar type as it would be used historically. That means that it would face historically-correct situations against historically-correct targets in a manner that would be historically-correct regarding the use of the weapon. Given all of these variables, and the other big fact that the modern sword is made of modern materials, such a test would be incredibly difficult if not impossible to perform.

So given that, one would then have to ask what any test is supposed to be showing. That's the issue. What questions are being asked? What facts are being proven? What relevance to anybody would any of this be? What specifically is intended on being demonstrated?

I could see some validity to comparing one modern-made sword to many other modern-made swords, but the idea of a test just to see how much abuse a sword can take is largely unimportant and not telling of anything relevant to me. That would tell me nothing about how the sword would act compared to a sword from history (something of interest to me) nor would it tell me how it would compare to other modern-made swords. It would only serve as a mere curiosity. That isn't very compelling to me.

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PostPosted: Fri 20 Aug, 2010 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
[For a test to be meaningful for me I would want a sword to be tested in situations that replicated a sword of a similar type as it would be used historically. That means that it would face historically-correct situations against historically-correct targets in a manner that would be historically-correct regarding the use of the weapon. Given all of these variables, and the other big fact that the modern sword is made of modern materials, such a test would be incredibly difficult if not impossible to perform.


I'm largely in agreement with Nathan, but not as pessimistic. To test a sword, I would first determine what that sword was made for, then test it accordingly.

For example, let's take a type XVa. It is a sword meant to be used against gaps in plate armor (ie to pierce mail or inflict injury without breaking links by fitting its thin needle point inside them).

So to test such a sword, I would see how far its point could get into a mail link without breaking it (the link), I would see if the sword is capable of breaking mail of various quality (few or none may be historically correct but the differences, in my opinion, are more academic than practical) from a half sword thrust (is it stiff enough, strong enough, hard enough, etc.). Since such a sword was also built with some cutting ability in mind I would also test it on tatami, then tatami covered in various textile layers (clothing of the day) and finally a 10 layer jack (if it gets through that, which is doubtful, then up the layers).

Hope this helps.

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Fri 20 Aug, 2010 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would also say that there are a few different types of testing:

A) Performance testing, cutting, piercing etc. in context with what they would have to do in period and in the modern context in how they compare to swords of similar types made by different makers to varying quality standards.

B) Durability standards in edge holding, flexing without taking a set, flexing without breaking: These can be compared or judged according to historical standards which is hard to do since I don't think we would want to test to destruction a large number of pristine period swords to establish a period average benchmark.

C) Modern context durability comparative testing.

If it's a priority to learn about historical standards of performance and durability for some it is a different value judgement when one is more interested in maximizing performance and durability in modern made swords that even if they might be made to look very much like period swords, some of us ( me) would certainly be motivated by getting a super sword made of indestructible " unobtainium " while others would to the contrary want to match as closely as possible the qualities of the period swords.

Both approaches seem valid to me but it's very much a question of different wants and expectations. ( I could go either way with some of my swords being strictly historically correct and some being maximized modern swords ).

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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Aug, 2010 7:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I could return it in ANY condition, then it's going to come back pretty rough from my house.

Initially, I'd set up my video camera:
First, some soft cutting against water bottles, melons, and pool noodles.
Then a little more rigid testing against tatami and bamboo. Then wet newspaper layered around bamboo.
Then, penetration tests against varying forms of maille and armor increasing in gauge weight.
Lastly, purely destructive testing. Edge on edge, against rolled steel drum edges, rebar, logs, cinder block, so on and so forth.

I'd put the pieces back into a box and send them back to the manufacturer and post my testing results on the sword forums. People could take it as they wished. Whether the customer wanted a backyard beater, something that could penetrate maille/armor, something that could hack of a limb, or something to hang on the wall would all have something of interest to them in the results. I think there is something to be learned in destructive testing of a product until it fails - not to mention, I find it somewhat enjoyable - pushing the envelope to see just how much abuse something can take. Some customers really want to know this, no matter how historically inaccruate or improper it might be - but they'll never risk their investment - so doing it for them to review would be a hoot.

Interestingly enough, one manufacturer and I will be getting together and doing this in a few months to evaluate their product. Big Grin

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PostPosted: Fri 20 Aug, 2010 8:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When testing cars, you can push the envelope without the car breaking unless there is something wrong with it. I feel the same way about swords.

You do the extreme of what the sword is supposed to be able to do, and if it doesn't break, great. If it breaks, then a wheel fell off in a corner and the car was totalled because it was rubbish to begin with.

Destructive testing of swords is fairly pointless except as entertainment. Swords are not made to be destroyed.

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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Aug, 2010 10:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As an LEO, we don't intend to destroy vehicles. It does happen, more frequently than some officers would like to admit. We like to know how it holds up through the whole process. Will the bumper tear off when I do a PIT on a fleeing vehicle? Can I go though a steep median and not break an axel? Can I get this vehicle though a corn field if I have to? Over the years, most good officers can tell you exactly what a police interceptor can and cannot do though their own form of destructive testing - things that the vehicle was not designed to do.

As an Army veteran, I put my weapons over the years though hell in a handbasket. Filled with mud, sand, dirt, fired until red hot, loaded with bad ammo, unintentionally abused, ran over, dropped from great heights. All things that they were not intended to do, yet happened. This way, you gain the experience to know if the weapon is still servicable or not. The manufacturer does not recommend you use the barrel of your weapon to pry open the door of a burning vehicle - but if you do it and it does not effect the weapon - you learned that you could do that if you had to again and not totally destroy it in the process.

In antiquity, I view it as being the exact same. Swords were abused and damaged in all sorts of ways - I've seen a ton of them. You swing at an enemy and accidently hit the stone archway. Or, you could be galloping along on your horse and get your sword ripped from your hand while impacting a target at a high rate of speed. Or, your scaling a wall and loose your grip on your weapon and it falls onto the rock below. Or, your buddies are trapped on the other side of a wooden door that has partially collapsed and you use your blade to pry with. In an emergency or unforseen circumstance - any of these things and a plethora of others could and no doubt, did happen.

I like to know how a blade stands up in simulated abuse - all of which have a counterpart in antiquity. How much will it take before it fails? I'd not destroy a sword just to see it destroyed - a cutting torch could do that and save me the effort. I like to know in my mind's eye just how durable it really is. Is it an overpriced wallhanger that would break the first time it impacted a hard target or does it keep on ticking?

To me, there is a very valid point to abusing a sword - because to me, it's a weapon that could (I'd have to be out of ammo first Laughing Out Loud ) be called up one day for one reason or another. As a collector and customer - I'd like to know where every manufacturer stands in such tests. Happy

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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And yet the only valid way to do that is to test the sword as it was meant to be used.

I can take any sword, clamp it in a vice and pull on the hilt and wow, it bent. Look what I've learned? Nothing. Unless you use an instrument to measure the force requried to achieve the set and the angle at which it occured. Then you've learned...well, how to bend a sword clamped in a vice. Same thing with with prying doors. I don't think there's a sword out there that can survive such abuse, but hey, if there is...who cares? You shouldn't try to pry open doors with swords, and you can figure this out simply by looking at the sword's cross section and knowing what steel is. The sword that can survive it without bending (unless the door is held closed with snot) will not be a very good sword for all the other stuff, like cutting people and being manageable in a fight.

Or how about smashing it into boulders? If it breaks on the first or second smash, it's rubbish. But then such a sword would break in your valid testing too. If it's not rubbish, what will happen to it? It will nick, scratch and maybe bend if you hit hard enough and it can wrap around the rock. And yet, again, any weakness you discover will likewise be discovered in purpose based testing without damaging a good sword. And what will you learn? How many times or how hard you can hit a boulder before...well....before what exactly? There's not a sword out there that won't be damaged hitting a boulder (or a stone archway). How will you even compare two different swords? Will you use a machine that hits with the same angle and force each time and measure the size of the ding? And what if a bigger ding against a rock means a sword that is better suited to accidentally strike mail? How would you know?

Good swords, that is swords not built like crowbars (which are consequently useless), are actually quite delicate and quite tough at the same time. They are tough for some things (things they were meant to do) and delicate for others (things they were not meant to do). Throughout the course of learning to use a sword, you damage swords (while doing things they were meant to do) through user error. This gives you an intuitive understanding of what your swords can and cannot do. If you want to test how swords survive user error, then that would be a valid test, and it would be a test of something a sword is indeed supposed to do. But smashing it into rocks, bending it in vices and all the other stuff I've seen in destruction tests proves only one thing...nothing.

Some valid user error based test are cutting into thick media with improper grip, with incorrect edge aligment, bad form, etc. If you really want to "destruction test" a sword, do those things. They would actually teach you something useful.

I think destructive testing is based on the myth that there are swords out there with mythical properties that can survive nearly anything and that a tough sword is a better sword (actually a sword that performs its intended functions better is a better sword, not one that can survive boulder smashing and vice clamping). A sword is, and was, a disposable object. You use it until it breaks, then get another one, though if you use it properly, it can last quite a long time. Swords were made to do what they were made to do, not to survive abuse, and a sword that survives abuse is not a better sword. It is a heavier, bulkier and less effective sword that can survive abuse.

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Michael Pikula
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 9:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much for all the comments and thoughts.

For me a big part of the craft is the combination of Form and Function, and I would really like to put the function part to test. I have probably mentioned it before but after heat treat there are a few basic tests that are similar to the "proofing" that Jean was talking about, and every blade gets submitted to these.
*I do a basic file test to check for hardness,
*the blade is flexed and must return true,
* the blade is slapped onto a flat surface to ensure that there are no hidden cracks or flaws,
* the edge is cut in at 120 grit, and struck into a steel plate and no damage should result in the edge.

These tests are more for the manufacturing side of the process, so I am trying to get a feel for what the community feels that a sword should be able to perform from the collectors perspective. I am not really looking for a historical comparison, since I'm using different materials in a different time with a different world view, but more of a sense of what you might like to do with your favorite sword if you were not concerned with some damage here or there or scuff marks on the blade, etc.

If the basic proofing is all that is needed or desired, then no problem, but when I was taking engineering classes I was told that the test ends when the project fails in some way, since that is when you will find the weakest link. If the weakest link falls outside of normal use then it sounds like most of the community that has chimed in feels that those tests are not needed… Or have I misunderstood some of the posts?
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Pikula wrote:

*I do a basic file test to check for hardness,
*the blade is flexed and must return true,


Word of caution...you can't determine hardness or even much about heat treat quality with a flex test, except to determine whether the sword is absolute crap or not.

So if you're reasonably sure the sword is of good quality (price, maker, etc.), then the flex test is best avoided, as it adds considerably to the metal fatigue of a sword (especially if taken to extremes).

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Toke Krebs Niclasen




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How about cutting into a hardwood log, and see if anything rattle off?
There will be flexing in the edge plane and a lot of stress on blade and hand, but it will not damage more than maybe the finish.
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Toke Krebs Niclasen wrote:
How about cutting into a hardwood log, and see if anything rattle off?
There will be flexing in the edge plane and a lot of stress on blade and hand, but it will not damage more than maybe the finish.


Depending on how you hit, it can casuse a set. The blade will want to keep going and the log will stop it dead, and the blade may torque around the contact point.

It would be an okay test, if you don't put too much power into it (the kind you would rarely use in combat), but it would risk damaging a good sword for no reason other than to say, "Oops, I done messed up and ruined a sword." You could do the same test on a <shudder> tire pell Happy or rolled up carpet without risking damage (unless the sword is bad, of course).

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Michael Pikula
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
Michael Pikula wrote:

*I do a basic file test to check for hardness,
*the blade is flexed and must return true,


Word of caution...you can't determine hardness or even much about heat treat quality with a flex test, except to determine whether the sword is absolute crap or not.

So if you're reasonably sure the sword is of good quality (price, maker, etc.), then the flex test is best avoided, as it adds considerably to the metal fatigue of a sword (especially if taken to extremes).


Respectfully, as a maker, I have to disagree. When doing a heat treat, and doing the small batches that I do I can't count that just because my salt baths, temperature, and times are consistent, that I am getting a proper heat treat on every blade every time. One of the basic tests should be done is to flex the blade and ensure that it doesn't take a set or crack, these are major issues that I feel no sword should ever be shipped without checking. I'm not saying flex it to an extreme but if an alloyed steel is flexed about 45 degrees and takes a set or cracks then that blade is majorly flawed to the point where I would be majorly embarrassment to have happen to any of my collectors. While maybe not being the crown jewel in testing, it is fast, safe, and effective. I feel that when the blade is flexed, file tested, slap tested, and the edge tested there is no damage done to a properly made blade, and this combination will weed out most manufacturing errors that could arise.

If these tests are viewed as being irrelevant, then what tests would you like to see a maker perform on a sword that you were considering purchasing? Or would you be fine with no testing being done and just trusting that the heat treat came out right?

I'm not great at cutting so me trying to cut through mats, or meat and bone, or other targets is not going to give a good representation of the functionality of the sword in that regard, but I do want to ensure that when you roll up a mat or do other types of cutting that you are left with a smile on your face.[/u]
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Pikula wrote:

Respectfully, as a maker, I have to disagree.


I accept your disagreement. I speak from the perspective of a user. A heavy user, in fact, so my experiences do not apply even to most other users.

I had a sword once that I thought was perfect. As it turned out, it had a heat treat so bad as to make it almost completely un heat treated. This sword passed the flex test just fine.

Later on, when its flaw was discovered (by test cutting), I recognized the uselessness (to me) of the flex test. I have only had one sword ever fail that test, and it was actually much better than another sword that passed the test just fine, then proceeded to turn into a pretzel when I thrust it into a test target.

Quote:
When doing a heat treat, and doing the small batches that I do I can't count that just because my salt baths, temperature, and times are consistent, that I am getting a proper heat treat on every blade every time. One of the basic tests should be done is to flex the blade and ensure that it doesn't take a set or crack, these are major issues that I feel no sword should ever be shipped without checking. I'm not saying flex it to an extreme but if an alloyed steel is flexed about 45 degrees and takes a set or cracks then that blade is majorly flawed to the point where I would be majorly embarrassment to have happen to any of my collectors.


What you seem to be saying above is that it is useful to see if a sword is complete crap. I said something similar, "You can't determine hardness or even much about heat treat quality with a flex test, except to determine whether the sword is absolute crap or not. "

In retrospect, I'd like to ammend that statement, however. An un-heatreated sword might fail that test, but an untreated sword is not crap. In fact many historical swords were not heat treated at all, and I believe it was on purpose. The sword I had that was very poorly heat treated (mentioned above) was one of the best swords I've ever had, and I would have had it today, completely unaware that there was anything "wrong" with it, had I made different choices.

For your purposes however, the flex test may be useful to determine if the sword was hardened too much, perhaps? An overly hard sword would indeed be total crap, I think.

Quote:
If these tests are viewed as being irrelevant, then what tests would you like to see a maker perform on a sword that you were considering purchasing? Or would you be fine with no testing being done and just trusting that the heat treat came out right?


I am not a maker, so I don't know. I defer to your superior knowledge in this respect, and some of the things you mentioned (eg file testing) sound good. All I know is that the flex test has served me rather poorly, miserably in fact, and I consider it completely useless for someone in my position. I only buy from high end makers, so I know my swords have minimum standards. I take those standards for granted and proceed from there. What the maker does to assure those standards, if anything, I have no idea.

Quote:
I'm not great at cutting so me trying to cut through mats, or meat and bone, or other targets is not going to give a good representation of the functionality of the sword in that regard, but I do want to ensure that when you roll up a mat or do other types of cutting that you are left with a smile on your face.[/u]


I wish I could help, but the only tests I'm familiar with are functional tests.

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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Pikula wrote:

If these tests are viewed as being irrelevant, then what tests would you like to see a maker perform on a sword that you were considering purchasing? Or would you be fine with no testing being done and just trusting that the heat treat came out right?



Actually these are the tests I assume any good maker would make before shipping a sword just to be sure that some quality control issue hasn't slipped by him.

With such a test I assume that the sword will not take a set or break under normal sword usage + maybe a margin extra like the double proof loads I mentioned earlier.

I personally don't want to do flex tests on my swords because I really don't know better than a competent maker how far to push the tests: I will prudently bend a newly received sword maybe 30 degrees or so just to see how flexible it is and how it would behave if thrust into a resisting target. I certainly don't want to deliberately push it beyond the 45 degree mark repeatedly and stress it for no good reason. It does inspire confidence if I know the maker has tested his blade way past my casual tests but below the point of causing damage to the sword.

Test cutting is a whole different thing.

I don't usually do a file test but if I give my swords a light honing after light use the feel of the diamond hone I use does give me a subjective idea about the hardness of the blade and usually a blade where a file will barely bite in is close to hard enough for good edge holding and still flexible 50 r.c. to 55 R.C.? If a file won't bite at all and the blade feels like glass then maybe it might be on the hard side of the scale 60 R.C. ? If the file bite in very easily than we are closer to the 45 R.C. range assuming the blade is heat treated at all. None of the above is scientific and very very subjective but when one has sharpened knives over many decades one get some feel for edge hardness when re-sharpening.

Oh, the type of steel will also have an influence on how hard it can be and still be optimum as far as resilient it can be in the flex and how chip resistant the sharpened edge will be.

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