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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 22 Aug, 2011 7:32 am    Post subject: Wilkinson Sword - Sword Making Videos!         Reply with quote

These videos are much later than the main interests of the majority of forum members, however I thought some folks would be interested in seeing how swords were made in the 1940s-1960s. In fact, production methods changed little from the Victorian period, so these videos reveal far more than mid-century sword manufacture!

"CEREMONIAL SWORDS video newsreel film"

"SWORD MAKING video newsreel film"

"OUT TAKES / CUTS FROM CP 538 - reel 1 of 2 - SWORD MAKING video newsreel film"

"OUT TAKES / CUTS FROM CP 538 - reel 2 of 2 - SWORD MAKING, MATCHBOX CARS and CAR CRUSHER video newsreel film"

"EISENHOWER'S SWORD video newsreel film"

"THE SWORD video newsreel film"
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Mon 22 Aug, 2011 1:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting, I note that they dip the blades in molten led as part of the heat treatment. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever heard of such a thing.
The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Charles Richmond




Location: Casstown Ohio
Joined: 16 May 2011

Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug, 2011 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anders Backlund wrote:
Interesting, I note that they dip the blades in molten led as part of the heat treatment. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever heard of such a thing.


The reason for it is that the molten lead heats the blade by conduction, instead of using radiated heat in a conventional furnace. The thinking behind this is that the heat is applied quicker, and more evenly.

A lot of modern heat treat facilities use a variation of this method, using a molten salt bath instead of lead and its associated health hazards.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug, 2011 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We are discussing these videos in the Antique & Military Sword section at SFI, and I asked Robert Wilkinson-Latham about the use of whale oil and molten lead, and the general practices of sword making. He said that whale oil was discontinued as a quenchant in the late 1960s and that the lead bath for tempering was replaced with another method (salts as mentioned above, maybe). The methods depicted in the video had been in use since the 1870s when the process was mechanized. Special orders, however, continued to be hammered by hand (as they had been before 1870).
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