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Tyler Brinckerhoff





Joined: 02 May 2012

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Damascus Long Sword for praticing Liechtenauer         Reply with quote

I am currently starting my research into where and if it would work to use a damascus steel blade, for a long sword to use in Liechtenauer training classes.Would the damascus work any better than period steel?
I was wondering if this blade would work?(all i could find were viking longsword blades)
http://www.ancientarms.biz/servlet/Detail?no=1186
or this one since it has a longer tang:
http://www.ancientarms.biz/servlet/Detail?no=1725
Thank you for your time and expertise.

These have been the best damascus steel blades that would be long enough that i have found so far.
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Ken Nelson




Location: central Wisconsin, USA
Joined: 01 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would the damascus work any better than period steel?

The short answer is NO, the longer answer is it depends. If you are looking at swords that were made using materials and methods from the period, then you are probably looking at either a simple carbon steel, or a shear steel. The processes for making steel for a sword were the best attempts available at the time to get a uniform steel with proper hardening qualities, and then some of the blades could vary wildly in hardness from one point to another as little as 3 " away.

Modern steels can far exceed the capabilities of period steels, and I include all pattern welded and wootz steels in this. our multi ton pours can produce steels that are more homogeneous, less likely to have inclusions and impurities, and alloys can be added to improve toughness, impact resistance, strength, and/or hardenability.

When you take modern steels and then pattern weld them together, you now have the possibility of reintroducing flaws, impurities, and also losing some of the carbon that you wanted in the blade to begin with. Damascus steel is not magical, nor is it better than the steels that it was made from.

I would suggest, if you are looking to hilt the sword yourself, to talk to an experienced maker, or a HEMA group in your area. they can probably point you in the direction of blades that were used at the time, that would make good practice weapons. While I do not know how thick, or balanced the blades you posted are, as I have not held them, I am not inclined to suggest them. the profiles look like they are poorly designed, and do not reflect a period blade.

"Live and learn, or you don't live long" L. Long
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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 19 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would have to second that, don't use either of those. If you want to hilt your own sword, pick up an Albion moat blade or another reputable makers product. If you really want a pattern welded (Damascus) blade, then you'll probably have to go custom to get a good one that would be appropriately balanced for 14th/15th century longsword fighting.
Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA)
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Damascus Long Sword for praticing Liechtenauer         Reply with quote

Tyler Brinckerhoff wrote:
I am currently starting my research into where and if it would work to use a damascus steel blade, for a long sword to use in Liechtenauer training classes.


In addition to the fact that those blades look like garbage, there is no need for a pattern welded training sword. A monosteel sword, made by a good maker (such as Albion or Arms & Armor) will work far better for you than some poorly shaped blade of unknown quality that happens to use multiple layers of metal (which, by the way, does not necessarily make it better).

If you are looking for a sharp weapon for solo training and test cutting, then keep in mind that a pattern welded blade would have been very out of place in the 14th through 16th century (the heyday of the Liechtenauer tradition). Pattern welding was a method developed in times where making consistent steel was difficult, so the method was to compensate for the impurities in the metal. By the late middle ages, steel was far more consistent and generally of high enough quality that pattern welding was unnecessary.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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R. Kolick





Joined: 04 Feb 2012

Posts: 111

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

as to the shape of the sword id agree they are not accurate to the period and seem low quality so I cannot advise you to buy them as to damascus/pattern welding/folded steel vs. modern steel. This argument has been going on for as long as we've had swords made of mono-steel blades. these blades where designed to make steel of a much higher quality from raw iron (please don’t turn this into an argument over the qualities of damascus/pattern welding/folded steel vs. modern steel save that for another thread) so it will really come down to your preference of how you want your blade to look and if you want something different but if you do decide that you don’t want a mono-steel blade buy a custom blade because you will help keep a dying art alive and will get a blade of a far superior quality and a piece of art as well
p.s. the blades dont seem to even fit the same time period that your looking for and for a sparring sword i would say buy a monosteel blade from a reputalble dealer like A&A because do you realy want to spend so much more on a sword and piece of art you will eventualy break or severly damage in the procese of sparring with it but again it your choice
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Tyler Brinckerhoff





Joined: 02 May 2012

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all for the quick replies i shall not be aquiring these blades and shall going to go to albion swords.
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler Brinckerhoff wrote:
Thank you all for the quick replies i shall not be aquiring these blades and shall going to go to albion swords.


Tyler, also consider Arms & Armor. If are you fortunate enough to know people with both the Albion and Arms & Armor feders, try them both! Both makers are excellent and the choice comes down to personal preference.

This is my favorite feder: http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword203.html If you want one without the wait, Kult of Athena carries them.

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA) - La Crosse
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” -Juvenal
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Craig McMillan




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 01 Dec 2007
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Posts: 31

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 11:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is my pattern sword i made to c how a non viking sword would look like http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=247206#247206
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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 19 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2012 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey T. Arndt, back off! The man wants Albion.

(this is a joke, Arndt is my sparring buddy, and I prefer Albion, he prefers A&A. Both are good choices)

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA)
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

pattern welding is more of an art form - depending on what you want - your going to pay for it weather it's damascus or actually pattern welding. both are a craft, and it takes a craftsman to make them properly.

both were developed because for the time, people couldn't make a bar of good steel at length, so you'd take the iron/steel - and attempt to spread out the impurities through out the steel by these processes.

today we've got so many alloys that it's only necessary if you'd want a patterned blade. even though some smiths are combining several different alloys like high carbon layed with L6 backed with nickel - sometimes going crazy with S7 alloys, their durability in comparison to something homogenous - well as said there's an argument there i don't have enough forge knowledge to debate that.

has anyone every seen some of the new methods, mosaic damascus? it's a method of images forged into steel.
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Craig McMillan




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 01 Dec 2007
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2012 11:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just like to say i am still lurning the craft of pattern welding and still need to do more testing of what i am making but if u do a good forge weld with all high carbon steel it realy comes down to how good u can do the heat treat to how good the blade is but yes mono steel will be better and in forging there are thinks that can happen like over heating and not enuff heat this can make a blade weeker aswell i do it becouse i am makeing a pattern in the steel and there are some amazing patterns out there that i hope that i can make swords with them the pattern is just for looks and i enjoy making them.

mosaic steel is is not so much layers of steel but lots of small boxs with a pattern in each of them all forged welded togather sort of.
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