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Kyle Edwards




Location: Illinois
Joined: 24 Apr 2013

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr, 2013 5:51 pm    Post subject: Making a Custom Pattern-welded Sword with BKS         Reply with quote

Greetings, first post on this forum. I am having a pattern-welded sword made for me by Baltimore Knife and Sword. It is based on the Oakshotte type XVIIIe, and the blade will be made from L6, 15N20, 1050, 1070 and W2 steels. It'll have a differentially hardened blade 39 inches in length, 2 inches at it's widest. The tang will be 13 inches and the blade will be slightly hollow ground to reduce the weight. While I know a perfect sword isn't possible, I'm shooting for as close to perfection as I can get here. Considering this beast is going to cost $7,000.00 to produce, I figured I could use some extra opinions and recommendations to help ensure that this will be the most stellar example of a blade of this type before the project goes any further. Let me know what you think.
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr, 2013 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Custom Pattern-welded Sword with BKS         Reply with quote

Kyle Edwards wrote:
Greetings, first post on this forum. I am having a pattern-welded sword made for me by Baltimore Knife and Sword. It is based on the Oakshotte type XVIIIe, and the blade will be made from L6, 15N20, 1050, 1070 and W2 steels. It'll have a differentially hardened blade 39 inches in length, 2 inches at it's widest. The tang will be 13 inches and the blade will be slightly hollow ground to reduce the weight. While I know a perfect sword isn't possible, I'm shooting for as close to perfection as I can get here. Considering this beast is going to cost $7,000.00 to produce, I figured I could use some extra opinions and recommendations to help ensure that this will be the most stellar example of a blade of this type before the project goes any further. Let me know what you think.


I don't believe the original sword in question was pattern-welded so why are you choosing to have a reproduction made incorporating pattern welding? IMHO, this wouldn't add to the aesthetic but will present a more confusing pseudo-historical conglomeration, but then again I tend to steer most closely to historical parameters and enjoy reproductions staying most closely to historical designs and execution. .

That being said many do choose to have historical designs made using pattern-welding even when the originals did not. I simply don't understand this design choice.
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Kyle Edwards




Location: Illinois
Joined: 24 Apr 2013

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr, 2013 6:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is not intended to be entirely historical, the XVIIIe is only the starting point of the design. Not just the pattern-welded construction but the width of the blade would also seem to be unhistorical in my not so well informed opinion, although wider examples of this type of sword may have been produced at some point. My question pertains to the chosen materials, the differential hardening, and the geometry. I am looking for second opinions pertaining to these criteria to improve the swords strength, toughness, handling. etc. before investing more in this project. It is my goal to produce a sword with as much strength, durability and edge holding as possible while still handling like a $7,000.00 sword should.
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Michael Pikula
Industry Professional



Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 07 Jun 2008

Posts: 411

PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr, 2013 8:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Kyle,

One thing that you should bring up, and discuss, is what steel will be used where in the blade. There are quite a few that you listed off, and they are not all equally compatible in heat treat. Example, L6 and 1050 require very different heat treats, if you get full hardness out of the L6, you are not going to get full hardness, or the best results, with 1050. If you get full hardness out of 1050 you might very well over stress the L6 and get failure. I don't know if you are proposing the materials or not, but with pattern welding it is best to select 2-3 steels that have as close heat treat recipes as possible to get the best results out of the steel.

For $7000 you should be expecting nothing less than a perfect sword.
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Kyle Edwards




Location: Illinois
Joined: 24 Apr 2013

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr, 2013 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Baltimore Knife company said this combination of steels was doable. I actually asked them if my original blend of steels would be compatible with each other and produce what I'm going for and they suggested I change two of the five steels to make up the current blend I listed in the first post. They may or may not reconsider materials before actually making the blade. But just to clarify, all five steels at this stage will be used in the construction of the blade.
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Michael Pikula
Industry Professional



Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 07 Jun 2008

Posts: 411

PostPosted: Wed 24 Apr, 2013 9:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kyle Edwards wrote:
Baltimore Knife company said this combination of steels was doable. I actually asked them if my original blend of steels would be compatible with each other and produce what I'm going for and they suggested I change two of the five steels to make up the current blend I listed in the first post. They may or may not reconsider materials before actually making the blade. But just to clarify, all five steels at this stage will be used in the construction of the blade.


Okay, but if your
Quote:
goal to produce a sword with as much strength, durability and edge holding as possible
than you may want to reconsider.... Just because something is doable does not mean that it will yield the best possible result.
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr, 2013 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just want to add that Michael has created some VERY impressive swords and I would take his advise and suggestions. He knows what he's talking about.
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr, 2013 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
Just want to add that Michael has created some VERY impressive swords and I would take his advise and suggestions. He knows what he's talking about.


I would second this.
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Kyle Edwards




Location: Illinois
Joined: 24 Apr 2013

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr, 2013 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Pikula wrote:
Kyle Edwards wrote:
Baltimore Knife company said this combination of steels was doable. I actually asked them if my original blend of steels would be compatible with each other and produce what I'm going for and they suggested I change two of the five steels to make up the current blend I listed in the first post. They may or may not reconsider materials before actually making the blade. But just to clarify, all five steels at this stage will be used in the construction of the blade.


Okay, but if your
Quote:
goal to produce a sword with as much strength, durability and edge holding as possible
than you may want to reconsider.... Just because something is doable does not mean that it will yield the best possible result.

Thanks. Do you have any recommendations for alternatives to some of the steels I chose that might be better suited to what I'm trying to do with this project?
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr, 2013 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kyle Edwards wrote:
Thanks. Do you have any recommendations for alternatives to some of the steels I chose that might be better suited to what I'm trying to do with this project?


I think rather than attempt to be a metallurgical expert, a swordmaker, or the like... it would be better if you picked an experienced maker that can guide you through the process with his own expertise. Describe the end product that you want and then allow your expert maker to return the solution to you. Assess his answers and decide if you trust the maker's expertise and will be satisfied with the result. You're not the maker. You're the customer. It isn't your role to be the subject matter expert: it is his.

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P. Schontzler




Location: WA, USA
Joined: 15 Apr 2013

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Thu 25 Apr, 2013 1:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
You're the customer. It isn't your role to be the subject matter expert: it is his.


This right here.
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Michael Pikula
Industry Professional



Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 07 Jun 2008

Posts: 411

PostPosted: Fri 26 Apr, 2013 3:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kyle Edwards wrote:
Thanks. Do you have any recommendations for alternatives to some of the steels I chose that might be better suited to what I'm trying to do with this project?


Hi Kyle, I realize maybe my first posts were a little cold, and I am sorry for that. Welcome to the forum!

There are many combinations of steel that could be used, and it really depends on what you are shooting for. Without knowing the specifics of the project I can't give you a good answer since at this point, "it depends" is as close to accurate as I can get. Being a maker I don't want to interfere or deter you from the smiths that you have chosen for this project, or seem like I am over stepping my bounds. The sword making community is a very small one and I don't want to step on anyone's toes.

When I was first learning how to do pattern welding I was told by many different smiths and resources that building a billet needs to be based around two important things. Similarity in heat treat (hardening as well as tempering) and secondly aesthetic composition. It is important to have a good visual contrast, but the functionality needs to come first.

With some swords, as in the "viking era" there is some room to play with composition since metals that make up the core/twisted rods, don't need have the same hardness as the edge, but it does need to be tough. With the sword style that you are looking at I don't think this would be the case. I really can't comment more than this, other than I wish you the best of luck and hope you can chat with BKS about exactly what you are shooting for and hopefully they will steer you in the right direction.
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