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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Fri 09 May, 2014 6:06 am    Post subject: Destructive test of Neil Burridge Ewart Park Bronze Sword         Reply with quote

Don't worry it's not my ewart park! But I really appreciate Neil and Skallagrim for doing this, it is so educational for everyone interested in these weapons. And Skallagrim does a good job pointing out the things that would/should not be done in "reality", but are very useful for destructive test, like edge on edge contact and chopping tree limbs (save that for your machete!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngjMtzJ6xgQ
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Fri 09 May, 2014 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting test. I liked it, especially the part where bronze was tested against steel, which was very informative.
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 09 May, 2014 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That was pretty cool. Someone like myself, who didn't necessarily know better, has
always been under the impression that bronze swords were -- and don't ask for a
reason, I don't really have one B-) -- rather too soft, for lack of a better word, to be
first-class weapons ...

Just representative of an evolutionary process, if you will. First as " metals " were
discovered, then as " swords " were made ... if you follow me.

Now I know a little more and a little better ...
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John D




Location: Southeastern PA, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 09 May, 2014 5:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent vid!!! Entertaining and very educational (rare feat that) I work in bronze myself, and have long felt the need for such a graphic demonstration of its inherent strengths - our warrior ancestors trusted their lives on bronze swords for centuries. I understand that bronze swords were actually equal or slightly superior to the early iron swords. Iron initially surpassed bronze because it was more available and more easily made into swords. Of course when somebody chanced to infuse the right amount of carbon into that ironů well, that was all she wrote for bronze.

I would really like to see an equivalent testing of bronze vs an IRON sword!

Big respect to Skallagrim for the tests and vid! Ultimate appreciation and awe to Neil Burridge for his inspired art and dedicated craftsmanship.

ENDURE what we must, PREVAIL over all adversities and REVEL when we may!
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Neil Langley




Location: Stockport, UK
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PostPosted: Fri 09 May, 2014 8:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John D wrote:

I would really like to see an equivalent testing of bronze vs an IRON sword!

On the introductory page of his website (http://www.bronze-age-swords.com/intro.htm) Neil mentions a test a BBC documentary did between a bronze blade and an iron age repro made by Hector Cole. Although quite a number of years ago now I remember the documentary and the performance of the bronze sword was an eye opener for me then. The test was simply two actors (?) who bashed the blades together - schoolboy fashion and the result was, as you would expect, that both swords got chewed to pieces. However the bronze sword inflicted just as much - if not more - damage on the iron one (if I remember correctly the bronze one had chunks out of it but the iron one resembled a ruined saw). Whilst not a great test of any swords true capabilities it certainly left no doubt in my mind that a good bronze blade is every bit the equal of an early iron one.

Neil.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2014 3:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting test and the sword seems like it would still be functional as a weapon, even if cosmetically it took something of a beating: If the notches in the blade where hammered flat where the metal has deformed plus some file work a reasonable edge could be reestablished.

Nicks in part of the blade don't take away sharpness and cutting ability where the edges are intact as long as bent metal that would stick in a cut are bent back into alignment and or filed away I think.

It would be interesting to also see a test of bronze sword against another bronze sword of similar alloy and work hardness on the edges: I assume there would still be some nicking of edges on both bronze swords but maybe a little less deep.

By the way did the edges of the steel sword show any damage at all ? Or at least dulling at points of contact ?

In the opposite direction one could test a hardened bronze sword against a pure copper sword as these where made at an earlier period, or an edge hardened bronze sword against a bronze sword without the hammered in hardness to see to what degree the edges would take similar or different levels of damage.

By the way I also " Bookmarked " Mr. Skallagrim's Youtube address because he has many videos posted that are also interesting and entertaining to watch. Big Grin Cool

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




Location: Wyoming
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2014 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
By the way I also " Bookmarked " Mr. Skallagrim's Youtube address because he has many videos posted that are also interesting and entertaining to watch.


He does a good job with testing a Khopesh from Neil as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFTAdzHbp2I

Neil has an excellent video about his work that Skallagrim used part of for the test video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGqPnzkRZp4 Some other videos from Neil's presentations that a tourist has made show the casting process. I would like to see how the edge is hardened.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2014 5:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Read my book. These tests wouldn't have come as a surprise to any who had. Happy
http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Bronze-Age-Mil...nt/p/3272/

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Tyler Jordan





Joined: 15 Mar 2004

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2014 6:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bruno Giordan wrote:
Interesting test. I liked it, especially the part where bronze was tested against steel, which was very informative.


Indeed. the earliest accidental steel swords must have seemed supernatural when faced against bronze and soft iron weapons.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2014 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler Jordan wrote:
Indeed. the earliest accidental steel swords must have seemed supernatural when faced against bronze weapons.


Hmm, I don't really see why. The first iron swords were probably not even as good as the bronze ones. Better grades of steel and better hardening methods would have developed only over time--it seems pretty clear that quenched steels did not occur until centuries after the Bronze Age. So no one would have noticed any dramatic difference.

Matthew
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Luke Adams




Location: NYC
Joined: 10 May 2014

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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2014 6:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can appreciate how durable bronze is compared to iron and steel blades.
You might be sacrificing power, but it seems like bronze weapons are a lot easier to fix.
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Phil D.




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2014 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a great vid. If I remember correctly the initial History Channel or BBC program used the Deepeeka bronze swords so it is nice to see a more accurate/better quality bronze sword represented.
"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2014 11:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Deepeka products aren't tin-bronze. Indian manufacturers use whatever copper alloy is cheapest at the time.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 13 May, 2014 10:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

im a big fan of skall (although i might hate him slightly because he might convince me to burn a hole in my wallet b getting one of neils blades...)

one things about bronze blades themselves

my understanding is that the sword of goujian (one of the best preserved bronze swords ever found) tests showed that the tin content and metal content of the allo fluctuated in such a way that the spine tneded to have different amounts of certain alloying materials like in and phosphorous.

as for bronze vs iron now dan can correct me if im wrong here (im gonna bet that i am in certain areas but it was a while since i heard what im posting here) if im not mistaken, the word is bronze is harder but the early iron blades were i think tougher or more malleable or something..?

that and the fact that if i remember reading about early human development, bronze helped shore up certain locations as trade hubs because while copper was common, tin on the other hand was much less evenly found throughout Europe, meaning that access to tin mines created imbalances in distribution of wealth etc etc.

on the other hand iron was much more common across europe. making it more popular because you could simply get more of them easier.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 13 May, 2014 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
im a big fan of skall (although i might hate him slightly because he might convince me to burn a hole in my wallet b getting one of neils blades...)


Quite a small hole, considering it will be one of the most historically accurate blades you can get! You know you want it...

Quote:
as for bronze vs iron now dan can correct me if im wrong here (im gonna bet that i am in certain areas but it was a while since i heard what im posting here) if im not mistaken, the word is bronze is harder but the early iron blades were i think tougher or more malleable or something..?


A good high-tin bronze that is properly work-hardened can be harder than most ancient steels. Of course, not all bronze blades were of the highest quality! I'm honestly not sure about the differences in toughness versus strength versus flexibility, etc. But I suspect that even low-carbon wrought iron can be made sharp enough to cleave flesh. And early iron alloys often included things like sulphur and phosphorus, which affect the metal's performance.

Quote:
that and the fact that if i remember reading about early human development, bronze helped shore up certain locations as trade hubs because while copper was common, tin on the other hand was much less evenly found throughout Europe, meaning that access to tin mines created imbalances in distribution of wealth etc etc.


Certainly there was booming trade all through the Bronze Age and after, and metal sources were obviously a major factor. Not sure about "imbalances in distribution of wealth", though--Cornwall was one of the few sources for tin, and as far as I know it always was (and continues to be!) a real backwater. Settlements and mining, sure, but hardly a center of Western Civilization! Copper sources were not common, either. Even Egypt doesn't seem to have had any, locally, and they were hardly a minor power!

Quote:
on the other hand iron was much more common across europe. making it more popular because you could simply get more of them easier.


Right, iron is quite common by comparison. I often wonder if iron ended up replacing bronze as the weapon metal of choice simply because it's easier to crank out iron *spears*, rather than casting them from bronze. Since iron can be hot-worked and forge-welded, it's a lot more forgiving than bronze, as far as workability goes. You don't have to mess around with complicated models and molds and all the problems that can crop up during even routine casting of bronze. A few hours after a bloom of iron comes out of the smelter, a half-trained smith with nothing more than a hammer, chisel, and anvil can be tossing spearheads into a basket at the rate of at least one or two per hour. Even with reusable stone molds, the bronze caster isn't going to reach that kind of production. So while bronze weapons are great for the *warrior* who has time and money to afford the best weapons, cheap iron spears make a ton of sense for anyone equipping a mass of *soldiers*.

But it's just a personal theory!

Matthew
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 13 May, 2014 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
my understanding is that the sword of goujian (one of the best preserved bronze swords ever found) tests showed that the tin content and metal content of the allo fluctuated in such a way that the spine tneded to have different amounts of certain alloying materials like in and phosphorous.


Two-part castings - the spine and edge were cast separately, from two different alloys. The edges were a very high tin bronze, and the sword would be too likely to snap if uniformly of that alloy. It's the ancestor of blade-making techniques like sanmei and inserted edges.

William P wrote:
on the other hand iron was much more common across europe. making it more popular because you could simply get more of them easier.


When iron started being used, the amount of bronze in use didn't go down. More bronze was used in the Iron Age than in the Bronze Age; iron was used in addition to bronze.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 14 May, 2014 4:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Matthew Amt"]
William P wrote:
im a big fan of skall (although i might hate him slightly because he might convince me to burn a hole in my wallet b getting one of neils blades...)


Quite a small hole, considering it will be one of the most historically accurate blades you can get! You know you want it...

Oh i so want it, and considering ever since i picked up that small stone flowerpot thing (pretty much a solid chunk) ive been interested in making/ getting an old stone mace so, stay tuned for the possibility of me posing as an egyptian in the future (and considering my Mediterranean features it might just work...

BUT sadly as many of us know one must draw the line since my middle byzantine kit needs some serious upgrading



timo, matt, thanks for the corrections on the info, i had a feeling some of my info was a bit outdated so its good to set things correctly

but how do you do bronze in the form of sanmai??? how does that work?

speaking of bronze swords, i heard that theres someone in china who makes replicas of the sword of goujian... anyone know about that
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