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Scott Roush
Industry Professional



Location: Washburn, WI
Joined: 27 Jan 2011

Posts: 452

PostPosted: Tue 01 Jul, 2014 8:55 am    Post subject: Blade geometry in early Iron Age - function         Reply with quote

Hi folks...

I'm working on an early Iron Age Irish sword.. based on crannog finds. Short, wide, gladius-like with piled iron core (a combination of bloom and 19th C. wrought iron). I'm curious about the different effects you would expect in an unhardened iron blade with respect to different blade cross-sections. For example... lenticular and no fullers, versus lenticular with fullers versus deeply hollow-ground and pronounced mid-rib. What gives you the most resistance to blade warpage for example? Mine will have a steel edge.. so it seems to me that if you reduce the volume of the iron core via fullering... the blade would be less likely to take a set due to the reduction in mass of the un-hardened iron?? Does this make sense??? I can see the same principle for a sword with work hardened edge and softer body as well I suppose..which would be more in line with the early Irish swords.

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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Thu 03 Jul, 2014 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Such interactions are often quite hard to model, especially when it involves two non-uniform materials (as artisan-smelted iron and steel are going to be). You're probably better off testing it empirically (which is just the complicated way of saying you'll never know until you've tried it out).
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Thu 03 Jul, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If by 'warpage" you mean bending in use, I'd imagine the fullered blades would give the best results ? The old "I Beam" girder effect you get with later fullered blades ? Not to the same extent, of course, as I gather these type blades weren't hardened or tempered very well.
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