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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 31 Aug, 2018 11:18 am    Post subject: When do we begin to see mono steel blades         Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I know that swords of the 11th-12th c. often have an iron core and steel edge. When do we begin to see monosteel blades?

Thanks everyone, in advance, for your replies!
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2018 2:49 am    Post subject: Re: When do we begin to see mono steel blades         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Hi everyone,

I know that swords of the 11th-12th c. often have an iron core and steel edge. When do we begin to see monosteel blades?

Thanks everyone, in advance, for your replies!

Hi Jeremy,

I recently looked at metallurgical studies of a spearhead and a dagger made around the 5th century BCE. One is a jumble of different elements, the other is 50 layers of iron and steel piled side by side in no particular order and forge-welded together. Why could you find blades made by both methods in any market from Marsailles to Kandahar between 1000 BCE and 1850? Well, most iron and steel in most cultures was not cast as a beautiful homogeneous mass, so they had to hammer together irons with different properties. Some smiths preferred to take a big piece which had already been mixed to have about the right average composition and make the whole blade from it, and others preferred to combine hard pieces and soft pieces side-by-side. Which worked best depended on the local ore and the local smelting technology.

If you want to learn more, check out books by R.F. Tylecote or the introduction to the Knives and Scabbards book from the Museum of London.
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2018 6:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

https://www.tf.uni-kiel.de/matwis/amat/iss/index.html

This is a very good and informative read too.

Ancient Combat Association —http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons — http://www.rsw.com.hk
Nightstalkers — http://www.nightstalkers.com.hk
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Sep, 2018 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, Dr. Föll's site is pretty good. Another is http://leesauder.com/smelting_research.php Mostly, though, you need books!
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2018 1:56 am    Post subject: Re: When do we begin to see mono steel blades         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
When do we begin to see monosteel blades?


They're around in small numbers BC. Pleiner, The Celtic Sword, includes, according to Williams (S&C, full details below), 59 swords of which the full cross-sections were examined; of these swords, 8 were all steel, 1 of which was mono-steel and the others steel-steel composites.

Perhaps more useful than "when do we begin to see monosteel blades?" is "when do we begin to see monosteel blades often?". To quote myself from another forum:

Going by Alan Williams, The sword and the crucible, Brill, 2012, we have:

Century Monosteel Steel-steel laminated Steel-iron laminated Iron
11th 0 1 5 2
12th 0 0 3 1
13th 0 1 5 1
14th 0 4 6 0
15th 2 2 6 1
16th 3 0 3 0
17th 2 0 0 0


So, in the 16th century, it's 50/50 monosteel and steel-iron laminates, and becomes majority monosteel in the 17th century. Small sample size, though, especially in the 17th century.

"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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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep, 2018 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The 15th and 16th Century laminated weapons were probably better quality in most cases than the 17th or 18th Century blades, it's worth noting. By the 15th Century (and actually quite a bit earlier) mixing different types ferrous metals was no longer a matter of necessity but had become a matter of design, if I understand Peter Johnsson and others i've read.

J

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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep, 2018 3:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just because the smith starts with one piece of iron-carbon alloy does not mean that the material is anything like a modern homogeneous cast steel though. Slap two 3/4 pound bars on the anvil of your mind with orders to make spearheads: one from modern mild steel, and the other cut from the same bar as an Achaemenid-period lancehead from Syria. Are these two pieces of "mild steel" going to behave the same way?

By the 15th/16th/17th century most European steel is more homogeneous, but if you look closely you can often see grain and 'knots' like in wood, and there were still working bloomeries in 18th century Scandinavia.

www.bookandsword.com
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 17 Sep, 2018 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Do folks believe that most swords of the 950-1200s would have had a non-patter-welded iron core and steel(y) edges?

I am looking at having a type XI recreated with iron inlay in the blade. The smith states we may want to use steel in the core to have the inlay show up better. I want the sword to be constructed as it would have been originally- wouldn't the core have been iron?

I also have read that some iron inlay- such at on +vlfbert+s was pattern welded but other iron inlay such as on the +INNOMINEDOMINE+ swords was of plain iron. Would those letters have been steel to show up on the iron core?
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Peter Berbiers




Location: Flanders
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2018 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An Ulfberht sword was made from crucible steel with an iron inlay for the lettering.
Your smith is right, the iron will contrast nicely with the steel.
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