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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2020 11:43 am    Post subject: LK Chen's White Arc model Chinese Jian         Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUTOu3qjMSE
Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xAF_pFCGH4
Part 2

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Michael Beeching





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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2020 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I must say, although I'm not in the market for Chinese swords, those LK Chen swords do look wonderful! Skall also reviewed them with a lot of praise. The price point for the swords are also shockingly low, which is perhaps a reflection of their country of origin. Despite that, the quality appears to be exceptional.

...Hope you're staying safe in HK, Lance.
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2020 10:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Beeching wrote:
I must say, although I'm not in the market for Chinese swords, those LK Chen swords do look wonderful! Skall also reviewed them with a lot of praise. The price point for the swords are also shockingly low, which is perhaps a reflection of their country of origin. Despite that, the quality appears to be exceptional.

...Hope you're staying safe in HK, Lance.


Thanks. Trying to stay low profile all the time. Hurt business.

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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2020 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent review Lancelot! Thanks a lot for sharing!
I have actually thought about ordering one, so your review is really helpful.

Some things that I found interesting:

The COP seems quite far away from the tip, near the middle of the blade? (video 1 @ 2:42)

The results from the waggle test were also interesting to me. Seems not like any of the European swords that I own, which rotate more or less around the COP. Maybe because the blade is so light, it's not a problem however.

The (lack of) sharpness surprised me. At that price point, I think the customer should not have to spend 4 hours sharpening a sword before using it. Especially because they are advertised as cutting swords.

For the test cutting, I noticed that you used two hands, but it is supposed to be single hand sword. How do you think it would have done with one hand?

And about the bent sword: do you know if it through or differentially hardened? Did you notice any dulling after the test cutting?

All in all, still think it's an interesting sword. It's definately a real weapon, although the COP and pivot point placements do worry me a bit. I hope you can clear that up. Regarding the steel, I guess they went with folded steel because the originals were also folded, but the metallurgy is obviously vastly different. So I think it may have been better to go with a through hardened monosteel.

As for the price point, at $385 list price, it seems affordable, but if you want to order it in Europe, you need to add shipping, VAT and import duty, which puts it at roughly E500. At that price point, you can also have a sword custom made in Eastern Europe. Still the White Arc is probably worth it, but then I would say that they need to address the sharpness and the hardening (unless it is somehow meant to take a set during cutting for some reason).
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2020 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

COP is closer to the middle of the blade than to the tip indeed. But many swords are like that so it's not unusual.

I have done the lateral tests on many swords before and most of their tips failed to synchronized with my hand. So I wouldn't say it's abnormal for this sword. In fact it followed my hand at least 2 pass before falling behind. In real combat, you need only 1 to 2 adjustments for aiming a thrust or parrying a strike. So that's good enough. Yeah, some swords will be better. Wink

My sharpening is done by hands, and I do it very carefully, so maybe I took more time than other people. Yes, it will take some honing to work. The factory edge was affected by the "acid etch" process perhaps, thus the acid etched away the edge. And the point is just not ground to sharp.

With single hand, I think it could cut to the bone for sure, but not so sure about cutting through the whole target. Since I did not want to risk twisting the blade, I didn't cut with single hand.

I think it was done in through harden way but the heat may not soaked thoroughly into the core, to make the core equally as hard as the surface. The edge held through the test cut.

My student likes it, since he bought from China side, the price is pretty different from your listed price. Wink Good enough for him. I charged him almost as much as the sword's price for the sharpening, hhahah.

Paul Hansen wrote:
Excellent review Lancelot! Thanks a lot for sharing!
I have actually thought about ordering one, so your review is really helpful.

Some things that I found interesting:

The COP seems quite far away from the tip, near the middle of the blade? (video 1 @ 2:42)

The results from the waggle test were also interesting to me. Seems not like any of the European swords that I own, which rotate more or less around the COP. Maybe because the blade is so light, it's not a problem however.

The (lack of) sharpness surprised me. At that price point, I think the customer should not have to spend 4 hours sharpening a sword before using it. Especially because they are advertised as cutting swords.

For the test cutting, I noticed that you used two hands, but it is supposed to be single hand sword. How do you think it would have done with one hand?

And about the bent sword: do you know if it through or differentially hardened? Did you notice any dulling after the test cutting?

All in all, still think it's an interesting sword. It's definately a real weapon, although the COP and pivot point placements do worry me a bit. I hope you can clear that up. Regarding the steel, I guess they went with folded steel because the originals were also folded, but the metallurgy is obviously vastly different. So I think it may have been better to go with a through hardened monosteel.

As for the price point, at $385 list price, it seems affordable, but if you want to order it in Europe, you need to add shipping, VAT and import duty, which puts it at roughly E500. At that price point, you can also have a sword custom made in Eastern Europe. Still the White Arc is probably worth it, but then I would say that they need to address the sharpness and the hardening (unless it is somehow meant to take a set during cutting for some reason).

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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2020 10:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Lancelot!

Where can I find the Chinese website? I have a Chinese colleague who is going to visit China again when this Coronavirus situation is over, maybe I can convince him to bring something back with him...
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2020 11:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
Thanks Lancelot!

Where can I find the Chinese website? I have a Chinese colleague who is going to visit China again when this Coronavirus situation is over, maybe I can convince him to bring something back with him...


As far as I know my student bought from Taobao. Your colleague will know.

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Houston P.




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul, 2020 7:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great review Lancelot!
I would like to see if I am understanding the general design choices of these swords correctly. It seems like this style of Jian in particular solves the issue of balance and weight distribution by making the blade extremely light and narrow when compared to European swords, but that they greatly extend the point of balance in order to generate cutting power. This also seems to result in the blade pivoting very differently. With the longswords, rapiers, and sideswords that I’ve handled, moving the hand doesn’t make the tip move much, if at all, making it very easy to keep the point on line as you move the hilt to counter-thrust in a single tempo. Is this done with Jian, or are the defense and counter generally separate movements? If it is done, how do you prevent the opponent’s blade striking the hand? Finally, how easy is it to maintain edge alignment during a cut? It seems to me that such a narrow blade would be more likely to twist while cutting. Sorry for being so long winded, but I’m fascinated by how different the dynamics seem to be.
Thanks,
Houston

...and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭36‬)
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul, 2020 11:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello! Chinese swords do not employ the same "forte defense while point on the line" concept because they don't have the elaborate hand guard to protect the hand with. Defending with forte would very likely lead to the hand getting hurt in the end. On the other hand, they use the tip to deflect incoming thrusts and actually this maybe even more effective when dealing with fast thrusts. This also allows a further reach for "defense scope" than "forte defense", meaning one can defend the incoming thrusts from earlier on, giving one more reaction time allowance. The incoming blade is smacked away and not allowed to slide along my blade to my hand. That's why when I test swords, I will see how the tip would synchronize with my hand. I prefer swords that the tip moves at the same time and the same amount of distance with my hand, so I can aim a thrust at different spot or deflect a thrust by instinct.

The lack of pommel and guard weight would automatically translate to a more forward balance, even if it use an European style blade. Any swords without a big guard and pommel, exhibits a forward balance feature, like Japanese swords, African swords, Indian swords, Roman gladius and spatha, viking swords, south asian swords like dha and daab.... So you can say in a global scope, the later European swords were actually an "exception" to the majority.

The narrowness of the blade did not give me trouble in blade alignment, as long as the grip is in oval shape. Big Grin

Houston P. wrote:
Great review Lancelot!
I would like to see if I am understanding the general design choices of these swords correctly. It seems like this style of Jian in particular solves the issue of balance and weight distribution by making the blade extremely light and narrow when compared to European swords, but that they greatly extend the point of balance in order to generate cutting power. This also seems to result in the blade pivoting very differently. With the longswords, rapiers, and sideswords that I’ve handled, moving the hand doesn’t make the tip move much, if at all, making it very easy to keep the point on line as you move the hilt to counter-thrust in a single tempo. Is this done with Jian, or are the defense and counter generally separate movements? If it is done, how do you prevent the opponent’s blade striking the hand? Finally, how easy is it to maintain edge alignment during a cut? It seems to me that such a narrow blade would be more likely to twist while cutting. Sorry for being so long winded, but I’m fascinated by how different the dynamics seem to be.
Thanks,
Houston

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Ian Hutchison




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul, 2020 7:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the review, Lancelot. These swords look very nice for the price. I am definitely interested in the Magnificent Chu Jian and the Royal Arsenal Han Dao, and I've never had an interest in early Chinese swords before.
'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul, 2020 10:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glad you enjoy the review. Big Grin I'm not very sure if he got the dimensions correct since all the jians he replicates are extremely narrow.

Ian Hutchison wrote:
Thanks for the review, Lancelot. These swords look very nice for the price. I am definitely interested in the Magnificent Chu Jian and the Royal Arsenal Han Dao, and I've never had an interest in early Chinese swords before.

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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Jul, 2020 12:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
I'm not very sure if he got the dimensions correct since all the jians he replicates are extremely narrow.


I'm far from an expert on the topic but what I've seen of original Han jian (pictures only) they do seem very narrow. Just based on the photo's, I think the dimensions of the White Arc can well be correct.
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Jul, 2020 12:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cool! Good to know!

Paul Hansen wrote:
Lancelot Chan wrote:
I'm not very sure if he got the dimensions correct since all the jians he replicates are extremely narrow.


I'm far from an expert on the topic but what I've seen of original Han jian (pictures only) they do seem very narrow. Just based on the photo's, I think the dimensions of the White Arc can well be correct.

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William M




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Jul, 2020 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh nice!

I just had a browse through the website and I am very interested in the early chinese swords.. hmmmm

Really reminds me of a sword I started making a long time ago but never finished. I just got it back down from loft, check it out! The blade is a cut down paul chen ninja sword and then I cast the ring pommel from bronze.






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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Jul, 2020 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The hanwei practical ninjato is a beast, and that's a really nice sword. From what I understand such ring pommel style existed since the Han dynasty all the way through the Sui and Tang, and also as part of the early Japanese swords in the 7th century AD or so. If I'm not mistaken the original ring pommels are part of the tang, not sure if it's a weld or not.
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Jul, 2020 11:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Attached are some pictures of Han dynasty stuff that I found in various places on the internet.


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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2020 12:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
Attached are some pictures of Han dynasty stuff that I found in various places on the internet.


Thanks for sharing. If these are unsheathed swords, they're wider than the white arc is.

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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2020 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote



This is the original soaring sky jian. You can see the caliper not touching the blade yet, leaving about 1 mm room at the top edge and 2mm room at the bottom edge. It reads 3.3mm. So the actual width would be 3mm. The reproduction is 2.9mm wide, narrower than the actual relic.

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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2020 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
Paul Hansen wrote:
Attached are some pictures of Han dynasty stuff that I found in various places on the internet.


Thanks for sharing. If these are unsheathed swords, they're wider than the white arc is.


The top one, I think is unsheathed. It looks pretty narrow to me
The third one is with sheath, you can see the wood remains of the scabbard on the fifth picture.

Perhaps the White Arc is on the narrow end of the spectrum but Chinese swords are not sufficiently my area of expertise to say for sure...
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