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Ryan Harris





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2004 2:26 pm    Post subject: Angel Sword's Thermal Processing Review         Reply with quote

Hello Everybody,

I decided that since I dont see much on the Thermal Processing service provided by Angel Sword and that its time someone speak up to the community from a customer standpoint. First I would like to introduce myself. My name is Ryan Harris and I live in Buda Tx just a few short miles from the Angelsword forge. Ive been studying different aspects of the sword since the age of 8 years old which was sparked by my instructor Mr. Steven Doss in the study of Kuk Sool Won. Recently within the past 4 years I have taken up Renaissance swordsmanship including but not limited to cut and thrust weapons, rapier, the smallsword and the english two handed longsword. I have also been studying Japanese swordsmanship and the culture off and on for a long period of time. I have had the pleasure of briefly meeting a few smiths in the field such as Don Fogg and most recently Daniel Watson. I have heard much about Angelsword and was quite surprised when I learned that it was only a few minutes from my home. Well enough with the babbling so here is goes:


I recently had a rapier blade made by Fulvio Del Tin out of Managio, Italy. His blades are made from 6150 steel also known as 50crV4
which is a spring steel with chromium and vanadium. After using the blade for the first few times in my lessons I quickly realized that this steel was unusually soft with a flopsy temper. The many dings and chips were quite easily removed with a few strokes from my stones but I was left dissapointed in the sturdiness of the blade. I finally got the chance to meet Daniel recently at TRF and decided to give thermal processing a shot.

What ive concluded in field use is the following:

1) Significantly less surface scratches
2) After a few attack routines I forgot to roll my edge a couple times and found no trace of any chip, ding, or even a scratch for the matter that was visible even after static edge to edge parries.
3)The temper is far more rigid but its a major plus since the original temper was very flimsy, allowing for far more control over the blade.
4) It seems the rockwell hardness had jumped quite a few points
5) The polish is now downright gorgeus!
6) Value of the harmonics of the blade has increased TREMENDOUSLY

I must say that im EXTREMELY satisfied with the services that these guys have to offer. Although I had to wait a little longer than expected because of some equipment problems at the forge, I believe a wait 5 times longer would still be more than worth it. I would like to thank the Angel Sword staff and Daniel Watson for the outstanding friendly customer service and for the superior quality of their work. I hope this may clear up some questions about what you may have heard.
~Ryan Harris
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

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Posts: 870

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really had to wrestle with myself about responding to this, but there's something, that's really, really beginning to bother me. No, not about Angel Sword, I believe that Daniel's service may have some real benefit to the community.

But my problem starts with this. I just received a test blade back from Daniel, and have done some comparative tests with the "control" blade. I cannot detect any difference, in fact the control blade's edge appears harder.......Which doesn't say anything about the Angel Sword treatment one way or the other, because the control blade might have been that way to start with.

My problem continues with the fact that I owned several {and still own a couple} of Fulvio's products from 6 years ago or so. At that time Fulvio's blades {the ones I have experience with} were a uniform 50rc, and were considered state of the art for production pieces. Over the last two years, I've heard numerous reports, and have seen three examples of overly soft blades from Del Tin.......It could be that he's purposely softened his product to make the blade "tougher", but its also possible that there's now something a little off with the hardening process. That Daniel's process helped drastically with a recent DT blade, but had no apparent affect on one of mine makes me suspect quite a bit retained austenite.

Has anybody actually contacted Fulvio over this? I'd hate to think that he is unaware that folks are talking about his blades, and that he has had no chance to either respond, or correct a problem {if one exists, for all I know he's intentionally softened his product to prevent breakage}.

You see, it appears the real benefit that various cryo treatments really have on steel objects, is to cause retained austenite to transform into martensite. If a blade's percentage of retained austenite is high, you can experience the problems with the edges reported here, and have less than optimal ductility........

Where you have a high percentage of martensite formed, cryo's benefit seems to be marginal.......

For myself, I have one more little test to do before shipping both swords to Alabama for cutting tests thru destruction tests. And before shipping, I need to write Daniel and tell him what I've found {or not found}.

For Fulvio, Bjorn, if you see this, could you contact him so he becomes aware or has the chance to respond?

Auld Dawg

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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll break the news to Fulvio next time I talk to him.
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Ryan Harris





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just FYI, this is speaking from personal experience. I thought this might of just been a strange characteristic of his rapier blades. Ive handled a few of his larger blades and a backsword and they seemed fine to me. Been thinking I may have gotten it from a bad batch or something but it was a soft as butter. Maybe because of the high chromium content in his blades caused the result of the hardness being affected so dramatically. I do not know enough about the mechanics and the science of Thermal Processing to say whats really going on, except I do know my personal blades very well because I use them almost everyday, and the differences I noted above are significantly noticeable! I do respect Del Tin's work very much and I believe your getting more than you paid for. I hope daniel will comment on this.

~Ryan
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

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Posts: 870

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 1:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ryan

Actually 6150 specs out to roughly 1% chrome. Its considered a high performance grade of spring steel, and is very similar to 5160 in the way it heat treats. 6150 is the American designation for the German steel that Fulvio uses.

My feeling on Daniel's treatment is that it will be quite beneficial for most folks that use it. Most heat treaters really don't get what I consider "state of the art" temper, and having Daniel give his thermal treatment to their products should bring them a much better product.

However, the jury is still out on folks getting "state of the art" temper........

In my case, it doesn't look like there's a lot of difference in operational use. When it gets to Alabama , then we'll see if there's a difference when we get to the destruction part of the test.......As I've said, the jury's still out, and the verdict ain't in yet......... and really we're talking a small sample here........

The fact that you got a tremendous improvement is proof positive that its beneficial for a lot of applications.

swords are fun
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Angus Trim wrote:
Actually 6150 specs out to roughly 1% chrome. Its considered a high performance grade of spring steel, and is very similar to 5160 in the way it heat treats. 6150 is the American designation for the German steel that Fulvio uses.

Oh, I didn't know that! Learn something every day. Thanks, Gus.

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James Nordstrom




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 18 Sep 2003

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: DelTin Rapier blades         Reply with quote

Well, I have experience ordering and using DT rapier blades over the past 6 years or so (rapier by Darkwood Armory).

DelTin's first blades from 6 years ago were/are very flexible, but not noodle’s. I have been using that blade for six years and although it is nicked and scratched it is in fine shape.

When our rapier group expanded my friend Eric and I ordered another two rapiers about 3.5-4 years ago. Those blades are in the noodle category. One has bent and taken a set during normal use. The other seems to be doing fine.

The last batch our rapier group ordered has been in the past year. The narrow blades are stiffer than the first batch, but not painfully so. The wide blade is pretty stiff and some care is needed in softening the hand on impact so as not to drive your sparring partner back. It does flex, but not all that much. A practice blade for the more experienced and controlled fencer I say.

All blades have had the tip squared off and 1" archery blunts, with a nail head or washer in the bottom, attached.

If you have a blade that took a set check with Scoot at Darkwood to see if he’ll take it back. We are.

Cheers
Jim
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Randal Graham
Industry Professional



Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Joined: 20 Sep 2003

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 6:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm.

I can't help thinking the first post here sounded like some of the Marketing that's been done by other friend's of Mr.Watson's in the past...

If that's not what it is, please accept my apology.
But it's happened to a large degree in other online locations in the past to the great detriment of all, including Mr. Watson.

If it begins here, I'm afraid of what the results could be.

R.H.Graham
Swordsmith
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 6:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randal -

There's no reason to open up that can of worms. Let's not even go there.

Take it for what it's worth. That's all. Back on topic.

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Ryan Harris





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That makes me concerned since I was not aware of any such incidents in the past. I am generally new to the online sword community. I will keep a close eye on this and be assured that this post will be promptly deleted if anything gets out of hand. I am putting alot of work into getting this out in the open so others can benefit from my experiences. I would hate for anything but good to come out of this. Look forward to the results of the testing Angus. Thanks for putting that info on 6150 in laymans terms. Very informative.

~Ryan
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 8:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan Harris wrote:
That makes me concerned since I was not aware of any such incidents in the past. I am generally new to the online sword community. I will keep a close eye on this and be assured that this post will be promptly deleted if anything gets out of hand. I am putting alot of work into getting this out in the open so others can benefit from my experiences. I would hate for anything but good to come out of this. Look forward to the results of the testing Angus. Thanks for putting that info on 6150 in laymans terms. Very informative.

~Ryan


Hi Ryan

I've swapped a few emails with Daniel, and I think he's sincere about his Thermal Treatment. I'm just a born skeptic, and tend to want to actually see the results. And in this case, I'm working with a world class aerospace heat treater, that happens to have 13 years experience heat treating sword blades of 5160, 6150, 1065, 1075, 1084, and 1095 to various customer specs.

They're very good, and the product I have been getting has been good and consistent. As regards cryo in general, I am skeptical, but open minded......... and there's no doubt that it helps when there's a lot of retained austenite.

The destruction test will tell a lot in a few weeks.......

And thanks for the review....... My own opinion of you're bringing this up, is its all good.

swords are fun
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Ryan Harris





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2004 8:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thats precisely what I wanted to hear and im glad I got to hear it from someone with credentials such as yourself;) Glad to have that cleared up quickly! Thank You!

~Ryan
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Daniel Watson





Joined: 27 Jan 2004

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan, 2004 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Angus,

What we tried to do with the blade you sent us was to push up the toughness and wear resistance while leaving it at the same hardness. While cryo is a key part of our process, it is the way in which both heat and cryo are combined that makes our process unique. Over time we hope to be able to effectively demonstrate that it is an improvement over classic heat treat and cryo.

With a state of the art heat treated blade such as yours there is indeed negligable retained austenite. So the hardness won't be significantly affected. What we are working on is getting higher levels of microcarbides and relief of micro stresses thru a series of thermal events.

The micro carbides should show up as better edge retention even though the matrix of tempered martensite retains the same hardness.

EVERY thermal event, whether heat or cryo, also has a signature stress that is created. By slowly reducing these stresses without reducing the associated hardness a tougher material can be created.

Conversely we could approach from the opposite direction. We could hold the same toughness and push the hardness higher, but for our little cutting event I thought the first variation might be more appropriate.

Daniel


Angus Trim wrote:
I just received a test blade back from Daniel, and have done some comparative tests with the "control" blade. I cannot detect any difference, in fact the control blade's edge appears harder.......Which doesn't say anything about the Angel Sword treatment one way or the other, because the control blade might have been that way to start with.
****** That Daniel's process helped drastically with a recent DT blade, but had no apparent affect on one of mine makes me suspect quite a bit retained austenite.

You see, it appears the real benefit that various cryo treatments really have on steel objects, is to cause retained austenite to transform into martensite. If a blade's percentage of retained austenite is high, you can experience the problems with the edges reported here, and have less than optimal ductility........

Where you have a high percentage of martensite formed, cryo's benefit seems to be marginal.......

For myself, I have one more little test to do before shipping both swords to Alabama for cutting tests thru destruction tests. And before shipping, I need to write Daniel and tell him what I've found {or not found}.

Auld Dawg

http://www.angelsword.com/
http://www.angelswords.com/
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http://www.swordmagick.com/
http://www.metalscience.com
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

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Posts: 870

PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan, 2004 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Watson wrote:
Angus,

What we tried to do with the blade you sent us was to push up the toughness and wear resistance while leaving it at the same hardness. While cryo is a key part of our process, it is the way in which both heat and cryo are combined that makes our process unique. Over time we hope to be able to effectively demonstrate that it is an improvement over classic heat treat and cryo.

With a state of the art heat treated blade such as yours there is indeed negligable retained austenite. So the hardness won't be significantly affected. What we are working on is getting higher levels of microcarbides and relief of micro stresses thru a series of thermal events.

The micro carbides should show up as better edge retention even though the matrix of tempered martensite retains the same hardness.

EVERY thermal event, whether heat or cryo, also has a signature stress that is created. By slowly reducing these stresses without reducing the associated hardness a tougher material can be created.

Conversely we could approach from the opposite direction. We could hold the same toughness and push the hardness higher, but for our little cutting event I thought the first variation might be more appropriate.

Daniel


Hi Daniel

Yeah, before shipping them off, I wanted to do a little look at edge retention. I have some moderately abrasive cardboard tube that I wanted to cut with both blades and look at before resharpening and sending to Dave. Should be able to make the time to do that Sunday......

I have tested flexibility, and done some cutting, but nothing that would "stress" them and affect the destruction portion of the test. I'm curious enough now I almost wish I was doing that part of it....*g*

Ahhh well, Dave and his uncle {a machinist by trade that has similar experience, so I feel comfortable on the safety issue} deserve to have some fun too.......

Thank you for the informative post. Gives me an idea of what you're looking for.......

Gus

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Daniel Watson





Joined: 27 Jan 2004

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri 06 Feb, 2004 5:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gus,

Did you try it out? How did it perform? Are you ready to send out swords to David Stokes for our testing event?

Daniel

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