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Timothy Gulics




Location: NJ, US
Joined: 28 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 23 Apr, 2004 4:09 am    Post subject: The Ring of Steel         Reply with quote

Just what causes the 'ring of steel'? Is it truly a sign of quality? Or is it simply a pleasant, if rare and unexpected, addition to a sword's features? When buying, is it something to look for?

I have a Samson sword that features the 'ring of steel' in that, if the blade is tapped, it will emit a somewhat high-pitched humming sound. Also known as a ringing sound. I usually test this by tapping the blade with one finger near the CoP and then moving the blade next to my ear (carefully!) to best hear the sound.

I've always wondered about this, and now having experienced it I think it really gives the sword character... and I am hoping it is a GOOD thing!

The sword is my companion.
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Gary Grzybek




Location: Stillwater N.J.
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 23 Apr, 2004 4:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The "Ring of Steel" is simply an indication that the hilt components are nice and tight. A dead thud sound or rattle tells us there's something wrong. A cracked grip will give it's self away in this manner too.
Gary Grzybek
ARMA Northern N.J.
www.armastudy.org
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Apr, 2004 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One nice thing about dismountable swords is that you can fix that. On an ATrim, its easy. Just give the pommel nut a quarter turn, and your sword rings again.
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Timothy Gulics




Location: NJ, US
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Apr, 2004 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cool, thanks guys. The Samson leafblade really sings, but so do my CF/AT Redeemer and Albion Crecy II now that I've really looked at them. The Albion Migration D has more of a flat sound, but that is probably because of the variety of hilt components and complicated construction.
The sword is my companion.
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Josh S.





Joined: 17 Feb 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 23 Apr, 2004 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know if it's necessarily an indicator of a tight hilt; my MRL two-handed flamberge needs some slight tightening on the hilt, but everytime I tap the blade lightly against something it gives a very nice, long-lasting ring. That may be due to the blade's shape, though(i.e., the waves)...
"The accomplishment of man has been to remain fractured, by cause of which we are strong."
-Jerome Santus Perriere
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Apr, 2004 1:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josh S. wrote:
I don't know if it's necessarily an indicator of a tight hilt; my MRL two-handed flamberge needs some slight tightening on the hilt, but everytime I tap the blade lightly against something it gives a very nice, long-lasting ring. That may be due to the blade's shape, though(i.e., the waves)...


The standard way to produce the "Ring of Steel" is to rap the blade near the guard with your fingernail.
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Allen W





Joined: 02 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 23 Apr, 2004 3:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have heard this on axes too, so I doubt the hilt explanation.
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Eric McHugh
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Location: Crown Point, IN
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Apr, 2004 7:13 pm    Post subject: Migration D         Reply with quote

Timothy Gulics wrote:
Cool, thanks guys. The Samson leafblade really sings, but so do my CF/AT Redeemer and Albion Crecy II now that I've really looked at them. The Albion Migration D has more of a flat sound, but that is probably because of the variety of hilt components and complicated construction.


I have never been able to get a Migration D to ring. I have concluded that it is the combination of bronze and wood that deaden the "ring." They are obviously tight swords, but I guess it is just one of those swords that has an atypical aspect to it.

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Timothy Gulics




Location: NJ, US
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr, 2004 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, straight from the cutler's mouth Happy

I tried out my remaining Albion, a First Gen Gaddhjalt... another singer. Man, that is such a beautiful sound.

The sword is my companion.
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Josh Aldous




Location: Pennsylvania
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Apr, 2004 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen W wrote:
I have heard this on axes too, so I doubt the hilt explanation.


I would guess that as long as the head of the axe is tight to the handle, it might indeed ring. The issue isn't so much about having a hilt as not having any loose parts to bleed off the vibrations. I've finally given up on trying to re-peen my Del Tin 2152 (really paranoid about damaging the handle), which won't ring at all anymore because the hilt's not quite tight. I got it there once (ting!), but it loosened again with the first experimental swing (plunk!) Worried

It certainly is a satisfying sound. . . Big Grin
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Paulo J




Location: Michigan
Joined: 18 Apr 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Apr, 2004 2:33 am    Post subject: Ring of steel..         Reply with quote

Ringing must have something to do with unchecked vibration.When buying an anvil all purchasers look for the one that sings "like gunnar's bill". Once properly mounted on the anvil stump /some use leather,or rubber underneath/ RINGING STOPS .And that is a good thing because good hearing is hard to find in blacksmith shop...I suppose that blade that is properly mounted won't ring as much as the "floating" blade.
gh
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Eric McHugh
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Apr, 2004 5:10 am    Post subject: Re: Ring of steel..         Reply with quote

Paulo J wrote:
Ringing must have something to do with unchecked vibration.When buying an anvil all purchasers look for the one that sings "like gunnar's bill". Once properly mounted on the anvil stump /some use leather,or rubber underneath/ RINGING STOPS .And that is a good thing because good hearing is hard to find in blacksmith shop...I suppose that blade that is properly mounted won't ring as much as the "floating" blade.
gh


Actually, I kinda think it is the other way Happy

An unmounted blade will vibrate over the whole length...where as a solidly mounted blade will vibrate more (ring) in the blade because a tight hilt will transmit the vibration towards the blade and keep it there...kinda like a tuning fork. So, in general, when you hear the ring of steel, it is an indication that the hilt is tight. In the case of the migration D, I think it is a materials issue. I know the sword is tight, there is no way to get it tighter, so it has to be a material issue...apparently wood and bronze produce a sword that does not ring as much.

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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Apr, 2004 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The interesting thing about the "ring of steel" as it relates to most swords of some quality, it {the tone} will be different based on the "harmonic" node patterns.

And these don't really aren't "finished" until the blade is mounted..........

swords are fun
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Timothy Gulics




Location: NJ, US
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Apr, 2004 8:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are some great replies here... it's great to see some of the makers chime in Happy
The sword is my companion.
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James Aldrich




Location: Green Bay WI
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Apr, 2004 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK, this is goofy but . . . I just had a mental image of setting up my weapons collection like bells or chimes and playing them with rubber mallets. I know they have a wide variety of tones. One of the prettiest sounds comes from my A&A Danish Axe.

JSA on caffeine
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Timothy Gulics




Location: NJ, US
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Apr, 2004 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

LOL, kinda like an Armonica. Water Music? Naw, Sword Music!
The sword is my companion.
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Eric McHugh
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Location: Crown Point, IN
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Apr, 2004 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timothy Gulics wrote:
LOL, kinda like an Armonica. Water Music? Naw, Sword Music!


Okay, that is really bad dude...really bad... Laughing Out Loud Razz

I agree with Gus, it does have a different tone based on nodes and even the size of the sword...so yes you can sort of make an Armonica with them. The "ring of steel" is just one of the tools in the swordmaker's box that helps to determine if the sword is as it should be, but with almost everything in this craft, there are exceptions...go figure.

Find me on Facebook, or check out my blog. Contact me at eric@crownforge.net or ericmycue374@comcast.net if you want to talk about a commission or discuss an available piece.
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Brian M




Location: Austin, TX
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

Posts: 500

PostPosted: Wed 28 Apr, 2004 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A "steel harmonica?"
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Nathan Cole




Location: Philly, PA
Joined: 08 Dec 2003

Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed 28 Apr, 2004 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allow a recovering junk sword collector to chime in. I have noted that even my Cas/Iberia swords and stainless wallhangers have a ring to them. I also have some cheap helmet gongs. Though I can't judge whether good quality swords have a better sound since my Atrim has not yet arrived. Sad Due very soon. Cool I imaging that any metal sword will ring as long as the hilt does not rattle or baffle the sound.

Do people recall the Stormtrooper xylophone from Jedi. How about toolbox music, I have the Christmass album.
Someone here should make an Amourer's Christmass cd: Track 1 "Carol of the Swords". Laughing Out Loud

Nathan
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Timothy Gulics




Location: NJ, US
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Apr, 2004 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, that's funny. I picked up my CAS Iberia Agincourt and flicked my fingernail against the blade... sure enough, it rang. It actually had a good, long ring too.

On the flipside, a Windlass Celtic Long Sword had no ring whatsoever. Thud. Great, now I'm going to be checking every sword I own... :P

The sword is my companion.
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