Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: favorite sword steel

  1. #1

    favorite sword steel

    Seems like this area doesn't get much action, so I thought I would throw something out for folks to think about.

    -What is your favorite steel for European style blades...excluding or including rapiers depending on your druthers?

    -What is our favorite steel for Japanese style blades?

    -Approximately what Rc do you go for in your different blades?

    Personally I am quite fond of 5160 and L-6 for European blades, and have used 1050 and 5,000 layer 1095/mild mix for Japanese blades (very new to Japanese blades). On the European blades I generally go for 55-57 Rc, while the Japanese blades are as hard as they come out of the quench minus a 300F tempering...never checked them to see.

    Any thoughts on my choices? Any better ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ft Wayne Indiana USA
    Posts
    386
    European swords? I have used for mono steel: 5160,1075,8670m,S7 (I do not advise doing S7) For patterns I have used L6 or 15n20 with 1095 or 1075; I aim the temper for the low to mid 50's RHc. Most, if not all of these type swords were for re-enactors, not cutters.

    Rapier: I have never done one, If I did I think L6 would be my first thought.

    Japanese Mono: L6, 1075.
    Japanese Folded: 1095. I have sometimes added thin strips of 15n20 between the layers of 1095 to highlight the layering. I use a coal forge, so I start with higher C to offset the Carbon loss I will get. Differential hardened, temper at 375F 2 hours. These have been for Martial Artists, light cutting and kata use. a few for hanging on the wall.
    Last edited by Steve Sells; 03-15-2007 at 04:14 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    2,216
    I mostly do European styles. You can't go far wrong with 5160. If I'm making a patternwelded piece a mix of 10-series (1080,1084 or similiar) and something with a little nickel and about .7-.8 C like 15N20 and L6 is what I like to use.
    For swords I tend to go around 55RC for shortswords, about 50 -52 for big pieces and I like to leave the first few inches at the ricasso-tang junction unhardened.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    2,880
    I've been distracted by writing the book so I'm afraid that I've been neglecting this forum...

    I use 5160 spring steel for euro swords and the VERY rare occasions that I do a japanese style blade. In both cases I have the steel marquenched and tempered to HRc58-60, then selectively draw the temper at the spine and tang to HRc 45-49. On rapiers and other very narrow swords I usually send them through with Gus's stuff so they are marquenched to HRc52-54 then I draw tthe temper of the tang and base of the blade to 45-48.

    I don't make a lot of damascus(understatement!) but when I use it I really like RFT's 15n20/1084/5160 mix. Good stuff!
    Tinkerswords.com Fine knives, swords and daggers in the style of the European Middle Ages and Viking Era

    "Then, one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield an ninety miles per hour, I had an epiphany..."

    Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    Posts
    597
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sells View Post
    European swords? I have used for mono steel: 5160, 1075, 8670m, & S7. (I do not advise doing S7)
    I'm curious to hear why you didn't like the S7. Was it just the difficulty in forging it? Or did the end result not perform up to your expectations?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ft Wayne Indiana USA
    Posts
    386

    Oops I didnt seen your question

    the Steel barely moved at all for me. That was a lot of work for this lazy electrician. the belt sander didn't move much metal either. as for performance I don't know I still have not finished that blade, its a large broadsword.

    I use 3 or 4 pound hammers. An air hammer is not an option here because i live in the middle of a city of 300k people. I am lucky to be allowed a coal forge.

    I am not knocking the mix; just the way I have to work it, makes it not very hammer friendly. I know its a hard worker, and a strong end product, but for the hassle in hammering it to shape, I can think of other steels I would prefer to use.
    Last edited by Steve Sells; 04-14-2007 at 05:38 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    2,216
    If you can build a hydraulic press, that sounds like the way to go. No impact vibration, no need to bolt anything down (mine sits on a moveable cart!) and you can set your motor/pump assembly in a well-protected area that can be soundproofed to your hearts content. You don't need to run the motor continuously so it heating up is not a big issue- you may run it a half minute minute out of every two or three, just have an electric switch in handy range. Great for pattern-welding, too.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •