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Thread: Huanuo Gold Round Dao, GRTC Sword Review

  1. #51
    Thanks for the great review Scott.

    Sherman,

    We agree that Scott's expertise as a martial artist, antiquarian, and scholar would give his review and opinions great merit. However, we don't wish to discourage others from contributing to the discussion.

    Speaking hypothetically, if someone were a complete "newb" they would certainly derive great value from Scott's review. However, they might also benefit from the candid opinions of others equally as "new".

    A review by someone of lesser experience than Scott might carry less weight, but it would not necessarily be without value.

    I don't recall the exact anecdote, but a teacher was once asked why he spent his time teaching new students. The questioner was of the opinion that the teacher's time would be better spent with more advanced pupils. The teacher's response was that teaching the beginners made the old things seem new again. Something about seeing the same world through new eyes.

  2. #52
    Angus Trim is offline Moderator
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    Originally posted by Jeffrey David Modell
    I think I need to clarify precisely what I was looking at.

    First, though, I know the difference between a Chinese Dao, which is a single edged weapon with a wide blade, and a Jian (and a dagger, too). I have been doing martial arts since about 1976 but only started paying attention to Jian in the past few years. I am by no means a scholar of bladed weapons, but I do my best to keep my foot out of my mouth (but with some failures, mostly when my wife is in the vicinity to point them out).

    Second, and pardon my ignorance, but I have not seen a photograph of any Chinese "sword" remotely like the Firewood Dao. I would welcome someone posting photographs of historical Dao that look like this so that I can increase my knoweldge, which is why I am at this forum. It kind of reminds me more of Tibetan weaponry.

    Next, is the FD really a Dao? If a bladed weapon, regardless of if single edge or double edge, is shorter than the forearm it is a dagger (Bi Shou). Thanks to that firewood chopping handle the FD does appear to be longer than a forearm and therefore can be called a Dao, but I am concerned its construction is really pressing the definition.

    And I understand that the Chinese developed the smithing arts that formed the basis for the traditional Japanese sword forging methodogy.

    Finally, what you have been waiting for. I was given a gift of a Katana (WWII officer's weapon, NOT antique, saw use), which is a real combat blade designed mostly for hacking (read slashing) (in my opinion). I looked at a 1" section of the FD blade, and at a 1" section of my Katana's blade and the two are reasonably closely correlated. In the same vein, if you look at a 1" section of the FD blade then look at ANY 1" section of a generic Dao you are not going to see much, if anything, in common between the two blades. (Sure, you can cheat and grab a narrow saber-type Dao (a high end), but that isn't what I was focused on. Hey, you could go find another FD, not that I have ever seen them commonly sold or used for a Chinese broadsword form, ever, but that's just me and I have already admitted to having little scholarly knowledge of these blades.) Next, compare the tip of the FD to the tip of a Katana or other style Japanese sword. Now compare it to the tip of a generic Chinese Dao.

    I hope this explains my position, which I continue to believe to be an accurate observation. In the absence of the above paragraph it would be impossible to know if the path followed to reach the aforesaid conclusion was true.

    I am pleased to learn from additional information provided on SFI that a Jian or Dao of traditional design (I cannot call the FD traditional for purposes of Jian or Dao forms) can survive the evil log test. (Kind of reminds me of "The tennis ball is not your friend," -- if you practice chain whip you will know what I mean.)

    I continue to maintain that manufacturers who submit their swords, free, for testing should be able to define the intended use of the sword and limit their testing to those evaluations relevant to the intended use. I think that would be a good policy in the public's interest (and I still have not read Scott's site to see if he already does that ...). I continue to applaud the sword maker above for its conduct in this matter.

    Finally, I appreciate that everyone on this forum is very polite and not flaming like on a Hung Gar forum I have in mind, so if I mess something up or simply fail to explain my position and you want to know how I got from A to B, just post.

    JDM
    Hi Jeffrey

    There are substantial differences between an oxtail dao {or any dao for that matter}, and a katana. I wouldn't subject a kat to the same kind of test......

    Not only is the blade more apt to bend, the hilt isn't going to like you either.......

    Frankly, cutting tree trunks is more for testers and reviewers than end users. If you attack a tree trunk or some other hard target enough, you're going to shorten the life of the best of swords, regardless of type.......

    What Scott was doing was testing a sword to see how it would fare in an appropriate environment. He doesn't expect that a sword should be able to handle unlimited amounts of this kind of use, just that it should be able to handle a fair amount of it.......
    For Good or Ill......

    What Comes Around Goes Around.....
    and

    You Reap What You Sow...

  3. #53
    Originally posted by Jeffrey David Modell
    I think I need to clarify precisely what I was looking at.

    First, though, I know the difference between a Chinese Dao, which is a single edged weapon with a wide blade, and a Jian (and a dagger, too). I have been doing martial arts since about 1976 but only started paying attention to Jian in the past few years. I am by no means a scholar of bladed weapons, but I do my best to keep my foot out of my mouth (but with some failures, mostly when my wife is in the vicinity to point them out).

    Second, and pardon my ignorance, but I have not seen a photograph of any Chinese "sword" remotely like the Firewood Dao. I would welcome someone posting photographs of historical Dao that look like this so that I can increase my knoweldge, which is why I am at this forum. It kind of reminds me more of Tibetan weaponry.

    Next, is the FD really a Dao? If a bladed weapon, regardless of if single edge or double edge, is shorter than the forearm it is a dagger (Bi Shou). Thanks to that firewood chopping handle the FD does appear to be longer than a forearm and therefore can be called a Dao, but I am concerned its construction is really pressing the definition.

    JDM
    Jeffrey,

    dao in its loosest translation basically means "singled-edged cutting implement" and covers everything from knives, up through swords, and even polearms.

    The best convention we have worked out is to use the English term which best fits by physical context and function.

  4. #54
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    By "we," with you being a moderator I assume you mean a convention adapted by SFI.
    we = all of SFI, not just the staff.

    Note: this post above has been edited by moderator who removed the book cited for the definition of Dao in my earlier post. I overrode my personal understanding, which was (however vague) of a one-edged blade, to comply with the current meaning assigned by the book I had in my lap (thus the addition of the term "wide," whether you want to define that as saber wide or as wide as athe current generic Dao used for Kung Fu broadsword forms, affordable by the masses) when I wrote the post. I gave the source so that people would feel comfortable moving on to other, more productive points. I am personally very comfortable using the term Dao irrespective of blade width.

    Moderator, I would appreciate it if you could leave this additional paragraph in. JDM
    Last edited by Jeffrey David Modell; 12-09-2005 at 12:48 PM.

  5. #55
    Well I certainly did not expected my review to general a 3 page thread, glad to see it is of such great interest.

    This AM I recieved an email from Huanuo that another sword is on its way for testing. The photos of the orginal test are up at http://www.grtc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=195. And I had the oportunity to do examine the blade for the Gold Round Dao further.

    I compared the Gold Round Dao's blade cross section with 5 antique dao blades, specifically comparing the curviture of the blade walls. I measured this by laying a steel ruler across the "flat" of the blade at the back edge, perpendicular to the cutting edge, then marking the size of the space between the ruler & cutting edge on a piece of paper. I then measured this distance. The 5 antique dao had a space, or curviture from the straight edge of the ruler, of .8 to 1.1 mm. Marking & measuring such a small space is obviously difficult, but I beleive it is fair to say the adverage is 1 mm. The Gold Round Dao had a differential between the straight of the ruler & the curviture of the blade that was too small to measure. In some places I could slip in one sheet of paper, in other areas, 2 sheets of paper. This is one likely reason why the blade edge was damaged, it is not radiused enough to support the shock of a powerful cut. (Angus Trim, as a sword maker would you like to explain the physics of this? Perhap start another thread on the topic?).

    I also tested the blade hardness with Tsubosan Hardness Tester. The file with a Rockwell Hardness of 40 left scatches on the blade. Chinese swords with hardned edges typically have an edge of 60 HRC.

    More to come... important call... finish shorting
    Scott M. Rodell
    I train at: www.grtc.org
    I work at: www.sevenstarstrading.com

  6. #56
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    Originally posted by Jeffrey David Modell
    First, though, I know the difference between a Chinese Dao, which is a single edged weapon with a wide blade
    JDM
    Chinese sabres aren't usually wide-bladed. Unless your talking of the oxtail dao, which in any case only came into widespread use during the 19th century.

  7. #57
    Originally posted by Scott M. Rodell
    This is one likely reason why the blade edge was damaged, it is not radiused enough to support the shock of a powerful cut. (Angus Trim, as a sword maker would you like to explain the physics of this? Perhap start another thread on the topic?).

    I also tested the blade hardness with Tsubosan Hardness Tester. The file with a Rockwell Hardness of 40 left scatches on the blade. Chinese swords with hardned edges typically have an edge of 60 HRC.

    Scott,

    Edge damage has little if any relation to the degree of curvature. The damage to the huanuo dao is a result of insufficient edge support and a too soft blade.

    Edge support is a function of how much "meat" there is in the edge bevels to support the edge, i.e. how the blade is ground.

    I have examined the cross-sections on several dozen antique dao. Some were convex-ground. Others had a blade body which was flat-ground, but at a shallower angle. The edge-bevel was blended into this. Either of these methods puts more "meat" behind the cutting edge.

    As huanuo says, their blade is flat ground. On such a wide blade this means that the included angle of the edge bevels is very, very thin behind the edge. The photos do not show a secondary edge-bevel.

    This is fine for forms practice and cutting soft materials like straw and grass, but more obdurate items are going to damage the edge.

    I agree with your review comments stating that the sword is too soft. At 40 RC, it was marginally too soft for the types of targets you selected.

    An easy area of improvement for huanuo would be to change how they grind their blades and to ensure that they are harder. An alternative it to market these for forms practice and to include a warning about what types of cutting materials are suitable.

    The blade sent you may have been a fluke. Testing more swords should give a better picture. Thanks for the review and we look forward to the next one.

  8. #58
    Originally posted by Alexander Chin
    ...I have examined the cross-sections on several dozen antique dao. Some were convex-ground. Others had a blade body which was flat-ground, but at a shallower angle. The edge-bevel was blended into this. Either of these methods puts more "meat" behind the cutting edge...
    Thanks Alex, that was what I was trying to say... there is certainly more to cutting ability than edge hardness.
    Scott M. Rodell
    I train at: www.grtc.org
    I work at: www.sevenstarstrading.com

  9. #59

    some confusion

    No problem. When you mentioned "radius" I thought you were talking about the degree of curvature in the blade profile.

    there is certainly more to cutting ability than edge hardness.
    Absolutely! The blade cross-section, the type of material being cut, and the skill of the cutter cannot be discounted.

  10. #60

    Rewind...

    Considering the direction of much of this discussion, a little rewind seems in order...

    The types of tests chosen & the nature of the testing conducted is based upon both my experience in Chinese Historical Swordsmanship & upon consultation & advice of sword smiths, who put their own creations through rigorous testing. I should remind all, that swords are being test for their utility in contemporary practice of Chinese Historical Swordsmanship, not for performance wushu, or martial sports. This means swords are not only compared to Ming & Qing dynasty examples on hand, but also under the conditions sword faced during period warfare. Pizza boxes & plastic pop bottles are commonly used as targets for test cutting today, but as they were absent from the historical battlefield, cutting such targets is not relevant here, regardless of thieir usefulness to swordsmen using them for cutting practice today. Swords carried to the Chinese battlefield faced rigorous conditions. They had to cut into or even through armor, were slammed into steel helmets, cut into the legs & bodies of horses, & more, in short, they would have had to stand up to very demanding hard cutting as well as being able to cut soft targets, such as cloth, leather & flesh well. Taking these conditions into consideration, dead standing trees & bamboo are logical, convenient test targets. Also, frankly, it is best to set a high, demanding standard, than a low one if we are too truely understand any product's worth.

    Swords used for the practice of Historical Swordsmanship of any kind, should be tested as if one's life depended on that sword. Swords are, after all, weapons of war designed for life or death combat, any sword should be expected to stand up the most demanding of tests. Perhaps readers need to be clear about the difference between martial arts like Chinese Swordsmanship & martial sports like Kendo & sport fencing. Please keep in mind that this is a matter of clarity not a judgment of worth.
    Scott M. Rodell
    I train at: www.grtc.org
    I work at: www.sevenstarstrading.com

  11. #61
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    Scott,

    After reading this post, you are certainly correct. These companies are offering swords compared to antique jian as being historically accurate and fully functional. If they are willing to step onto the platform they should be able to with stand carious demanding methods that which one would expect a historically accurate sword should uphold.

    Thank you for your hardy testing standards, in which will only improve the quality and standards of the modern sword companies and in the while keeping in check with their claims.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding and thank you for your time tested devotion to historical Chinese swordsmanship.

  12. #62

    swords

    Yes, thxs for Scott's tests.

    The Golden Round Battle Dao is a new product of Huanuo Sword Art, we have asked Scott to send back the blade and we will inspect that and make further improvement.

    A Round Battle Sword was sent and Scott has got it , the HRC of the edge was about 55-60, and further tests are under making now.

    Thxs a lot for sword frinds who have giving so much opinions and advice to us, and we think that is the most valuable treasure that we have.

  13. #63
    Its so nice to see the interest and respectful dialogs in this thread. Though many of these points have been covered by others. I would like to offer my experience and thoughts on the topic. This comes from over 2 decades of making swords, smelting my own steel from ore, working with such notable martial artist and test cutters as Toshishiro Obata and uncountable experiments sacrificed to the test regime.

    Some thoughts on hard testing vs soft testing.

    Soft testing tests the cutter not the sword. What I mean by this is that it really shows control of edge angle through the cut. Just because a sword can cut soft material does not in anyway make it worthy of battle. In fact, it is all too common to see blades made with thin frail edges that will preferentially perform in this arena because.. lets face it, most swords will never see combat in our age.

    Hard testing tests the cutter and the sword. The high impact shock of a sudden stop causes more stress on the edge, body and hilt .This shock and the danger of rebound -this is what separates the wall hanger from the battle blade. Again.. it would be easy to make a blade that would chop into anything and suffer negligible damage.. but would it be weildable or simply a big steel club? ( off topic.. axes are best for this)

    There really is no reason to have to make a blade work on either the soft or hard tesing environment. A good sword will work in both. Wether it’s a Katana, Jian, Type XII etc. there are some basic elements they will have in common.

    What are some of the things a sword edge will encounter on the battlefield and what type of stress will it impart to the sword?

    1. Unarmored human. Well, I have done a lot of cutting on full fresh deer*, pig, etc and without a doubt this type of target falls apart no matter how sharp or dull the sword is. Cutting and damaging even removing complete limbs is not very demanding. Sure, some may cut ¼ of the way into the body – some ¾ some pass right through.. but how dead is dead?The biggest problems will come from the blade getting stuck as the body collapses or if the edge angle is off and the sword deflects off of bone. Not to assault the squeamish but you’d be amazed how hard it is to keep hold of a blade that is stuck in a 110 lb body that is falling to the ground in front of you. ( kesa giri anyone?)

    * I do find wet tatami superior as a simulation of flesh over any other soft material I have tried so far.


    2. Light armor, padded clothing, unhardened leather etc. again – doesn’t do a lot to hurt the sword but it will absorb a lot of the energy and thus lessen penetration into target type 1. Fun to test on, but not too demanding as far as shock, vibration etc go. Here is where a very ‘clamshelled’ edge will not work well – one of the reasons for the change in japanese edge geometry after the mongol invasion .


    3. Belt buckles, shields, hardened leather, oak spear shafts etc.. now we start to impart some stresses. This is the first stage where we see the less than worthy sword fall to the wayside. Too thin or not enough support behind the edge is the downfall here This is where soft pine, oak dowel etc will show if an edge is too frail, soft etc or if the handle is put together incorrectly or any number of other things.



    4. Metal plates,mail other sword/ spear blades. Try to avoid these if possible or use a different weapon. Spears vs mail are devastating, You can also put one side- to- side through a deer with one hand while still going through the shoulderblade – remember fresh warm bone cuts/pierces a lot easier than old dry bone. Helmets can be split, body armor can be cut but while you are working away on that the armored opponent is targeting your wrist, knees underarms and face. Still, the swordsmith should test his metal and technique on these materials to destruction so the client wont have to .A swordsmith HAS to know his outer performance limits. If you aren’t willing to break your blades periodically to verify your process you have no business supplying weapons to warriors.


    5. Stone, glass, hardened sword edges, etc. even the best edge can nick in these materials.


    My testing regime. Well – a lot of it came from working with Obata and his access to old records and his devotion to professional test cutting.
    1. test the structural soundness of the blade. with the edges or edge and back on a pine log ( 4x4) with progressively harder hits. This will expose any major flaws in the manufacture especially edge cracks from quenching.( Lightly tap the flats of the blade on the log too). Any structural defects not found by skipping this step can cause injury or death to the cutter or bystanders.

    2. Large diameter green bamboo when available - this is between hard and soft cutting. Living 2+” saplings can also be used

    3. cuts into oak dowel or splitting maul handles

    4. cuts into 1/4” iron plate on edge

    5. soft cutting tatami
    *sometimes I will skip 2 and 3

    Now don’t think that I don’t value soft cutting because it is last. As I said before it has a very important place in edge control. In fact to be able to do hard test cutting you must have very good control of your edge angle and force. An edge that can survive the above tests can also easily go through multiple 6” tatami mats ( again how dead is dead?)These are TESTS and that usually means doing the same thing to every blade to make comparisons valid. There is a reason why there were professional test cutters. I think of them like the test pilots of today. Meticulous exacting and repeatable.

    Well sorry for the long post. I really hate to type and I would much rather be infront of a charcoal fire with a hammer in my hand than infront of this screen with a mouse. But I felt it important to support the testing and methodology Scott used and to pass on any usefull bits I might be able to contribute. I find it very encouraging that the sword company is learning from these tests and already modifying their product to be successful. That takes comittment and the desire to learn and overcome. I respect that.

    Paul

  14. #64
    Paul,

    Thank you for sharing those insights. Welcome to SFI.

  15. #65
    Originally posted by Paul Champagne
    ...Light armor, padded clothing, unhardened leather etc. again – doesn’t do a lot to hurt the sword but it will absorb a lot of the energy and thus lessen penetration into target type 1. Fun to test on, but not too demanding as far as shock, vibration etc go. Here is where a very ‘clamshelled’ edge will not work well – one of the reasons for the change in japanese edge geometry after the mongol invasion...
    Paul - Thanks for your insightful input. The more I study & practice the more obvious it is that modern swordsmen have to return to their roots & get to know the craftsmen who supply their tools.

    If I might drag you away from your forge for a few minute, would you please elaborate on the change of edge/blade cross section that occured in Japan post-Mongol invasion?
    Scott M. Rodell
    I train at: www.grtc.org
    I work at: www.sevenstarstrading.com

  16. #66

    Future Testing

    Since this thread began, I've recieved a number of requests for me to test other swords. I would be happy to test what ever is sent me, if anyone has something they want to see tested, please contact the manufacturer or thier US rep directly & ask them to contact me at: 703/846-8222 to arrange a test...

    The test results will be posted here at SFI & at grtc.org
    Scott M. Rodell
    I train at: www.grtc.org
    I work at: www.sevenstarstrading.com

  17. #67
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    Originally posted by Scott M. Rodell


    If I might drag you away from your forge for a few minute, would you please elaborate on the change of edge/blade cross section that occured in Japan post-Mongol invasion?

    I would be very interested in reading about that too.

    This thread keeps getting more and more informative
    Student of

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  18. #68
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    It seems to me that even if a sword didnt break after 35 hits into a solid wood block taht it would still be almost useless for anything afterwards. The idea that it could then cut bamboo seems surprising to me. But maybe im wrong, although i dont beleive i've heard of any sword that can cut through solid logs, no matter how good.

  19. #69
    Originally posted by D. R. Thomas Jr.
    It seems to me that even if a sword didnt break after 35 hits into a solid wood block that it would still be almost useless for anything afterwards....
    Please read the Test Criteria. No one expected this sword, or any other, to cut thru a log.

    A good sword can be used to cut down a tree & then go right on to cutting bamboo "all day." Stop & consider battlefield conditions, fight men in armor, cutting into hard wood shafts, & more for HOURS.

    No offense, but many of the response above give the impresion that people are not thinking very far about how swords were used. They are tools for the battlefield. They were designed to survive the stresses of combat for years.
    Scott M. Rodell
    I train at: www.grtc.org
    I work at: www.sevenstarstrading.com

  20. #70
    We should all thank Scott for putting this sword through its paces BUT...

    ...a sword is a tool for a specific purpose. It may survive extreme uses but suffer damage, which may or not be reparable. Scott tested this sword to the extreme for our benefit and the resulting edge damage speaks for itself.

    SFI does not encourage this type of extreme testing. If you try this at home, please do so safely. At the minimum wear eye protection and gloves.

  21. #71
    Originally posted by Alexander Chin
    We should all thank Scott for putting this sword through its paces BUT...
    ...SFI does not encourage this type of extreme testing. If you try this at home, please do so safely...
    Thanks for that important reminder Alex, I agree, if you are new to test cutting, don't start where I did & best find some one seasoned in the practice to walk you thru at the begining. Better to respect the blade now then regret it later...
    Scott M. Rodell
    I train at: www.grtc.org
    I work at: www.sevenstarstrading.com

  22. #72
    Angus Trim is offline Moderator
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    Originally posted by Scott M. Rodell
    Please read the Test Criteria. No one expected this sword, or any other, to cut thru a log.

    A good sword can be used to cut down a tree & then go right on to cutting bamboo "all day." Stop & consider battlefield conditions, fight men in armor, cutting into hard wood shafts, & more for HOURS.

    No offense, but many of the response above give the impresion that people are not thinking very far about how swords were used. They are tools for the battlefield. They were designed to survive the stresses of combat for years.
    Hi Scott

    I agree in principle, but will take some minor issues with a couple of things that both you and Paul Champagne wrote...

    I pretty much agree that an oxtail dao and the like should have an edge with enough meat behind it to deal with heavy cutting, and should be able to deal with hitting a tree trunk, as long as there is a bit of give somewhere in the tree.

    But..... your words.....

    "They are tools for the battlefield. They were designed to survive the stresses of combat for years."

    I agree that many swords were tools for the battlefield. But not all. Some jian, katana, Euro longswords, and all rapiers I know of are for dueling or self defense. These weapons would not, and shouldn't be expected to deal with a lot of abuse.

    Even swords that were meant for warfare, wouldn't take years of use, unless there were just a few minutes per confrontation, and years between confrontations. Each time a sword is used hard, reduces its lifespan. There is only so much a real sword can take, whether its the hilt, the tang, the edge, or the main body, somewhere there's a weakspot that will give out.....

    Swords are tools, and all tools wear out under use.....

    In your test, the edge should have held up. But after inspecting a few antiques, I wouldn't be at all surprised that a "period" oxtail would have the hilt loosen up from such use...... and I wouldn't be surprised if a well made modern sword's hilt came loose a bit.... it should be repairable, but coming loose shouldn't be a problem.......or unexpected.......

    And daily beating a sword like this, well don't expect it to last a year......

    As an example, using a different kind of sword, Oakeshott in his book "Records of the Medieval Sword", mentions a warsword that was likely retired after one battle. The edge looks like a sawblade, and the battle that Oakeshott thinks it was used in was "the real deal". The sword was found in a church, where it may have been left, because its owner survived the battle, and the sword was useless after the battle......it was used and used up, and the owner survived........

    Paul Champagne said

    "What are some of the things a sword edge will encounter on the battlefield and what type of stress will it impart to the sword?"

    Well, in this case we're talking about a battlefield sword. But as I've stated earlier, not all swords are battlefield swords. Rapiers certainly weren't. I've seen both antique jian and katana whose edges were too fine to slam into helmets, or even cut poles with.

    I've seen antique baskethilts that were used on the battlefield, that have very fine edges. Probably wouldn't do well hitting rifle barrels or polearms. Yet they were used in the '45.

    The actual antique medieval western swords I've handled with my own hands or have seen up close enough to inspect the edge is rather small. I cannot say that I've seen particularly fine edges here........but........ those that I respect and know in the profession of swordmaking have seen rather fine edges....too fine to deal with slamming helmets or cutting the pole of polearm....a type XII, and two 15th century longswords........

    For the most part I agree with what your saying, but that doesn't mean that the historical record doesn't have artifacts that are a bit different from what you and Scott have said.

    In my view it depends on the expected use of the sword. "In period", and now. An oxtail dao should be able to deal with some cutting abuse. A 1 1/2lb fine edged jian maybe not. A warsword should be able to handle some abuse, a dueling 15th century longsword maybe not. An arming sword should be able to take some abuse, a rapier likely not.......

    Then swords of the same type {more or less}..... a 36 inch bladed longsword of 4lbs should likely be able to take some abuse, a 36 inch bladed longsword of 2.5lbs maybe not {both semi-copied from existing antiques}..... a 3 lb katana with lots of niku should likely be able to take some abuse, a 2lb kat with very little niku and an extremely fine edge, maybe not {I've made blades from specs of local antiques like this}.........

    In this case, the case of the dao, I agree. But the wording is too general and might get some folks thinking any sword should be able to deal with this kind of heavy use.........
    For Good or Ill......

    What Comes Around Goes Around.....
    and

    You Reap What You Sow...

  23. #73
    Originally posted by A. Trim
    ...In this case, the case of the dao, I agree. But the wording is too general and might get some folks thinking any sword should be able to deal with this kind of heavy use...
    Thanks for your input Gus. I certainly agree with you observations concerning battlefield (military) swords vs. daily carry civilian swords, but I think you are mixing apples & oranges. I was speaking specifically about the type of sword being tested, a heavy Chinese Willow Leaf Dao (saber). I can see how some one might take my comments in a more general way, since I did not begin each post by saying that, I assumed that since this is the Chinese Forum, everyone understands I'm speaking about Chinese swords & not swords of other cultures, places or periods.

    As for the durability of swords made for heavy use, such as on the battlefield, a great deal is going to depend the both the battles & the swordsman. I can certainly see an inexperience front line trooper hacking away with his sword in such a manner that it is damaged beyond use quickly. On the other hand I can see a seasoned swordman using his blade in such a way that it lasts for decades.

    Having examined hundreds & hundreds of "battlefield" (i.e. heavy, thick) dao I do not get the impression that they lasted one battle. Too many have pasted thru my hands from the Mid-19th c., a period of near constant warfare, to suggest that they didn't survive more than one battle. In short, if this was commonly so, we should not have so many examples on hand today. The ecomonics of this also leaving me doubting that a sword lasted but a battle or two. The Qing empire just didn't have that kind of money from the Jiaqing period on, where they could just keep handing out new swords. Most likely, if a soldier's sword was damaged beyond use in a day, he was out of luck come the next battle. Unfortunately, I do not have any specific period source to support this assertion, just general information on the general state of the dynasty's finances, condition of the military etc. These general economic & political conditions do support the assumption that each soldier got one sword, & few if any spares were available.
    Scott M. Rodell
    I train at: www.grtc.org
    I work at: www.sevenstarstrading.com

  24. #74
    Angus Trim is offline Moderator
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    Originally posted by Scott M. Rodell
    Thanks for your input Gus. I certainly agree with you observations concerning battlefield (military) swords vs. daily carry civilian swords, but I think you are mixing apples & oranges. I was speaking specifically about the type of sword being tested, a heavy Chinese Willow Leaf Dao (saber). I can see how some one might take my comments in a more general way, since I did not begin each post by saying that, I assumed that since this is the Chinese Forum, everyone understands I'm speaking about Chinese swords & not swords of other cultures, places or periods.

    As for the durability of swords made for heavy use, such as on the battlefield, a great deal is going to depend the both the battles & the swordsman. I can certainly see an inexperience front line trooper hacking away with his sword in such a manner that it is damaged beyond use quickly. On the other hand I can see a seasoned swordman using his blade in such a way that it lasts for decades.

    Having examined hundreds & hundreds of "battlefield" (i.e. heavy, thick) dao I do not get the impression that they lasted one battle. Too many have pasted thru my hands from the Mid-19th c., a period of near constant warfare, to suggest that they didn't survive more than one battle. In short, if this was commonly so, we should not have so many examples on hand today. The ecomonics of this also leaving me doubting that a sword lasted but a battle or two. The Qing empire just didn't have that kind of money from the Jiaqing period on, where they could just keep handing out new swords. Most likely, if a soldier's sword was damaged beyond use in a day, he was out of luck come the next battle. Unfortunately, I do not have any specific period source to support this assertion, just general information on the general state of the dynasty's finances, condition of the military etc. These general economic & political conditions do support the assumption that each soldier got one sword, & few if any spares were available.
    Hi Scott

    Ahhh, the wonders of the internet, how easy it is to be a bit unclear thinking one is totally clear....this time its my turn.

    The reason I posted the comments I did was that this thread was linked to from the GF, and folks coming here from there might not fully understand........

    Now, just so you know it, we're totally in agreement.......
    For Good or Ill......

    What Comes Around Goes Around.....
    and

    You Reap What You Sow...

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